Posts tagged college essay tips
A Step-by-Step Guide to Brainstorming and Starting Your College Essay

We’ve put together a guide to simplify the college essay writing process. Writing your college essay is a gradual process that takes a lot of reflection and time. These steps aren’t intended to be completed in one day or even one week. By following these steps, the writing process will be less stressful. If you’ve been procrastinating, our step-by-step guide will help you get started.

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I Did the Transition from Military to College. Here are the Strategies I Used to Write My Personal Statements

While I work as a college admissions coach now, I used to be in the Army -- for six whole years! So when I write, at work especially, I tend to default to the concise, bottom line up front (BLUF), way of writing we use in the military for evaluation reports, operations orders, and basically everything else.

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Q&A: How Long Should My College Application Essay Be?

A college admissions essays, commonly referred to as a personal statement or statement of purpose, can range in length from 350 words to several pages which means, for some applications, you have limited space to describe your experiences, achievements, and goals.

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2019-2020 Common App Essay Prompts

CommonApp has announced that the essay prompts for 2019-20 will remain the same as last year’s.

Common App cites feedback from counselors determined that “the existing essay prompts provide great flexibility for applicants to tell their unique stories in their own voice.”

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You Too Can Write a Good Diversity Statement for Your College Applications. Here's How.

As an admissions professional, I sometimes get asked the question, “For someone who is white and middle class, how can I write about how I will bring diversity to my school?” Well, let me tell you. It’s possible to do and it’s possible to do it without treating the diversity statement as a throwaway part of your application.

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Coalition Application Essay Prompts for 2017-19

While the most popular college admissions application is the Common Application, over a 100 colleges are now using the Coalition Application, a competitor to the Common App first announced back in 2015.

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2018-2019 Common Application Essay Prompts

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.

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Do's and Don'ts When Writing Your College Admissions Essays

As the name states, personal statements are inherently personal and meant to communicate your qualifications and show what kind of person you are. For this reason, each statement an admissions team member reads is uniquely different from any other, as it should be. That said, there are still some general do’s and don’ts to consider when writing your personal statement.

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Choosing a Writing Style for Personal Statements

The style you choose to use for your personal statement offers important clues about you and your character. Much like your high school English class essays, the style of your personal statement can reveal your ability to write, your attention to detail, and how you choose to communicate.

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Writing a Personal Statement for Transfers, Veterans, Grad Students, and Job Seekers

As you apply for college programs at various point in your life, you’re personal statement should differ as a result. Admissions committees expect a personal statement for a transfer student to be much different than a college admissions essay from a incoming freshman student. With that in mind, here are some unique considerations to keep in mind when writing personal statements as an undergrad, transfer, veteran, graduate school applicant, or job seeker.

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What is a Personal Statement?

A personal statement, also known as a statement of purpose, is a priority tool used by college admissions teams as a part of the college application process. The personal statement is particularly useful as it essentially serves as a self-manifested demonstration of your unique qualifications. The personal statement also provides a glimpse into your writing ability, creativity, and career goals. Admissions committees look to personal statements to gain insight about you and understand your motivations as they relate to school and career choices.

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Brainstorming for Your Grad School Statement of Purpose: 4 Questions to Consider Before You Start Writing

Getting starting on your graduate school statement of purpose can be stressful and perplexing as the statement of purpose is unlike any other writing assignments you regularly complete. I would even venture to say it’s worlds apart from the personal statement you wrote for undergrad. While a personal statement should intentionally focus on the writer’s personal narrative (i.e. on who you are and how you got there), a graduate school statement of purpose, on the other hand, should emphasize the writer’s academic interests, skills, and career goals. But of course, your grad school statement shouldn’t be devoid of personality either.  

Here are four questions to consider before you start writing your graduate school statement of purpose.

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Q&A: Should I Include a Resume with my College Application...and Other Questions

For one of the schools I’m applying to, the word limit for the personal statement is 3,250 words. I called the school’s admissions office to ask if 3,000 approximate words was correct, to which they confirmed on the basis of it being a “transfer essay”. I’m wondering if lengthier essays for transfers aren’t uncommon, especially for selective schools.

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How to Avoid the Common Pitfalls that Annoy Admissions Officers

There are some clichés in personal statements that seem to happen over and over again. While having one or two clichés won’t prevent you from getting into a good college, it is nice to avoid them as don’t add depth to your writing, nor do they particularly work to help your application stand out. There are also a number of common occurrences I’ve seen when reading personal statements that are just annoying and don’t add any value to the application.

To help you out, here’s a short list of clichés and topics/ideas to avoid when writing your personal statement:

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Appealing to the Reader's Senses: Writing A College Admissions Essays that Gets Noticed

When you’re writing a narrative or telling a story in your personal statement, using sensory details is one of the most effective ways to captivate the reader which makes your essay more likely to stand out. Sensory details help the reader figuratively see, hear, feel, smell, and taste your words.

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5 Tips Every Applicant Needs to Know to Write a Memorable Personal Statement

In honor of the start of college admissions season, I’m offering some tips I learned during my time as an admissions application reader and writing consultant tailored to help veterans write college application essays that actually stand out.  

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