The Common App for 2011/2012 is Live

That's right. The wait is over.

The Common App went live yesterday officially beginning the application process for the class of 2016. The Common App, now totaling 456 schools, has added 45 new members this year, including Caldwell College, Howard University, and St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

College Essay Organizer is now in the thick of the updating process, keeping track of all the new changes and supplemental essay questions for you. Expect hundreds of updates by the end of the week!

We continue to receive feedback on how College Essay Organizer is the perfect partner for using the Common App. It instantly delivers not only the supplemental essay questions, but also the department-specific questions and scholarship questions, which are often not included in the Common App. Check here for some great tips on how to use College Essay Organizer and the Common App to write winning essays.

Forbes: Technology Revolution Changing College Admissions

This post today on Forbes' blog discusses how the use of technology has revolutionized the college application process, and, in turn, the selectivity of the nation's top colleges. Many schools have seen precipitous drops in their acceptance levels in the past year, with Columbia University posting the most significant year-over-year drop after deciding to allow the Common App in 2010. In just one year, Columbia increased its applicant pool by more than a third, and saw its selectivity drop to just 6.7%. With this kind of selectivity, diversifying your number of applications to increase the odds of success is the best solution.

College Essay Organizer is discussed in the article as a service that can help you manage your large number of applications easily - but the schools that Steve Cohen cites are particularly good examples of where our site excels. Schools like NYU, USC, and Syracuse are very popular, and the amount of work required to apply there - and their departments especially - can be deceptive. Make sure to get out in front of the work that's required of you and pace yourself accordingly.

Another benefit of College Essay Organizer that Cohen points out is the simple fact that we help you keep the requirements manageable! College Essay Organizer is the site that puts all your requirements in one place, and can be modified as your college list grows or contracts. Instead of managing a large number of applications, PDFs, and essay documents, our Essay RoadMap technology can function as a repository for all your work during the application season. This makes a complicated process simple and keeps things sane.

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College Essay Organizer at the 2011 IECA Conference in Philadelphia

IECA In Philadelphia

IECA In Philadelphia

We'll be at the IECA Spring Conference this week in Philadelphia, PA! We invite you all to visit our booth and say hello - we're looking forward to meeting the many people we've emailed and spoken with throughout the year, and to meeting new faces as well. This year, we will be giving away a free CEO master account valued at $200 during the IECA raffle.

We'll have a lot to discuss with IECA members this year, including College Essay Organizer's new improvements. Stop by our booth and we'll discuss with you how you can now:

  • Remove essay questions from the Essay RoadMap that are not relevant to a client
  • Upload, edit, and track status of essay drafts within each client’s account instead of emailing back and forth
  • Gain access to our weekly webinars on topics related to the essay process

It has been a terrific year for us at CEO, in large part because of IECA and its wonderful membership, and we're excited to be joining you in Pennsylvania.

Hope to see you all this week!

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New York Times Reports on 2011 College Admissions Figures

New York Times College AdmissionsOver at the New York Times' The Choice, a great chart of up-to-the-minute admissions figures has been made available, and it makes clear that the trend of applying to many schools is showing no signs of letting up.

There are a number of caveats that they point out in the write-up under the chart, most notably that the budgets for advertising schools' applications have been increasing as well. The schools are in the business of increasing the number of applicants just as much as the students are in the business of hedging their bets by applying to more than ten schools a piece.

But what does that mean to you?

Notice that certain schools' acceptance rates dropped significantly from 2010 to 2011 without their academic metrics (like accepted student GPA or SAT scores) improving at the same level. These are schools that have found effective ways of boosting the applicant pool and driving down the acceptance rate without necessarily increasing competition for qualified students.

So it's not as much doom and gloom as you might think. If the schools are making an effort to increase the applicant pool without necessarily increasing the pool of applicants that deserve to be at the school, you are going to appear just as competitive as you would have in previous years, despite the increasing number of applicants. More than anything, you'll need to be focused on efficiency and making sure your pile of applications isn't overwhelmed by the typical homework you have to do in the first semester of your senior year. Get organized!

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College Admissions Counselors Are Overwhelmed

The Fall 2010 Journal of College Admission features an insightful editorial by Robert Bardwell describing the difficulties guidance counselors face today. As the number of college applications balloons nationwide, guidance counselors are able to budget less and less time to students in one-on-one environments. Mandated testing and paperwork, in conjunction with insufficient training and education, make the job more complicated and time-consuming than ever.

Another often-overlooked element of the job cited in Bardwell's article is that for many low-income and first-generation students, guidance counselors are the only source of college admissions counseling. For these students especially, one-on-one time is vital.

We at CEO see our website as an essential part of making the college admissions process more efficient, not only for students, but for counselors as well. CEO's new master account service makes it easy for guidance counselors to keep all of their students' requirements accessible from within a single account, and makes it possible to continually update that information when students' plans change.

One of the most pressing concerns for guidance counselors as their responsibilities grow (but their time available does not) is that statistics have proven that very high student-to-counselor ratios negatively affect the access students have to college advising, which can only hurt their chances at finding a school that optimally suits them. We at CEO aim to be a driving force in creating more time for counselors to do what they do best - serve students.

College Essay Organizer at the IECA Conference in Cincinnati

We're at the IECA Fall Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio, this week and we invite you all to visit our booth and say hello! We're looking forward to meeting the many people we've emailed and spoken with throughout the year, and to meeting new faces, as well. We will also have special discounts for everyone who stops by, and one IECA member will win a FREE master account to be used this season or next!

It has been a terrific year for us at CEO, in large part because of IECA and its wonderful membership, and we're excited to be joining you in Ohio.

Hope to see you all this week!

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College Essay Organizer and MyCCA.net Integration Now Live

We are proud to announce that CEO has now been fully integrated into the mycca.net platform, giving Independent Consultants access to the most comprehensive college planning platform on the market.

Independent Consultants who purchase their CEO accounts through mycca.net will enjoy various benefits:

  1. They can access CEO directly from their counselor mycca.net accounts without having to re-select any colleges for their students.
  2. The rate will be a flat fee of $34 per student, regardless of how many students you create CEO accounts for.
  3. Each student account will have a maximum of 20 college selections instead of 15.
  4. Each mycca.net account will get one free CEO student account

If you are already a mycca.net member who has purchased CEO, your current CEO student accounts will automatically transfer over so you can access them through mycca.net. You will still be able to access your CEO master account directly through CEO, if you'd like.

If you are already a mycca.net member but have not yet purchased CEO, we encourage you to try your free CEO student account within your mycca.net account. It will take less than a minute and will save you hours with each student.

If you are not a mycca.net member, please click here to check it out so you can discover the benefits of a comprehensive college planning platform.

All mycca.net members will receive one FREE CEO student account, whether you have already purchased CEO independently or not.

We look forward to making your educational consulting job even more efficient and successful!

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Free Webinar About How To Write Winning Admission Essays

How do you write college essays that help you stand out from thousands of other applicants? How can you manage all your different essays without going totally insane?

Organizing and writing your college essays is the most time-consuming and stressful part of the application process. This entertaining and informative webinar run by two of the nation's leading college essay experts will show you how to handle the entire process with greater ease and success.

Parents and students will explore good and bad essay topics, essay do's and don'ts, and even comical essay blunders. You'll also have the opportunity to inquire about your own essays and get immediate feedback.

School counselors: Please feel free to tell your seniors and their parents all about this webinar!

Dan Stern and Scott Farber run College Essay Organizer, a groundbreaking website that instantly streamlines the college essay process. They have led college essay workshops for more than a decade, helping thousands of students write their way into the colleges of their dreams.

WHEN: Wednesday, October 27, 9-10pm EST

PARENTS AND STUDENTS, CLICK HERE TO REGISTER - IT'S FREE!


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CEO Now Used By Stuyvesant High School in New York

Stuyvesant High School in New York has set up CEO accounts for its entire senior class.

Stuyvesant High School, the prestigious public high school in Manhattan, has adopted College Essay Organizer for use by all of its seniors - 786 of them to be exact.

While many state and small local colleges have numerous essay requirements, the top colleges in the country typically require the greatest number of essays - after all, applicants to top schools typically have very similar GPA and SAT numbers and thus need something to distinguish themselves from the masses. The essays accomplish this goal.

We've seen again and again that students seeking this kind of competitive edge use CEO to make the most of their valuable time, especially when they're trying to balance their SAT or ACT prep, college application forms, teacher recs, extracurricular activities, and homework ... oh, and be a happy teenager who can hang out with friends, too.

Students are often surprised to learn that even if they use the Common App, there is typically a multitude of supplemental, program-specific, and scholarship essay questions, many of which are NOT found on the Common App. Only CEO can provide them for you in one place -- instantly!

Here are a couple of recent testimonials from Stuyvesant folk who've experienced the power of CEO's technology:

"I felt it was really important that I devote my time and energy to actually writing my essays as opposed to just trying to find and organize all the different questions and figure out which essays overlapped. The huge number of essays seemed overwhelming, but CEO whittled down the topics and gave me a clear plan. Planning in advance has always been so important to me. Without this amazing site, the time needed to complete the application process would have doubled or tripled."

- Robert Hess
Graduated from Stuyvesant High School in 2010; Accepted to Yale University
Chess Grandmaster, Ranked #1 in the US (21 and under)

"Applying to selective colleges can be a formidable undertaking for even the best students, and I know well the importance of strong essays in gaining admission. CEO simplifies the essay process by allowing students to navigate the requirements for each college more efficiently, thus providing more time to focus on writing the best essays possible. I highly recommend CEO for all college-bound students."

- Florri Levy
Chair of the College Committee of the Stuyvesant High School Parents' Association,
2006-2009 (New York, NY)

Have a look for yourself to see why the best and the brightest are taking advantage of CEO. Click here to check for FREE how many essays your colleges require and how CEO can deliver them all to you instantly.

The Bergen Record Features CEO's President Daniel Stern

Daniel Stern, President of College Essay Organizer

Our President and CEO Daniel Stern was featured in the Bergen Record (in New Jersey) yesterday talking about the Common App 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 prompt. When a college asks you why you're interested, remember that it's not advisable to just repeat the guidebook back to them. 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 CEO - simplifying the essay and application process in easy and inexpensive ways so that you can focus your time on your best writing without spreading yourself too thin.

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.