As BrainStorm continues to roll out its uniquely effective college coaching program, we are excited to bring you a host of resources to simplify and catalyze your college admissions process.
In today’s article, we will explore a few world-class tips on how to increase your chances of admission and merit scholarship money. So, without further ado…
1. Any college counselor worth her salt knows that when it comes to college applications, the early bird gets the worm.
By and large, American universities extend two incredible benefits to those students who are organized enough to apply by the early deadlines instead of waiting until January for the Regular Decision deadlines. First, they typically offer a higher acceptance rate (which can be anywhere from 5 to 60%). Second, for Early Action applicants, they also offer a far higher probability of earning merit scholarship money.
Set November 1st of senior year in your calendar and circle it with a big red marker. That’s the magic date! Apply by then and reap the rewards.
2. Another great tactic is to minimize the number of essays you need to write.
After all, these essays are terrifically important and, as such, can take quite a long time to craft with excellence. Writing three, four, or more polished essays becomes discouraging and onerous; the best practice is therefore FIRST to organize your thoughts on what schools are good matches for the applicant, and SECOND to identify the essay prompts offered by each school, and FINALLY to notice the overlap among the options.
Savvy applicants choose to answer the prompts that are most common among their school options. In a best-case scenario, an applicant can write one fantastic essay that he or she sends to all schools. So don’t write the essay and then look for schools! That can lead to a lot of unnecessary effort. Pick schools, then notice the overlapping prompt, then write that one.
3. Learn how to write your extracurriculars for the Common Application.
Specifically, write them in descending order of importance. This means you must lead with your two or three most impressive activities and work down the list from there.
It also means to write compelling tweet-length descriptions of each of the activities, focusing in particular on choosing interesting verbs. For example, instead of saying “is the leader of the group”, write “spearhead a team”… You get the idea.
More great content to come! In the meantime, I hope this gives you some quality food for thought as you work through the challenging and joyful process of college applications. Get it!
This entry was posted in Brain Food, BrainStorm’s resource center for parents.
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