Posts Tagged ‘college essay’

Welcome Our New Writing Specialist Liz Young

Liz Young joined Educational Advocates in September as a writing specialist, guiding high school, transfer, and prospective graduate students on their essays and personal statements. Liz is a writer and educator with twenty years experience working with students at both the high school and college level. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude from Columbia University with a BA in Classics and earned a PhD in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley. Before transitioning

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?

If you are not working with a college consultant with expertise in teaching essay …

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 and their college, if you have interests and ideas about what you want to gain from your college experience 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.  Students applying to a popular Washington D.C. college often send us a first draft to this type of question with a lead…

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 time thinking—about your life, your values and the memories you hold dear. Keep in mind…

Common Application Pitfalls and Tips

The Common Application, accepted by nearly 800 colleges, launched 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 password along with the email address you used at registration time so you can easily access it. You may think you will remember it, but we have learned from our students’ experiences that this is often not the case.

2. Preview

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“Why Them?”: Tackling the “Why Us?” Application Essay

One of the seemingly ubiquitous questions found on college applications is the “Why us?” question. This question can take many different forms, such as “What most influenced you to apply to Vassar College?” or “Please compose an essay that will tell us how you will help the university carry out its mission.” At first glance, the answer to this seems as straightforward as Googling the college name and finding out a few key facts about the…

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 statement or the primary application essay. It typically asks a creative…

Caitlin McGill Earns Writing Accolades

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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 prestigious writers’ conferences in America. We caught up with Caitlin recently…

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 already prompting debate among admissions representatives, school counselors and independent…

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