Seeking Scholarship Monies Can Be Trickier Than You Think

Many parents believe the greatest hurdle to applying for college scholarships is finding scholarships. Nope. Not by a longshot. For many seniors, the motivation to write one more autobiographical essay for a scholarship application is the largest impediment.  For one, many are depleted of energy after writing a dozen (or more) college essays over the fall and winter. Plus, many…

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The Sentiments of High School Seniors 72 Hours From A College Application Deadline

Thus, possibly for their parents… May students’ fingers be swift, memory banks quick to recall significant life-shaping experiences, and word snipping their quintessential memoirs to just 250 words be effortless. And, may all parents be assured that if servers crash, admissions officers (within hours) extend deadlines, and trust that their children’s efforts (be it last minute or not) are what…

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Advice about the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Cultural Background Written Response

Often when a written response is “optional” on a college application, especially when the admit rates are 3.96%, like at MIT, students accustomed to following every direction, and seeking every advantage in such a low probability admissions process, usually pause to consider, “How optional is ‘optional’?”  Yet, after talking with admissions officers at MIT, optional really is optional. MIT admissions…

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Should I edit my 650 word Common Application Essay?

The short answer is, “Yes, one can always clarify their sentences to more accurately reflect the meaning intended, all in the quest to be understood by the admissions officer.”  Students can use the definition of “to edit” as a guide when considering any changes:  Yet, to “prepare (an autobiographical college essay) for [re]publication”, students must first consider the original story…

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Advice for Answering Optional COVID related College Application Essay Questions

To borrow the immortal words of Thomas Jefferson, “Prudence, indeed, will dictate…” any student’s choice to share their personal COVID-colored experiences. In an informal query of admissions officers around the United States from highly selective to not-so-selective universities, the consensus is be judicious, if choosing to share a COVID-related experience.  Most admissions officers advise students to consider if the COVID-related…

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Metaphorically Speaking

Teenagers are often inexperienced in self-reflection, thus lacking awareness about the meaning of their young lives, as well as confidence to assert what they do know about themselves. Thus, in college essays, many obscure awareness in metaphor, which not only exposes their lack of confidence, but also forces the admissions evaluator to infer (at best), and guess (at worst) what…

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Medical School Applications: Opportunity for Clarity within Complexity

Answering “Why do you want to be a doctor?” is the essence of medical school personal statements. Aspiring family practitioners, specialists, surgeons, radiologists, you name it, must make an argument why they are a healer, who needs additional training to gain a greater realization of an inherent ability for easing other humans’ suffering of both body and mind.  As a…

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College Admissions Storytelling Time is Upon Us

Applying to college is complicated. Many believe their past laurels will merit an acceptance letter, yet often fret about distinguishing themselves from other similarly qualified candidates. Thus, when all the boxes of biographical information are completed, the heavy lifting of answering, “Who am I?” in 500 words or less begins. Yet, for many teens, self-reflection is a muscle they may…

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Common App

Can I change my 650 word Common Application Essay After Submitting It Once? Take Two

Yes, students can edit/update/revise/rewrite the 650 word Common Application essay after submitting an application to one (or more) colleges, as was discussed last Fall 2020.  Yet, once a 650 word Common Application essay is submitted, the copy is final for that college. A revised 650 word Common Application essay will only be reviewed by college admissions officers who receive the…

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College Admissions Essay: A Clinic In Writer’s Block

It’s college essay writing season, which also means that each student is likely running into writer’s blocks. College admission essays fit into the genre of autobiographical, a writing style for which most students are inexperienced. Although, at times, paralyzing writer’s blocks can be resolved by applying the appropriate antidotes.  Thus, as many college applicant lack an experienced editor, I will…

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