Students who have built up solid GPAs, posted strong standardized test scores, and invested time and energy to develop extracurricular activities that they are passionate about have done most of the hard work…but they’re not quite finished yet!

Students must still take the final step and present themselves truthfully but compellingly in their college applications. The college essay, recommendations and interview are crucial framing devices that contextualize a student’s achievements, focus attention on his or her strengths and add personality and three-dimensionality to a list of achievements.

In the next series of posts, I’ll explain how to write a stellar college essay (also called the personal statement). While most of these recommendations are obviously directed at rising seniors, students at earlier stages of their high school careers should still pay attention, since it’s never too early to be on the lookout for the activities and experiences that can inspire a powerful college essay. I’ll also provide tips for lining up strong recommendations and nailing the college interview.

Students hoping to be competitive at the most selective schools cannot afford to drop the ball when it comes to their application essay, but there are also other factors admissions counselors consider.
College essays are a personal statement. They are a student’s unique opportunity to show admissions officers who they are beyond their test scores, GPA, and resume.
One of the most straightforward but still difficult questions students see on a college application is: ‘Why us?’. Be sure to avoid this common mistake writing your college essay.
Don’t underestimate the importance of the recommendation letter. Here are some tips to help students maximize their chances of securing a meaningful recommendation for college.
The interview may not be the most important factor in a college application, but a bad impression could jeopardize a student’s acceptance. Here are some tips to help you avoid some of the worst college interview mistakes.
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