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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GIFF: Spongebob Prepare to Be written

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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Comic: Phineas & Ferb

College Admissions Essay Writing, A Difficult but Rewarding Journey of Self Discovery

“You should definitely start writing your essays early” is common advice college students give to their high school senior friends. Yet, typically, the peer advisor shares little insight to why they started their essays “later” or how writer’s blocks stymied their own efforts in the beginning writing stages.  Thus, the college applicant simply stresses about being “behind” in completing applications,…

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Common App

How to Best Answer the New 650 Word Common Application Essay Prompt for Fall 2022

The 2021-22 Common Application includes a new 650 word personal statement prompt, one of seven choices:  Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you? Bold emphasis added by CMC After analyzing the new prompt, a few tips for students to…

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GIFF: Spongebob Prepare to Be written

College applicants take note: life’s a journey not a destination

College essays are not an assignment to “get done.”   College essays are not defined by the word count or format. College essays are not a resume-like listing of a young person’s achievements, hoping the admissions evaluator intuits their potential thus grants admissions. College essays are not bounded by the (mis)interpretation of a prompt.  College essays are not prose-like panderings to…

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Quote: Steve Jobs

The Responsibility of Freedom

Most teens eventually seek more independence from the watchful eyes of their parents, and many of them believe the freedom they so desire will be found attending college. Yet, just like Thomas Jefferson and the American Revolutionaries (or anyone seeking change), as so aptly advised:  Prudence, indeed will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and…

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Common Application Prompts to Change for Fall 2022 Admissions

A new 650 word Common Application (bolded in the list below) essay prompt is being added for Fall 2022 admissions, as a replacement for one prompt being “retired”.  Regardless of any prompt chosen, I recommend to avoid approaching the college essay as yet another school assignment, where students try to write and edit simultaneously, crafting one maybe two drafts and…

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Guest Post: The Declaration of a College Applicant

Ellie, a high school senior, wrote the following reflection for one of her college essays: In life, I have just been going through the motions, never stopping to pause and contemplate or observe anything. I chased happiness, but once I finally held contentment in my grasp, it quickly slipped through my fingers and the chase started all over again. Until…

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Common Application Image

Can I Change My 650 Word Common Application Essay After Submitting It?

Updated: November 2020 from the original posted in July 2018 The short answer is yes…with an *.  [See Below] But, like any life-impacting decision, the short answer doesn’t account for the complexities of choosing a college.  And, the last three words are what’s most important to keep in mind:  YOU, the applicant, are the one who’s doing the choosing of…

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The Dilemma

Apparently some town founders in Pennsylvania we’re also parents of high school seniors or community college transfer students who are applying to college. 😆 While college applicants “Desire” to be admitted to the college of their choice and often the freedom of moving away from home, they can also “Panic” about the risk of not being admitted to the college…

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Writer’s Block Defined

In the beginning of the writing process, many students writing college essays feel kinda like Spongebob, which can be the first in a series of writer’s blocks. Then, inspiration hits and writing happens, which creates hope…again, Spongebob: But then, seniors efforts may not seem to be enough, which is Writer’s Block #678,945,900. So the stress can build: But, the muddling…

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Our Fervent Wish

…is that every high school senior and transfer college applicant and their parents temporarily develop multiple hands, whose swift fingers dance with the wind across the keyboard to craft brilliant essays well before the deadline. Deadline approaching. pic.twitter.com/CszGLJyrA1 — Academia ɐɹnɔsqO (@AcademiaObscura) September 4, 2018