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College Essay

Tips to Review a College Essay

It’s December, and there are still regular college application deadlines around the corner. What do you do when your students show you application essays that just don’t seem ready to go? This is the point in the process when professionals and other well-meaning adults can overstep their roles. No worries. We’re going to share our simple Read More

Building Student Confidence through AI Writing Software

Counselors like you have busy and important jobs. In a given day there are always too many things to do, not enough time to do them, and a deeply important mission to help your students. Counselors prepare students to enter the world and to meet a variety of important milestones, from standardized tests to college Read More

The Time I Screwed Up as a College Essay Coach

I have been working with students on college essays for decades. But I wasn’t as good at it in the beginning as I am now. As the writer-in-residence for my friends, family members and neighbors, my dining room became a coffee shop office for anyone applying to college who needed help with an application essay. Read More

Letting go of that imperfect essay

I just finished working with a smart high school senior who has dreams of attending a Big 10 university next fall. In her Common App essay, she wanted to show admissions readers just how creative she is. She succeeded, anchoring her story around a photo montage she crafted from her travels and hung on her Read More

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

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