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Test Optional Is Not What You Think It Is

This year was brutal for college applicants. Applications were up big time, some (I'm looking at you, Colgate!) were up more than 100%. And while schools are for the most part continuing test optional for this application cycle, that doesn't mean it's a boulevard of...

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There’s A New Essay In Town. Embrace It!

Last year more so than any other year, schools added a new essay which is meant to challenge an applicant. This new essay will help admissions officers discover who you really are, how you think, and in what ways you will fit into their school. The world is changing...

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2021-2022 Common Application Essay Prompts

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be...

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David: A Success Story

It's a special thrill when I get to work with kids who are writers. They bring unique insights into the essay process, they love to brainstorm, and they want to own every single word. Such was the case with David, a NYC-based private school senior. David was a writer...

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Tyler: A Success Story

Tyler came to me late in the admissions season. He had written an essay which no one - his family, his guidance counselor, even Tyler himself - liked very much. Tyler was a recruited baseball player who had loads of interest from D1 schools. He had the grades, he had...

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Alisha: A Success Story

This is another in a series of posts about some memorable applicants, their essays, and how we found them together. Alisha was a BA/BS-MD applicant from last year. Bright, funny, and very motivated to enter medicine, she was also quiet and introspective. Together, we...

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Brianna: A Success Story

This is another in a series of posts about some memorable applicants, their essays, and how we found them together. Generally speaking, there are several topics applicants should avoid writing about in their personal statements. Politics for one. Religion is another....

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2019-2020 Notre Dame Writing Supplement

The University of Notre Dame Writing Supplement consists of one (1) essay response to a required question and two (2) essay responses to questions you select from the options provided. In total, you will write three (3) essay responses. The recommended word count is...

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2019-2020 Columbia University Writing Supplement

In addition to the primary components of the Common Application and Coalition Application, applicants are asked to respond to Columbia-specific questions to tell the Admissions Committee more about their academic, extracurricular and intellectual interests. We review...

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