Barbara Corcoran in her Park Ave Apartment

The first sentence is the most valuable real estate in your entire college application essay.  The first sentence is like a Park Ave. penthouse address in Manhattan—it’s impressive and memorable. Describe the person who might live in such a place. You might imagine someone like author and Shark Tank entrepreneur Barbara Corcoran in this photo:  […]

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Thinking of either the University of Michigan or Michigan State as an option for college?  Read on.  Despite the fact that I call Ann Arbor home (and for complete disclosure, I have a BA and MSW from the University of Michigan,) I am also a fan of Michigan State as an excellent option for college.  […]

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Use this essay topic calculator to evaluate which college application essay topics will be the most impressive and compelling.  Your idea might be strong in one or more of these categories: Recent situation with longevity Relationship to others How challenging? Related to interests in college? Amount of initiative? Uniqueness Amount of detail Word pictures Results […]

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Since August 1, I have been seeing a rush of students in my office. They turn their blue or brown eyes towards me and say, ”I don’t know what to write about on my college application essay.” I reply, “No problem.” I can explain college application essays in twelve words. College application essays are about […]

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What do you think of this new Essay Coaching cartoon? The idea came from seeing so many parents (and being one of those parents) who try their hardest to launch their college bound teen into the world of college, work, and beyond. This desire to help but confusion about “What can I do?” can create […]

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The gap year is a powerful tool for fostering maturity in students applying to college.

Some people love the “gap year” idea (a year without formal schooling between high school and college).  Others say, “Nose to the grindstone! Get it done!” Fortunately for our daughter Alison, who raced through high school in three years and then needed a breather, the concept of taking a gap year before college became popular […]

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Post image for Advice on Answering the Common App Questions Released 4/1/15 (and that’s no joke)

April 1, 2015. Today the Common Application  (commonapp.org) released the college application essay questions for 2015. With these questions in hand, high school juniors can now start working on their essays.  You only need to write about one of the five questions.  Which will you select?  What are you going to talk about? The essay […]

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Post image for 2015 College Scholarships List from Spokeo

The search engine/content aggregator Spokeo announces their own Spokeo Connections Scholarship, as well as a site that is an ongoing list for scholarships. Fall Deadline: July 1st 11:59PM (PST) Winner Announced: August 1, 2015 Spring Deadline: December 10th 11:59PM (PST) Winner Announced: January 20, 2016 Spokeo Connections Scholarship Amount: $1,000 Deadlines: July 1st, December 10th […]

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Post image for Surprising New Way that Colleges Can Use College Application Essays

February 6, 2015  What can a psychology professor interested in the use of language find out when he runs 50,000 college admissions essays through a computer-programmed study? I was curious to learn the answer after reading a USA Today article about a University of Texas study, “When Small Words Foretell Academic Success: The Case of […]

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Post image for March 17 Deadline to Apply for Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation (AAACF) Scholarships

January 27, 2015 The Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation’s (AAACF) online scholarship application system is now accepting applications.  All applications are due on March 17, 2015 (unless otherwise noted on the AAACF website).  In 2014, the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation scholarship funds awarded $181,264 to help 156 local students continue their education. There are a […]

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