Why Do You Want to Apply to Columbia University?

Columbia Universcolumbiaity's Early Decision deadline is November 1 giving students only ten more days to polish off a maximum of eight supplemental essays in addition to the Common App main essay! Perhaps one of the most important essay questions Columbia and many other schools ask is why you want to attend. On Columbia's application, the exact wording is, "Please tell us what you find most appealing about Columbia and why."

This is your chance to demonstrate your interest! Definitely spend time thinking about how you can best convey your goals and dreams and how Columbia is the perfect place for those to blossom. Unfortunately, these types of essay questions generally lead to students regurgitating the college's brochure, which is not the way to go. Log into your Essay RoadMap account here to see a successful essay sample for this type of question.

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Early Decision Results for Penn Will Be Announced December 12

This is an important week for seniors who applied early to their first-choice schools as most schools notify students in mid-December. Early Decision results for Penn will be announced to students slightly earlier than some schools, with the release scheduled at 6:00pm on Wednesday, December 12.

While many will be celebrating this week, countless others will be bearing down to finish the rest of their applications in the few short weeks that precede regular college deadlines. Don't forget to log into your College Essay Organizer accounts to make this last part of the process as efficient and stress-free as possible. It will truly save you hours of time and help you churn out those remaining essays in record time.

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Early Application Deadlines Looming

The tension is mounting for tens of thousands of seniors applying early to their first-choice schools. November 1, a popular early deadline, is looming just around the corner, and students are scrambling to polish their essays and send off their applications. Other students are worrying about their test scores, and wondering whether or not they will be good enough.

The New York Times' Choice Blog is answering common questions about the application process this week, and regarding test scores, Kathryn Juric, vice president of the SAT program, advises, "The most important thing for students and families to keep in mind is that college entrance exams represent only one part of your overall college application." Jon Erickson, president of the educational division at the ACT, adds that in cases where a student feels that her scores are not reflective of the rest of her accomplishments, she can explore the following: "retaking the test, after more thorough academic preparation; highlighting other aspects of her academic profile (personal recommendations, course work, grades, other accomplishments); and, if the opportunity exists, meeting personally with an admission officer to demonstrate her personal qualities." We, at College Essay Organizer, also know that using your essays to show who you are can be the most important way to stand out even if your scores fall short.

For more questions and answers on the college admissions process, click here.

Diversity is Up in Early Admissions Applications

The Early Decision applicant pool continues to widen

According to a recent article in the New York Times, Early Decision, once popular only among east coast applicants from elite private schools, has widened its appeal. Jess Lord, dean of admissions and financial aid at Haverford, describes this shift: “Early decision historically tended to be more homogenous than the regular pool — more white, more upper-class and upper-middle-class, less international. That’s changing fast.”

Recent reports from top colleges indicate that two to four times as many international applicants are applying early. And this shift has affected who is getting early acceptances. Fifty-six percent of student accepted early to Princeton University were from public schools this year, up from 50 percent 5 years ago, and Harvard’s early admits were nearly 20 percent black or Hispanic, up from 15 percent in 2005.

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Early Decision Notifications Rolling In

Many of you who've applied to schools with early deadlines of 11/1 and 11/15 are hearing back this week. If you've been accepted, congratulations! You're about to begin the most relaxing nine months of your lives.

For those of you who are denied entry to your top choice - don't fret. There are many, many fish in the sea, and though it may seem that your top choice is all there is, once you find the school that's right for you, you'll wonder why you were every interested in anyplace else.

Now's the time to get started on the rest of your writing if you haven't already, and to get organized with the Essay RoadMap to minimize the amount of work that's required of you. As always, let us know if you need help getting started! That's what we're here for.

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Early Admission Application Rates for 2012

Harvard reinstated its early admission program this year.

As many of you know, the early admission deadlines for schools recently passed. For those of you anxiously waiting till December 15th when most results are posted, you can check out this chart of early admission application counts for top schools as well as last year’s early admission rates, published by The New York Times Choice Blog. You may notice a decrease in a few of the most selective schools due to this year's reinstatement of Early Admission programs at Harvard and Princeton.

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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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Early Action and Early Decision Applications

Now that you're wrapping up your early decision and early action applications, it's time to turn to the rest of the applications on your pile. Regular decision applications make up the bulk of the work required of most applicants, and in some cases can mean ten or more additional essays, not to mention the supplemental applications themselves.

The last thing you want to do is to wait until you hear back from your early application schools in mid-December to begin the rest of your work. If, unfortunately, you are denied acceptance to your top-choice schools, you'll have a substantial numer of essays and application forms to finish in only a few weeks - weeks that happen to span the Christmas and New Year's holidays.

Try to finish about 75 percent of your essays before you hear from your top-choice schools, so you're in good shape to complete your regular applications quickly and with far less stress. As always, College Essay Organizer can help you simplify and optimize the work you need to do for all your applications. Just head over to your Essay RoadMap preview and see how many essays your schools require, and how College Essay Organizer can help you make your workload much more manageable.

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Why Do You Want To Attend This College?

The most frequently-asked-about piece of advice at College Essay Organizer revolves around how to tell a school that you want to attend. Surely they're not just looking for you to write about what makes them great, right? They already wrote their own guidebooks. They should know what makes them great.

And you're right. The purpose of these essays is not to talk about them but to talk about you. Your job in all of your college essay writing is to convince the reader that you're an interesting person who belongs in their highly-selective class. You're trying to get them to choose you instead of someone else.

Easier said than done, indeed. So today we direct you to a post written last year that has gotten a lot of traffic: How to tell a college that you're interested.

Always keep in mind that your job is to express what you have that they want. It's already implied that they have what you want - a great education and a raft of opportunities for your future, whatever that may be. Do this by identifying your own intellectual interests and developing them from a personal standpoint.

Early Decision vs. Regular Decision Acceptance Rates

As students are narrowing down their list of colleges, and trying to come up with their top choices, it’s important to keep in mind the significance of applying early. Here are some statistics for popular schools which clearly show the benefits of being proactive with applying to your dream colleges.

College or University Early Admissions (2011) Overall Acceptance (2010)
Amherst College 36% 15%
Brown University 23% 9%
Columbia University 20% 9%
Harvard College 22% 7%
Princeton University 26% 8%
Tufts University 32% 24%
University of Pennsylvania 26% 14%
Williams College 40% 19%
Yale University 14% 7%

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