Devon Cruz is a College Counselor and Essay Specialist for Campus Bound. Learn more about her in this Staff Spotlight.
There used to be these things called books that were filled with helpful information. Just kidding… we know that many people prefer to use the internet, but don’t overlook some really fantastic books that can help families through the college admission process. And, yes the internet is great, and usually free, but you get what you pay for, and purchasing a book from your local bookstore, or from Amazon, or even borrowing one from your local library can be a really good idea.
If you are a senior, your first round of applications may be in and it might be tempting to want to take a big sigh of relief and put the rest of the college stuff on the back burner. But, wait a minute! Doing so can cause trouble down the road. Sorry for being the barer of bad news (we prefer to call it “you’ll thank us later” news) but it makes sense to keep forging ahead on your applications.
“The admissions process is a maddening
mishmash of competing objectives, and an
attempt to measure the unmeasurable:
you. No, it isn’t fair, and likely never will be.”
-Eric Hoover, New York Times
At Campus Bound, we make it a priority to read articles, attend conferences, and learn from our peers in order to stay up to date on the latest admission trends and policies (which change daily, by the way). In our search, we recently came across this article by the New York Times, written by Eric Hoover. It seems to be making its way across the Internet world and into the homes of future or current college applicants, so we decided to put in our two cents on the topic.
You’re told time and time again that the college essay needs to be personal. It needs to give the reader a clear sense of who you are as a person; it’s a way to let the college that you are applying to know all about you. But, occasionally College Counselors and Essay Specialists read personal essays that are a little too personal. We then need to clarify this for students and parents, so allow us to do that here.
We may be biased, okay we are definitely biased, but Campus Bound students are the best. We are so lucky to have worked with some pretty amazing students over the years. For this week’s blog, we decided to tap into the experience and knowledge of our former Campus Bound clients to see what advice they have for students currently going through the process.
If it seems as though college applicants are having more and more essays to write as part of the college process, you would be right. It’s not uncommon for students to have four, six, or maybe even ten additional essays to write. The all-time high for a student I have personally worked with was 18! While some are shorter and some are longer, it’s still 18 different pieces of writing, and, sometimes the shorter essays are actually more difficult to write.
With that being said, in this blog we give some practical advice about how to manage all the possible essays you will have to write, and explain why getting an early start is essential.
Students, when you first sit down with a College Counselor, one of the first things we are going to ask about are your activities. We want to know about sports you play in school (and out of school), any school clubs you have been active in, volunteer experiences, and jobs you have had. The reason we ask is because, one way to set yourself apart from other college applicants is to have a balanced and thorough list of high school activities.