Guest Post by Carrie Greene
Founder and CEO of CarrieThru
Students, especially ambitious one, are lousy at taking care of themselves.
- They routinely spend long hours studying or committed to extra-curricular activities.
- Ambitious students often beat themselves up for not doing enough or not doing it well enough.
- They feel guilty spending time relaxing when there’s so much work to do.
- They spend their day worrying about what they missed or what they “should have” done.
The problem is that when you don’t take care of yourself you can't take care of the things you have to do.
Let me be very clear here. I’m not saying that you don’t have to work and work hard to reach the ambitious goals you have set for yourself. What I am saying is that when you take care of yourself, your body and brain will work better, and you’ll enjoy what you’re doing.
Here are a few strategies for you to try. You may just find that by nurturing yourself, your energy and ability to do more and do better will grow in return.
1.Schedule mini vacations. Take a random day off once or twice a month. Give yourself permission to walk away from your work. Do something you haven’t done in a while that you’ve been meaning or wanting to do. Ride a bike. Go for a walk in a park. Sit on the beach for a day. Wander through a new store in town. Read a book simply for pleasure. Go to a movie or try a new restaurant. The options are endless.
2.Spend time with friends. There are lots of types of friends. What I’m talking about here are the friends that nurture you, not those that you really “should” get together with but those whom you “want” to get together with.
3.Nourish your body. Get enough sleep, eat foods that nourish you and get exercise. The better you take care of your engine the better it will work. Enough said.
4.Take a one-hour break every day. Step away from your work physically and stop thinking about it. Take the time to laugh with someone or cry if you need to. Make yourself a nice lunch, or go for a walk with a friend. Leave work behind.
And most important…
5.Give yourself permission to play. Playtime is creative time. When you let yourself play and don’t worry about perfectionism the fun will come back. You will find yourself excited and motivated to do the work you want to do.
Carrie Greene is a speaker, author, business coach and mother of three. She is a business strategist and productivity expert for entrepreneurs.
The better you take care of yourself the better you'll be able to reach your goals.
For free resources and to learn more please visit www.CarrieThru.com
By Carol Barash, PhD
Founder and CEO, Story To College
Yesterday my daughter left her dissertation notebook at the museum where she’s studying in Italy. She called in tears. “If I don’t find them, I’m f***ed,” she repeated. “Just breathe. They are there. Stay positive,” I pleaded, louder and louder, checking my iPhone for the first plane from JFK to Rome. When the archives opened this morning her notebook was exactly where she had left it, and she was fine!
I was reminded of moments in the college admissions process when one of my kids was completely flustered by the sheer magnitude of the moment—for them it was huge and insurmountable.
Resist the temptation to take over when college admissions require your child to learn new skills, and use discussions of college admissions—and especially the essays, which are the most stressful part of the process for most families—to help your child take charge. When you find yourself with a moment of trust and opportunity, here are three ways you can support your child’s best college admission (and life) outcomes. You can remember them as the Three P’s: Planning, Process and Play:
Planning: One of the big lessons learned from college admissions is how to organize and execute a multi-faceted, long-term. Many students wait until the last minute and then rush their essays, the most important part of the application after grades and standardized tests. Great application essays take time, but not all of that time is spent writing. Instead of organizing everything for them, ask questions that help your child figure out their own management style. Do they prefer a big wall calendar or an iPhone app? Folders for each college or for each essay? Spring of junior year is a great time to start backburner essay work by writing 500 words each day in a journal. If you need a hook, tell them that Yale students who write daily win more writing contests than students who don’t. They can write about anything; just do it every day.
Process: Help your child focus less on outcomes and more on the college admission process. They can learn about themselves by exploring their interests, their skills, the things they know, and the things they want to learn and do in college. When you visit a college, their first question may be “do I want to go here?” If you ask questions that open up discussion, you will lessen the tension and help them learn about themselves: “What did you notice?” “What would you like to know more about?” “What attributes of this college are important to you?” After each visit they should write down some notes about each school—very specific details and dialogue—that can be their 500 words of writing for that day and later their “Why I Want to Attend This College” supplement essay.
Play: This is the most important thing: don’t let yourself get sucked into your child’s moody broody senior year. Do whatever it takes to keep home a light and happy place—which doesn’t mean things won’t go wrong, even seriously wrong; it just means you have a “yes we can” attitude even when everyone else is freaking out in all directions. If you bring that sense of play to the scariest parts of the college process—including the essays—you give your child a chance to have fun and explore what they want to do in college, and who they want to be in their adult life. Essays written with a sense of confident and playful self-knowledge will be sure to connect with admissions officers at the other end of the college admissions process.
Carol founded Story To College in 2010 and has taught over 6000 students from around the world how to write powerful and authentic college application essays using the Moments Method™. Her book, Write Out Loud: 12 Tools to Tell Your Story and Get into a Great College is available for preorder on Amazon, and you can get started on stress-free essays now with the Story To College online application essay course.
Tina, a first generation American and first generation college applicant, emailed us a few questions about how financial aid works. Carol thought that these answers could benefit a lot of juniors (especially considering the problem of undermatching), so we're posting Tina's questions with Carol's answers for all of our readers to use as a resource.
Question: Is it true that the lower your family's income is, the more colleges will offer for financial aid? Can some colleges even offer as much as a free ride, after putting all aspects into consideration (including the fact that I'm a first-generation student)?
Answer: There are 2 types of financial aid: need-based and merit-based. The lower your family's income, the more need-based aid you will qualify for. There are a number of federal and state programs to support low-income students with the costs of attending college. "Merit" aid is based on other factors--grades, test scores, other programs the college want to fill--and you may qualify for merit aid as well. Every college is different, but yes many do offer a "full ride" (or very close) to students who are academically qualified and who have demonstrated economic need.
Question: Does a "full ride" only cover tuition, or is housing, books, food, and travel all covered as well?
Answer: Each college is different. Some colleges do include housing, books, food and travel costs into your overall financial aid package.
Question: Is it true that private colleges, especially Ivy Leagues, offer the most financial-aid packages due to the fact that they are private? This is something I've assumed, which would make sense that being accepted into privates is more significant and special, and even harder.
Answer: The bigger the college's endowment (in general) the more money they have available for financial aid.
Question: By attending a college/university out of state or even out of country, how does your citizenship work out? Are you labeled as just a student studying in the non-native state/country?
Answer: State universities often have different tuition rates for in-state residents and out-of-state residents. The same is true for some colleges outside the US. If you are not a US citizen, at some colleges you will not qualify for financial aid. You should check each college's web site and also this government site for more details: http://studentaid.ed.gov/eligibility/non-us-citizens
If you have any questions about the college process, let us know by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Story to College welcomes a guest post from Yue Ren, a freshman at Harvard College. Yue currently works at Argopoint LLC, a Boston-based management consulting firm.
Photo credit: Getty Images/George Doyle
I have found Carol’s work on Story to College to be amazing in helping prospective college students write great essays. Not only have I found her advice integral to writing great college application essays, but also applications for jobs, internships, and more. I would like to provide my thoughts on college essays to highlight the importance of these elements in the real world.
When admission officers flip through your application, they see your transcript, GPA, SAT scores, the quick descriptions of your extracurricular activities, perhaps a few AP scores and even a couple of awards, but all that seems very quantitative. What part of the application defines you? After writing quite literally over a dozen college essays and supplement essays, I have a couple of observations. Although I do not have all the answers, I believe these tips would have been helpful when I was writing my first college essay as well as subsequent essays for jobs:
- Express yourself with a story: In my experience, the best way to communicate an idea is to tell a quick, concise anecdote. Think about all those lessons you have learned in your extracurricular activities or throughout your life. What do these stories tell about your talents, aspirations, or character? I also believe the manner in which you tell a story, including your tone, mood, and attitude, reflects on how you react to certain challenges or successes. This provides just as much information to the reader about your character as the actual story you write. Therefore, word choice in your expression is crucial.
- Be Human: Why is talking to your friend so much more fun than reading an old biography? Construct your stories with feelings and emotions such that the reader can experience the breadth and depth of your happiness, anger, pain, or excitement. If you are ever wondering why your friend refuses to give any hints about his or her essay, it might be because it is personal; it might reflect intense emotions. A journey in a day in the life of you is filled with crescendos and decrescendos that may ultimately shape your outlooks. Do not be afraid to share them with admissions.
- Write Truthfully: Honestly, lying is hard. In all likeliness, the details of a real story derive much more substance to you that you can elaborate on, unlike in a lie. Save yourself the trouble of trying to write about stuff that you have never done, and just pour your heart and mind into those events you have faced. If you did a thousand extracurricular activities in high school, now is a perfect chance to talk about a few of those thousand topics.
- Seek Peer Critique: Although many people choose to not let anyone see their essay, I found that letting your teachers and maybe a close friend see your essay brings new perspective. Going back to word choice: some words simply rub people the wrong way, and it is probably best not to rub admissions the wrong way. You cannot control what your reader thinks or how your reader interprets your essay; you can control how you express your ideas. Therefore, express them wisely and always be conscious of your audience.
Remember that the essay is just one part of your application, but I would recommend treating it as the part of the application that truly identifies you. It is an opportunity, not another barrier keeping you from clicking that submit button.
Carol’s Story to College blog is truly awesome. I would check “How to get started on my college essay”, “7 Things Admission Counselors Are Looking For”, and more for great advice on college essays and applications. I know I found them abundantly helpful when I was writing my essays. Her advice extends beyond just the scope of college essays. I would like to stress that for courses, jobs, or internships, I found these tips equally as applicable and useful as they are for college essays. In fact, when I wrote my cover letter for Argopoint, I specifically used examples of past experiences and extracurricular activities in anecdote form to highlight my skills and abilities. I also sought help from peers who have experience with applying to jobs, and who helped critique my cover letter. Of course being frank and honest is important. Therefore, I found Story to College to be helpful for college essays as well as for applications in your future.
By Carol Barash, PhD, founder and CEO, Story To College
Two weeks ago Jack Scotti and I had the opportunity to lead a Story To College Essay Development Course for 24 seniors from Scholars Academy, a vibrant, high-achieving NYC public school in Rockaway, Queens that was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. You can listen to the students’ stories on CNN.
Scholars Academy is thriving on the fifth floor of W.H. Maxwell Vocational and Educational High School in Brooklyn. There’s a storeroom with clothes and food for families who need them; a parent who runs a rental company donated tables and chairs; the assistant principal’s husband sends in hot cooked lunch for all the staff.
On the elevator we ran into a girl who was just getting back to Scholars Academy. In the two weeks since her home and school were destroyed, she attended another school and kept up on course work. “How is that possible?” I asked Michelle Villa, the head of College Counseling. “We were committed to keep the school going for the students. We used our online tools to send out lessons and review students’ work; we gave students a lot more responsibility for their own learning.”
The students learned that school is much more than classes and assignments. As one of the students said to me, “It was such a relief to get back to school. Just to be with my friends, to go to class. To go to school means that things will be fine. We’re students. School is what we do.”
The students said that the storm had changed them; that they looked at their college applications differently. They didn’t want to write about the storm directly—for most of them it was just too close—but it had changed their perspective, and they wanted their essays to reflect that change.
Whatever they are writing about—a Miss Teen India contest, working in a soup kitchen, or a lifelong devotion to the Yankees—their essays have a sense of focus, purpose, and clarity. Here are three lessons about successful college application essays every senior can learn from their resilient peers at Scholars Academy:
- Write about doing something: As Sabrina says in her interview with CNN, “You can’t just sit around…and look at the destruction. You have to get up and do stuff’: Take the time to explore the times when you learned tough lessons. What you did after that learning reveals your character.
- Get out of your thoughts: The worst college application essays are abstract and general. For instance: “I’m passionate about the environment, and I realized that I could be a leader in sustainability. We all need to do the little things that will reverse climate change.” Unpack these general ideas into specific moments that show your commitments in action.
- Bring your moment to life with details: To share your unique perspective with other people, show them what the moment looked like to you. Go back into the moment and paint a picture for your reader with actions, sensory descriptions, and the actual words that people said.
The best college application essays show who you are as a human being; we’ve had a lot of opportunities to see what that looks like lately. We want to know how you were changed and what you did; add your story at www.stcstoryup.tumblr.com.
Carol Barash, PhD, is the Founder and CEO of Story To College (www.storytocollege.com), a company that teaches high school and college students tools to advocate for themselves in college admissions, job interviews, and life in the twenty-first century. She is a graduate of Yale and Princeton and an award-winning professor and admissions reader at Rutgers University. She advises students, parents and schools on how to expand educational access and college writing readiness.
By Carol Barash, PhD, Founder and CEO, Story To College
“Education access is the civil rights issue of our time.” Eduardo Padron, President of Miami Dade College. 10/24/12 at the College Board Forum.
Hello from the College Board Forum at the Fountainebleu Hotel in South Beach, Miami. There are over 2000 college admissions officers and guidance counselors here discussing “Investing in Education.”
It is a big moment, with a new president of the College Board, and I am quite aware of the work we need to do moving forward to connect students with their highest achievements and purpose in high school, college—and especially life.
In a panel called “The ‘Ideal’ High School Graduate: The Conversation Continues,” high school counselors and college admissions officers from Yale, Rochester, and Brandeis discussed the gaps between what colleges are looking for in students’ applications and what students most often reveal. The discussion wasn’t so much about what colleges want, as how an increasingly outcomes driven admissions process has skewed students’ education and life choices:
- Character: Several panelists mentioned recent cheating scandals at top high schools and colleges (Stuyvesant, Harvard), and how this is echoed in the news from business, finance, and journalism. Students live in a world where “Achievement trumps character,” said Jon Burdick, Dean of Undergraduate Admission and Financial Aid at the University of Rochester. College Admissions, on the other hand is all about character. Colleges are looking for young people with character and especially integrity. Not the person who does generalized “community service,” but the person who is doing that work with a sense of purpose and commitment.
- Grit: Colleges want students who will make the most of what college has to offer. So they look for students who have persevered through adversity and learned from real life challenges, rather than people who make excuses or who expect other people to solve life’s problems for them. Parents and children alike should read Paul Tough’s writing on grit. Here’s an excerpt.
David Coleman, the new president of the College Board spoke about the need to expand “equity and excellence” throughout K-12 education. He spoke of “two walls” that limit educational excellence in the United States: high school achievement has stalled, and there are huge gaps of race and class at the highest levels of academic achievement. He committed the College Board to leading an effort to increase rigor in US high schools, to creating a program like Advanced Placement that can expand educational achievement in middle school, and to making the College Board’s data available to outside researchers.
Coleman ended his talk with an inspired reading and discussion of Martha Graham’s Blood Memory: An Autobiography:
“I believe that we learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing, or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same. In each it is the performance of a dedicated, precise set of acts, physical or intellectual, from which comes shape of achievement, the sense of one’s being, the satisfaction of spirit. One becomes in some area an athlete of God. Practice means to perform over and over again, in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the practice desired.”
Along with sand, and sweat, the themes of practice, work, and rigor—and of putting yourself entirely into learning and life—are my big takeaways from South Beach.
By Carrie Greene, CarrieThru, LLC
I was surprised when Story to College asked me to write an article. I typically work with entrepreneurs, helping them grow their businesses to six figures and beyond. I help them with marketing and productivity. What do I know about helping teens get into college? After a bit of thinking I realized that getting into college is about being an entrepreneur.
One of the biggest challenges an entrepreneur faces is that there is no road map for what they want to do because it’s their dream that they are following. They don’t have a boss telling them what projects to work on and no teacher giving them homework assignments, teaching them what they need to do, or showing them the steps they need to take. Entrepreneurs need to dig deep into themselves. First to uncover their dream and then the hard part, they need to get motivated, stay motivated every single day, and take risks to make it happen.
You are at the beginning of your dream right now. You probably have some ideas about what path you’d like to follow. Are you a science person? A history buff? Do you love literature? You have ideas and now you’ve got to take it to the next step. You’ll go to college (I promise you, you’ll get in). BUT in order to get in you have some work to do and while it might not be easy it is really important that it gets done and gets done well.
When I’m working with my entrepreneur clients who are building businesses one of the biggest challenges they face is being overwhelmed. There is so much to do, and frankly a lot of it they are simply not good at. They find it very hard to get anything done. It’s so much easier to just put it off for tomorrow or another day.
You’re likely in a similar position. There’s a lot to do and it’s all new to you. There are so many colleges out there. So many essays to write. So many recommendations to get. So many decisions to make. So much you don’t know. And then there’s mom and dad nagging you. Where are you going to apply? Have you written your essays yet? When are you going to ask Mr. Smith for the recommendation? It’s overwhelming! All you want to do is go to college right? Why do you have to deal with all of this?
The truth is that you have to deal with it. You’re not the first person to be overwhelmed by all the pressure and unfortunately you won’t be the last. The good news is that there are strategies you can use to help. Here are the most important strategies that I share with my clients. These strategies put money in my clients’ pockets and it will help get you into an amazing college without killing your parents along the way!
Do a brain dump. What do you really have to do? Make a list. Put it all out there so that you can see it and know what you’re dealing with. Even if the list is big and scary knowing what you have to do puts you in a position of power and control.
Create deadlines. You’re not going to do everything in one day (or even a week). Look at what you need to do and set deadlines for yourself. When do you want to have that first essay done by? When do you want to give your teacher the forms for your recommendations? When do you want to have your list of colleges to apply to complete?
Break it up. The deadlines are important but what do you need to do to reach them? What are the steps that you need to take to write that essay? What forms do you need to print out in order to get them to your teachers? Who do you need to talk with to help you decide what colleges to apply to? Make a list of these steps and decide when you’re going to do them.
Don’t go it alone. Ask your friends, teachers, and guidance counselors for advice. See if you can take a class to help you with your essays. Ask your friend to join you for an “essay writing party." Schedule time with your parents to go on campus tours. And do yourself a favor: share your plan with your parents and guidance counselor. It will keep you honest with yourself and also (as long as you’re sticking to your schedule) keep them off your back.
Trust your instinct. You really do know what’s best for you. Consider the advice and input you’ve gotten and think it all out. What do you think is best? Now go and do it!
Carrie is a speaker, trainer, coach, and author of the book Chaos to Cash: An Entrepreneurs Guide to Eliminating Chaos, Overwhelm and Procrastination So you Create Ultimate Profit. Carrie is a master at cutting through the chaos and confusion that surrounds business owners so that they can stop procrastinating, take action, get more clients, and make more money. Carrie can help you get focused, create systems and structure, make decisions, set your priorities, and most importantly carry through so that you can achieve the success and profits you want for your business.
For free resources and to learn more please visit www.CarrieThru.com.
By Carol Barash, PhD, Founder and CEO
Want to write a personal statement that really stands out in college admissions? Whatever your topic, when you start to stray into abstract statements – e.g. “That was the day I realized that all people are connected” – stop right there, before you go any further!
Instead of veering into generalizations, which are boring and send your reader packing, dig for details, dialogue and description to draw your reader into the experience and leave them asking for more.
What’s that? Don’t college admissions officers want to hear about my big ideas and great global experiences? They may want to know what you’ve experienced, but not what happens in your mind! Admissions officers say they want to see what you’ve done; they want to experience your unique perspective through strong writing with a unique point of view.
The details, dialogue and description you remember make your writing vivid and your own. The 3 D’s add spice to your writing, just as surely as plenty of salt and pepper keep you in the kitchen on Top Chef.
Here’s how to do it:
Details: Share the experience with your reader through vivid sensory details: What colors were the leaves? What sounds came with the pounding rain? Which vegetables could you taste in your grandmother’s soup? What perfume was she wearing? Those scratchy trousers you wore to your first interview – were they polyester or wool?
Dialogue: It’s much more powerful to recreate the exact words of the conversation. Which of these draws you in and makes you want to read more?
“We talked about Manhattanhenge.”
“That is the biggest sun I have ever seen,” Charles said, pointing west across 53rd Street.
Description: These are the journalism questions: who, what, when, where, with the occasional why woven in. What year was it? What season? What was going on historically? Who else was there? Set the scene for your reader, so he or she is ready when you appear and take action.
And one more D for the road: it’s much better to go into depth with your application essay, and to talk specifically about one specific moment, than to try to convey your whole life history in 250-500 words!
By Zach Kwartler, Story To College Instructor, Teach for America Corps Member, and Princeton University class of 2011.
Are you excited to find out what this blog post is about? Do you think what I’m about to write is going to be really interesting? Does this opening paragraph accurately reflect my prodigious writing ability? If you answered yes to all of these questions, congratulations, you just won an iTunes gift card! If you answered no, welcome to the 99 percent.
As writers, we need to grab our reader’s attention in the first sentence. We need to “hook” our readers in so that their answer to the aforementioned questions will be a resounding “Yes!” Since a college admissions officer will spend just five minutes reading your application essay, your first sentence takes on even greater importance. But fear not! The hook – like the Green Goblin (err… Lizard) – is a beast that can be conquered. Here are three strategies you can use to write an attention-grabbing hook that will make admissions officers scream out in excitement: “I can’t wait to admit that student into my university.”
1. The Place Setter
“Call me Ishmael.” Herman Melville’s opening sentence in Moby Dick is so simple even a caveman could have written it. Yet the American Book Review ranked this as the best opening line in literary history. The message: when all else fails, keep it simple and stick to the who/what/where/when/why of your story. In the past, I have read essays that describe a deeply personal moment only to ask myself when I’m done reading: “Wait… where did this story take place?” By setting out the basic facts in your first sentence, you will ensure that your essay does not meet a similar fate.
Example: The summer after my junior year, I worked for eight weeks at a food pantry in Brooklyn.
Non-example: Hi! My name is Zach, I’m from New Jersey, and I am writing this essay so that I can get into college.
2. The Deeper Meaning
“Happy families are alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” When I read the opening line to Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, I immediately asked myself two questions: “Why are all unhappy families unique? And what is going to happen to the poor family in this novel?” Undaunted, I plowed through the next 860 pages of Tolstoy’s masterpiece only to find out that Anna’s family… (Disclaimer: I never got past the first chapter in Anna Karenina – something about the small type – but I have always wondered how this novel ended). The good news: your college essay is only 500 words so if you can compel your reader to ask questions upon reading your first line, they will read the rest of your story with excitement.
Example: I have always wondered why my father organized that road trip to West Virginia.
Non-example: After years of searching, I have come to the conclusion that the meaning of life is to work hard and find happiness.
3. The Deep Dive
“Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.” Gabriel García Márquez accomplishes two things by beginning One Hundred Years of Solitude at the novel’s seminal moment. First, he shows us that something exciting will happen in his novel, and it is our job to find out why. Second, he demonstrates his skill as a writer by raising the stakes of his novel from the opening line. If you can accomplish both of these tasks in the first sentence of your essay, your reader will view the rest of your essay with heightened interest and you will show off your confidence as a writer. (Disclaimer: Although it took me two tries, I did read all 448 pages of One Hundred Years of Solitude).
Example: I woke up to a splash of water on my face. “Get up,” Juan said to me, “We’re moving.”
Non-example: It was the final act of the high school musical and I was really nervous and I thought that I was going to forget my lines.
Do you have a favorite literary hook that you want to share? Respond with your favorite hook in the comments.
Zach can be reached email@example.com.
Carol Barash, PhD, Founder and CEO, Story To College
Last night I led a discussion with 48 college admissions officers from top private colleges and universities in New York State, including Cornell, Hamilton, Union, and Syracuse.
Over the past decade the number of applications has increased dramatically. As the essay becomes more important in distinguishing between many students who have strong grades and test scores, admissions officers have less time to review individual essays.
We discussed how admissions officers assess essays, what they are looking for, and what turns them off! Here are my takeaways from their lively discussion – with admissions’ actual words in quotation marks:
- The #1 thing they read for is writing quality: Your application essays should be error-free examples of your best work. Their consensus was that most students don’t spend enough time on their essays to make a “real impact.”
- Admissions officers crave “authenticity”: They say most students submit very “safe, generic essays that really don’t help.” The essay is the one place where you speak to admissions in your own voice, but “most students do not take advantage of this opportunity.” Writing authentically is a bit like dressing for a “casual” party: you can’t just write anything; you need to express your unique characteristics through stories of what you have done.
- You don’t want to sound “too crazy”: Your personal statement is like a first date with a stranger; what are the most important things you want them to know about you right away? What things are better saved for later?
- Essays are read in relation to other writing in your app: If you have a very polished essay, but low grades in English class, or a poor SAT Writing score, colleges assume you didn’t write the essay yourself. On the other hand, if your essay is clean and simple and written in your own voice, no matter what your other scores, that’s a plus.
- 50% of admissions officers read your application for merit scholarships too: “If I have a sense of who this person is, and how the programs we offer will make a difference in their life, I find myself nudging up the amount of aid we offer them,” explains Tyler Socash from the University of Rochester, who organized the session.
- Admissions officers use the interview as a “reality check”: Even if you can’t visit campus, set up a time to communicate directly when an admissions rep is in your area. And make sure to schedule those interviews for yourself – if your mom does the scheduling, you miss another chance to connect authentically!
- Each college uses different guidelines to rank candidates: some recalculate your GPA, so everyone is on the same scale; others look for criteria specific to their premier programs; and others seek students to lead key clubs and activities. These guidelines are different for every school, but not mysterious. Take time to learn from web sites what they are looking for, and connect individually with each college to which you apply.
Ready to write essays that show colleges your unique character and commitments? It’s time to put pen to paper. Be confident in your instincts, and remember, Story To College is here for you with web resources, courses, and private coaching. Have more questions for admissions officers? University of Rochester admissions officers are waiting to answer your questions here.