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  Application Essay  


Welcome to the Application Essay Service. This is one of the most important stops on your road to college. Let us help you overcome the "Fear of the Blank Page" and write admissions essays that will capture the "real you"! Here are some of the basic areas you may want to explore.

Introduction to The Essay
A brief overview of the Student Essay and its role in the admissions process.

Know Your Audience.
Who are those Admissions Officers and what are they thinking as they wade through thousands of applications?

Admissions Criteria.
What admissions criteria do colleges consider and how does the essay fit in?

Questions You Can Expect to Encounter.
A list of frequently used questions grouped by category.

Tips for Addressing Application Essay Questions.
Suggestions about ways to approach each category of questions.

General Tips for Writing an Application Essay.

Introduction to The Essay

As you begin applying to target colleges most of the essential information required is already in place. Courses have been completed, grades recorded, admissions tests taken and recommendations requested. All of that information will be gathered into a large file at each school, a folder bulging with facts, figures and descriptions attempting to define who you are and what your potential is. There is only one piece of information included in that file which can truly help a college evaluate the real you.

As Admissions Officers plow through thousands of these files they will see references to high GPAs, startling SAT I and II scores, and dedication to outside activities. With all this data to absorb and evaluate, what do they focus on to see through "the data" and find the person it all represents? The Application Essay is your chance to stand above all the facts and figures and make a statement about who you are, how you think and what you want to accomplish.

It is important to be able to define yourself because most students will fall somewhere into a neutral zone where their qualifications neither ensure acceptance, nor easily mark them as unworthy of consideration! The essay is your way to shift out of neutral and be noticed!

Most schools would not say the essay has any more weight than other factors they consider. However, the essay is the only place you "come to life" for Admissions Officers. They desperately want to hear an original voice. Your job is to find your voice and to put it to work, separating yourself from the rest.

Writing a good essay is a distinct challenge for most students. A good to great essay can help an Admissions Officer decide to tip the scales of acceptance your way. But, a poorly written or conceived essay can easily negate all of those really cool facts and figures you filed away for the last four years. A valuable resource that can be referenced to when writing your statement is medical school personal statements or their collection of top 100 essays

Know Your Audience.

It is generally helpful, before you write anything, to know who you are writing for. The following questions will help you get a clear idea of the real people who will be reading everything you have to say.

Who are the folks who read my essays and go through my files?

Admissions Officers are usually divided into two groups. The first is made up of temporary officers who do most of the organizational work. They are the ones who deal with your admission folder and have to meet deadlines concerning your admission. Many colleges include outside evaluators, from graduate students to professors, in this group. The second group is comprised of the full time Admissions Officers, who decide on actual admissions policies and rules.

Almost all folders are read by the temporary officers and evaluators. Each reader is expected to read a quota of folders and evaluate based on a variety of criteria. They will generally write comments and observations directly in the folders to remind them of strengths and weaknesses.

Who ultimately decides my fate?

An Admissions Committee will meet to listen to the recommendations of the Admissions Officers. These committees are usually made up of the Director of Admissions, the presenters (the officers who read the files) and one or two other officers. The ultimate decision as to whether or not you get in is usually made before the Committee meets. The recommendations of the officers are rarely overturned and the Director of Admissions will rarely read any applications at all. He or she simply wants to hear what the officers have to say, and if there are any questions, the Director may quickly skim an application. In borderline cases, the Director may quickly skim and evaluate...the essay.

Are they always fair?

Admissions officers generally have a good sense of the academic climate of your high school. In addition, through years of experience, they are able to recognize the characteristics they believe make a student successful at their college. However, college admissions is not an exact science. All you can do is produce your best work to maximize your chances of impressing the various evaluators. Do not waste time or energy worrying about whether or not you have been treated fairly. These people know their jobs.