Yes, there is such a thing as writing your college essay too early. For over a decade, my students (and their parents) have heard me deliver this refrain, and it remains true as it ever was.
At the sprightly age of 16 or 17, students are pulling from a limited set of life experiences for their college application essays; and every month of life lived offers new experiences and paths to maturity that could help them write more thoughtful and effective personal statements. Ideally, students should begin writing their essays at the tail end of their junior year or the summer before their senior year, but not before.
That said, there is no such thing as preparing to write your essay too early. Just because you shouldn’t pen your personal missive in full before the end of junior year doesn’t mean you can’t start gearing up for the task. Here are three things you can do to be better prepared when you finally sit down to tap out that admissions essay masterpiece.
1. WRAP YOUR HEAD AROUND THE TASK AT HAND.Most students come to the application process with little experience writing personal statements. Very few have been tasked with writing these kinds of highly introspective essays in their school curriculum and many feel uncomfortable writing at length in the first person. The college essay is also an assignment with a highly specific purpose, meant to reveal something to admissions about an applicant that may not be present anywhere else on the application............
Excerpt from USA Today College
When I give college information sessions at high schools, I’m used to being swarmed by students. Usually, as soon as my lecture ends, they run up to hand me their résumés, fighting for my attention so that they can tell me about their internships or summer science programs.
But last spring, after I spoke at a New Jersey public school, I ran into an entirely different kind of student.
When the bell rang, I stuffed my leftover pamphlets into a bag and began to navigate the human tsunami that is a high school hallway at lunchtime.
Just before I reached the parking lot, someone tapped me on the shoulder.
“Excuse me, ma’am,” a student said, smiling through a set of braces. “You dropped a granola bar on the floor in the cafeteria. I chased you down since I thought you’d want your snack.” Before I could even thank him, he handed me the bar and dissolved into the sea of teenagers........
(Excerpt from NY Times)
This time of year, thousands of college applicants await e-notices and auspiciously sized envelopes from schools, under terrible pressure from their parents, friends, teachers, and fretful inner-monologues. To this anxious lot, I offer some advice, which comes not only from a bit of experience, but also a bit of empirical research: just chill out, okay?
Many parents and students think there is a world of difference between the lifelong outcomes of (a) an A-minus student who gets into, say, Princeton, and (b) an A-minus student who applies to Princeton but “only” gets into some less selective school, like Penn State or the University of Wisconsin. They assume that a decision made by faceless adjudicators in Ivy League cloisters will mark the difference between success and failure in life.
There are two important things to say about this stress. First, to put the anxiety into context, the kids applying to these schools are already doing quite well. Seventy percent of 29-year-olds don’t have a bachelor’s degree, and the majority of BAs are earned at non-selective schools that accept a majority of their applicants. Many of the people applying to selective colleges have already won life’s lottery.
But if that doesn’t ease the nerves of the 40,000 people waiting on Stanford or Penn, here is a more counter-intuitive—and even heartening—conclusion from economics. For most of these applicants, it simply doesn’t really matter if they don’t get into their top choice, according to a paper by Stacy Dale, a mathematician at Mathematica Policy Research, and Alan Krueger, an economist at Princeton University.
These researchers tracked two groups of students—one that attended college in the 1970s and another in the early 1990s. They wanted know: Did students attending the most elite colleges earn more in their 30s, 40s, and 50s than students with similar SAT scores, who were rejected from those elite colleges? The short answer was no. Or, in the author's language, the difference between the students who went to super-selective schools and the students with similar SAT scores who were rejected from those schools and went to less selective institutions was "indistinguishable from zero.”.............
(Excerpt from The Atlantic)
It’s that time of year again — college admissions season. Whether you’re super excited or super nervous about heading off to college, there are some things to keep in perspective when you’re waiting to hear back from the schools you applied to. We talked to current collegiettes about what they wish they knew when they heard back from colleges. Be sure to keep these five things in mind when opening those long-awaited decision letters.
1. Dream schools aren’t always realistic
Having a dream school can end up hurting you down the road. There's nothing worse than disappointment.
Abby Piper, a junior at the University of Notre Dame, thinks the idea of “one perfect school” is a little insane. “It's cool to have a dream school, but keep in mind that college is whatever you make of it,” she says. “Where you are accepted [or] rejected really should not and cannot determine the fate of your college experience.” She’s so right!
Even if you do get accepted to your *dream school*, it’s important to remember that this doesn’t always mean you can go there. Elizabeth Wolfe, a sophomore at Agnes Scott College, was thrilled when she got accepted to New York University, but then she “quickly realized that I would not be able to go because of the minute amount of financial aid I had received,” she says. “I think if I had been more realistic, I would not have been so devastated.” Keep in mind that dream schools don’t always work out, and that’s okay!
2. Rejection doesn’t always mean you weren’t qualified
There’s no denying it — getting a rejection letter hurts. But don’t let those rejections discourage you. Colleges take a lot into consideration when accepting students!
“I wish someone had told me how much some schools take in-state/out-of-state status into account during their decision making process,” says Caitlin Barkley, a sophomore at Clemson University. “That can become a major factor in some rejection letters, and it's easy to get discouraged if you don't realize that.”
Abby had a similar experience. She applied to a lot of top-tier schools and the rejection letters she got killed her confidence. “What I would advise to people applying to Ivy League or really competitive schools is that the admission process is actually pretty arbitrary,” she says. “Not getting in doesn't necessarily mean you weren't qualified, but at some point, so many applicants have all of the credentials [and] it boils down to the preference of the admissions people, which can be pretty subjective.” Had Abby realized this sooner, she may not have ended up so upset. It’s all about perspective!............
(excerpt posted from: hercampus.com)
Monday, March 27, 2017
Cristiana Quinn, GoLocalProv College Admissions Expert
April 1 is just one week away, and most college acceptances will soon be received by anxious high school seniors. Often, students and parents have a difficult time making a decision. While a “gut feeling” based on a campus information session and tour is one good factor to consider, there is other information that needs to be considered. Don’t jump before you look carefully. This is one of the most important decisions and largest financial investments, you will ever make. Here are some key things to review.
Beware of Student Gossip
The old adage “bad news travels faster than good news” is especially true with regard to colleges. Be wary of online sites that host bitter student reviews. Few happy students have the time or the inclination to go on and post a positive review. Also, take the gossip in your high school or neighborhood with a grain of salt when someone leaves a college. Look instead at the overall statistics; do not make a judgment based on one individual. For a great guide centered around hundreds of student surveys and interviews, I recommend The Insider's Guide to the Colleges by The Yale Daily News. It only reviews about 300 colleges and universities in the country, but it does a terrific job of giving insight into campus life, course rigor, professor access and the surrounding community.....
(excerpt posted from GoLocalProv)
A new survey of college admission officers delivers a bracing suggestion to helicopter parents: Take a big step back and let your children be in charge of the application process.
If there are offended gasps ricocheting through the tony lanes of America, there are also waves of applause from educators who've seen the ugly side of "parent involvement" during college application season.
Just take a look at some of the things admissions officers are begging parents not to do:
The stakes are high, and the critical questions to ask before placing your bet are which college and what major, and how much debt those are worth.
03.25.17 9:01 PM ET
It’s that time of year again, when a new cohort of graduating high-school seniors finalize decisions on which college they will attend come fall. As colleges sell their worth and endless rankings are released in a dizzying array of information leading to the May deadlines to deposit, the hype makes it increasingly difficult for families to pierce the noise and understand what is truly at stake.
There are so many colleges in so many categories and at such different price categories that many families don’t know what to ask, or how to value what they find. But, first, let’s be clear about a central point and ask who we are really talking about. The reality is that the average college student is not someone right out of high school attending a four-year college and living on campus in dorms.
In fact, the average student is closer to 26 and more likely to attend a community college or a regional state institution while they live at home and work part time. They are also more likely to take six years to graduate not four — that is if they graduate. They are much more dependent on federal and state financial aid, scholarships and auto-dealer-style “discounts” to list prices than previous generations of students. For many, college will be the most expensive investment they make.
So offering college advice only to a select few, who almost by definition don’t really need it, is dangerous. That said, there are some things all college-going students and their families should be considering............
(Excerpt posted from: thedailybeast.com)
This blog is meant to share information, resources and tools. Some are original works by staff at NTHS and others are republications of useful posts. These republications, the authors and any comments do not represent North Tahoe High School, it's staff or TTUSD (or it's opinions/beliefs).