As helpful as it is to research online and browse college websites, nothing beats speaking face to face with a college representative. College fairs are a great way to get to know different colleges and start to understand what you prioritize in a school.Read More
You might have thought the days of standardized testing would be long gone after high school. Low and behold, the truth is, colleges still use standardized tests, mainly the GRE (Graduate Record Examinations), to measure whether you’re prepared for a school beyond undergrad (i.e. graduate programs) because unlike grading standards which can vary from college to college, national tests are more predictable of academic preparedness.Read More
With 1000s of scholarships available to the average student, there are many different factors to consider when deciding if a scholarship is right for you.Read More
Scholarships are a great source of free funding for college to help pay for tuition, room and board, and other enrollment fees. There are thousands of scholarships, from all kinds of organizations, and you can find details for each online relatively easily and you should start applying for them as soon as you’re done with college applications.Read More
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.”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.
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.Read More
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
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.Read More
Tone is more than how you write, it’s how you write it, and the tone of your personal statement can significantly impact your college application. Your choice of words, level of formality, and the writing style you choose to use comprises your writing tone and can reveal a significant amount about how you view yourself, your academic/career path, and your community.Read More
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.Read More
The statement of purpose, or what I like to call the cover letter essay because of its similar structure, is generally used for graduate school applications and focuses much more on describing the skills, experiences and education that has prepared you for the program you’re applying to than a personal statement would. Its main purpose concentrates less on telling your story and more on communicating the qualities that make you a perfect candidate. Ideally, the statement of purpose should convey your genuine interest in and enthusiasm for the program of study you’re pursuing, and what you have done in the past to nurture that passion.
Here are 4 steps for writing a statement of purpose:Read More
There are a number of ways you can show colleges you’re interested in attending their school ranging from email admissions reps to taking an overnight trip to visit campus. Here are five practical ways you can demonstrate interest in the college you’re applying to:Read More
As a college admissions coach, I am constantly surprised by how many of the people I work with misunderstand why diversity matters in the college admissions process and how its factored in to an applicant’s “score”. During a recent coaching session, I was explaining to a client that most universities specifically consider socioeconomic factors when evaluating candidates to which his response was, “Oh, is this the affirmative action thing?” No, was my response to him, but he wasn’t exactly wrong.Read More
We all know that to get into top colleges, students need to start preparing early in high school to stay competitive. That means, participating in extracurriculars and taking a rigorous course load as early as sophomore year. Starting a club or building houses in your free time is more common than you think, so to truly stand out among hundreds of undergraduate applications, you really have to go the extra step in pursuing and participating in opportunities that aren’t run of the mill. Here’s what I suggest for freshman and sophomores to get a leg up in the race:Read More
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:Read More
A couple weeks ago, I put together this quick list of resources about writing personal statements and thought it’d be helpful to share on my blog. Enjoy.Read More