Last-Minute Essay Writing Tips

Despite our pleas to students to start their essays early, even during the summer before their senior year, there are always students who for whatever reason are unable to get a head start, or even a timely start. And here we are, entering the final week before the January 1 deadline, and students are continuing to upgrade their College Essay Organizer accounts in order to seek out some last-minute advice on how to write a standout essay, and more importantly, on how to get started writing.

The New York Times Choice Blog is also dishing out advice for late-blooming applicants. Definitely refer to this post by Daniel Grayson, associate director of undergraduate admissions at Tufts University, if you fall into that category. We've included a few highlights to help inspire and motivate you to put your best foot forward.  After all, you haven't worked this hard for the last four years to fizzle out so close to the finish line.

  • Don't be afraid to be different: "Being honest and forceful about yourself may make some adults around you nervous; it’s not “safe.” They will worry that you are being too controversial or informal. You should listen carefully and try to see your writing from their perspective. But you should feel comfortable ignoring advice that does not feel right."
  • Think from the point of view of the college: "We want to fill our seats with students who have things to say, who will challenge conventions and advance conversations, who will learn from each other."
  • Stand up for what you believe in: "You need to be confident and proud enough to stand behind those ideas because if you won’t, why would an admissions officer choose to stand behind you?"


More Colleges Extending Early Application Deadlines

If you're in Hurricane Sandy's projected path, stay safe.

As we prepare for Hurricane Sandy to cross our path, more colleges are extending their early application deadlines in an attempt to soften the storm's impact. Here is a list of schools that have either formally changed their early deadlines or stated that they will be flexible with their existing deadlines:

Boston University
Columbia University
Duke University
George Mason University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Tufts University
University of Chicago
University of Pennsylvania
University of Virginia
University of Vermont
Villanova University
Yale University

Be prepared so that even if your college does not extend its early deadline, you still submit on time. We've always believed that a problem well organized is a problem half solved, which is why we give students all their essay questions from the very start. Create your free account now so you don't encounter any surprises at the last minute.


Common Misconceptions About the College Admissions Process

Debunk those college admissions myths

High school seniors share many misconceptions about the college admissions process. It’s easy to do when there are so many layers to an application. With standardized test scores, essay topics, GPA, and extracurriculars, it’s hard to know what is more important. The truth is, it all matters. Tufts students created this youtube video to help put to rest rumors and clear up misunderstandings about how exactly students are selected for admissions. The video sheds light on admissions counselors’ intent to “build the best possible case to admit” as opposed to the more commonly held theory that they look to reject, as well as how different aspects of an application are weighed in a discussion panel.

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