How Deep Should Your College Essay Be?

adversityAs you gear up to write the rest of your college essays before the holidays, many of the questions may cause you to hesitate. Take this option from Amherst where you respond to this quote:

"Difficulty need not foreshadow despair or defeat. Rather achievement can be all the more satisfying because of obstacles surmounted.” Attributed to William Hastie, Amherst Class of 1925, the first African-American to serve as a judge for the United States Court of Appeals

Many colleges offer similar options indicating that students should have experienced some hardship in their 17 years.  But what if your life hasn't been fraught with adversity? Can you still get into a top college without having truly suffered during your short time on earth? Should your essay demonstrate that you have life all figured out, even before attending college?

In the end, colleges do understand that you're struggling to make sense of all the changes around you, just like we all are, and the more straight forward you can be in sharing your unique journey, whether it involves moving mountains or not, the better. For more insight on this topic, see this thought-provoking article here.

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Early Application Numbers Released

timeAs early applicants wait to hear from their top-choice colleges, schools are beginning to release their numbers of early applicants. While there is still not much data available, a look at a few of the Ivy League schools indicates an increase over last year's numbers:

Princeton: 9.4% increase

UPenn: 44% increase

Dartmouth: 2% increase

Yale: .6% increase

See this article for more information, as well as some great Early Decision II options if you missed the fall deadlines.

 

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