The College Application is Submitted, but There’s Still Work to Do

November 29th, 2013
For most high school Seniors, the college application season has come to an end. But submitting the application is not necessarily the end of the process.  There is still work that can – and needs – to get done by students who really want to get accepted to a favorite school.

 

1.  Check the status of your application to make sure the Colleges have everything they need. It is the applicant’s responsibility to check the application status to ensure that each School has received all documents. This includes transcripts, letters of recommendations and any other supporting materials.  Some schools allow students to check their application status online.  Check the colleges’ websites for information. If you cannot check application status online, call the School to confirm that they have what they need.

 

2.  Apply for scholarships. There are scholarships for just about every possible interest, family situation, personal trait or talent, including ethnicity, religion, community service, veteran status, twins, children of single parents, creativity, left-handedness and more.   The scholarships with large dollar amounts are typically extremely competitive.  Apply for some scholarships with smaller dollar amounts, they add up. Apply to many scholarships.  The more you go for, the more chances you have to receive.

 

3.  Send in additional information that is worth sending.  These can include improved SAT or ACT scores, new honors or awards, a faster time or other sports achievement, a new internship or research responsibility, and a new leadership position in a group or team.

 

4. Continue studying & doing well in school. Colleges look at a student’s entire high school academic record when making admissions decisions. They can ask for grades at any time, even after a student has been admitted.

 

5. Check with your school to know your exact graduation requirements, including courses, minimum GPA, and necessary community service hours. You must meet your local district requirements to graduate. Different colleges, especially the most competitive ones, may have additional requirements for applicants.  Research these requirements and make sure they are met.  Online courses can help close some gaps.

 

6.  Prepare thoroughly to pass any Advanced PlacementInternational BaccalaureateSAT Subject exams or others that schools will be looking at and considering. You must take and pass the AP test in order to receive college credit.

 

7. Check your email to see if your College contacted you. This is the way schools communicate to let you know if they need additional information or if a student has been accepted or denied.

 

8. Demonstrate interest or enthusiasm for your favorite colleges.  This can be done by visiting the school again (or for the first time), meeting with faculty members, sitting in on a class, attending any regional events that the school might host, checking out blogs and linking to the school via online media. All of this demonstrates to the admissions committee that you are truly interested in attending. These actions can also help a student make a more informed decision on which school to attend.

 

8. Enjoy senior year!  It goes by so fast.

 

 

CONTACT INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE COUNSELORS

 

This year, college advisors at International College Counselors helped more than 300 students find, apply to, and gain acceptance into the college of their dreams. The expert college counselors at International College Counselors are dedicated to helping students and their families successfully navigate the college application process.

 

For more information on International College Counselors or to contact an expert college counselor, please visit http://www.internationalcollegecounselors.com or call 954 414-9986.

 

2014 International College Counselors Scholarship

November 4th, 2013

International College Counselors is pleased to announce the fifth annual 2014 college scholarship competition. Students in grades 9-11 from Dade, Broward, Palm Beach counties and outside the tri-county area are invited to apply.

Students are asked to submit an essay that answers the question:

What advice would you give middle school students about achieving success in high school?

Four college scholarships of $250 each will be awarded, three to students who attend school within Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County; and one to a student from outside Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County, including outside the United States.

Work will be judged on the basis of originality and effectiveness of argument or presentation.

Submissions may be in Spanish or English, 500 words or less.

The deadline for receipt of essays is April 1, 2014

The contest rules and submission information can be found at International College Counselors. Select the “Scholarship” section of the website for downloadable contest rules. You can also go directly to the entry application.
Students do not need to be clients of International College Counselors to enter or to win this annual scholarship competition.

The International College Counselors High School Essay Contest has established a Scholarship Fund to increase awareness of the value of higher education among high school students, as well as to give financial aid for tuition to college-bound students.

Good luck to all!
International College Counselors
(954) 414-9986
www.internationalcollegecounselors.com

Just in Time for Halloween: The Top 13 Most Haunting College Admissions Errors

October 31st, 2013
These are the application mistakes nightmares are made of.  Boo-ti-filly, they are all avoidable.

 

1. Waiting until the deadline: Unseen spirits wreak havoc, computers and websites go down. Many students who wait for the last minute to submit their applications find that all their hard work is not received on time.  Colleges and universities expect students to confirm that their complete application has been received. Students who wait until the last minute to get everything in, have no time to follow up. Those who apply online should receive confirmation that the school received the application. Make sure that the application has been received or be afraid.

 

2. Saying the same thing again and again:  There is only so much space on an application. Use that real estate wisely.  With so little space, students need make sure that every part of the application adds to the story, and doesn’t repeat it.

 

3. Asking bad questions: Yes, there are questions that will spook the admissions team. Do not ask for information that is easily found on the Internet.  When visiting colleges or going on a college interview, good questions are the ones with answers not found anywhere else.  For example, ask the counselor what his or her favorite things are about the school. Do the research and ask thoughtful questions.

 

4. Asking the wrong teachers to write recommendation letters, or asking too late.  Teachers need to know a student in order to write the kind of recommendation letter schools want to see.  Translation: students should only ask for recommendations from teachers who like them and know them well enough to write about their particular strengths and specific abilities. Students should not wait until the deadline to approach these teachers either.  If they do, they will not get the thorough and thoughtful letters colleges want to see. Students should choose their teachers early, talk with them, and provide them with information on each program they are applying to.

 

5. Missing the curriculum requirements: Interested in a school?  Learn what that school’s specific curriculum requirements are before senior year.  Students who look into the course requirements too late risk not having the time to take them.  Start researching colleges as early as freshman or sophomore year.

 

6. Making Messy Errors: Make sure the name of the college is correct on the application and in the essay.  Do not leave any part of the application blank. Read everything carefully and respond appropriately. Do not make grammatical errors or misspell words. Reread each application carefully, and have someone else proofread it, too.

 

7. Writing a generic essay: Poorly written essays will not trick schools into handing out acceptance letters. Schools want to know that a student really wants to attend and is ready to attend; the essay factors into this decision. Essays provide applicants an opportunity to share more information about themselves with a school. Also, don’t get tricked into thinking optional essays are optional.  They are never really optional.  When colleges have supplemental applications, take the time to provide a thoughtful answer.

 

8. Using more than one name: Rebecca, Becky, Becca…Only a student’s legal name should be used when completing a college application, and counselors and teachers should be asked to use the same name. Using variations of a legal name may result in materials being filed in different places.

 

9. Prioritizing quantity over quality with extracurriculars: Schools want to see that a student uses time out of school to pursue passions. Show them consistency and commitment by choosing a few activities and sticking with them.  Do more than the minimum required and take on leadership roles. Students with an idea of their career path (i.e. health care) should take part in at least one activity that demonstrates interest in the area (i.e. volunteering at a hospital).

 

10. Missing Deadlines: The college admissions process is filled with deadlines, and missing a deadline can mean rejection or lost financial aid. A typical college applicant has dozens of dates to remember from application deadlines to financial aid and scholarship deadlines. It’s a student’s job to keep track of them all.

 

11. Failing to demonstrate interest. Somewhere along the way, a student needs to get on a college’s radar.  Fill out a request form for more information, visit a college fair and sign their sheet, talk to an admissions officer on the phone, attend a campus visit, or do a combination.  Schools are tracking this sort of thing.

 

12. Catching Senioritis. Do not slack off during senior year.  After 11 years of hard work, this is the last one and colleges are watching. Keep up the grades and don’t start taking easy classes. Most college acceptances are provisional, meaning the admissions team will review final transcripts after graduation. Do poorly and schools have a right to withdraw acceptance.  Senioritis can be fatal.

 

13. Being dishonest.  If a college finds out that a student was dishonest on his or her application, that student will not have a ghost of a chance getting in.  If dishonesty is discovered after an acceptance, this can lead to rescinded admissions.

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

 

 

CONTACT INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE COUNSELORS

For more information on portfolios, portfolio prep courses and which college/ program is right for your student, clients of International College Counselors should contact one of our expert college advisors.

 

This year, college advisors at International College Counselors helped more than 200 students find, apply to and gain acceptance into the college of their dreams. The expert college counselors at International College Counselors are dedicated to helping students and their families successfully navigate the college application process.

Ten Reasons Why the PSAT Matters

October 9th, 2013
Many students are about to take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) in mid -October and many of them are probably wondering why it’s so important.

Almost all high school students take the PSAT during their junior year.  Some students take the PSAT as sophomores and even freshmen to get the feel for the test.

Here are 10 reasons to take the PSAT and why it matters to do well:

  1. The PSAT is the best practice for the SAT. It’s a standardized test made by the College Board, the same company that creates the SAT, and it tests the same three subjects as the SAT: critical reading, math problem-solving, and writing. The kinds of questions and the directions are almost exactly the same as the SAT.
  2. Students get to experience sitting down for a two to three hour test with few breaks. For many, it’s an eye-opener. The real SAT is about an hour and a half longer than the PSAT.
  3. PSAT scores indicate how a student might do on each section on the SAT. Using the test results, students can then focus their test review on the areas and types of questions they need to improve most.
  4. Students and parents can use the scores as a gauge to see what kind of additional study aids or tutoring is needed. Consider poor results as an early warning signal that serious work may be needed to do well on the real SAT.
  5. By taking the PSAT, a student could become a National Merit Scholar. This is a highly prestigious recognition. To participate in the National Merit Scholarship Program, a student needs to score above a certain percentile on the test. The National Merit Scholarship program only accepts scores from the junior year.
  6. Some 1,200 National Merit Program participants, who are outstanding, but not finalists, are awarded Special Scholarships provided by corporations and business organizations.
  7. High scoring African American high school students become eligible to participate in the National Achievement Scholarship Program as well as in the National Merit Scholarship Program. High scoring Hispanic/Latino students may be identified through the National Hispanic Recognition Program.
  8. After taking the PSAT, a number of colleges will send brochures and other college related mail. It’s a good chance to see how schools distinguish themselves and which ones are showing interest.
  9. PSAT scores are not reported to colleges. Students can take the PSAT and not worry that their score will hurt their chances of admission.
  10. Students can see how their performance on the SAT test might compare with that of other students throughout the country. This may boost self-esteem/confidence or be a good dose of reality/kick in the pants.

To all students: Good luck on the PSAT!

Six Tips for Parents of Students with Disabilities

October 1st, 2013

Students with disabilities should follow the same steps for choosing and applying to colleges as any other student. What they should do differently is evaluate schools based on the college’s ability to accommodate any special needs. For students with learning disabilities there are support services at many colleges. These vary in quality and extent from school to school.

Steps for students with learning disabilities and their parents:

1. Meet with the Individual Education Plan (IEP) team or your college advisor. The meeting is to help you understand the disability and its effect on college choices.

2.  Get the answers to the following questions.

How does the disability affect learning?
What are the student’s academic strengths?
How does he/she learn best?
What strategies are needed to help him/her learn?
What facilities are needed for the student?
What environmental conditions are best for the student? For example, if a wheelchair is used, the best college may not be on a northern rural campus where snow will be an issue.
What careers are of interest?   On this issue, parents and students need to stay realistic.  Learning or physical needs may influence career choices.

3.  Begin building a college list. After narrowing down the college choices, either the parent or student should contact the disability services office of each school to determine if the college has the services and accommodations that can support the student’s needs and meet any specific requirements. Programs, policies, procedures, and facilities must meet the needs of each specific situation.

4.  Talk with a current student.  Ask the disability services office if you could meet, or have a phone call, with one or two current students with disabilities who are enrolled in the school and receive support services. Students are often the best resource for practical information.  Ask about the strengths and weaknesses of the school and programs.

5.  Help your student be a strong candidate for admissions. Give your student encouragement and support! Your student needs to succeed to the best of his or her abilities.

6.  Know the facts.  A school cannot deny admission because of a disability if a student meets the basic requirements for admission.  In fact, it’s not even necessary to tell a school a student has a disability on the application, unless you’re looking for an academic adjustment or to explain something. For example, if a student had a language waiver, a cover letter is needed to explain this to the admissions office, or they might attribute the lack of language courses to laziness.

For detailed information on the rights and responsibilities of students with disabilities who are preparing to attend postsecondary schools, see this website page, provided by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in the U. S. Department of Education.  The page explains the obligations of a postsecondary school to provide academic adjustments, including auxiliary aids and services.

For more information on helping a student with a disability choose a school and navigate the college admissions process, contact International College Counselors at 954 414-9986.

CONTACT INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE COUNSELORS

This year, college advisors at International College Counselors helped more than 200 students find, apply to and gain acceptance into the college of their dreams.  The expert college counselors at International College Counselors are dedicated to helping students and their families successfully navigate the college application process.

For more information on International College Counselors or to contact an expert college counselor, please visit http://www.internationalcollegecounselors.com.

Go to the College Fairs

September 4th, 2013

 

National college fairs span the U.S. from coast to coast and visit every major metropolitan area across the country. Some countries outside the U.S. also have International Education Fairs. There won’t be any Ferris wheels at these fairs, but there will be many college representatives sitting at tables and handing out brochures and cards.  Have questions?  Ask the reps!  These are outstanding opportunities for students to learn about a wide variety of schools, attend helpful seminars, and collect information on:

* Admission requirements

* Financial aid

* College majors and courses

* Academics

* Life on campus

Fairs can help students cross some colleges off their list and discover new ones to add. Some college fairs are even attended by the admissions officers.  There are also a lot of pens, bags and other giveaway items for the taking.

College fairs are free and open to the public.

International College Counselors Note:  Students should leave their contact info with all the schools that interest them.  At application review time, demonstrating interest in a school may give them extra points. If students don’t leave their name, the colleges won’t know they were there or showing interest.

To find out when and where college fairs are taking place in your area, ask a high school counselor or call or email us if you are a client of International College Counselors.  You can also visit the website of the National Association for College Admission Counseling.

Links to the upcoming NACAC national college fair schedules and international college fairs:

Fall College Fairs

Spring College Fairs

Performing and Visual Arts College Fairs

International College Fairs

Students can also take advantage of online college fair events.  They happen nearly every day and anyone can attend.  We highly recommend them for those who are unable to travel to the college fair locations.

One of the most popular hosts for virtual college fairs is College Week Live.

Plan to attend more than one college fair. Different schools attend at different times.

Ten ways to get the most out of each fair:

1.  Before going to the fair, find out which colleges will be at the fair (a list may be posted on the fair’s website) and write down the names of the ones you want to learn about.

2.  Make a list of any questions you have.

3.  Plan to bring your list, a pen, paper and a bag to hold college brochures.

4.  At the fair, get a map of the fair and plan a route that will take you to the booths of all the colleges on your list. If there is no map available, do a quick survey of the room to locate your colleges.

5.  Visit booths and ask college representatives questions. For example, you can ask, “What kind of student are you looking for?” or “What makes your campus special?” Take a minute to jot down any information you think is important before moving on to the next booth.

6.  Check out some of the other booths when you’re done with the colleges on your list. You may stumble onto a great college you hadn’t considered.

7.  Attend an information session, if offered. Typical topics include applications and financial aid. These sessions are good opportunities to get expert advice.

8.  When home, think of the colleges that stood out and brainstorm why. Use the notes you took during the fair to get the full picture.

9.  Organize the college material you collected and review it as soon as possible, so the information is fresh. Toss out materials from colleges you’ve ruled out so you can focus on the colleges you’re interested in.

10.  Do more research on the schools you like. Explore websites, contact the admission office and/or plan a campus visit. If you’re enthusiastic about the college, it may be time to visit in person.

CONTACT INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE COUNSELORS

This year, college advisors at International College Counselors helped more than 200 students find, apply to, and gain acceptance into the college of their dreams. The expert college counselors at International College Counselors are dedicated to helping students and their families successfully navigate the college application process.

For more information on International College Counselors or to contact an expert college counselor, please visit http://www.internationalcollegecounselors.com.

The New Common Application Is Live, College Advisors at International College Counselors Weigh in, Offer Advice

August 6th, 2013

The Common Application (CA4) is now available online at the Common Application website. College advisors at  International College Counselors say this means students can enter their information, final school essays and, soon, their supplements.

The Common Application Online launched on August 1, 2013.

Once completed online, copies of the Application can be sent to any number of participating colleges. Currently, there are 488 member schools that accept the Common Application.

“The Common Application makes it easier for students to apply to a greater number of colleges and universities,” said Mandee Heller Adler, CEO and founder of International College Counselors.

“For a successful college application submittal, students need to make sure they follow the directions,” she added.

DEADLINES
Deadlines for sending in the application vary depending on the school. Make sure you know these deadlines!

ESSAY
The main Common Application includes one essay: a 650-word essay answer to one of five topics. It needs to be cut and pasted, or typed into a box.

EDITING LIMITATIONS
Students can make unlimited edits to the application — with the sole exception of the essay. The Common Application website will only allow a person to edit the main essay three times and then it’s locked to avoid excessive customization.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Many colleges require additional information, including more essays that allow them to probe deeper into applicant qualifications and interests. Colleges may ask the Common App’s extracurricular question or for a personal resume that provides details the first part of the application simply cannot accommodate.

Colleges can also make provisions for uploads of papers or scientific abstracts. And they can ask the kinds of quirky questions—both short answer and full-on essays—that require an element of self-reflection on the part of the applicant.

A college’s Writing Supplement is submitted after the basic form and payment have been received.

At a later time, a college’s Writing Supplement will appear in My Colleges as soon as you add that college to your list. As of August 1, this section was unavailable and a message on the “My Colleges” tab for Writing Supplements said “Questions Not Yet Available.” Your username will be your email address. (Three cheers for simplicity!)

Make sure you are aware of the word limit and follow directions. Resumes can only be uploaded if colleges request them in their supplements.

TEST SCORES
Students will be able to hide these for future submissions but the Common Application website will not erase/change apps already submitted.

COLLEGE LIMIT
The 2013-14 Common Application has a new 20 college limit with one fee waiver counting for all schools. Students who want to apply to more schools will need to go to the individual websites of each additional school, fill out their application and pay their fee.

Get started on the application now. There will be a lot of work to do senior year and this is not a part of the application process to be “crammed.”

CONTACT INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE COUNSELORS
This year, college advisors at International College Counselors helped more than 200 students find, apply to and gain acceptance into the college of their dreams. The expert college counselors at International College Counselors are dedicated to helping students and their families successfully navigate the college application process.

Contact a college advisor at International College Counselors at 954-414-9986.

Applying Early? It’s a Good Plan but Read the Small Print

July 17th, 2013
Early Policies can maximize a student’s chances of getting into a school — but you need to understand the details.

 

Early Decision. Early Action. Single-Choice Early Action. Regular Decision.

 

The names sound similar, but there are huge differences.

 

Some early application policies are binding.  This means a student who gets accepted early must commit to the school. Other early policies do not require commitment from an accepted student. Then there are additional layers which may add to the confusion, but don’t worry, we simplify them below.

 

Keep in mind, an increasing number of schools have restrictions in their Early Action policies. You do not want to get caught violating these policies, so be sure to read and understand the policies of each school – even the tiny print.

 

Here is a quick reference list of the main types of early policies. Double check each school’s admission policies and application deadlines, as can they vary year to year.

 

Types of Applications &Typical Deadline Restrictions

 

Rolling Admissions

September onward

Nonbinding

Colleges accept applications throughout the year and eligible students get admitted to the school for as long as spaces are available. Rolling admission applicants are often notified of their acceptance or rejection within a few weeks of applying. Students may apply to more than one college. Applying early improves a student’s chance of being accepted

 

Early Action

Late October to late November

Nonbinding
Early action is not binding meaning students can apply early to other schools. Students who are not accepted early are still considered for admission with the regular admission pool.

 

Restrictive Early Action

November 1

Nonbinding
Students cannot apply to more than one Early Action program. School policies differ on whether you can concurrently apply to Early Decision at another school.

 

Single-Choice Early Action

November 1

Nonbinding
Students cannot apply early to other schools. In other words, a student cannot apply Early Action to one school and Early Decision to another.

 

Early Decision

Mid-October to mid-November

Binding
Students can apply early to only one college. Binding means that a student agrees to attend the college if it accepts them and offers adequate financial aid. Students accepted via Early Decision must withdraw all other applications. Students who aren’t accepted early are still considered with the regular applicant pool.
Early Decision II

January 1 or January 15

Binding

This is similar to Early Decision but with a later deadline. The acceptance rate for Early Decision is generally higher than it is for regular admissions regardless of whether the deadline is earlier or later.

 

Regular Decision/ Open Admissions

December 15 – January 1

Nonbinding

Most students apply for regular decision.

 

Early Notification/Early Evaluation

This option is offered to applicants by a limited number of selective institutions.  It is designed to give students an idea of their chances for admission. This is not an admission plan, nor is it an offer of admission.

 

International College Counselors recommends students apply with an early strategy. 

 

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS:  Many schools only allow U.S. students apply early. International students may need to apply regular admissions.

For more information on Early Action, Early Decision and which program is right for your student, clients of International College Counselors should contact one of our expert college advisors.

 

This year, college advisors at International College Counselors helped more than 200 students find, apply to and gain acceptance into the college of their dreams. The expert college counselors at International College Counselors are dedicated to helping students and their families successfully navigate the college application process.

College Advisor from International College Counselors Analyzes 2013 College Admissions Statistics

June 10th, 2013

For parents and students making their college decisions, some data compiled by The New York Times may add some perspective to the college admission process. For those questioning why they got accepted into one college and not another, this list will provide some valuable insight, said independent college advisor Mandee Heller Adler, founder and CEO of International College Counselors.

The Choice published its 2013 listing of college admission statistics for a range of institutions (4.15.13). The list is not a complete list of all 2,000 plus colleges and universities in the U.S., but it shows a number of patterns in admissions for this year.

Among the trends in college admissions 2013:

1. Applicant pools are growing larger.  The University of Southern California received applications from 57,000 students.  That’s 10,000 more than they received just two years ago.

2. Colleges are becoming more selective. In some of the more extreme examples, at Harvard, the admit rate dipped to 5.79 percent. At Yale, 6.72 percents of 29,600 applicants were accepted.  Stanford accepted 5.69 percent of its more than 38,800 applicants. The University of Chicago accepted only 8.8 percent of its more than 30,300 applicants.

3.  Holistic college admissions make acceptances and rejections a vastly more complex and unpredictable process.

4.  Colleges are more concerned about their rankings and, as a result, are working to appear more selective.  It’s a trend that reeks of negativity, but the more students a college rejects, the more appealing they look.

5.  (In defense of the colleges) More students who aren’t exactly qualified are applying to elite schools and this is inflating the application numbers.  The Common App is generally the root cause for this.

6. Admission officers are selecting students who are likely to enroll — also because of rankings criteria.

“It often matters more what a student does in college than where a student goes. This is why it is so important to find the ‘right fit’ school.  Success can be found at any number of colleges and universities,” said Adler.

For help from an experienced college advisor, please contact the expert college counselors at International College Counselors at http://www.internationalcollegecounselors.com.

This year, college advisors at International College Counselors helped more than 200 students find, apply to and gain acceptance into the college of their dreams. The expert college counselors at International College Counselors are dedicated to helping students and their families successfully navigate the college application process.

Thinking about the Common Application Essays

May 21st, 2013

The Common Application is a single college application that students can complete and send to any number of participating colleges.  Currently there are 488 colleges and universities that accept the Common App. They represent an enormously diverse variety of institutions both inside and outside the U.S.  Since the one Common Application can be sent to many schools, this application is widely used for college admissions by high school seniors.

Deadlines for sending in the application vary depending on the school.  Make sure you know these deadlines!

However whatever the deadline is, start thinking about the essays now.

Essays are a critical part of the Common Application.  In the past, students had the option to write about a topic of their choice.  This is now no longer a choice.  For the 2013-14 application they removed that prompt.

Here are the new essay prompts for 2013-14 and some notes on how to best answer them:

(Remember to keep your essay personal)

a. Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

Key Words: “background,” “story,” “identity,” “incomplete without”

Starter thought: Do you come from a bicultural family? Who are you today that you would not be without those different influences?

b. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn?

Key words: “incident,” “failure,” “effect on you,” “lessons learned”

Starter thought: Did you seek a summer internship in an academic area you thought you’d like to explore more deeply, and find that you weren’t engaged in the way you wished?

c. Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?

Key words: “challenged,” “belief or idea,” “prompted,” “same decision”

Starter thought: Were you ever told by a coach or activity director that you would not be successful in a particular activity, yet you chose to pursue it?

d. Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?

Key words:  “place or environment,” “content,” “do or experience,” “meaningful”

Starter thought: Is the chemistry lab, robotics workshop, or practice hall for your dance group the place where you feel most in your element?

e. Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

Key words:  “accomplishment/event,” “formal/informal,” “transition to adulthood,” “culture, community, family”

Starter thought: Has one of your activities taken you out of your own community, so you learned to travel and cope with new situations on your own?

The number of words allowed for the essay is 650. Students are required to cut and paste their personal essay into a box that tracks the word count, and cuts off any text going over the 650 word limit. No essay can be less than 250 words.



International College Counselors
4700 Sheridan Street, Suite J
Hollywood, Florida 33021 USA
(954) 414-9986

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