Swing high. Be sensible. Have fun.
THE COMMON APPLICATION
THE MAIN ESSAY
The skills I mentioned on the Academic Support page carry over to the college process, which warrants an acute attention to detail and proper writing skills - ones that emphasize an impactful, unique message coupled with brevity.
I enjoy working with students on the college application process. We dive in, and they soon realize that talking about the common app and conjuring up its horrors are far worse than the actual common app. It simply is not that demanding: fill in basic data, save, and move on. Most of the work may be completed in a couple of hours.
The time-consuming element of the common app is the writing. Each student must complete a main essay that showcases him or her. At the same time, the student must avoid the hackneyed topics that drive admissions officers crazy. All my students must write an essay that passes one first clear standard: that no other student of mine has ever written about that topic before. Rarity is key. At the same time, admissions officers must feel they have a thorough understanding of the applicants. In sum, the essay must be written well, expository, and rare, if not unique.
Many colleges and universities also require supplementary essays. I assist in that process, too, but with regard to all writing, my role is clear: the student must compose his or her own essay. Your children are the ones applying to college.