Why Do You Want To Attend This College?

The most frequently-asked-about piece of advice at College Essay Organizer revolves around how to tell a school that you want to attend. Surely they're not just looking for you to write about what makes them great, right? They already wrote their own guidebooks. They should know what makes them great.

And you're right. The purpose of these essays is not to talk about them but to talk about you. Your job in all of your college essay writing is to convince the reader that you're an interesting person who belongs in their highly-selective class. You're trying to get them to choose you instead of someone else.

Easier said than done, indeed. So today we direct you to a post written last year that has gotten a lot of traffic: How to tell a college that you're interested.

Always keep in mind that your job is to express what you have that they want. It's already implied that they have what you want - a great education and a raft of opportunities for your future, whatever that may be. Do this by identifying your own intellectual interests and developing them from a personal standpoint.

University of North Carolina State University - Raleigh 2011 Essay Requirements

North Carolina State University - RaleighNC State has a pile of optional requirements that can be evaluated for scholarship purposes, as well as many scholarship-specific questions that are separate from the school's regular application.This year, the school has 14 scholarship-relevant questions in all.

Among them are the Parks Scholarships Program, the Forestry and Environmental Resources (FER) Scholarship program, and the Wood Products Scholarship Program, each of which can be addressed in part by using your intellectual interests essay.

Remember that College Essay Organizer can be a prime tool for finding free money for college, because while we centralize the essay requirements you need for all your schools, we also include departmental and scholarship essays, many of which you can satisfy by turning in altered versions of your essays for other school applications.

Posted in Specific College | Comments Off on University of North Carolina State University - Raleigh 2011 Essay Requirements

College of William And Mary 2011 Essay Requirements

The College of William and Mary

Campus of The College of William and Mary

In addition to the Common App's basic essay requirements, The College of William and Mary asks students to respond to an optional prompt that's wide open:

Beyond your impressive academic credentials and extracurricular accomplishments, what else makes you unique and colorful?

We know that nobody fits neatly into 500 words or less, but you can provide us with some suggestion of the type of person you are. Anything goes! Inspire us, impress us or just make us laugh. Think of this optional opportunity as show and tell by proxy and with an attitude, but please restrict your submission to what will fit on one sheet of paper.

These kinds of prompts should always be taken advantage of. Remember that the college essay is a vital opportunity to let the school know specific details about your background that the application itself won't reveal. You have precious few chances to let the school know about your side of "the deal" - those qualities you have that the school wants in its student body. Make sure to take them!

Even if you feel like you don't have a special extra curricular or professional experience that makes you stand out from the crowd, choose to focus on the things you love, and your passion for those subjects will shine through. Anything that improves the chances of the admission officer remembering you and your application is worth the effort.

Posted in Specific College | Comments Off on College of William And Mary 2011 Essay Requirements

Lake Forest College 2011 Essay Requirements

Lake Forest CollegeThis year Lake Forest College outdoes itself with 15 essay requirements, many of which are multi-part and multi-page.

For example, the requirement for the Buchanan Social Justice Scholarship requires applicants to address all of these points:

  • What social justice issues are of concern to you and how you are personally involved in addressing those concerns?
  • What leadership position have you held within a social justice organization?
  • Have you attended a local, national, or international conference focused on a social justice issue? If yes, please share more about what you experienced.
  • Have you received any awards or recognition relative to your involvement in social justice issues?
  • Student leaders at Lake Forest often effect change and leave a legacy from their contribution to the College community. As you look forward to your educational experience at Lake Forest, what social justice issue will you champion and how will you effect change within our community or the world at large?

It might look like a lot of work at first, but using College Essay Organizer can be a shortcut to money you didn't know was there.

Each year we comb school websites not just for primary application requirements, but also for optional, department-specific, honors, and scholarship essays. Your College Essay Organizer Essay RoadMap can be your map to extra achievement, not to mention cold hard cash.

Posted in Specific College | Comments Off on Lake Forest College 2011 Essay Requirements

Tulane University 2011 Essay Requirements

Tulane University has eleven essay requirements this year in the College Essay Organizer database. This year they made a significant change in their application scheme - last year some requirements appeared on the paper application but not the online app, and the school has made the wise decision to change that for 2011. Here are a few of the questions that were not consistent across the two formats last year:

  • Have you ever participated in a community service project abroad? Please explain your experience.
  • Have you ever studied abroad? Please explain your experience.
  • Have you ever been involved in a community service project other than one required by your school or another organization?  Please explain your experience.

These are the kinds of questions that give applicants an opportunity to stand apart from the pack a little bit, so Tulane's decision to present these questions to all applicants was the right choice. It works in the applicants' favor as well as the school's - after all, they want their student body to be as strong and diverse as possible, so no need to make it difficult on people who have these kinds of exciting elements to their backgrounds.

Posted in In Action, Specific College | Comments Off on Tulane University 2011 Essay Requirements

How To Tell A College That You're Interested

So, so interested.

When you're answering why you're so interested, try not to say, "because it's shiny."

Why are you interested in our college?

This kind of prompt is common, of course, and it seems easy enough at first – you’re applying to the school, aren’t you? You’re interested in it. But now what? Your first instinct might be to repeat what’s in the guidebook, or just talk about what you heard on the informational tour. You might want to act like you need to sell the school back to itself.

But don’t. Essays like these need to be interpreted as what they are – essays about you and your skills. In the broad scheme of things, this is what you might want to call an “Intellectual Interest” essay.

What you want to do with an Intellectual Interest essay is make yourself look good to the school. You don’t need to fill the page with a series of meaningless and optionally funny anecdotes from your summer trip to Lake George with your uncle that one time when he fell off the boat and everyone laughed. What you’re really trying to communicate with this is something about who you are and what you can bring to the school that no one else can. Those are your Intellectual Interests.

It wants to be an essay about the time you demonstrated your love of Steinbeck’s writing to make a point about modern America, or the time you used your knowledge of physics to bond with a carpenter about his work you saw at a fair. Something specific, but tied to your love of academics.

In writing an essay like this, you need to focus your argument or story all around you and what you are capable of. If you want to structure it as an autobiographical episode, make sure the episode is about something specific, namely your interests or skills, and why those are important to have at a university like the one you’re applying to.

You can, of course, talk about your personal experiences visiting the college or about student clubs or opportunities unique to the school, but if you do, make sure that these examples are more about your personal interests than about the school itself.

When broad, vague, or even crazy prompts pop up, give them some thought about how they can be used to reflect something unique about you that the rest of your application doesn’t allow for. Then tell that story in terms of the wacked out prompt the school threw at you.

New York Times Writes About the Common Application

Cree Bautista! Congratulations, you're on CEO blog! Weird, right?

This new article in the New York Times' Education section talks about unlikely hero to college applicants everywhere, Cree Bautista. Mr. Bautista saw fit to apply to NYU just a few hours after the Common App went live at the beginning of this month, and in so doing became the first applicant of the year through the site.

Cree's eagerness, though exceptional in degree, isn't uncommon in practice. The Common App's directors have already started talking about the speed of this year's applicant pool, and the sheer number of applications students are managing. From the Times' article:

"Rob Killion, executive director of the Common Application, said he was particularly unnerved by the flood of early submissions through the organization's website because he feared that students were rushing their essays. (This year’s Common Application was actually posted several weeks later than last year’s — not as a prod to get applicants to file later, but instead to allow high schools extra time to send final documents before the new year begins.)"

Remember, your top choice is not your only choice! There are many applications to be managed, and sites like CEO are here to get that work out in front of you and help you keep it under control from the get-go. While we can't all be like Cree, we can all save ourselves from those last-minute crushes of papers and apps.

The Journal of College Admission Writes on New Technologies

Where does the road in that logo roam? To new technologies, my friend.

The Journal of College Admission, a publication that discusses the National Association for College Admission Counseling (or NACAC), recently put out an article called "Using Technology in Undergraduate Admission: A Student Perspective."

It points out that nearly all students are using various forms of technology to guide them through the admissions process. In fact, the article mentions that, "One survey found that 88 percent of college-bound prospective students would be disappointed or possibly eliminate a school from consideration if the institution's web site did not meet expectations."

We encounter many college websites that are more complicated than they need to be, especially in their organization of honors, scholarship, and departmental essays, so we commiserate with applicants who are frustrated by this. Lucky for you, CEO's goal is to design a simple technology that provides a solution while streamlining your efforts to simplify and organize the process. Glad to have you with us as we head into the new application season.

The IECA: What Colleges Are Really Looking for in Applicants

The Scottsdale Community College Fighting Artichokes are clear about what they want from applicants: a love of fighting and delicious cuisine. Other schools will require an essay.

The Independent Educational Consultants Association recently released a bit of press about what colleges are really looking for in applicants. And while a number of things we know to be vital remained vital - academic performance, difficulty of schedule, a willingness to challenge one's self - this particular quote caught our eyes:

"The importance of the essay moved up since the last survey, perhaps reflecting the essay’s role as more colleges move to ‘test optional’ status. The essay was also seen as more important to private liberal arts colleges, as compared to large state universities."

Schools continue to add essay requirements to find ways to distinguish their applicants and to find unique elements among them. Though on the surface this appears to make more work for applicants, much of that work is easily avoided with tools like CEO's, and simultaneously delivers to applicants the opportunities they've long asked for to be considered as people rather than numbers. Not bad.

So recognize that our trusty friends at the IECA have spoken - get your essays right. They are truly your greatest opportunity to speak directly to the universities themselves. But even more than that, they are becoming opportunities to distinguish yourself clearly in an increasingly crowded marketplace.

Use College Essay Organizer To Find Money For College

Find Money For College With College Essay Organizer
By using College Essay Organizer’s Essay QuickFinder and Essay RoadMap services, you'll be told about scholarship opportunities you didn't even know were there!

Our extensive database of 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 give you countless chances at scholarship money, but most students don’t know where to find it.

Here are just a few examples:

  • Davidson College has 7 scholarship essays
  • Texas A&M has 5 scholarship essays
  • The University of Kentucky has 10 scholarship essays

And better yet, College Essay Organizer saves you time. We’ve compiled an extensive list of the essay opportunities out there for all types of scholarships:

  • Merit-based
  • Need-based
  • Demographic-based
By letting College Essay Organizer deliver your essay questions, you'll find out about opportunities others may have overlooked and save the hours it takes to dig for those scholarship dollars.

Put it this way: for a few bucks now, you can save thousands of dollars in the years ahead.


Ready to get started? Click here to get your essay questions now for as little as $2!

Use the promo code scholar123 and get a 50% discount!