Nacac 2013 powerpoint 9.10.2013


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This is our NACAC 2013 Session PowerPoint. Please feel free to use this but just credit it to the four of us. We provide a variety of powerful strategies to assist counselors as they work with students on their college application essays.

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  • A Positive Framework:Take control over the highest ranked non-academic aspect of the applicationRealize the package of essays counts…not just oneShare their voiceExpress who they really areShow (not tell) stories that belong only to them and help them jump off the pageChallenge stereotypesReflect on their growth and development, including accomplishments and serviceSeek to understand what the admission officer is looking for
  • Major Deadlines and Needs (by application type)Core Essays (color code all similar or overlapping essays)Supplemental Essays (color code similar types i.e. “Why are you a good match for us?” or “How will you add to the diversity of our campus?”
  • Essays that worked: Connecticut College, Johns Hopkins University, CarletonUniversity of Chicago, Elon, and Tufts have great additional essay promptsEssays from older students in your home, community, school, extracurricular, already in the program, etc.
  • Academic: Current school, honors, AP courses, test scores (if strong), summer programsActivities: Colleges look for consistency, development, leadership, and initiative. Describe the level of activity and any awards and honors received. Include leadership positions held.Include Sports, Service, Volunteer Work, Jobs or Employment, Internships as appropriate.
  • Nacac 2013 powerpoint 9.10.2013

    1. 1. COMMUNICATING THEIR STORIES: STRATEGIES FOR HELPING STUDENTS WRITE POWERFUL COLLEGE ESSAYS NACAC 2013 Rebecca Joseph, California State University, Los Angeles, CA Rebecca Cullen, The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, VA Margit Dahl, Yale University, CT Erica Sanders, University of Michigan, MI
    2. 2. Essays = Opportunity • Control • Reflect • Share
    3. 3. How Important are the Essays? 1.Grades 2.Rigor of Coursework, School 3.Test Scores 4.Essays* 5.Recommendations 6.Activities 7.Special skills, talents, awards, community service and passions
    4. 4. What do Admissions Officers Look for? • Context • Values • Intellectual curiosity, a playful mind, or a sense of humor • Commitment/Depth of Interests • Interaction with and/or perception by others • Special talents and qualities • Realistic self-appraisal
    5. 5. Steps to Success • Understand • Organize • Prepare • Reflect • Brainstorm • Draft • Edit
    6. 6. Understand the Landscape • The Common Application: New Prompts, New Members, and New Length Requirements! • Large Public Universities • Private College Specific Applications • Other Systems (Universal Application, etc.)
    7. 7. Organize • Create a Master Chart • Major Deadlines and Needs • Essay Questions: core and supplemental • Look For Patterns • Color code all similar or overlapping essays
    8. 8. Prepare • Search for “Essays that Worked” • Find Unusual Essay Prompts • Read Essays from Older Students
    9. 9. Sample Essays from Yale In addition to Common App 1. Why Yale (120 word max) 2. 5 25 word short responses 3. 1 500 word long essay 4. 1 additional essay for engineering applicants (500 word max)
    10. 10. Reflect • Write a Resume • Academics • In-School Activities • Out-of-School Activities • Seek to Convey • Consistency • Development • Leadership • Initiative
    11. 11. Brainstorm • Dear Roommate Letters • Culture Bags • Facebook Pictures • Write a “Where I’m From” poem modeled on George Lyon’s original • Write three responses to the old common application short essay activities prompt • “What activity, in or out of school, have you truly loved and why?”
    12. 12. Draft • Into • Lead the reader into the story • Start with a hook • Consider cutting first paragraph(s) from first draft • Through • Use 1/3, 2/3 method • Use first person • Show don’t tell • Beyond • Connect to who student is now and who student wants to be • Evoke core qualities, convey morals
    13. 13. Edit • Know When to Stop • Just Say “No!” • Students • Parents • Educators • Authentic Voice
    14. 14. Essays = Opportunity • Help students realize that essays give them a chance to: • Tell a story that is important to them • Share their authentic voice • Control an aspect of the application process • Reinforce other important aspects of their application
    15. 15. Contact Us • Dr. Rebecca Joseph: and • iPhone/iPad/Google App-All College Application Essays • Rebecca Cullen: • Margit Dahl: • Erica Sanders: