- Conflicting pressures on women of today are called to the University of California
- What Essays Thrill Elite Schools? These Teens Will Show You
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And Rebecca Tian shared the story of how she overcame depression. All three turned their college-application essays into a spot at an elite U. Their teen successes weren't just a personal thrill; the winning essays have now become the fuel inside a fascinating new start-up, AdmitSee. Founded in March , AdmitSee has collected more than 2, personal essays from recent candidates who got into the schools of their dreams.
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Casual browsers can look at the first few words of each essay, free of charge. If ambitious high-school students or their parents want to see more, they need to pay. With elite colleges getting ever pickier about their entering classes, the personal essay isn't just one more garnish on an overall application. Now it's often the tie-breaker when swarms of candidates with great grades and scores compete for a few spots at Prestige U. Think of the ways that SAT prep shops sprung up in the s, reflecting candidates' intensified desire to do well on such standardized tests. These days, essay-writing is catching the spotlight, too.
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Today's market for customized college advice is defined by two extremes. At the high end are well-seasoned experts, including many former college admissions officers. At the other extreme are free Internet sites such as College Confidential , which cover all aspects of getting into college including essays , via a nonstop stream of boasts, laments or gossip that anonymous contributors choose to share.
Such sites are fascinating to skim, but separating real insights from random posturing can be tricky.
Lydia Fayal, AdmitSee's co-founder and chief executive, is trying to split the difference with a site that's both affordable and highly credible. With AdmitSee, Fayal has set up a pricing model that doesn't require its own student loan to fit within most families' budgets. Her company's most popular offerings are candidate bundles of winning essays centered on a particular school e. Such informal mentoring is meant to provide writing advice or up-to-date chatter about what a particular campus is really like. Right now that's still small change, because the fledgling site is in the early stages of building up traffic.
One shrewd offering: a template that can help students customize a half-dozen or more "Why Us? By paying for content, AdmitSee also wins enough loyalty from contributors that they are willing to let the site do some checking to make sure that their profiles are accurate. Most students post under pseudonyms, rather than their real names. Even so, AdmitSee knows their real names and is able to confirm their specific college enrollment, SAT scores and other central facts. Let's see, topics to avoid. How fantastic I am 3. How fantastic you are 4. Personal hygiene 5.
I guess I could just keep going but you get the idea. But it is probably because she knew the actual events. Yes, we are in state. Thank you so much for your feedback! The word limit is He is currently July 6. How about an essay on struggles and confusion a teen is going through trying to find his gender identity and sexual orientation?
Conflicting pressures on women of today are called to the University of California
Does this kind of personal story matter to the admissions officer at all? July 6 edited July 6. Depending on the nature of the essay, admission folks might also fear that the student will drop out early on or is in danger of self harm. However, if the essay indicates that the student has already come out the other side At the most conservative colleges, a student who self-identifies as gay or, especially, as transgender, non-binary or gender fluid may not receive a welcoming response in admission offices. So any essay about gender-identity issues might play better at, say, Colgate or Bucknell than at either Oral Roberts or Sarah Lawrence!
What Essays Thrill Elite Schools? These Teens Will Show You
Finally, keep in mind that application essays are typically read by a couple of people only and not by the entire admissions staff. And thus, as with many other facets of the crazy admissions process, there is definitely an element of luck involved. July 8. I'm lost. My parents want me to studying in the US, which is not my motherland. I do not know what to do with the essay and intend to write about how basketball has transform me from a nerd to a sociable guys with numerous friends and activity engagements Does it sound awkward.
Do schools care about sport activities and sport achievements. What stretch, for something better? It can be anticlimactic when you just rise to fit a typical mold. And the higher the tier, the more it needs to be relevant to what they want in you. You may be the kid who loves shopping or collecting straws, write a super essay about being a vegetarian, but it wont get you into a top college. These may be essays that someone could pick up off the floor and know only you could write it odd advice.
But that doesn't mean they hit the spot. It's more than feeling good about what you wrote. It has to work for adcoms, who look for relevant traits and thinking. Worst I ever read were one about how much she hated peers and another that literally opened with wanting to kill her little brother. You read, hoping for an epiphany, but nope.
Although I'm reluctant to stereotype, I have found over the years that essays from international applicants are far less likely to be funny than those from their US counterparts. So if you have a sense of humor and can show it off in your essay perhaps giving some examples of why you claim you were a "nerd" then this might help you stand out in the crowd. If, however, humor doesn't come naturally to you, I would pick another topic to write about.
Keep in mind that one big reason that US colleges accept international applicants is because of the "diversity" they bring to campus. So if you can come up with an essay topic that highlights how your background is different from the that of they typical domestic applicant, it could be a plus. Because writing about sports--and basketball in particular--sounds typically American, your basketball essay probably won't help to highlight your international background unless you find a way to point out how playing basketball in your country is different than playing in the US.
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For instance, when my husband and I lived in the UK in the s, he played on a basketball team there, but many of the gyms that his team played in were not heated, So there were actually times when he started the game wearing a wool hat and--once--even gloves! So that's the kind of detail that might make your basketball essay memorable.
Be interesting and memorable. I like the the question "Who cares?
They may be well written she's a terrific writer , but who cares is about the topic. You want that adcom to say "I'd love to meet this kid". No droning on about things that wouldn't be interesting to others.