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College Essay

Should Your Students Write Their College Essay Now?

Before they start, they should ask themselves a few questions to determine if they are ready This time of year, we focus on ways to prepare for the college essay, which students generally begin writing at the end of junior year – presumably in June. But lately, we’ve been getting a lot of questions from Read More

How to Help Parents … Before They Make the Wrong Moves

Just days before the most recent Nov. 1 early application deadline, a friend, an independent educational consultant, emailed me.  One of her clients had asked a friend to review an essay for her son, who was working with my friend. She wondered if I knew the outside reader; I did not. She also wondered if Read More

Your Student’s Been Deferred. Now What?

Just after Christmas, we got a call from a student inquiring about an additional essay required by the University of Michigan for deferred students. He wanted help writing it. The student was “postponed” by the Ross School of Business. He wondered if he should call the admissions office, submit additional information beyond the additional essay, Read More

Contrary to Popular Belief, Crazy-Busy is Not Normal

It’s the week before the big holidays – it’s break time. Do you feel like you want to pull your hair out from the stress? Are students marching into your offices, freaking out while waiting for news from their first-choice colleges? What about the students who are still writing their essays? Or the ones who Read More

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

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