Brennan Barnard shares advice from admissions directors from around the country about what what makes an application stand out.
So often students have every earnest intention to complete their Common Application over the summer and, all too often, they fall short of their goals. Our advice to rising seniors is to set weekly goals for yourself about what parts of your college application process you will tackle each week. Visiting campuses, contacting regional representatives, creating a résumé, or putting together an arts portfolio can all be done over the summer. Finally, start filling out the Common Application. This way, the fall won’t feel as stressful.
Finding Applicants Who Plagerize The most challenging piece of the common application for the vast majority of the college applicants we work with is the personal statement. They hem, they haw, they look at us plaintively for help, and they dread typing those 500 words. (Yes, the personal statement asks for "250 words, minimum, but 500 feels about right for most essays). So, this piece about the increasing incidences of plagerism admissions officers are finding is disheartening, but comes as no surprise. Using someone else's essay as your own certainly takes the pain out of the writing process.
I find that working with our clients on their personal statements is one of my favorite parts of the entire college process. It is an opportunity for the student to reflect on their lives, evaluate their accomplishments, consider their values, and take stock of what they have accomplished in their 17 years and consider where they are headed. However, getting students to clearly and succintly and to articulate these ideas is a challenge. Over the next few weeks we will be blogging about some of the strategies we use to help our clients move past their writer's block and will be giving some tips about how to write a powerful, revealing, compelling personal statement - in your own words.