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College Essay

How to Help Students Respond to Any Essay Prompt

Many schools ask a variation on the question, “Why us?” This prompt can be one of the most challenging for students (and for counselors trying to help them). The questions often look like these, from current and past years’ applications: Northwestern University: What are the unique qualities of Northwestern — and of the specific undergraduate Read More

Help Your Students Get Started on the College Essay

As admission to the nation’s most selective schools becomes increasingly competitive, the college essay has risen in significance as well. There’s a lot of information on the web and in books, and many well-meaning adults are out there trying to help our kids. That can be confusing to the students, and can make your jobs Read More

Admissions Officers Share Essay Writing tips for Your Students

Last fall, during the National Association of College Admission Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City, Duke University Dean of Admissions Christoph Guttentag told me he would like students to answer questions, rather than write beautiful prose in a college admissions essay. He and I had been chatting about all the misinformation on the Internet, inside Read More

Help Your Students Trim College Essays Without Ruining Them!

Early applications to college are in, and now many students are scrambling to finish personal statements and essay supplements for regular admissions, beginning Jan. 1. Whether you are writing a personal statement for the Common App, Coalition App, or a supplement for an Ivy, private liberal arts college or public university, make sure you follow Read More

Message to Adults Who Help Students with College Application Essays: Bite Your Tongue and Say “Good Job”!

Holly Bennetts, president of the Michigan Association for College Admission Counseling, sees countless students break down in her office because a trusted adult in their life said a personal statement for their college application was not good enough. “The student takes that as ‘I am not good enough,’” said Bennetts, a high school counselor Mercy Read More

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