College Essay Help In Bay Area

I know parents who believe kids who can’t sit down and write essays themselves aren’t ready for four-year college.Jager-Hyman said there are some who believe a 17-year-old need only “put one foot in front of the other” and apply himself to complete this task.

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“We read the essays,” Richard Harding Shaw, dean of undergraduate admission and financial aid at Stanford, says by email.

Similarly, Amy Jarich, assistant vice chancellor and director of undergraduate admissions at Berkeley, writes: “We read every application, including the two personal statements, by two separate readers.” Jennifer Sandoval-Dancs, director of admission at Claremont Mc Kenna College (CMC) near Los Angeles assured that they read every essay: “Any school that’s really holistic reads them and requires only what they actually use.” In other words, they wouldn’t ask for them if they didn’t read them.

“You have to hope that (the reader’s) taste jives with your sensibility,” Jager-Hyman says.

She says that a well-written essay about chunky peanut butter, for example, might be viewed as sincere, or not serious enough, depending on the reader.

Inside Higher Ed, a popular website monitoring issues in higher education, estimated that 20 percent of members will eliminate the essay requirement. There has always been speculation as to the value colleges place on the essay.

At a college fair, a highly selective East Coast university representative confided in me that admissions decisions were so difficult last year that the essays were the best way to distinguish among many well-qualified applicants.Patricia Krahnke, president of Global College Search and former assistant admissions director at Rutgers University and Vermont State Colleges’ dean of admissions, agrees with Stevens.She tells me large schools receiving 30,000 to 60,000 applications are using software to crunch numbers and manage the volume of applications.The author says, however, that some essays are afforded 20 minutes, and others just a perfunctory glance.Jager-Hyman also confirms what my college fair buddy shared: essays are used to help “choose between this valedictorian and that one” in the highly competitive schools.In other words, an outstanding essay may tip the scales.However, after studying admissions at an unnamed top-tier school, Stanford sociology professor Mitchell Stevens wrote in a 2014 article that students should stop obsessing because “personal essays rarely got even cursory attention from admissions officers.” “All this scribbling has almost nothing to do with whether the student gets in,” he wrote.Some teens think their college essay, or “personal statement,” will determine their entire future, and others bristle and balk when asked to finally write it, believing it will never be read. The essay itself won’t propel an average student into Harvard, but may indeed make a difference.For the 2015-16 application season, the Common Application announced that their 600-plus member schools, which include many private and public universities, need not require essays (although some still require supplementary ones).Still, she acknowledges that there is such a thing as “an objectively good essay.” On Unigo, Heathman says, “Great essays pull (readers) in like great novels,” and she tells students to “give them a great reason to tune in and read it all the way through!” According to Krahnke, essays – particularly those submitted to smaller, selective schools – should demonstrate that the student “has clearly done some deep thinking.” She says “schools are looking for signs of motivation,” and want essays to be personal.

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