Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Students of Science & the Arts: Enjoy these Remarkable Photos

In our focus on getting into college and getting into "the right college" or "the best college," we sometimes forget that education is a tool, a lifelong endeavor, one of many destinations on the map of our lives and our goals.  When I come across articles or events that might be of interest to the students I work with, I like to call attention to them - which brings me to these amazing pictures from a British organization that finds photographs that celebrate scientific achievements. From their website:

"The Wellcome Image Awards are Wellcome’s most eye-catching celebration of science, medicine and life. Now in their 20th year, the Awards recognise the creators of informative, striking and technically excellent images that communicate significant aspects of healthcare and biomedical science. Those featured are selected from all of the new images acquired by Wellcome Images during the preceding year. The judges are experts from medical science and science communication.

"This year's Wellcome Image Awards were presented on 15 March 2017, celebrating the scientists, clinicians, photographers and artists who bring science to life through remarkable imaging.

CLICK HERE to: Watch our judges talk about the power of visual imagery and this year’s selection of images."

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE AWARD-WINNING PHOTOS.  You can even vote for your favorites!

Please email me for information on my college consulting services: Liz@DontSweatTheEssay.com  1-855-99-ESSAY 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Should I Start Writing Now? (No.) But Look at New Common Application College Essay Prompts!!

Please visit my new Don't Sweat the Essay website for more information: 
Students don’t need to submit their college applications until fall, but they will have plenty of time to look over the new prompts for the Common Application, which were recently released by the organization.  The prompts are very similar to those of recent years, with a few notable exceptions. There are 2 more choices, and several of the “old” prompts have been refined. I think they are terrific questions and they will elicit revealing answers from students. The word limit is still 650.
If your next question is: “Should I start writing my essay now?” the answer is NO. But isn’t it good to get a head start? In general, yes, but in this area, I’d suggest waiting at least until June. Why? My experience is that if you write your essay too early, by the time you actually work on your applications in earnest, you’ll have moved beyond the topic you chose and want to write something else. After all, you have five to eight months of life experience between now and the time you press SEND. And don’t worry: you’ll get it done with plenty of time left over even if you start in June or July or August. But don’t wait until the last minute.
My advice for now: Look at the questions. See if any of them leap out at you. File them away for the time being. In the meantime, do some reading and writing on your own. What to read? Students don’t need to submit their college applications until fall, but they will have plenty of time to look over the new prompts for the Common Application, which were recently released by the organization.  The prompts are very similar to those of recent years, with a few notable exceptions. There are 2 more choices, and several of the “old” prompts have been refined. I think they are terrific questions and they will elicit revealing answers from students. The word limit is still 650.
If your next question is: “Should I start writing my essay now?” the answer is NO. But isn’t it good to get a head start? In general, yes, but in this area, I’d suggest waiting at least until June. Why? My experience is that if you write your essay too early, by the time you actually work on your applications in earnest, you’ll have moved beyond the topic you chose and want to write something else. After all, you have five to eight months of life experience between now and the time you press SEND. And don’t worry: you’ll get it done with plenty of time left over even if you start in June or July or August. But don’t wait until the last minute.
My advice for now: Look at the questions. See if any of them leap out at you. File them away for the time being. In the meantime, do some reading and writing on your own. What to read? The New York Times. will give you spot-on lessons in clarity and precise writing. The New Yorker will entertain and enlighten you with excellent writing, wit, fascinating subjects, including science and technology, CARTOONS, poetry, fiction, and profiles of the most interesting people around.  
If you want to talk about the essay process – whether it’s the Common App essay or the supplements, the University of California essays or those for MIT – please shoot me an email or give me a call. Liz@dontsweattheessay.com  1-855-99-ESSAY. I’m on the East Coast and work with students around the world on Skype and Google Docs.
2017-2018 Common Application Essay Prompts
1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. [No change]
2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? [Revised]
3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? [Revised]
4. Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma – anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution. [No change]
5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. [Revised]
6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more? [New]
7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design. [New]
1-855-99-ESSAY  Liz@dontsweattheessay.com

Monday, August 22, 2016

Hungry for College App Essay Advice and Info? Please Visit My New Website!

By all means, click on the posts here that are helpful, and be sure to visit Don't Sweat the Essay's new website - at the same old url: Don't Sweat the Essay - for new posts. Take the plunge this summer. What have you got to lose?


Sunday, July 31, 2016

College Consultant Application Essays & STEM Panel - Martha's Vineyard Augus 2016

Wednesday August 3, I’m giving a talk with Q/A at the Edgartown Library – the new building – at 6.30pm. Here’s the library’s write up from their website. Please join us! 26 West Tisbury Road, Edgartown, MA 02539.

College Admissions Tips:  Free Program on Wednesday, August 3

“Author and former Princeton professor Elizabeth Benedict started her company, Don’t Sweat the Essay, to help high school students with their college application essays. Now she advises families on the entire process.
“She’ll answer your questions — and calm some of your fears — in her free lecture/Q&A, 10 Tips for Staying Sane While Applying to College, here at the library at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 3.”
Thursday August 4th is a very different sort of event at the Union Chapel in Oak Bluffs – a panel discussion, “Impact of Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) in the 21st Century.” With Dr. John Wilson, Morehouse College; Freada Klein, Kabor Center for Social Impact; Winston Henderson of Nano Terra, Inc.; and Rick Fredkin, Eduporium. 55 Narragansett Ave. Oak Bluffs.
Contact me for information about college applications and application essays. Liz@DontSweatTheEssay.com or 1-855-99-ESSAY.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

45 Ways to Avoid Saying "Very" in Your College Application Essay or Personal Statement (Robin Williams Helps)



What's wrong with the word "very"?

Such an emphatic little word.

It makes what comes next much more than it is on its own. Right? No. Not really.

This is a short blog post. Or: This is a very short blog post?

I walk fast to the bank. I walk very fast to the bank?  What's so wrong with that?

I run to the bank. I sprint to the bank. I gallop to the bank. I race to the bank.

Which is more vivid, more descriptive, more memorable? Which suggests that there might be a serious reason for why you're sprinting to the bank?

Once you click on this website and read the full list, you'll know more. And Robin Williams - in the Dead Poets Society - is there to help. Funny. Very funny. Sometimes it's OK to say very. But rarely. You might even say, very rarely, but it would be wrong. (And sorry about the ads and junk on the link; it's hard to get a clear list of the words in readable form, which is why I don't have one on this page.)

Which is better: Please visit my new website. Or: Please visit my very new website? You decide. Click here for more information about college application essays. Or send me an email: Liz@DontSweatTheEssay.com  ~~  And thanks. Thanks very much.


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Admissions News from Yale College from College Application Essay Tutor

Please visit the new improved Don't Sweat the Essay website.

In the meantime, in this season of college application essay frenzy, some news out of Yale puts a more hopeful spin on this coming year's admissions prospects. it's rare - all right, unheard of - for Ivy League universities to increase the incoming class size, but that's exactly what's going to happen this coming year at Yale College. 


College Application
Consultant Liz Benedict 

While you absorb that news, spend some time studying what Yale is looking for essay-wise, by starting at the University's own website. Here's my latest post on Huffington Post, "Apply Wisely: Not All About The Application Essays~Yale College to Admit More Students In Class Of 2021," with all the news that's fit to print, and more:


"Applying to college isn’t all about the application essays, even though it can sometimes feel that it is. The essays are one of your chances to stand out from the pile, but without the grades, scores, rigorous high school record, and teacher recommendations, admission to the uppermost most selective colleges is generally out-of-reach.
"Part of being a successful applicant is choosing wisely where you’ll apply. With our mania for applying to a dozen or even two dozen colleges, the idea of targeting your choices has lost out to strafing the landscape with applications.
"How will you know where to apply? Here’s the homework. Study the college’s website and its writing supplements for clues about the kind of students they’re looking for. Read the entries in The Best 380 Colleges and in The Insider’s Guide to the Colleges - and look honestly at your own record. Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, and the other top universities don’t make decisions based exclusively on top grades and top SAT/ACT scores. Keep in mind these words from the Yale admissions website:
'“We estimate that over three quarters of the students who apply for admission to Yale are qualified to do the work here. Between two and three hundred students in any year are so strong academically that their admission is scarcely ever in doubt. But here is the thing to know: the great majority of students who are admitted stand out from the rest because a lot of little things, when added up, tip the scale in their favor. So what matters most in your application? Ultimately, everything matters. The good news in that is that when so many little things figure into an admissions decision, it is fruitless to worry too much about any one of them." READ IT ALL. 
Liz@DontSweatTheEssay.com  1-855-99-ESSAY  Don't Sweat The Essay 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Common Application College Essay Coach Tutor Martha's Vineyard August 2016

This August on Martha’s Vineyard … Work with me privately on college application essays and/or attend my public Q&A at the Edgartown Library Aug. 3.
I will be giving a free information session with a Q&A period about college admissions at the Edgartown Public Library. Or call or email me to discuss your son’s or daughter’s needs.
10 TIPS FOR STAYING SANE WHILE APPLYING TO COLLEGE
with Elizabeth Benedict at Don’t Sweat The Essay
Brings your kids, your questions, and your concerns.
  • Wednesday August 3, 6:30pm to 7:30pm.
    Edgartown Public Library, 26 West Tisbury Road, Edgartown.
My clients regularly get into their first choice schools early and regular decision, including Harvard, Yale, Brown, Columbia, MIT, NYU, Cornell, Vassar, UMass, UMich, UPenn, Washington University, Skidmore, medical and laws schools, and dozens of other colleges and universities.
Recommendations from Vineyard families, including this Edgartown parent: “I cannot imagine having lived through the essay writing aspect of college applications without Elizabeth Benedict. Liz worked with my daughter during the summer between her junior and senior years. By getting a head start, Liz was able to encourage my daughter to revisit her essays multiple times. The end product was outstanding and really conveyed a sense of her individuality and strengths." For more information, visits my TESTIMONIALS from students admitted to Harvard, Yale, Columbia, UVa, Barnard, Smith, and other first choice colleges and universities. 
See my website for additional recommendations from students and parents.
Private sessions at your Vineyard home or mine – from July 31st to August 12th. Skype sessions available too. If you’re on the Cape, we can meet in Wood’s Hole or Falmouth.
My cottage is in West Tisbury, centrally located.
Email or call me:
Liz@DontSweatTheEssay.com
1-855-99-ESSAY