Wednesday Words of Whiz-dom: “Common” Issues

Although the submission of college applications may seem as much fun as ordering concert tickets online, there are many pitfalls! This year in particular, we have seen several errors that range from puzzling to critical. Here are several of the most “common” issues that we observed as we proofread the Common Apps that our clients were about to send:

1. National Honor Society membership is considered a school honor, not a national honor.
2. Honors achieved in elementary school and middle school do not belong on the application.
3. Your list of activities should not be a random or chronological list: The list should be in the order of importance to you!
4. The word and character limits are real.
5. When you are asked about your proficiency in a language, you do not have to be fluent! (“First language, read, speak, write, and spoken at home”)

And there are so many more.

Suggestion: Have a professional review your application. College Essay Whiz is “fluent” in the process!

October Words of Whiz-dom

“Acceptance is an essay away” has been our motto since 2007, when College Essay Whiz launched its first website. However, although tackling the personal statement is the way CEW started, the services we offer are much more all-encompassing. Actually, there are so many elements to understand about the college application that it appears to first-time applicants like a giant and intimidating jigsaw puzzle of decisions ranging from how to enter school names on the Common App dashboard to how to answer particular questions. And then, of course, there are the essays.

College Essay Whiz offers expert advice and editing with a personal touch. I work with clients all over the country for admission to schools all over the world. In addition to decades of experience teaching high school English and journalism, I have visited colleges and met admissions officers all over the country and even some schools abroad. I have learned not only what schools offer but what they expect in a candidate. As a professional member of IECA and NACAC among other organizations, I have developed a network of fellow professionals who offer a remarkable support system. This has allowed me to expand my services from essay advice to choices of schools, programs, and application strategies.

Thanks to the advantages of Skype, students and parents do not have to trek to my Long Island office to meet with me – they can meet with me in the comfort of their own homes at convenient times to discuss any and all issues they face in the application process. We can discuss and edit essays facing each other on a virtual level, screen sharing the Common App, and sending text to each other through Skype chat. Phone works, too. Essays are exchanged by email.

Information abounds about the college process and the perfect essay. After a while, your head spins with advertisements and Facebook postings from experts all over the world. Some are – but you have to be just as informed a consumer when you choose a consultant as you are with the colleges you are exploring. The testimonial statements here and on the CEW website may help you make your decision.

Whether your child is a freshman or a senior, it’s never too early…or too late…to learn about the college process and get the best advice possible. CEW works with underclassmen to plan schedules, review activities, volunteer work and summer experiences, to guide them through the selection and writing processes.

Whether you’ve been through it before or have yet to even think about it, we can be a great resource for your college process.

Stay informed with us through our website, Facebook and Twitter!

There’s still time to apply to schools for 2015-2016!

Are you a high school senior who has wavered about applying to college?  Have you decided to apply to a few more schools that are reasonable choices for you?

In addition to the schools that have February deadlines, here is a list of colleges and universities with deadlines between March and July.  All of these schools are available through the Common Application. This is simply a sampling of the many schools that will continue to accept applicants over the next six months:

March 1:  Adelphi University, SUNY Albany, Lynn University, SUNY Purchase, Scranton University, Seton Hall University

March 15: SUNY Oswego

April 1:  SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Oneonta

May 1: SUNY Cortland, SUNY Fredonia, SUNY New Paltz, SUNY Oneonta, SUNY Plattsburgh, St. John’s University

July:  SUNY Old Westbury (7/1), Molloy College (7/11), Pace University (7/11), SUNY Brockport (7/12), University of Hartford (7/12); Thomas University (7/12), Stetson University (7/15), Buffalo State (7/30), LIU/CW Post (7/30), Hartwick College (7/31), Hofstra University (7/31)

It’s Not Too Late to Apply for 2015 Admission!

The mad rush of applications may be over for many students, but for others, the decision to attend college is a recent one.  Although many deadlines have passed, there are dozens of schools that are accepting applications throughout the next few months, some as late as the end of July.  If you feel that you need to consider a few more schools or you have just decided to apply to college, it’s not too late.  The Common App lists every member school and its deadlines.  Take a look and explore some of these schools.

Here are some schools that have deadlines coming up in February:

Catholic University of America (2/15)
College of the Atlantic (2/15)
College of St. Rose (2/1)
DePaul University (2/1)
Dickinson University (2/1)
Drew University (2/16)
Drexel University (2/28)
Goucher College (2/1)
Iona (2/15)
Ithaca College (2/1)
Lake Forest (2/15)
Marist (2/1)
Miami University of Ohio (2/1)
Muhlenberg (2/1)
Ohio State (2/1)
Purdue (2/1)
Quinnipiac (2/1)
St. Joseph’s University (2/1)
Siena (2/15)
Simmons (2/15)
Stevens Institute of Technology (2/1)
Susquehanna (2/15)
Texas Christian University (2/15)
University of Michigan (2/1)
University of New England (2/15)
University of New Hampshire (2/1)
University of New Haven (2/1)
University of Southern Maine (2/15)

More to follow with even later deadlines!

Scholarship Contest Winning Essays

We are happy to publish the winning entries in our scholarship contest! These essays demonstrate tremendous insight into the application process. For those of you who are just embarking on the college application process, these essays will be very valuable!

First Prize: A.I., Atlanta, GA: Harvard ’18
Who Wants to be a Paragon?

Second Prize: Darya Bor, Scottsdale, AZ: Amherst College ’18
The Importance of Speech

Third Prize #1: Ryan Lenea, Seattle, WA: Middlebury College ’18
Don’t Be Frightened

Third Prize #2: Madison Tschauner, Hastings, NE: University of Redlands
The Number

Fourth Prize: Megan Riann Sekiya, Austin, TX: Tulane University ’18
Plan B

Fifth Prize #1: Ella S. Conte-Wood, Seattle, WA: Western Washington University
Finding Power in College Shopping

Fifth Prize #2: Kendall J. Paris Flossmoor, IL: The University of Iowa
More than just a Number