College Admissions Coaching Services
Good academics and evidence of personal development in admissions essays is the key to getting admitted to a great school.
Going off to study at a great college is usually considered the start of a new phase in a young adults life. Often overlooked is that successful college admission marks the end of a phase that should have already started many years before.
The most successful college applications will show that learning has come from both directed sources (core academic courses in school) and non-directed sources (one’s own curiosity to learn new things). It is therefore important that as you encourage your child to read widely and develop good study habits that you also inspire and motivate their interest in non-academic activities and interests as well.
Building up a solid academic foundation on its own is no longer enough to ensure admission to a great college. Colleges want to see that a student has also built up a solid personal foundation by exploring their interests through activities both at school and in the community. A combination of solid academics (transcripts) and personal growth (essays) will provide admissions officers with evidence of potential for success at their school. This is what results in admissions offers to the best colleges.
Start early. It is never too soon to begin preparing your child for successful college admission.
Because most students in an application pool have about the same GPA and test scores, college admissions essays have become a determining factor in who gets admitted and who does not. You need to find an edge and stand out from others to get noticed by admissions and that edge should be revealed in your college admissions essays.
Inspiring your child’s interest in meaningful activities at school and in the community is very important. Clubs, team sports, performing arts, leadership, volunteer work or a part time job are some of the activities that provide opportunities for personal growth and help to build the social skills needed to be successful in life.
What your child has learned and how they progress in their interests can be written about in college admissions essays. Most ideal are essays that show how achieving higher personal goals, perfecting skills or gaining increased leadership responsibility has been achieved over time. Less informative are the one-time experience essays that discuss what your child did over a period of weeks or months. Short experiences can be seen on your activity sheet or resume and do offer admissions the type of information they seek when considering an admissions offer.
Working towards higher goals is evidence that a student is both focused and self-motivated, qualities that are needed for success at college.
Good essays should be personal stories that offer some insight on the character of the student. For example, a student with a leadership role on student council might discuss how he/she first joined student council purely out of interest and a desire to make new friends. They could then talk about what they learned from being a follower and helping out at student run events and how that gave them the confidence to seek out a student council leadership role.
The essay could mention that they have become more mature and developed better time management skills from balancing their student leadership commitments and academic coursework. It may also be that their interest in leadership has inspired them to choose a career in management and that is why they wish to take economics and business related studies at college and eventually complete an MBA.
Discussing this type of logical progression in an admissions essay, combined with a great transcript and activity sheet that shows your other time commitments, will be very helpful in getting admitted to a great college. Admissions will be able to see that you have what it takes to set goals and carry them out and that your goals stem from real-life experiences that you have developed over time. This is the type of essay structure that normally results in admission to a great school.
Avoid hollow statements. Support your goals with evidence.
Sometimes writing essays about what you think are the right things are in fact the wrong things to write about. For example, it is fine to choose winning a gold medal at the Physics Olympics as your essay topic, but instead of using the gold medal to show how bright you are, you should talk about the process of building the skill-set you relied on to compete successfully against other bright students. Admissions can see the gold medal on an activity list or resume, but they can only know how your child managed to achieve this success from the admissions essays.
Another mistake is to use buzzwords and present lofty goals in college admissions essays that do not connect with your past experiences. Ambitious statements like, “I have a passion for volunteer work and I really want to save the world while at college,” sounds nice but will ring hollow if there is no evidence of doing any volunteer work while in high school. In this case it would be better to instead mention one’s interest in exploring volunteer work as part of a bigger plan for college.
Finally, there is no way to hide a lack of personal growth over a long period of time. This is why it is important to start exploring your child’s interests early and push them forward to achieve new things all through high school. No one expects that they will like everything that they try and if they fail at a few things they could write an essay about that as well. The most important thing is to balance a solid academic foundation with a solid personal foundation and make a solid case for college admission in the essays.
It is never too early to invest in getting some help to increase your chance of admission to a great school.
I founded ADDMITTO to share with you my more than fifteen years of experience as an admissions coach working with American and International students. I hope to proudly add your name to the list of the thousands of students that I have already helped get admitted to their dream school.
The application process can be stressful and confusing but ADDMITTO helps to make admissions easy. ADDMITTO gives you the insider knowledge needed to put together a really great application. If you need some help with admissions strategy or want to get some coaching to polish up your essays we have a full set of services to meet every need.
Obviously there are no guarantees that your child will get admitted to any particular school, no matter you spend thousand of dollars to work with an agency or decide to handle your own essays and application. I believe that everyone has the skills to prepare a successful college application with a little bit of help, advice and guidance from someone with experience that they can trust.
No matter how you handle your child’s college admissions applications, the key to a successful application is to understand what admissions is looking for and then show the right qualities in your essays so that you can get admitted to the best school possible.
Thank you for considering ADDMITTO as part of your quest for a great college education. I look forward to hearing about your success and wish you the very best of luck with your application!
John Hannon MBA