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College Essay

How to Talk to Parents about Imperfect Essays

At least once a week, someone asks Susan or me a variation on this question: How do you talk to parents about imperfect essays? We nod because we get it. Parents often have unrealistic expectations, not because they are unreasonable, but because they don’t really understand the role of the college essay in the application package. Read More

Tell Me Something Good! (And Pat Yourself on the Back)

We’re past the Nov. 1 deadline. Do you feel any relief? Will you be able to unwind for the short Thanksgiving break? We hope you give yourself a bit of time off, too (which means please try hard not to read student essays while roasting that turkey or watching football!) As we move into regular Read More

How to Get it Right with the UC Personal Insight Questions

Imagine UC was a person. If we met face-to-face, what would you want us to know about you? These personal insight questions allow you to tell us. You could write about your creative side. Your thoughts on leadership. A challenge you’ve faced. Whatever questions you answer, make sure you show us your personality—just as you Read More

Why Colleges Don’t Want “Unique” Application Essays

I cringe when I hear parents, teachers, students, and counselors talk about the importance of being “unique” in a college essay. Why? Because it’s not true. Because too many people believe it. Because at Wow, we are so committed to accuracy, and no matter how many times we tell people this is a myth, it Read More

Get Going on that College Essay

Fear and procrastination are the two biggest stumbling blocks for seniors as they consider the all-important college essay. The essay is uniformly considered the most stressful part of the college application process. Students worry about what to say; sharing too much information by getting overly personal or saying too little and ending up sounding generic Read More

College Essay Tips – “Put Your Best Voice Forward”

When I’m working with student clients on developing and evolving theircollege essays I focus on guiding them to “finding their voice”. So often high school students are writing about their accomplishments,but not about who they are, their DNA. One of the methods I use to capture the “voice” of my high schoolclient is to interview Read More

Why Content (Not Structure) Must Always Come First in Any College Essay

Before we begin guiding professionals through our ten-step process in the College Essay Experience program, we ask them to name three challenges their students face when they write essays. Many participants mention structure: After years of writing in five-paragraph essay format, writing in a more freeform narrative style can be daunting. How do I communicate Read More

How Do You Brainstorm Essay Topics with Your Students?

Just as we were about to start brainstorming ideas for her essay, an independent counselor enrolled in our College Essay Experience professional training program made a confession: “I am really nervous,” she said. “Why?” I asked. “I don’t think my ideas are good enough.” We ask our students, professional and college applicants, to make a list of ideas to respond Read More

We Love Your College Essay Questions

We get lots of questions from counselors, teachers, and consultants. In emails. During monthly pro chats. At professional conferences. In Facebook messenger. LinkedIn. And from readers of Link for Counselors.  Questions range from how to know if a topic is good enough to handling sensitive essay topics and best practices for last-minute essay reviews. We love Read More

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