When applying for college, you’ll most likely need to include one to two letters of recommendation from a high school teacher with your application. Colleges use these letters of recommendation to understand the whole student as a part of the holistic review process. Letters of recommendation allow admissions officers to learn more about your personal background, values, and interests by getting a unique perspective from someone who knows you well.Read More
As a professional admissions coach and on-again, off-again application reader for a large university, I often get asked the question: what are colleges looking for? Meaning, what kind of traits do colleges look for in the students they admit? Well, the answer is long, but not really that complicated.
The Common App is available for students to apply to more than 800 schools (private, public, large and small). An essential part of the Common Application is the Writing component which includes the Personal Essay section. Most, but not all of the 800 colleges that use the Common App, require the Personal Essay to be included in your application for submission. So, with all most all colleges you apply to, you can be sure a personal essay, or more commonly called the personal statement, will be a part of it.Read More
Brainstorming ideas for your college admissions essay can be the most challenging part of the process of writing a personal statement. I recommend that before you start writing you consider a few questions: what do colleges want to know about me? What makes me interesting and more qualified than my peers? How will I contribute to learning and the campus culture once admitted? And how can I answer these questions in 1000 words or less?
Each response to those questions is unique. Nonetheless, you should deliberately plan time to brainstorm ideas for the content of your personal statements. When choosing a topic, it’s important to dig deep and be vulnerable. These elements are key to telling the story you want to convey to admissions officers.
In preparing to write your college admissions essays, here are some questions collected from around the web to get you started with brainstorming topics:Read More