Revision and Editing: What Makes A College Essay Work?

So you have written a first draft of your college essay, and deep down you know it needs work. However, you are feeling a bit stuck because you find it really embarrassing to write about yourself. Plus, everyone keeps telling you that your essay must be personal, that it needs to SHOW not TELL, and that it needs to be interesting and grammatically correct. You know you need help, but where do you turn? ...

What You Need To Know About College-Specific Essays: Advice From Admissions Officers

Students spend lots of time and energy on their main common application essay or personal statement and sometimes rush through their college-specific supplemental essays without much thought or care. A recent presentation at the Independent Educational Consultants Association's national conference in Boston offered insight into the increasingly important role that supplemental essays now play in the ...

Five Tips for Generating College Essay Topics

The main college essay in The Common Application is often referred to as a personal statement. Why personal? Because the essay should help the reader gain insight into who the student is as a person. It’s an essay that should be introspective and reflect what is meaningful to you. Before you turn to the empty document on your computer screen to start writing, it is essential that you spend some ...

Caitlin McGill Earns Writing Accolades

 Many of our high school senior clients know Caitlin McGill, who joined Educational Advocates as a part-time writing specialist in 2013, because she has reviewed and commented on their near-final Common Application essays. What students may not know is that, beyond editing, Caitlin is an accomplished writer. She recently returned from Bread Loaf at Middlebury College, the oldest and one of the most ...

Common Application Pitfalls and Tips

The Common Application, accepted by nearly 700 colleges, will launch on August 1st. While the application is pretty straightforward, here are some things to look for as you register and complete it.1. Keep Track of Your Registration Information. Record your username and password along with the email address you used at registration time so you can easily access it. You may think you will remember it, ...

Do’s & Don’ts: Choosing an Essay Topic

Essay writing season is underway at Educational Advocates. We are meeting with students to brainstorm topics and guide them as they begin to free write. While almost any topic written effectively can work, some topics are better than others and a few should be avoided. Here are tips to keep in mind as you begin your essay.Confusing a Gimmick with Originality. Each year students tell us they want a ...
Parent's role

The Parent’s Role in The College Admission Process

The process of applying to college has more complex layers than it did when the parents of today applied to college. It can be difficult for parents to know how to help, where to step in and when to back off. Here are some guidelines:• Support Independent Thinking. This is the first major decision a student will make and they may not know how to research and evaluate a college for fit at the outset. ...

Every Essay Counts! How To Tackle the “Why This College?” Prompt

Many colleges ask a variation on the “Why do you want to attend our college question?” Their goal is to determine how well you know yourself, if you have interests and ideas to share and to see if you are a good fit for the school. Keep these tips in mind as you write your “Why Us?” essay. 1. Be interesting. A popular Washington D.C. college has posed a first draft to this type of question ...

Inside the Admissions Committee

By Margaret Nilsson What happens once you hit the “submit” button? While each college admissions office has its own unique process, many share similar ways of making decisions. Once the applications have been read (typically by at least two admissions officers who are responsible for a particular area), the next step is committee. Committee meetings allow the admissions staff to get together ...

Get Ready for the New Common App

The Common Application, or more warmly referred to as the Common App, has recently revealed the fourth version of its application. The Common App is known for making the college application process simpler and its upgraded version promises to streamline the application process. Here are some of the key changes:Streamlined Navigation and FeaturesEssential questions are now “smart” questions or questions ...
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