Friday, November 28, 2014

Shrinking Your List of College App Essays & Supplements

Got the college app essay blues? The best way to shrink the list of essays you need to write between now and January 1st is to shrink your list of colleges. There's no magic solution as to how to do it. Without question - sorry, guys - It involves some work. In the end, though, it could save you time, money, and stress. 

As I said in my recent Huffington Post piece, "How Many College Apps (and College App Essays) are Too Many?" the first rule is to apply to schools that you actually want to attend, or that you have some reason for wanting to attend. 

Have you visited the school? Does it have an atmosphere or programs that interest you and suit your needs? Is there something about the curriculum - the courses required of you to graduate - that is either hugely appealing - or might be a real turn-off? Do you even know what's offered and required at these many schools to which you're applying?

How will you know any of these things? Each school's website is a place to start, but websites are sources of information as well as advertisements. They will not give you the low-down on what it's really like to be a student in these places. These three resources will give you another perspective: 1. College Prowler - tons of statistics and up-to-date student comments about every aspect of the institution. 2. The Insider's Guide to the Collegesedited by the Yale Daily News - a sassy, student's-eye view of some 350 colleges and universities, arranged by state. 3. The Best 378 Colleges, full of great stats and quotes from students and administrations about what each school offers.

There is a reason for the idea that you should choose schools in three categories: reach, target, safety. If you choose well, you do not need 10 in each category. If you have done your homework and are choosing schools that are suitable for you - and your family's budget - the list should be much smaller than that. 

If you need help with the process or the essays, please visit my website, Don't Sweat the Essay, or drop me a line: Or pick up the phone: 1-855-99-ESSAY.

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