Come Say Hello To Us In Dallas!

IECA LogoCollege Essay Organizer will be at this week's IECA Fall Conference in Dallas and we invite you 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 be answering all questions and providing private demonstrations as requested. Plus, one IECA member who stops by will win a FREE master account with four student accounts to be used this season or next!

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

See you soon!

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Submitting Your Common App

Common App LogoThe Common App is a terrific platform for applying to a large number of colleges, but it has a number of quirks, which the people at would be first to admit. One tip they've gone out of their way to remind their users of is to actually make sure your application submits to your schools.

Sounds simple, right? Well, after you submit your application, do us a favor and take a moment to check that the submission has, in fact, gone through correctly. Some students submit the payment (or just the supplement) and assume that the application will be submitted as well. This is incorrect! The application, supplement, and payment are submitted separately - so be sure to check and be sure that your submissions have gone out completely.

How do you know if your application is actually, finally, once and for all submitted?

Check the status in My Colleges. A submitted form or payment will show as "Complete" in green.

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College Essay Organizer's Essay QuickFinder Now FREE For Students!

College Essay Organizer's Essay QuickFinder will be FREE for the remainder of 2011! Get access to every essay question you'll need to write this year, including supplemental, scholarship, optional, and program-specific questions you won't find on the Common App -- all organized in one place!

Get Started Today For FREE!

  1. Click here and create your Student account. It takes just a few seconds.
  2. Select "Essay QuickFinder - up to 20 colleges" under "Choose Your Services"
  3. Enter promo code blogfree1 and press tab - your Essay QuickFinder is free!

This offer applies only to high school seniors - no counselors. Each student gets only one free account.

Once you create your account, simply select your colleges and College Essay Organizer will do the rest!

All students who create their accounts will be eligible to enter our Best Essay Contest and win up to $500 cash!

If you have questions, call 646-448-4927 or email [email protected].

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Counselor and Teacher Forms for the Common App

Common App LogoA reminder today that students do not need to submit their applications in order for counselors and teachers to be able to submit their forms on the Common Application! We've seen a number of questions about this, and who should be submitting first, the applicant or the teacher/counselor - the order actually doesn't matter.

It is true that colleges cannot access school forms until a student submits his or her Common App, but that application can be submitted at any time, before or after school form submission.

Just remember to have your teachers and counselors listed correctly and to keep their contact info current! It's a common mistake to omit the key info for your submit-by-mail recommenders. As long as everything's kept straight there, you can focus on just finishing your app before the deadline.

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The China Conundrum from The New York Times

New York TimesThe New York Times has a magazine piece up today about the influx of Chinese students into the American university system in recent years. Many of the students, the article notes, are from middle- to upper-class families that can afford to pay the full tuition - a boon for schools struggling under recent budget cuts - but who often arrive without the requisite English skills to keep up in the classroom.

The onus is on them, for the most part, and though navigating a university education in one's second language is an enormous challenge, it's one that isn't dissuading Chinese parents from sending their children to America in rapidly-increasing numbers.

As with any international shift in the college admissions game, understanding the system is of primary importance, especially when choosing your school and managing the college essay process. A number of the students cited in the article admit that when they applied to the school, their English was not strong, which is all the more reason to keep the application process simple, efficient, and direct, so as not to write any unnecessary essays or misinterpret what's required for a given application.

Use of College Essay Organizer has likewise grown among international applicants and international counseling services, and that's to everyone's benefit. Keep things simple and targeted, and make the most of what you have.

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College Essay Help From The New York Times

New York TimesThe New York Times has offered up another piece about how to edit your college admissions essay, and though it is often hard to hear such advice, the point is as true now as it's ever been - good writing does not need to be long, and it especially doesn't just need to be "done" - it needs to be good. It's often very difficult for students to hear that they need to edit large parts of their essays, or in some cases, delete the entire thing and start over.

It should be said again and again - the college application essay is one of the most important pieces of writing high school students will ever do, and for many students, it is the most important thing they've written at that point in their lives. So make it count. Never send an essay in without doing at least five drafts, and be sure that you've considered the subject at great length. Be sure you've chosen something that's not cliche, and that reaches into a part of your experience that the rest of your application does not.

The tips in the New York Times article we've linked above are key, so we'll repeat them there. But remember, no mechanical advice will substitute for personal, emotional writing and honesty about your own experience. Write about what makes you feel like yourself, and don't shy away from the subjects of greatest value to you.

  1. Know where to start.
  2. Try a trusty literary device.
  3. Avoid adjectives, adverbs, and qualifiers.
  4. Pay close attention to sentence structure.

Not bad ideas if you're looking to get your word count down, but have a look at the article and hit us back up with your feedback.

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NACAC List of Schools Extending Nov. 1 Application Deadline

Due to the recent snowstorm on the east coast and the unexpected power outages that came along with it, a large number of schools with November 1 early action and early decision deadlines have decided to extend their deadlines. Thankfully, our friends at the National Association for College Admission Counseling have compiled a handy list to help you out.

So if you have been without power for the past few days, as I know many in New Jersey and Connecticut have been, you've got time to get your app in.

And if you've just changed your mind and really do want to send out that early app you've been procrastinating on, well, you got another chance to submit.

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Many Early Decision Applications Due for 2012 Today!

Common App LogoFor many of you out there, today's the big day. Early decision applications are due at midnight tonight for many top schools across America. For those of you stressing out at the last minute, there are a few pieces of information that we'd like to spread to make things a little easier on you.

  1. Applications with November 1st deadlines aren't due until midnight on November 1st, not midnight on October 31st. Seems a little counter-intuitive to many, but this has been confirmed in many spots around the web.
  2. The Common App's "Future Plans" section is different for every college, so when you look at the print preview of your Common App, the Future Plans section will likely be blank. Don't worry! That's by design. This bit of info comes directly from the Common App: "Because not all colleges choose to ask each question, and because your answers might differ for each college, Future Plans is not 'common' in the way the rest of the application is. So don't worry when Future Plans is blank when you 'Preview' your application. That's by design. When you Print Preview from the signature page, you will see your Future Plans responses for that college."
  3. The Early Decision agreement has a number of required elements. Be sure you don't miss any steps! Click on the "School Forms" tab on the left of the Common App, then the Invite button. Make sure you have all the signatures you need. And if you're wondering, yes, you can mail in a paper copy of the ED agreement if necessary.
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