Our Answers To Your Questions

We hope this clarifies the benefits of College Essay Organizer. Contact us directly if you have questions of your own.

1. I’m not sure I can afford College Essay Organizer.

Based on feedback from our members, the value of College Essay Organizer far exceeds our current price point. With our web tool, consultants save several hours per student, which means much less work required for the same number of billable hours. During the busy application season, this means your efficiency in managing clients and setting up new ones skyrockets.

In fact, many consultants have found that if they share a sample College Essay Organizer report with potential clients, it often convinces the families that they could not possibly manage this process on their own without enduring excessive stress and confusion. In this sense, College Essay Organizer helps you generate additional revenue.

College Essay Organizer also finds program-specific essays that aren't included in schools' applications or on the Common App—questions that tend to get discovered late in the game or overlooked altogether. Rather than spending hours seeking these out or losing credibility when clients recognize that you've failed to address their particular needs, you can have all essay questions delivered instantly. You’ll also discover a multitude of scholarship essays that can mean thousands of dollars in additional money for applicants.

The alternative to using College Essay Organizer is researching all the questions on your own or assigning this task to your clients, which may lead to incomplete or inaccurate results, not to mention frustrated students and parents. It also means resorting to the cumbersome process of emailing drafts back and forth dozens of times. College Essay Organizer typically pays itself off in time saved after one or two clients, all while increasing the professionalism of your practice.

2. I'm not sure how to purchase College Essay Organizer for my clients.

There are three simple ways to purchase College Essay Organizer:

- Option 1: Purchase a Master Account here and absorb the cost as an operational expense. You can see the low-cost group rates on that page. You can then decide whether or not to share the accounts with your students or simply use College Essay Organizer on your end. It all depends on how you want to work with each student. The simple options will be explained once you create your account.

- Option 2: Purchase a Master Account here at the low group rate and bill the cost into your fee structure. For example, you can explain to clients that ordinarily you would bill 3 hours for this sort of research and management, but using College Essay Organizer will save you time and allow you to work smarter, and will save the clients money and allow them to work smarter too. If your clients created College Essay Organizer accounts on their own, the rate for an Essay RoadMap would be $49 per student. However, since you are paying only, say, $34 per student account at your independent consultant rate, you could bill the client $40, thus covering your expenses and then some. The alternative is to spread yourself too thin on time, forgo using an efficient management tool, and deprive your clients of the ability to access this cutting-edge technology that tens of thousands of competitive applicants (and likely your competition) are already using.

You can then decide whether or not to share the accounts with your students or simply use College Essay Organizer on your end. It all depends on how you want to work with each student. The simple options will be explained once you create your account.

- Option 3: Purchase accounts through CollegePlannerPro for $39 each.

3. I’m not sure whether to let my students access their accounts or to use College Essay Organizer simply as a resource on my end.

Your choice depends on how you run your practice and on each individual client.

You can choose to keep College Essay Organizer to yourself, referencing each client’s report on your own. You can essentially use College Essay Organizer like an accountant might use TurboTax, as a tool that optimizes your time and productivity.

You can experiment and share College Essay Organizer with a few of your stronger students. For example, you can go over the essay plan with a student together. If the student has a diversity essay that will work for multiple questions, you can brainstorm with the student what diversity means to her and help her craft that piece. You can then help her see how that finished essay can be used for various questions, with some modification if needed. And then you can move on to the next essay together. As the process unfolds, the student becomes more independent.

You can immediately share College Essay Organizer with all clients, making clear that this website will save them hours of time and ensure a much smoother, more successful writing experience. Many consultants recognize from the start that their students are naturals at using online technology. Teens intuitively understand College Essay Organizer just as well as a professional and appreciate having this tool at their disposal. They often feel empowered with College Essay Organizer’s clear, personalized plan and thus work more proactively on their essays. If you choose to share College Essay Organizer with all your clients, you can then of course use it as your one-stop website for the entire essay process. You'll also find that letting clients access College Essay Organizer demonstrates the value of having a professional guide, for they see how time-consuming and complex the process is (“it’s not just a couple essays anymore!”). Most parents and students are not aware of College Essay Organizer on their own, so they’ll be glad you use this cutting-edge technology in your practice. Plus, College Essay Organizer hardly replaces your role; your greatest asset is helping students brainstorm the essay topics that work best for them and helping them bring out their most compelling voices.

4. I don’t have many clients.

Businesses only grow when owners have the time to focus on the big picture, instead of organizational or managerial details. Technology makes that possible. It’s like using Google instead of driving to the library. College Essay Organizer eliminates hours of tedious and frustrating work, elevating consulting practices to new levels of efficiency.

If you have only 5 clients, your total cost for College Essay Organizer accounts will be $195, minus any association discount or free accounts you are entitled to. If you are billing your clients $50 per hour, that is just over 3 hours of billing time (and if you bill a higher hourly rate, it could work out to less than one hour of billing time). For this low cost, you will save hours in tedious research and organizational confusion, work much more efficiently, free up your days to focus on growing your business and providing even better service, and ensure a level of accuracy and professionalism that is very hard to provide on your own.

Many consultants also find that sharing College Essay Organizer accounts with each client validates the client’s decision to hire the consultant. Too many parents still believe that the essay process entails only one or two personal statements. Seeing the multitude of essays, including scholarship opportunities, allows them to appreciate the complexity of the process and the importance of your expert guidance.

Perhaps most importantly, many independent consultants have found that College Essay Organizer has allowed them to grow their business. After all, it frees up their time to focus on business development and demonstrates to clients that they are using the top technology in their profession.

Good word of mouth starts with using the right tools and knowing how to make them work for you.

5. I can do this research and organizational work on my own.

In our experience as admissions advisors, we found that manually collecting and organizing the essay questions took about 2 hours for each applicant—more if the student was applying to specific programs or had hard-to-find essay requirements. As students added and dropped colleges, we were forced to re-conceptualize their essay plans and determine if their previous essay topics were still sufficient. It’s just too time consuming.

In the midst of a hectic fall, would you pay $200 to save yourself, say, 20 hours of work?

Independent consultants have stressed-out clients, who naturally make the job demanding. College Essay Organizer is designed to make your work simple and efficient, while cutting out redundant work, stress, and anxiety.

6. I worry that letting my clients know about College Essay Organizer will make them think they don't need my guidance.

College Essay Organizer is not a substitute for your expert insight and personal touch. It is an easy-to-use management tool that will allow you to optimize the time you spend with clients. Think of it as TurboTax or QuickBooks. Those programs hardly replace your accountant; instead, they prevent your accountant from wasting his time focusing on tedious details and frees up his time to address the more important issues. Independent consultants who share College Essay Organizer accounts with their clients often report nothing but positive feedback from both students and parents who find that they have a clearer sense of what's involved and better appreciate your support after seeing how time-consuming and complex the essay process can be.

7. The applications really aren't that hard to figure out on my own.

College Essay Organizer instantly finds all essay questions for any selected colleges and displays them in one place, saving you from the piles of paper, PDFs, and logins for non-Common App colleges. We also alert you as soon as applications are made available, saving you the time it takes to check and re-check colleges’ sites and supplements.

But even if you find the applications simple to navigate, consider the amount of legwork College Essay Organizer does for you. We're tracking down the questions that aren't included on the applications themselves, like the optional, departmental, program-specific, and scholarship questions. We also note application deadlines, including those for specific programs within colleges. That kind of work is time consuming for any practice, and we can tell you from experience, some colleges can take hours.

8. The applications don’t change from year to year.

Some colleges keep their essay requirements static from year to year, but the majority changes them yearly, sometimes in small ways, but often to completely different prompts. Colleges have also recently been adding more and more questions. The problem is that you can't know which ones will change and which ones won't—so without an alternative, you’d have to check them all individually. College Essay Organizer provides up to date requirements as soon as they're available—all in one place, instantly.

College Essay Organizer also addresses each college's department-specific, program-specific, and special applicant questions, which can be much harder to find, and which many applicants don't even know to look for. College Essay Organizer also provides numerous scholarship essay questions.

As a member, you can register for our email notification system and be alerted as soon as the essay requirements for any college are updated for the coming season.

9. Some of the colleges my clients apply to don’t have (m)any essay questions.

Just because a college does not require any essays doesn’t mean you know that from the start. You still have to look, and even then it’s hard to be sure since colleges rarely post their program-specific, departmental, or scholarship questions on their applications or the supplements.

Most colleges changed their essay questions last year, or added new ones. You can check them all again manually, or let College Essay Organizer provide them for you instantly.

If you don’t think students have many essays to write, we encourage you to contact us for a free trial account. You’re in for a surprise.

10. My students are responsible for researching all their essay questions.

Leaving this to your students is a recipe for disaster. Inevitably they procrastinate and then fail to be accurate and/or thorough, overlooking many questions, especially the program-specific and hidden questions. We used to assign this task to students until we got tired of having parents complain that we were outsourcing responsibility that we were paying for, and making their children even more stressed and confused. If you want to be a professional, you cannot let your clients manage this time-consuming, frustrating task. Using College Essay Organizer is the difference between being a good consultant and an exceptional one.

11. I guide clients just through the Common App essays and let them manage their supplemental essays on their own.

Clients are paying you to be an effective guide. By helping with only one or two essays and leaving the rest to them, you run the risk of making your clients feel as if you didn’t help them at all, even if you did an excellent job on everything else. You also run the risk of creating a disparity between the essays you’ve advised them on and the rest of their writing, which can cause the application to feel inconsistent.

Using College Essay Organizer and showing the reports to your clients is a great way to either convince them to utilize your services for the entire essay process or provide them a clear plan for finishing up on their own.

New referrals come when your clients feel like you chaperoned them through the entire process and led them to their destinations smoothly and successfully, instead of leading them only halfway there.

12. I don’t guide my clients through the college essay process.

Leaving the essays entirely to your clients after helping them with other key aspects of the admissions process is a bit like guiding them deep into the Amazon jungle and letting them find their way out on their own. After all, the college essay process is typically the most time-consuming and stressful part of the application experience. By providing your clients with College Essay Organizer accounts or contacting us to ask for discounts on behalf of your students, your clients will feel like you gave them the necessary tool for completing the application process smoothly and successfully.

Even if you choose not to work with them on their writing, providing an easy, inexpensive tool for them to cut down on their workload will reflect well on your practice.

13. I don't bill my students for finding and organizing the essay questions.

If you're not billing your students for tracking and organization, then College Essay Organizer is especially right for you. Why spend hours on things you don't expect to be paid for? Our web tool instantly saves you the time it takes to search for, find, organize, and store the application questions, freeing up hours to grow your business and focus on high-end responsibilities.

14. How can I trust a third-party to ensure the level of accuracy that I expect?

Accountability is a challenge we are up to. Our track record is impeccable, and you have access to our staff by email and by phone. The fact that we are a broad-service, third-party company actually makes our standards higher than your own. We are being held accountable not by just a few clients but by tens of thousands of users worldwide, not to mention some of the most elite and demanding high schools in the country.

15. Putting a brand on my work that isn’t my own doesn’t sound right to me.

You don’t have to share these accounts with your clients. Keep the database to yourself and utilize it as you see fit. Provide the information as printouts to your clients and use it only as a tool for managing the information on your end. Like a professional accountant using TurboTax, your use of College Essay Organizer assures your clients that they’re getting a high level of professionalism and efficiency.

Plus, you can co-brand your accounts so students see your company logo when logged into their accounts. Many consultants then find that sharing College Essay Organizer with their clients validates their decision to hire a professional. It shows clients how overwhelming the essay process really is, and that you know how best to deal with it. This kind of competence and forward-thinking drives positive word of mouth.

16. I want just the essay questions, not the Essay RoadMap.

Independent consultants cannot purchase accounts without the Essay RoadMap. We have integrated the Essay Questions page into the RoadMap so that College Essay Organizer is an even more robust, flexible service for consultants. With the RoadMap, you get all the optional, program-specific, special applicant, and scholarship questions that are not listed on the Essay Questions page. Plus, you’ll benefit from the RoadMap’s groundbreaking algorithm, which was recently updated for greater accuracy and modified so you can override any essay assignments – this way you have all the control the lay out the RoadMap however you want.

Plus, now that we've added an essay-sharing platform to the RoadMap to make communication between you and your students even easier, College Essay Organizer has become a one-stop shop for the college essay writing process. We see the RoadMap as the core of that experience. The overwhelmingly positive feedback regarding the RoadMap, as well as new upgrades and a sleeker, more user-friendly design, makes this the best approach for our independent consultant members. Most skeptics, after using the RoadMap, realize that the essay questions are simply the ingredients, whereas the RoadMap is the ingredients plus the crucial recipe.

17. I'm more interested in helping my students find scholarship money for college.

Our extensive database of more than 1,000 scholarship essays is delivered along with your regular essay questions at no extra cost! This is especially helpful with large state schools. With so many programs and special departments, these universities provide a multitude of chances at scholarship money, but most students don’t know where to find it. These include merit-based, need-based, and demographic-based scholarships. Your clients will greatly appreciate that you pointed these out for them.

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The Power of Words

When deciding what to write, it is of course important to think about what you are going to say, and why you have chosen your subject, but what's so often lost is the how - the way you choose to present yourself. Remember that it speaks volumes.

Have a look at this moving and insightful video that reminds us that choosing your words carefully can truly change the way others see you.

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What Can You Expect When You Take the SAT?

Not the most exciting thing to look forward to...

For juniors, spring is the most popular time to take the SAT, followed by another round of testing in the fall if necessary. So as seniors are making their final calculations on which school has the greatest merit, juniors are nose deep in SAT prep books and practice tests.

No matter how much time you have spent preparing, there is always that anticipatory anxiety, and one item on everyone’s mind, as this informative article suggests, is the essay section. The mid-march SAT launched an unexpected essay prompt with a focus on pop culture leaving many with mixed feelings. While some felt it was a step in a positive direction allowing the test to appeal to its teenage audience, others had a quite different reaction:

“There was a hue and cry that the question put some of the best students at a disadvantage because they were often too busy with other, worthier pursuits to be watching Snooki and The Situation. Some students complained they'd been blindsided.”

According to the College Board, which creates and administers the test, the topic was broad enough to encourage good writing, and the essay itself is much less about the topic than it is about the quality of writing. Michael Kuchar, the superintendent of schools and guidance director at Bergenfield High School, states that you can still do well without any knowledge of the topic as long as you follow the right recipe which includes four paragraphs: a thesis, two supporting paragraphs, and a summary which refers back to the question.

As you cram in those last days of study, remember that while there is no way to predict the questions in advance, knowing the formula that the test makers are looking for will give you an advantage.

Join College Essay Organizer On Facebook!

College Essay Organizer Is On Facebook

If we play nice, David Fincher might just make a movie about us, too. Perhaps you will be depicted in it. Perhaps you will be played by Andrew Garfield. It could happen.

We at College Essay Organizer have been a part of this social network game for a while now, putting together some entertaining videos, a Twitter account that's been subject to some hilarious back and forth with our clients, and of course this blog, which has been popping up in various forms on our partner sites for a few years now.

We'd love to have you follow along on our Facebook page as well! We encourage discussion there about our daily blog updates, and will keep you in the loop about our ongoing promotions and contests, like the recent Best College Essay contest.

You have plenty of good hours just waiting to be spent clicking from page to page on Facebook! Do so with your favorite college essay management tool right here. We promise the ride will be a good one.

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Are You Thinking About Your College List?

What does your college list look like?

As seniors continue to mull over their acceptances and remain hopeful that their wait listed schools will come through, juniors, still full of hope and optimism, are starting to create their college lists. In many cases, these lists will contain some of the country's top colleges, whose application rates continue to soar.

Whether you are just beginning your application process or at the tail end, it is important to realize that upper-tier schools make up only a fraction of what's available to you. America has several thousand schools to choose from, many of which accept the majority of their applications and provide excellent long-term value in terms of cost and future earning potential.

Much of our fascination with elite schools is due to the schools' own marketing campaigns. As The New York Times Choice writer Jacques Steinberg points out here, “Some schools spend literally hundreds of thousands of dollars on slick marketing campaigns begging kids to apply for the privilege of being rejected, and yet the colleges will tell you there are so many kids who get this material, apply, get in and go who would have never known to do so had they not received it.”

Getting past this indoctrination is key for having a more positive college application process. There are plenty of opportunities beyond top tier schools that can give you a strong education and a bright future.

How To Find Money For College

Money for college - everywhere

Okay, maybe finding scholarships isn't quite like this, but it's CLOSE.

There are a lot of things on most students' minds as the deadlines for enrollment approach, not least among them the increasing cost of a university education in America.

For those of you unsure of how you're going to be paying for college (or for those parents in the audience), remember that the number of scholarships, fellowships, and diversity-based grants are higher than ever before.

Shaking the money tree effectively amounts to these three things:

  • Do your homework. What groups do you belong to? What are your special interests? Your favorite sports, hobbies, even your hometown can be qualifications for money you didn't even know was out there.
  • Creatively apply, and apply often. Your goal when applying in any competitive field is to stand out on your own and be memorable. No better way to do that than to insist on a creative, clear, inventive approach in your writing that stays specific to the money source you are applying to.
  • Apply often. Don't just stop at one or two. Spread it around, like you did with your college apps. You never know which one will hit, or how many.

Scholarships are out there if you seek them aggressively. And be sure to start with college essay organizer - we've diligently tracked down the scholarship opportunities schools present on their own applications and websites, so take advantage of them. Just because an essay isn't required doesn't mean it's bad for you.

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Juniors Get Ready for the College Admissions Process

Juniors, are you ready?

With all this talk of seniors and the somewhat foggy state of mind that results from finally emerging from the lengthy, mysterious tunnel of the college admissions process, it’s easy to forget that there is a whole class of students (juniors that is) preparing to enter that long passageway. As this admissions season ebbs away, it is time to turn our attention to this next important group to walk the path.

While daunting, there are many steps you can take to make your upcoming journey relatively pain-free and fruitful, and many require only some simple planning ahead. While it may be tempting to put it all out of your mind till the fall, that would definitely be against your benefit.

By now, you’ve probably been studying for your SATs for some time. Keep this your priority since it will be an important factor in determining your college list. Here are some additional tips, offered by the College Board, to make sure you’re headed in the right direction:

  • Start to visit colleges choosing a variety of different types and sizes. You can begin with the schools in your area, and don’t worry about narrowing down your list until later.
  • While the SAT and SAT IIs are of primary importance, don’t overlook AP Exams which also require preparation.
  • Start meeting with your college counselor and thinking about what courses you want to take your senior year. Make sure to challenge yourself as much as possible.
  • Plan your summer, and make it as interesting as possible. A well chosen community service project or an internship in a field that you’re passionate about may be just what you need to round out your resume, and can become the seed for an amazing college essay.

The key is to start planning early and pace yourself. This will definitely help keep you from feeling overwhelmed when fall rolls around.

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College Essay Organizer Featured in the New York Times and Bergen Record

College Essay Organizer in the News: New York Times Education Section

Daniel Stern, President of College Essay Organizer

College Essay Organizer founder Daniel Stern is quoted in this New York Times article on plagiarism. One of the special benefits of College Essay Organizer's service is that it cuts down on plagiarism. And maybe better yet for the more ethical, time-strapped teens we help, it cuts down on that nagging urge to plagiarize.

It’s an ethical issue many applicants wrestle with. But with College Essay Organizer, which saves hours of time by showing how your various essay questions overlap in theme, you will discover how to make the most of your time without cutting corners.This way you can focus not just on getting organized but rather on writing creative stories that reveal your best you. You can even apply to more colleges without unnecessarily taking on additional work.

Our goal has always been to optimize your performance and minimize the confusion and anxiety - and all on your own honest terms.

The Bergen Record Features College Essay Organizer's President Daniel Stern

College Essay Organizer's President, Dan Stern, was featured in the Bergen Record (in New Jersey) talking about the college essay process and the many misconceptions students and counselors have about it.

Dan spoke about the surprising number of essays students face after they’ve completed their required Common App essays – namely the many supplemental, department-specific, and scholarship questions that pop up for any student applying to multiple colleges.

On top of that, he spoke about the importance of understanding the essay questions. When a college asks you why you’re interested, remember that it’s not advisable to just regurgitate the college's own brochure. They know you want to be there – that’s why you’re applying. What they really want to learn about is you and what you’re going to bring to the campus.

Above all, Dan talked about what we’re all about here at College Essay Organizer – simplifying the essay and application process in easy and inexpensive ways so that you can focus your time on your best writing without all the confusion and anxiety.

Make sure that you know ahead of time how many essays your colleges require so you don’t have any rude surprises in the fall. Getting out ahead of things now will make the rest of the way smooth sailing for sure.

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More On How To Pick Your University Acceptance Letter

Soon, young stallion.

College is close, young stallion. Very close indeed.

Yesterday we talked about where to seek out advice on which college to attend when your acceptance letters amount to an embarrassment of riches. One of the primary factors for students with multiple options is always cost. But make sure not to just look at the retail price of your college education (hello, sticker shock) - keep in mind the many possible sources of third-party money, not to mention the increase in your potential income over the professional life a more prestigious education may buy you.

There are many sources on the web (College Essay Organizer among them) that will help you find scholarship, fellowship, grant, and work-study opportunities to offset the increasingly intimidating cost of higher education. If you're able to begin work before you arrive at school and spread your applications far and wide, you may be surprised at the breadth of the resources out there. CEO's database of questions includes not only optional, departmental, and program-specific questions, but also scholarship, fellowship, and honors essays that can often result in free (as in really free) money for college. In many cases, those scholarships are renewable for the entire length of your stay at the university.

When you couple those opportunities with the fact that the education you're buying can pay dividends later on, often times the difference in quality of your more selective diploma can pay for itself. Think long term! It's not easy, especially at the end of your senior year, but it can really make a difference.

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There is Help Available to Make Your College Decision the Best One Possible

Are you looking for answers?

Most of the talk these days, is still about how to narrow down the list of acceptances, and possible acceptances (wait lists), and come to the best possible decision. For some, financial aid is the biggest consideration, often forcing a student to choose between a higher ranked school with a lesser aid package and a less competitive school offering a full scholarship.

In other cases, the decision may be between a school that the student has her heart on vs. a higher ranked school that the parents are pushing for. In yet another scenario, a student may be so heartbroken over a rejection that he is utterly unable to focus and consider the positives and negatives of his other choices.

Thankfully, there are places to turn when in need of a sympathetic and knowledgeable ear. One such site is The Choice, the NY Times blog dedicated to the college admissions process. Bruce Poch, an experienced admissions officer who has served at Pomona College, Wesleyan University and Connecticut College, is offering answers to admissions questions this week.

Poch's common sense responses are sure to be insightful and direct, and cut to the heart of the issues at hand.  Questions and answers are posted here, and they are sure to echo many of your own ongoing internal dialogues, so even if you don’t post a question, you can certainly benefit by checking it out.

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