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       by Liz Jackson

By the time you enter the summer before senior year of high school, lots of parts of your college applications are finished and no longer in your control. Courses from 9th, 10th, and 11th grade were chosen and completed, grades were earned, and your extracurricular achievements were recorded on your resume. And yet there is still so much you can do to make your college applications stand out and highlight your strengths as an applicant.  Why?  Because you are still in control of one critical piece of the college application: the essay.

While you might be ready to hit pause on the writing after a year of challenging courses and AP exams, I hope you will consider how the college essay is different from most of the other writing you have done this year. With generally fewer parameters and no grading rubrics, your college essays are . . wait for it . . . opportunities.  Opportunities to set yourself apart from other applicants and show who you are. The essays are a chance to present yourself, in your own words, as a person. You can explain the “why” behind your numbers—why you are fascinated by biology, why lacrosse is so much fun for you, why you have wanted to be a marine biologist since you were twelve years old. Your essays will be the only chance in your application to show the admissions officers who you are beyond your scholastic statistics and reports.  Whether you are proud of those statistics and reports or not, it is a great idea to take the opportunity summer break provides to make your essays speak to who you are. 

Still not convinced and need a little nudge to get going on your college essays, er, opportunities? The good news is that we still have space in our upcoming July and August boot camps in Madison and Milwaukee!  We will walk you through your entire application, including the personal statement and at least one supplemental essay. Or, book an appointment with one of our essay coaches and let us help you give voice to your unique talents and traits. Book an appointment here!

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