The first sentence of a college essay isn’t the “answer” to the question. The “answer” is the entire essay.
Teachers who are honest about their opinions can encourage productive, respectful debates.
I feel little solicitude for the Common Application prompts, contrivances that they are. I do, however, respect institutions’ right to define their curiosity and probe students accordingly. Here are some, though, that deserve a second thought.
If these prompts inspire more candid, creative answers, then UC might be on to something.
Students often behave as if recommendation letters don’t exist.
No matter where they’re teaching, no clear-minded teacher enters the classroom every day wanting to make students “college-ready.”
Students can do a great deal, both before and after applying, to ensure that they maintain their sanity, embrace colleges’ decisions, and actually increase their chances of getting into their favored schools.
This is Josh’s series of blogs on college counseling, college essays, and related topics.
A college application carries not the slightest fraction of the gravity of a life sentence. Even so, whenever I speak to students about college essays, I implore them to interrogate themselves, not as suspects but as witnesses. Witnesses to their own lives.
Analysis entails a discussion of reasons, consequences, processes, and connections to meaningful ideas.
The tailor’s great adage is, “measure twice, cut once.” That’s good advice when you’re working in silk, but irrelevant when ink and paper are in abundant supply. If a writer can’t get word counts out of his mind, I recommend one of two strategies…
I asked a few of my professor friends for advice that they would give incoming college students. I told them that I did not want them to lament the shortcomings of high school education or to grumble about “kids these days.” I wanted them to offer kids real insights into the demands of college, and to help smart, eager kids be as successful as possible.
Last week, the first big tranche of high school seniors found out where they’re headed next year, as colleges released their Early Action and Early Decision notifications. Those who got deferred, and those who have …