What’s New in the Common Application? A Brief Outline

A Little Bit of Background * 4.5 million applications were submitted last year, with an average of 4.8 per applicant. 22 million recommendations were submitted. * Top states for students who submitted the Common Application last year were New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. Ten percent of submissions were from international students. What’s New:…

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My Students’ Insights into Freshman Year at Cornell University

I recently shared student insight into freshman year at Emory College of Emory University and at the University of Cambridge. Now I am giving you a glimpse of the first year experience at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, courtesy of one of my students. What are the students like? The students are incredibly ambitious…

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My Students’ Insights into Freshman Year at Emory University and the University of Cambridge

My students, as well as their parents, become valued members of my family, and I love to hear about students’ experiences in college. Over the years, I have asked students to share their insights about freshman year in particular. Following are some excerpts from what students have told me about their first year experiences at…

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What Makes a Leader?

I love to take the train. Either I get to catch up on my sleep or on my reading. The other day on MetroNorth to NYC for a lunch meeting with reps from two southern colleges, I got to do the latter. And something that Thomas Friedman wrote about a golf game and leadership resonated….

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I Would Not Come Here If I Were a Republican

“I would not come here if I were a Republican” is a quote I discovered in a guidebook about American colleges, supposedly stated by a student at a college in New England. That isn’t such an atypical statement, as I have heard statements to that effect at other college campuses, granted ones that even within…

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Inside the Common Application Essay Prompts 2017-2018

On February 6, 2017, the Common Application released its essay prompts for the coming application season – and there are changes afoot! Two prompts have been added, and one, the return of a Topic of Your Choice question, is sure to be lauded by education professionals. The language in three of the prompts also has…

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For Richer, For Poorer

Do you want to get an idea of who’s studying at your college or alma mater, at least based on income? Well, the New York Times has put together a chart showing the results of a recent study comparing colleges in terms of percentage of students in the top 1% vs. the bottom 60% of…

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How to Apply to the University of California

As the clock ticks down to November 30th, the last day that students can apply to schools within the University of California system, it seems appropriate to reiterate the application questions that are posed and what the UCs want to see in the responses. UC personal statement prompts had stayed the same since 2008, but…

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It Takes a Team to Read Your Application

I first heard about it from one of the panelists in my Inside the Admissions Office program in October. And then I saw the information published in The Daily Pennsylvanian just hours ago. There is a new wave in how colleges read applications, and it was pioneered at the University of Pennsylvania. It’s called reading…

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Context is Key, Say Inside the Admissions Office Panelists

Once again, the Inside the Admissions program was a resounding success, thanks to the participation of deans and directors from Bucknell University, Dickinson College, Oberlin College, Syracuse University, Swarthmore College, the University of Chicago and the University of Richmond. The evening theme was “context.” Why do admissions officers decide the way they do? Context is…

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