Admissions Essay

Should Student Discuss His Depression in his College Essay?

Question: My question is about my son’s Common Application essay. In it he discloses being diagnosed with depression a little over a year ago. I think it’s a touching, optimistic piece of writing, but it has my husband worried. Would this be a deal-killer for colleges? You and your husband can call a tie here. ...

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What Qualifies as “Leadership” on College Applications

Question: What exactly is required for the leadership portion of the application? Is everyone expected to be an officer in a club, etc? Admission officials don’t expect everyone to be a club officer or to hold any sort of elected position in or out of school, but they do want to give applicants a chance ...

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Should Non-Traditional Student Dislose Shaky Start When Reapplying?

Question:I am a non-traditional college student trying to continue on for my four-year degree. Between 1994 and ’96 I attended a four-year school and basically flunked out with a 1.9 GPA. Since then I have a cumulative 3.48 GPA with two associates degrees. I have applied to different schools with the aforementioned four-year school listed ...

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Weird & Wacky Application Essay Questions

Are we having fun yet? Look at the calendar. It’s almost November 1. Anyone for Early Decision or Early Action? If so, the clock is running and you should now be doing your NFL-approved two-minute drill. Time to break out the antiperspirant, which brings us to, no doubt, to the biggest sweat-inducing part of college ...

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Early Decision: The Stacked Deck

I’ve always maintained that colleges hold most of the cards in the admissions poker game. If you’re a high school senior applying to a so-called “elite,” “top-tier,” or plain old “prestigious” school, then be prepared to enter a Wal-Mart Super Center-sized seller’s market. You badly want what these colleges are selling, and they know it. ...

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What Essay Topics do Admission Deans Hate to Read About?

Question: What essay topics do admission deans hate to read about? Admission officials like to read any essay that’s well crafted, so there’s rarely a topic that requires a huge “Keep Out!” warning. But … there are certainly those that could use at least a small “Caution” sign. These tend to fall under three headings. ...

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College Options for Daughter with Dyslexia

Question: If GPA and SAT’s are low due to a dyslexia diagnosis late in freshmen year, how do I access an okay college for my child? She is a student with a great work ethic and wonderful social skills etc., but her grades suffered due to test scores (memory based l.d.) Do I call each ...

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Open Adoption as College Essay Topic?

My parents were pioneers in the “open adoption” movement, and as a result, I have close relationships to my birth parents (and even birth grandparents). Is this something to mention in my essay (as a “hook” or something admissions officers will even care about)? Kudos to your parents (and to you) for maintaining close ties ...

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