The College Application Essay

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9780874479874: The College Application Essay

A winning college application essay takes admission officers beyond the numbers and shows them what a student really cares about, how he/she thinks and who he/she really is. The College Application Essay by Sarah Myers McGinty is an easy-to-follow guide shows students how to maximize the opportunity to "tell us about yourself" by using the tools and skills they already have. Includes:

Ways to choose a topic
Strategies for distinctive answers
Remedies for procrastinators
Jumpstarts for writer's block
Tips on editing
Over 50 real application questions
Sample essays by real students

Critiques of the sample essays guide students toward the best practices and away from common mistakes.

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Review:

Sarah Myers McGinty wants you to keep the college-application process in perspective. Don't panic, she says. "The goal of this process is not to sell an ideal image of yourself. It is to find the right school for you." But of course once you've found that school, you do have to convince its admissions officers that the school wants you as much as you want it. McGinty's The College Application Essay discusses such topics as recommendation letters and college interviews, but its main focus is the essay. Essay questions vary from school to school (this book is loaded with specific examples), but McGinty groups them into three categories: the "tell us about yourself" question, the "why do you want to attend this particular school" question, and "the creative question" (which asks you to comment on an issue, a hero, a book, a quotation, the future, or the like). How you write is as important as what you write, and whatever you do, don't get someone else to write it for you. "Admission people usually can tell," warns McGinty. "If they mark the essay 'DDI,' they've concluded that 'Daddy did it.'"

McGinty also gives some attention to non-traditional, or "high risk," essays. While not for everyone, the high-risk essay can work wonders when you chances of getting into a given school are slim. "We'll take a risk for the right reason," says Simmons College admissions dean Deborah Wright, and perhaps you should, too. After all, says McGinty, "I am sure in the final hours of committee meetings on 'gray zone' applications, no one has ever said, 'Hey, wait a minute, what about that kid who wrote the essay about his family?'" --Jane Steinberg

About the Author:

The College Board is a not-for-profit membership association whose mission is to connect students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the College Board is composed of more than 5,700 schools, colleges, universities, and other educational organizations. Each year, the College Board serves 7 million students and their parents, 23,000 high schools, and 3,800 colleges through major programs and services in college readiness, college admission, guidance, assessment, financial aid, and enrollment. Among its widely recognized programs are the SAT®, the PSAT/NMSQT®, the Advanced Placement Program® (AP®), SpringBoard® and ACCUPLACER®. The College Board is committed to the principles of excellence and equity, and that commitment is embodied in all of its programs, services, activities, and concerns.

For further information, visit www.collegeboard.com.

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