Tag Archives: application

Our friend and colleague Kristin Cocquyt of Cocquyt College Consulting offers student-centered, fit-focused college counseling in Webster, NY and through the Zoom-verse. This guest post promotes the benefits of finishing those college applications early! To procrastinate is to be human, but to tackle the college application process with fortitude and precise planning is…. well, hard. The college search and application process is full of details and deadlines and for most teengers is straight-up intimidating. If you’re in the midst of the college search and application process, it can feel like another varsity sport or AP class (or two) with the required time investment and homework. Your color-coded spreadsheet of deadlines and usernames and passwords is intense, and you have multiple Google Docs going with essay drafts. The college application process can sort of take over and distract you from the other glories of senior year. I’ve coached over 600 students…

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A hook is useful to have on hand (definitely not in hand, though) in all manner of scenarios from fishing to songwriting. Surprisingly, the newest market for hooks happens to be in college admissions. This begs, the question, of course, “What is a hook?” Hooks are basically all the factors beyond grades and test scores that might engage interest and secure college admission. We’ve always recognized that certain traits or activities helped applicants stand out from the crowd. What may surprise you is just how many hooks there are. College expert Aly Beaumont of Admissions Village joined me on the Tests and the Rest podcast to share what may be the world’s most thorough inventory of application hooks: Okay, so let me start first with what an institutional priority or a hook is. So I think of things that are beyond academics, test scores. There’s both inherent ones that are…

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Once you’ve brainstormed your options and decided which initial draft is your winner, the final step in writing a really strong college application is to read, rewrite, rework, and rethink your essays over and over again. This revision process can be a hard journey to travel alone. Like any formal writing project, it helps tremendously to have someone read your work and comment on where the writing is clear and where it isn’t, where the language is strong and memorable, and where it is weaker. Aside from the usual writing help, a college-essay coach can and should also help you stay mindful about the specific genre of writing this essay falls into. This essay is different from any other essay you will probably write in your life. You not only want your essay to display the usual hallmarks of good writing–lively word choices, sustained focus on a central idea, correct…

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The first step in writing a strong college essay is to brainstorm some potential ideas to write about. Once that’s done, it’s time to start to sculpt your ideas into possible essays. Essays? Plural? Yes! Often, it’s hard to know which ideas that emerged from free-writing and brainstorming exercises are going to lead to the essay you want; you have to try writing an essay based on one idea, and see how it emerges, and then maybe drop that idea for a while to tinker with another possible essay topic. Writing is a maddening process of trial and error. Sometimes we just need to sit down and force ourselves to write, and sometimes it is better to take a break for a day or two, so that we can come back to our writing with fresh eyes. Sometimes it takes time for an idea to marinate and grow in our…

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Despite rumors to the contrary, standardized test scores remain essential components of the admissions process at most American colleges and universities. If you’re wondering if the school of your choice requires the SAT or ACT, the answer is almost certainly a resounding “Yes.” And, yes, those scores should be as high as possible… test scores for admitted freshmen are even rising at test-optional schools. Furthermore, you need not agonize over which college entrance exam to submit, as every school today accepts the SAT and ACT equally. You are free to present whichever scores best enhance your application. That said, some aspects of these standardized tests matter far more to some schools than others. College admissions offices set policies specific to their schools in order to acquire the testing data they want. Learn those policies in advance to ensure you meet every requirement of your target schools without having to endure…

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College admissions can be very much a numbers game, with quantitative data like grades and test scores carrying a lot of influence. However, more subjective and personal aspects of an application matter too. Am amazing college essay can make an application, while a bland one can break it. If you find yourself uninspired by the 2017-18 Common App essay prompts, consider the Coalition application. The Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success was developed to improve the college application process for all students as they search for and apply to their perfect college. This free, centralized toolkit is a lot like the Common App and serves a diverse group of mostly Eastern U.S. public and private universities, including many of the most competitive. Be advised, however, that the Coalition essay is a bit shorter than the one on the Common App, which isn’t necessarily a good thing.   Instructions. In general,…

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