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College Essays

Harvard Agrees: It's Time to Tell Applicants, 'You Are Enough'

Stacey Brook | Posted 01.25.2016 | Education
Stacey Brook

As a college essay advisor with over a decade's worth of experience helping students identify and express compelling personal stories, I have seen an overemphasis on achievement for achievement's sake manifest itself in different forms.

Five Tips for Writing Supplemental College Essays That Stand Out

Students Rising Above | Posted 12.08.2015 | Impact
Students Rising Above

By Debra Farb, Volunteer Students Rising Above It's been several decades since I wrote my last college essay, but I can still feel the visceral sen...

From the College Applications of the Class of 2016 (Presidential Candidates)

Allison Singh | Posted 11.19.2015 | College
Allison Singh

This college admissions season, we asked the 2016 presidential candidates to share with us the talking points from their own college application essays. They declined, so we made it up.

Look Forward In College Application Essays

Rebecca Joseph | Posted 11.05.2015 | College
Rebecca Joseph

Colleges don't want essays that are set exclusively in the past. Colleges want to know who applicants are now, especially about their leadership, initiative, resilience, and passions. Colleges do not award admissions decisions or scholarships to kids who only look backward.

The Passion of the Applicant

Josh Stephens | Posted 10.23.2015 | College
Josh Stephens

For whatever reason, passion is the descriptor that has won the day. Colleges want to see it in spades: they want students to be dripping with, drenched in, and breathless with passion.

College Essays Highlight Military Life

Lisa Smith Molinari | Posted 10.15.2015 | College
Lisa Smith Molinari

Military children in particular must seize opportunities to mention their uncommon experiences in their applications. Honor, sacrifice, service, hardship, adventure, and worldliness -- these traits don't show up in the "hard numbers" of a student's GPA or test scores.

How College Applicants Can Brag (Modestly)

Josh Stephens | Posted 09.22.2015 | College
Josh Stephens

Probably the most mysterious element of the college application - so mysterious, in fact, that most applicants don't know it exists - is the school report.

5 Traps for Parents to Avoid During College-Essay Season

Douglas Danoff | Posted 08.18.2015 | Parents
Douglas Danoff

You're not alone in feeling like you're walking through a treacherous jungle this time of year. When it comes to the college-application essays, many parents believe they're stepping forward onto firm ground, only to discover that they've landed themselves -- and their son or daughter -- in quicksand.

College Essay Cliches

Josh Stephens | Posted 08.10.2015 | College
Josh Stephens

Even the sharpest teenage minds frequently gravitate towards college essay topics that are so common that they can only be described as clichés: stories and messages that every adult has already heard and, probably, already lived through.

Writing The Common Application Essay

Jeannie Borin | Posted 08.05.2015 | College
Jeannie Borin

The Common Application launched online for the coming admissions season on August 1st. The Common Application essay prompts are now available so writing can begin.

7 Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Your
College-Application Essays

Douglas Danoff | Posted 08.03.2015 | College
Douglas Danoff

As a professional application-essay coach, I regularly encounter students with well-intentioned but misguided strategies for their college-application essays. And how students approach this task often determines acceptance or rejection.

College Essay Nightmares: Three Tales of Essays Gone Wrong

Elizabeth Heaton | Posted 07.14.2015 | Education
Elizabeth Heaton

You only get one shot to augment your test scores and GPA with an essay that showcases your personality and thought processes. Essays that are memorable and unique are great, but positive and appropriate are equally important.

What Goes Into a Great College Essay?

Jeannie Borin | Posted 07.07.2015 | College
Jeannie Borin

Engage the reader and be specific about your experience. If writing a memorable story about a ride in the car and what you saw, have that reader sitting there with you. A good story is priceless and you will catch attention in this way.

Early College Preparation Is Important

Jeannie Borin | Posted 06.30.2015 | College
Jeannie Borin

There are countless details involved in the college admissions process, and gaining the knowledge necessary in a timely manner is crucial to ultimately making the final decision on where you will attend.

As for Me My God Used to Be Doubt

Andrew Isaac Burrill | Posted 06.25.2015 | GPS for the Soul
Andrew Isaac Burrill

For anyone who believes they're not worthy to live a life filled with anything but joy... this is for you. As for me, my God used to be Doubt. Als...

With College Essays, Don't Be Early to the Party

Josh Stephens | Posted 06.24.2015 | College
Josh Stephens

Great things lie ahead this summer for many rising seniors. Anyone who is taking a class, earning a paycheck, doing an internship, working on a project, doing community service, reading good books, or even going on a trip faces possible revelations and accomplishments.

Ask 'Why Cornell,' and My Answer Starts With an iPod

Write for the Future | Posted 05.01.2015 | College
Write for the Future

My versatility does not end with my iPod -- it trickles into my academic life from history to math. I am drawn to Cornell's College of Arts and Science for the opportunity to explore my diverse academic interests.

An Education That Starts With Morning Rhythms

Write for the Future | Posted 06.11.2015 | Education
Write for the Future

School for me does not start in the classroom. My lessons begin the minute I leave my house. My commute now shapes my identity in ways I never imagined when I decided to attend high school in the heart of Chicago.

6 Secrets To Surviving Second Semester Of Junior Year

Jazmin Kay | Posted 06.08.2015 | Teen
Jazmin Kay

I know you probably have your countdown set until the summer begins and are slowly finding your motivation lessening as your Netflix and pizza intake is increasing. That's totally normal. However, there are ways to relax while also meaningfully preparing for the future.

Common App Overhauls Essay Prompts

Josh Stephens | Posted 05.31.2015 | College
Josh Stephens

The Common App released today a long-anticipated new set of prompts for the main essay (also known as the "personal statement"). They replace prompts that were instituted as part of the 2013 redesign of the Common App.

Tactical College Visiting

Alex Mallory | Posted 05.11.2015 | College
Alex Mallory

As high school juniors and their parents ponder whether to visit or not to visit, I strongly recommend the former. It's the only way for students to see whether they could imagine spending four years at a given college, and it allows them to set themselves apart from the pack by showing colleges how much they really do care.

The 30 Things I've Learned About Journalism

Ashley McDonald | Posted 05.04.2015 | College
Ashley McDonald

I've devised a comprehensive list of everything I've learned about this field in my years at Central Michigan University. Important stuff -- the stuff I plan to take with me after I'm gone. And as it turns out, I've learned a sh*t load. Ready?

Introducing: The College Essay Project

The Huffington Post | Taylor Trudon | Posted 01.15.2015 | Teen

Applying to college is more competitive than ever before. With elite schools rejecting up to 95 percent of applicants, there's a lot of pressure to ge...

The Essay About My Sexuality That Helped Me Get Into College

Posted 01.15.2015 | Teen

We believe your college essay is more than just a Word document saved on your desktop and deserves to be shared. That's why HuffPost Teen is featuring...

The Powerful College Application #Selfie

Rebecca Joseph | Posted 02.09.2015 | College
Rebecca Joseph

Please use the rest of December to help seniors finalize their college applications essays and apply for scholarships by helping them promote themselves powerfully. Use their selfies, tweets, and videos as starting points for powerful celebratory essays.