University of Chicago Releases the Most Interesting Questions for 2011-2012 So Far

Will University of Chicago win our 2011-2012 most interesting essay question award?

We’ve had another exciting day of seeing what’s out there! University of Georgia, University of Chicago, and University of Florida were among the colleges that released some of their 2011-2012 essay questions.

For those of you who have been reading countless essay questions, University of Chicago’s new questions will definitely put some glee in your day. It’s always refreshing to come across a school that is dedicated to breaking conformity and getting your creative juices flowing. You can’t help but smile when you hear a question like, “Don’t write about reverse psychology,” or, “What does Play-Doh™ have to do with Plato?”

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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.

One Dad’s Journey through the College Application Process

This student does not use College Essay Organizer.

Articles about the college application process inevitably elicit a visceral reaction from anyone who has high school aged children. As this NY Times article describes, Crazy U, written by Andrew Ferguson, is a recent dad’s journey navigating the convoluted path from high school student to college attendee.

Ferguson covers every aspect of the adventure, not the least of which is the college essay process which he calls “a relatively new idea, and very baby boomerish.” He asks, “Who are they to force a catharsis on 17-year-olds?” His insightful probing cuts to the central issues in writing essays, which many consider the piece that distinguishes an applicant from his or her peers. What exactly do colleges want? Is the more personal essay always the better one? And what about more modest teens unwilling to express their darkest secrets? Ferguson writes, “Once the larger culture considered reticence a virtue. Now it’s a cause for suspicion or evidence of derangement.”

At College Essay Organizer, we know how important and stress-inducing the essay portion of applications can be. It’s what we know best, and we provide members with examples of successful essays on dozens of topics and themes, essays that gained entry into the nation's top colleges and universities. We also run free webinars from the spring through the fall covering various issues related to the college essay process, and hold an open Q&A for attendees to get their individual questions answered. So worry not, we’ve got you covered.

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Students Have More Options When Applying to College Next Year

Having more options is a good thing as long as you plan ahead.

Harvard and Princeton recently disclosed that they are reinstating their early-admissions programs for next year, giving students a few more options in the fall when applying to college. While Harvard and Princeton attempted to attract a more diverse applicant pool by doing away with early-admission programs, it turned out in fact to have the opposite effect. With economic pressures continuing to mount, many students want to find out their options as early as possible, and to compare financial aid packages whenever possible.

No matter whether you are planning to apply early decision to one college or early action to a few, make sure to plan out your whole list and to have your essays ready to go. With significant increases in applications to top schools, and a high percentage of those applications coming in early, competition for early-admission programs is even more fierce, leaving many scrambling to get their regular decision applications in on time after getting rejected or deferred ED.

College Essay Organizer can help you to organize everything in advance, so you know what to expect early in the game and don’t wind up slammed if you find out in December that you didn’t get into your top choice. Just so you get an idea of just how many essays you could be left to write in a lurch, check out our FREE Essay RoadMap preview.

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