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. College admissions officers report that supplemental essays are playing an increasingly important role in the college application process. A supplemental essay is an extra essay beyond the personal ...

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 ...

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 ...

College Essay Workshops

Get a Jump on Your College Essay this Summer! For rising seniors, now is the time to start thinking about writing the college essay. Our essay writing workshop will help students get a jump start on the essay. At the end of the workshop, students will leave with a solid first draft of a compelling personal statement to use during the college admissions process. During the session students will work ...

Change is Coming to The Common Application

Nearly four decades ago, 15 private colleges founded the Common Application in order to offer a standardized means for students to apply to college; however, the “Common App” as it is known, will lose some of its consistency when the board launches an eight million dollar revamp next year. While most of the application will remain the same – such as the familiar layout – the differences are ...

Focusing Your Activities

This past June marked ten years since I graduated from high school. Typically this may cause a person to reflect on what she has accomplished over the past decade; however, as a high school English teacher at the time, I was so preoccupied mulling over recommendation letters, college essays, and graduation requirements, that I barely had time to check the “not attending” button on my class’s ...

Are Certain Topics Off-Limits in a College Admissions Essay?

Since we are always on the lookout to find resources to help students with this task, I was excited to see an article from The College of William and Mary blog on writing essays and opening lines to not use. At first glance, the post some important points, such as the value in starting the essay strong and keeping the reader invested in what you are writing about. However, the post quickly shifts ...

Reading an Admission Essay

by Joshua Henry In the three years that I worked as an Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Admission at the College of William & Mary, I estimate that I read more than 7,000 college essays. Yet, when students, parents or counselors ask, “What makes a good essay?”, I’m not able to launch into a concrete description of the perfect piece of writing that will win the heart of an admission officer. ...

Up Close and Personal — Writing the College Essay

Although your transcript and standardized test scores let the admissions committee see your academic achievements, the college essay gives them the opportunity to get a better sense of who you are beyond your role as a student. Because of this personal component, the college essay should have three essential elements. First, it should convey who you are as a person - your insights, your values, and ...
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