Do You Need Help With Your College Application Essay?
Why worry about the application essay?
According to the 2011 State of College Admission report issued by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NCAC), a majority of schools now rank the application essay as considerable to moderate in determining a successful application. Also according to the NCAC, the numbers who give the essay lots of importance rose to 26 percent in 2009 from 14 percent in 1993. And for many elite schools, the essay can be a pivotal part of the decision process.
At a school like Pitzer College, where as many as half the applicants have perfect GPAs and SAT scores, Director of Admissions Angel Perez notes that the essay "can make or break your application." While it's true that, as Sarah Myers McGinty explains in her book, The College Application Essay, "Colleges use essays for different purposes," it is also especially true that, as McGinty concludes, "essays matter-at large, small, public, private, selective and nonselective schools."
Whether an essay question is designed to determine a student's fit for a particular school or to measure his her or level of writing and thinking skills-usually a bit of both-the answer does matter.
Most college applications are due between January 1 and February 1, with some early admissions deadlines as soon as November 1. We all know how busy students (and their parents) become when school is in full swing in the fall. Good writing takes time, and now is the time to equip your child with the kind of honest, inventive essay writing that can make a difference in his or her bid for college admission.
What to expect? What to bring?
Each course will consist of four two-hour sessions scheduled over the span of two weeks.
Before the course begins, you and your child will need to have done some preliminary research about the college application process. Specifically, where does he or she hope to apply and why?
For the first session, they will need to bring application information (including essay prompt and college mission statement) for two target schools. After initial instruction regarding how to read the essay prompt and how to draw on appropriate examples and experience, we will brainstorm and outline essay ideas. For the second session, they will need to bring a draft of that first essay for us to work on together. Subsequent sessions will be dedicated to revising and editing essays for both target schools.
The goal is for students to come away with submission-ready essays in hand, as well as to develop the skills-and the confidence-necessary to produce additional essays reflective of their writing and thinking skills and maximizing on their own personalities and experiences.