Safety vs. risk

A lot of the best ways to get into college today are counterintuitive.  What feels safe is risky.  And what feels risky is often the surest way to get in. The riskiest way to write a college essay is to try and write what you think the admissions committee wants to hear.  You'll end up […]

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Advice for Gettysburg College applicants

We're always telling our Collegewise students that every essay question on a college application is there for a reason.  And for applicants to Gettysburg College, this essay question is no exception. "Gettysburg College students are engaged learners and 'make a difference' both on and off campus through their academic and extracurricular activities. Describe a situation […]

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Essay advice for University of Chicago applicants

I've never known a school whose application reflects its personality better than that of the University of Chicago. Even when they moved to the Common Application two years ago (and jettisoned their beloved "Uncommon Application"), Chicago's supplemental essay questions are still the same sort of intellectual, thoughtful and just plain quirky prompts we've come to […]

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Essay advice for Villanova University applicants

I'll say this about Villanova University–their admissions office has guts.  The supplemental essay prompt for Villanova on the Common Application is one that virtually guarantees their admissions officers will have to spend hours reading cliche college essays.  But the truly thoughtful applicants who really take the time to consider the prompt and to write a […]

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