IECA Highlights CEO in Its Current Newsletter

College Essay Organizer ("CEO") is excited to be highlighted in this Independent Educational Consultant Association (IECA) newsletter. More than 150 IECA members have signed on with CEO in our first season, and we look forward to more members taking advantage of CEO’s valuable tool that instantly streamlines the college essay process.

The IECA has been a leading force in promoting innovative tools that improve the efficiency of consulting practices. Thanks to the feedback of our independent consultant members, CEO will be incorporating the following new features this season:

  • Student accounts will increase from 15 to 20 college selections.
  • The Essay RoadMap will be even easier to interpret, with an alternate viewing format and the ability to hide essay questions not relevant to an applicant.
  • Independent consultants will have the ability to upload essay drafts and share notes with their clients within the CEO platform; no need to email back and forth anymore.
  • Marketing potential will be optimized: you can co-brand your CEO accounts with your company logo
  • IECA members can become guest bloggers, promoting their services on CEO’s heavily trafficked site and sharing important tips and stories about their experiences working with students’ essays.
  • IECA will orchestrate FREE instructional webinars for introductory and training purposes for IECA members and their clients.
  • CEO will have a separate area that allows visitors to our site to connect with IECA members in their area.
  • Exclusive IECA discounts will be shared directly by IECA headquarters in the coming weeks.

To join IECA and learn about their great services, click here.

Special Early-Purchase Discount / De-activating Last Season's Accounts

Congratulations on finishing up this year's college admissions season in style!

Now that deadlines have passed, we will be de-activating used student accounts at the end of the day today. Please note that any Independent Consultants with unused student accounts will get to use those accounts for the 2011 season starting tomorrow when all master accounts will correctly reflect the number of student accounts remaining.

In addition, below are special promo codes for discounted rates on CEO accounts moving forward.

Students can share the following promo code with current juniors so they can get started now:

Promo Code for 20% off = college777
Expires June 30

Independent Consultants can click here to see the special discounts on the bottom right of the page, enjoying even greater savings on the already-discounted master account rates.

Schools can contact us directly to solidify plans for rising seniors. Email or call us at 646-448-4927.

We look forward to another great admissions season. And to those who are awaiting news from colleges, we wish you the absolute best!

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Does Commitment (to a college) Thrill Or Chill You?

Are you ready to commit?

As you anxiously await to hear back from colleges, you might still be daydreaming about your top choice. Perhaps you have gotten deferred from your early decision option, or you made a late decision on which college you really want to attend. Either way, wouldn’t it be wonderful to channel that energy into something tangible that could actually increase your chances of getting in?

Experts suggest that writing a Commitment Letter will not only help reduce your stress but might also be just what the college needs to tip the balance in your favor.

As the end of February nears and March approaches, college admissions officers are at their desks struggling to determine how many students will accept their offers. After all, they don't want to accept students that are not likely going to actually attend. A Commitment Letter lets the college know that you are passionate about enrolling, and that if admitted, you would definitely accept the offer. This love letter should demonstrate your enthusiasm for the school and important updates on your academic and extracurricular life. There's no need to repeat what you've already told them - this should be new info, along with the heartfelt expression of hope that you'll be accepted. Don’t you want your favorite school to know that you’re still working hard on your AP courses, and have now become president of the chess team, or whatever else you might be up to these days - and that all the while you’re dreaming of the day when you can pack up your things, leave home, and finally be on their campus?

Now is the time to write this one last college essay, and after this one, you really can relax knowing you’ve done all you can to get into your dream college. But beware not to be unfaithful. Committing to a school and not attending can reflect negatively on your high school, affecting future students’ chances. Also, colleges sometimes share notes on applicants, and if they realize that they have all gotten the same Commitment Letter, it might hurt you. No one wants a player.

Try to get your Commitment Letter out before the end of February.

Where Does the Tiger Mother Fit into the College Application Process?

Do you have a tiger mother?

Controversy has been intense over Amy Chua’s memoir entitled Tiger Mother. Chua depicts herself as a highly demanding if not overbearing mother who pressures her children to fulfill her own image of success, many have argued, to the point of endangering her daughters’ mental and social development. While her children do achieve outstanding external results including maintaining high grades and excelling musically, it must be asked, at what cost?

As children mature and demand back control of their own lives from their overly-invested parents, a power struggle undoubtedly ensues. The college process can be seen as the last great clash in which children entering the new epoch of adulthood, expect to exercise their own right to choose, while parents remain reluctant to relinquish their parental clout. Parents, still at the financial helm, are often able to wield some influence in the area of college decisions, and often don’t refrain from trying.

Valerie Strauss recounts a humorous anecdote shared by Teege Mettille, assistant admissions director at Lawrence University, of what she calls an “ultimate helicopter mom” in her article in The Washington Post. Accustomed to parents calling to schedule admissions interviews, even Mettille was surprised when a parent who had just scheduled an interview for her son and began expressing her interest in the school suddenly stopped and said, “Wait….he [my son] doesn’t need to be here for this, does he?”

As seniors and their parents begin hearing back from colleges and making important decisions on where to attend, experts suggest that they open up honest lines of communication. Parents should remember that students are the ones who ultimately have to spend their four years on the chosen campus, and students have to consider their parents' decade-long effort to pay for college. It is hard for parents to let go, but it is equally important that they recognize that this is perhaps the biggest step their children will take on their way to an independent adulthood.

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With Financial Aid Deadlines Approaching, Take Advantage of these Insider Tips

Is this what's on your mind?

Now that the majority of college deadlines have passed, is it time to sit back with a sense of self-satisfaction on all that you have accomplished? Absolutely. But for many students, financial aid deadlines are still looming, as are concerns as to whether or not college dreams will be dashed by insufficient aid. As schools continue their own struggles to meet rising costs while faced with an increasing demand for financial aid by its applicants, it becomes ever more important to understand how schools are basing their aid decisions.

An article in the NY Times Choice Blog by Martha Merrill and Elaine Solinga, dean of admission and director of financial aid at Connecticut College, respectively, offer some insider tips on how to fill out these all-important forms:

  • Each school’s policies are different. Connecticut College belongs to a handful of colleges that has a no-loan policy for families with incomes less than $50,000, making it an attractive option for students looking to avoid federal loans.
  • Be accurate and on time. While you may be feeling burnt out from getting all those applications in on time, don’t give in to the temptation to take the financial aid form less seriously. The earlier you can file your tax return and put together an accurate reflection of your family’s circumstances, the sooner you can get that needed rest, and breeze through the rest of your senior year.
  • Ask questions. Getting help filling out the financial aid form is not like getting help on your college applications. Ask those supporting you to pitch in, and when in doubt, contact the school. Schools know that these forms can be complicated, and they usually have dedicated staff to field your questions and keep your information correct and up-to-date.

You’ve made it this far. Don’t give up now. Soon enough, you’ll be sitting back wondering what you were so stressed out about.

Did you know that CEO includes hundreds of hard-to-find scholarship questions in its database? It makes it that much less stressful when applying for financial aid.

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