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Five myths about college admissions

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❶It reveals an understanding of the event or activity in question and can reveal thoughtful details about your involvement. Worry not because it is easy.

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As the market for independent consultants becomes increasingly crowded, many choose to enhance their knowledge of the admissions process as well as their ability to promote their own businesses through new certification programs, which are available through many university continuing studies programs. For example, The University of California at Berkeley, Extension has two different tracks for certification. The Certificate Program in College Admissions and Career Planning is open to candidates with a Bachelors degree and requires five courses for a total of 15 semester units hours of instruction.

In addition to attending certification courses, some private admissions consultants have worked as admissions readers at universities. Many of their brochures will advertise that they are college application readers and can help with application writing. In most cases, this means they are temporary "external readers" hired for application season. That is, during every admissions reading period from December to February, most large universities hire temporary readers to help sort the great pile of applications.

Does your child have an idea where he or she would be comfortable in higher education and what learning environment will be best? It may even be -- surprise -- you, the parent or a family member. Professional guidance neither guarantees success nor is always warranted. In this case, pick a consultant with organizational affiliations, accreditation, good recommendations and clear explanations of their services and associated costs.

Their assistance in application writing remains confined to stylistic, organizational suggestions, never to writing anything for the student. Most importantly, they encourage your child to write in his or her own voice -- not according to some imaginary formula for acceptance. A number of highly critical articles, studies and books have responded to the private admissions consultant industry. One article even decries a " New Snake-Oil Industry ," which it claims is "increasingly propelled by greed, it preys on the fear of families, especially parents.

He also doubts the self-marketing approach of one admissions consultant, especially for his shy child. Rynearson , president of Higher Education Consultants Association, takes on some popular perceptions of her profession:. While a few outliers may employ such tactics, the vast majority work hard to alleviate stress by providing accurate information and guidance. Sure, you might know the theory behind what a college essay is supposed to sound and look like. But where do you find good sources for reading sample college essays?

How can you make sure that these resources will actually strengthen and improve your writing? And what is the best way to use the college essay examples that you do find? There are some very good reasons for wanting to check out how other people have handled the college admissions essay.

The great diversity of voices, topics, tones, points of view will show you just how many things you could possibly write about, and how to keep the essay connected to your personality and your voice. Next, what you really want is diversity in voice and perspective. Make sure the essays featured come from many different kinds of students: Finally, the best sources of admission essays will feature explanatory material. Here are my recommendations for excellent resources, as well as some warnings about resources that I think you should avoid.

Written by Janine W. Robinson, who blogs about college essays at EssayHell , this book features great sample essays. Through long and detailed commentary on each essay, Robinson shows why narrative is exactly the kind of structure that works best for personal essays. You can check out sample sections from the book on her blog. Bauld demonstrates his points with sample essays, showing how they go from first to final draft. The Berkeley Book of College Essays: Although there is no commentary for the essays, this collection is a great way to get a sense of the broad array of essay possibilities.

Also, because many of the students from Berkeley High apply to UC schools, this collection separates out UC application essay packages. Edited by the staff of the Harvard Crimson, this is a great collection of essays from a not particularly diverse group of students.

It is very useful to see how the very top students approach the college essay, as long as their best effort neither intimidates nor stymies you. The contextual material is excellent, with helpful explanations of what makes each essay work well. The link above is to a downloadable PDF file. Get into Stanford and Other Top Colleges. The narrow diversity of essay content and the style of commentary thoughtful, but not particularly detailed or expansive is very similar. There are many essays published online by the various colleges where these students now go.

Some of the essays even come with brief commentary by admissions officers about what makes them great. We are interested to know how you manage your time and to understand how you balance your life outside of the classroom. We know that students are often active both during the school year and the summer — working, babysitting siblings, enrolling in courses, traveling, playing sports, holding internships, etc.

Filling out the grid is an act of prioritization: Harvard is a residential institution, and our students are actively engaged in college life. This section helps us to understand how you might contribute at Harvard. The Common and Universal College Application essay topics are broad. While this might seem daunting at first, look at it as an opportunity to write about something you care about, rather than what you think the Admissions Committee wants to hear.

The point of the personal statement is for you to have the chance to share whatever you would like with us. The essay is an opportunity for students to provide information that might not be contained in other parts of the application. As an admissions officer, I personally get excited to read through an essay that has a great lead. Think of your opening sentence or paragraph as the hyperlink on your favorite news website. Editing is a critical talent that will become increasingly important as students advance through college, graduate and professional school, and, of course, in their professions.

It can be helpful to have your essay reviewed by another person to check on typos, etc. The essay is not a vocabulary test! We want to get a glimpse of who you are, not who you think we want you to be.

Believe it or not, the essay nearly always fits in with the rest of the application. A terrific one can help and a careless one can hurt. Use the essay to convey more about you and what you value.

As we have noted earlier, we realize that students have widely varying help in preparing their applications. Some students have completed the essay entirely on their own.

Others have used appropriate amounts of help from family, friends and teachers. Such help would include proofreading and general suggestions about organization as well as brainstorming about topics. Still other students may have been preparing for the essay for many years with too much help from a variety of sources, including borderline plagiarism or worse , using the Internet or various essay writing publications and services.

We look carefully to see how consistent the essay is with other parts of the application, including grades in English courses, standardized tests, and, occasionally, the actual download of the essay that is part of the SAT and ACT. It is critically important for you to be honest with colleges as you start what could be a long- term association.

Please read this section carefully. Do not feel obligated to fill this space, but some students have used this opportunity to tell us about challenging circumstances in their lives such as illness or other difficulties that may have affected their grades. Supplementary materials art slides, music recordings, research papers, etc.

Harvard has a need-blind admissions process and applying for aid is never detrimental to your admissions decision. We ask the question because we want to be able to calculate your financial need in advance of our April notification date so that we can send your admission letter and financial aid offer at the same time. While we realize that this question is quite similar to the one asked on the Common Application, our own format allows us to fit this information into data fields that Harvard has been collecting for many years.

As a liberal arts institution with forty-nine academic concentrations and more than extracurricular organizations, we expect and encourage our students to explore new opportunities. One of the principal ways students meet and educate each other during college is through extracurricular activities. Your answer to this question gives us a better sense of the interests you might bring to college and how definite your academic, vocational, extracurricular or athletic interests might be.

This information helps us understand better how you might use Harvard. Of course, one of the best things about a liberal arts education is that plans may change.

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Aug 02,  · How to Write a Good College Application Essay. Credit Credit Gretchen Ertl for The New York Times. Here are some tips compiled from experts for writing that all-important application essay.

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May 12,  · 4 Standout College Application Essays on Work, Money and Class The fifth essay in our package appeared on The New York Times’s new Snapchat Discover, When it comes to service workers, as.

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May 12,  · College admissions directors weigh in on the teenagers whose college application essays about money, work and social class rose above the crowd. her essay in The New York Times. Aug 02,  · How to Conquer the Admissions Essay. Image. Picture this before you plop yourself down in front of your computer to compose your college application essay.

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May 11,  · Each year, we ask students to send in college application essays that have something to do with money. Nearly responded this year. Here are five that stood out. May 12,  · The four best college application essays about money that students sent us in Va. Credit T.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times Among the best essays college .