The Key to Standing Out Inside the Admissions Office

It’s not too early to tell your students to start thinking about that college essay. As the Class of 2018 winds down the process, your juniors are getting ready to begin their journey.

At Wow, we believe success on the college application process begins in school and at home — sooner rather than later — and with you and the parents as the guide. The parents may know their children better than anyone else. But we’ve never met a high school counselor who didn’t care about the kids just as much.

Many counselors, and moms and dads, have come to us over the years, asking for help understanding college application essays. You all want to help the students, but many are not sure how. We know how to help. Not only are we parents ourselves, but we are also national experts on writing and application essays. We work with parents. We train counselors. We have answers for you.

We wrote a book, How to Write an Effective College Application Essay, the Inside Scoop for Parents, to help parents and other adults who work with students on the college admissions process prepare students to respond to any college application essay question. It’s a useful guide for you, and we would like to give you a free copy – and one to every parent in your school.

The Essay: All About Reflection

At its core, the college essay is all about reflection. That is the key to standing out where it matters most — inside the admissions office. The task doesn’t have to be so daunting.

We know it’s hard to get a 17-year-old to think about anything other than friends, moving out of the house, figuring out life, choosing a career and deciding which college to attend. But you can give your students a head start on this task without pulling out your hair.

We don’t want you to tell your student what to write, or edit it so heavily that it loses character and has no voice. We don’t want parents to write the essays for their children, either. But your role in the process is critical to your students’ success. They depend on you. So how can you help?

Start by understanding that writing is a process, just like science or math. That’s why we guide our students through a series of simple, manageable steps with clear instructions that are easy to follow. We use the same step-by-step techniques that encourage reflection and take the fear out of writing.

You might have come across countless people who tell you what colleges want in an essay. However, most will not (or cannot) show your students how to write those essays. And much of it could be untrue. You might have seen outlines and templates for what the finished product should look like. Or books with sample essays, and videos with limited instructions. Some will tell you to follow a template based on what type of experience or story the student wants to share. Gimmicks and shortcuts won’t help because they don’t work. We teach an approach, not a cookie-cutter template. We’ve been working with students for a long time, and we’ve learned everything we put into our book from our experience — and from our students’ successes.

We can help make your job a little bit easier by taking some of the stress out of your college essay coaching process.

Our Gift: A Free Book for You

To show you how much we appreciate the work you do, we’d like to give you a free electronic copy of our book: How to Write an Effective College Application Essay: The Inside Scoop for Parents. Find out how to get free books for every parent in your school, too.

Kim Lifton is President of Wow Writing Workshop, a strategic communication and writing services company that is a leading expert on the college application essay. Kim, a former journalist, speaks with senior admissions officers from the nation’s most selective colleges all the time. Wow works directly with students, and trains school counselors, English teachers and independent educational consultants who want to improve their essay-coaching skills. Wow also offers professional communication and writing services to businesses and nonprofits.