The Growing Pains From Applying to College

Completing college applications challenges the patience and confidence of any applicant.  However, given a lack of experience, many applicants don’t expect to be tested.  Applying seems simple–fill in a few boxes, write an essay quickly and painlessly, then click “submit.”  Unfortunately, the actual experience is more complicated.  Writing an autobiography, which summarizes seventeen years of life within 500 words or…

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Common Application Essays Part 7: Essay Prompt 5 Explained

The fifth of five new Common Application essay questions asks students to: Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family. Applicants must choose only one of the five questions to answer as their college essay, which will be shared amongst all the colleges using the Common…

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Guest Post – S-N-O-W: The Education Without the Units

Rohan graduated with a full International Baccalaureate Diploma in 2012.  He moved across the country from sunny Northern California to Ohio for college.  Throughout the college application process, Rohan kept an open mind about weather giving him more education than just studying Engineering.  After surviving the first winter, Rohan shares more thoughts about how “weather” became an education in itself…

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Aspiration Is Bigger Than A Job

One of the University of California (UC) application essays asks students to: Describe the world you come from – for example, your family, community or school – and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations. Dreams and aspirations can often be challenging to define for many college applicants.  Describing dreams or aspirations requires more reflection, which…

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Ahead of the Curve: October 29, 2013

From the News: College Financial Aid Drops – Families Pinched, San Francicso Chronicle October 23, 2013 Is College Tuition Too High? Of Course (Not), Higher Education Data Stories Blog October 15, 2013 So Many Students – So Little (Counseling) Time, Sacramento Bee October 28, 2013 From Clients: On-going Common Application Technical Issues:  From recommenders not being able to submit forms…

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Common Application Essays Part 6: Essay Prompt 4 Explained

The next podcast in our Common Application Essay series defines the fourth of five essay prompts.  Applicants must choose only one of the five prompts to help structure their essay.  Yet, considering topics for all five essay questions, before focusing on one, can help applicants write the most meaningful essay possible and remain competitive across the variety of college admissions…

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Extended Early Application Deadlines

Some college admissions offices around the country are extending early application deadlines, as a result of the technical issues the Common Application website is currently experiencing.  The following is a partial list of the colleges and the new deadlines: Barnard University, November 8 Boston University, November 15 Dartmouth University, November 8 Duke University, November 8 Columbia University, November 8 Northwestern,…

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OH NO! Common Application Technical Glitches?!?

The Common Application unveiled a new interface this Fall, which is currently experiencing a range of technical issues.  The New York Times recently highlighted several issues from difficulties with payments and submitting letters of recommendation.  Stressed clients have also been calling and texting, after encountering similar challenges.  Don’t worry.   After a query of college admissions officers across the U.S., every…

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Common Application Essays Part 5: Essay Prompt 3 Explained

Knowing the definition of the prompt can help applicants select topics that most effectively highlight their qualities and give understanding to their qualifications for admissions. Our latest podcast defines the third of five new Common Application essay prompts, that asks applicants to: Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you…

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Common Application Essays Part 4: Defining Prompt 2

Knowing the meaning of the essay question can help college applicants write the most insightful college essays possible.  Luckily, we, at Creative Marbles Consultancy, have done the defining work.  Over the last decade, we’ve complied a stack of hand-written, dog-eared yellow pads full of words, along with a growing library of digital photos of our well-used whiteboard littered with the…

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Common App Essays Part 2: How to Write College Essays

Knowing what the college essay adds to a college application, as we discussed in the first podcast of our Common Application essay series, is only the first step in developing a competitive personal statement.  The following podcast advises Seniors how to actually write the autobiographical college essay, and addresses common challenges in the drafting process.   The college essay is complex by nature,…

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Northwestern University’s 2012 Common Application Supplement Essay Defined

Northwestern University includes one essay question as part of their Common Application Supplement.  The question is designed to gain insight to the student’s interests and their potential match with Northwestern, which reads: What are the unique qualities of Northwestern – and of the specific undergraduate school to which you are applying – that make you want to attend the University?…

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University of San Diego Supplement Essay Defined

The key to writing a competitive college essay is understanding the prompt.  (Sounds simple, but in the heat of writing college essays, while still keeping up with 15 hours a week of extracurricular activities, plus going to school and completing everyday homework,  clearly defining the prompt may be overlooked.)  Not to worry, we’ve done half the work for you.  Listen to…

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Defining Claremont McKenna: Understanding the Supplement Essay Prompt

The Supplement questions of the Common Application are not only another opportunity for applicants to state WHY s/he is a strong candidate for admissions to ________ university, they reveal more about the college’s values and academic environment the student may join, eventually.    As previously stated in earlier posts, competitive essays start with a thorough understanding of the prompt. To…

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“OMG! I Have to Write a Common App Supplement Essay, Too?!? How?”

Essays can be one way for applicants to distinguish themselves and present their case for why s/he should be admitted.  But, they require some effort. Often, the Common Application Supplements–which are a series of questions specific to the individual college submitting in addition to the general Common Application–provides the applicant the opportunity to tell more about WHY they chose and…

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