Amherst College Released its 2011-2012 Essay Questions

For those of you who are using College Essay Organizer to get an early start on the college essay writing process, you will notice that as a school in updated, the asterisk automatically disappears next to the college's name. Also note that updated colleges will list the "Type" first and "Question" second. The following is a list of colleges that have been updated in the last week:

1. Amherst College

2. Pomona College

3. St. Edward's University

4. University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

5. Wake Forest University

Expect to see even more updates in late July and early August. We'll be on top of all the newly released applications for you.

Please Note: If you are aware of any college that has released its new application but is not yet updated in College Essay Organizer, keep in mind that we search for not just the required questions but also the program-specific, special applicant, and scholarship questions. However, feel free to email us at [email protected] noting any colleges whose applications you know have been released, and we will inform you when they will be live in College Essay Organizer.

In addition, for counselors working with students, we will soon be adding a new alert system in your account to allow for easy communication. Be on the look out for more details on how to use it.

Amherst College Essay: A Little Help From Our Friends

All the leaves are something, something, something...

Fun Fact: This picture was taken in February. Amherst's physics department can change the weather locally.

Amherst College is a Common App-exclusive school, but unlike many of its peers, it has gone ahead and released its 2011 essay requirements to the general public. They're quite lengthy, so we won't reprint them here, but Amherst's decision to put them out ahead of the Common App's August update points out a few great things about top schools like Amherst and what its actions mean for other schools that follow.

1. The more open a school is with you, the more open you can be in return. By putting out such a complex series of questions early in the admissions season, Amherst is showing you that it's worth preparing to write your application essay. Amherst's questions are challenging, and they require quite a bit of thought. Go ahead and put in the time it takes. Write multiple drafts. Get it right.

2. You have more work ahead of you than you think. Amherst recognizes that senior years are busier than they get credit for. So take advantage of the time the school has afforded you by putting this info out ahead of time. With opportunities like this and tools like CEO, your workload can be a lot more manageable than, say, those of your overworked and underprepared friends.

3. The college essay is the most underrated and under-appreciated part of the application. The admissions officers at Amherst know what it's like to read half-baked and ill-conceived essays. Sure, they see writing from a lot of the top students in the country, but they also see it from people that have rushed themselves through a pile of applications, regardless of their grades and resum├ęs. This is your opportunity to speak to the college - your chance to create something of a dialogue and show them who you are. Make the most of it.

If we were hard pressed to add a fourth element to this list, it would be that Amherst appreciates how many movies you have to watch this summer. That vampire flick ain't gonna watch itself. Thank the school for its foresight and watch all the movies. There are so many. Then fire up CEO and get back to work.