Thursday, September 19, 2013

Confessions of a College Essay Coach

My latest piece on Huffington Post just went up - my confessions. Here's an excerpt:

"Confession No. 1. No one has ever asked me to write an essay for her child. Nor has anyone even hinted that this is what she wanted. The students I work with want to write their own essays, and parents often want, not a ghostwriter, but a buffer, someone outside the family to impose some structure and discipline on the process of getting the essays done. You may have heard: children-on-the-verge-of-adulthood usually don't want to spend any more time with their parents than necessary, especially when there is a risk of "nagging.READ MORE

Saturday, August 31, 2013

I HEART the New Common App Essay Prompts

"When the new prompts were posted last spring, I liked them right away. They seemed more personal, more probing, and more direct -- capable of eliciting better stories, information, and insights from students. Having spent the last two months working with students on essays using the new prompts, I feel even more enthusiastic about them now." READ MORE ...

Friday, July 19, 2013

Countdown to August 1st - Common App Essay and Supplements Go Live

The Fourth of July and Labor Day used to be the only two dates in summer that most of us paid attention to, but August 1 is fast becoming a summer landmark for rising high school seniors and their often frantic families. As all of them know, it's the day that the Common Application goes live, and students can start filling out applications to the 488 colleges that participate in the program -- from Harvard (Cambridge, MA) to Transylvania University (Lexington, KY) and Franklin College Switzerland (Lugano, Switzerland). READ MORE...

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

3 Dos and Don'ts for Your College Application Essays

From my Huffington Post article

Three Don'ts:
1. Don't consult the thesaurus and "try to sound smart" by using big words and dry, academic language. Be specific, vivid, and personal in your writing, so we can hear your voice. 
2. Don't write about the Harry Potter books, even if they are your all-time favorites. Instead of standing out, mentioning HP will make you indistinguishable from millions of other fans. 
3. Don't read college essays online or in books unless or until you're very close to finishing your own essays. It can be intimidating to see other finished essays when you're insecure about whether you can do your own. READ MORE... 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013