BREAKING NEWS: Application Essays Released

Students using the 2020-2021 Common Application and/or Coalition Application to apply to college will find a new dedicated space which they can use to elaborate, if they wish, on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected them personally and/or academically. The question is optional, and there is no need to answer the question if you have not been affected.

This new optional question means that students who want to share how COVID-19 has affected their lives should use that space to write about COVID-19. Students should not use the Personal Statement (also known as the Common App or Coalition essay) to write about the pandemic, unless it’s part of a bigger theme which best expresses the student’s interests and perspectives.

The Common App COVID-19 question is limited to 250 words and asks the following:
Community disruptions such as COVID-19 and natural disasters can have deep and long-lasting impacts. If you need it, this space is yours to describe those impacts. Colleges care about the effects on your health and well-being, safety, family circumstances, future plans, and education, including access to reliable technology and quiet study spaces.

The Coalition App question is limited to 300 words and asks the following:
Natural disasters and emergency situations like COVID-19 pandemic have impacted the lives of many students and their families. While entirely optional, you may share information here regarding how any of these events have affected you or your family circumstances. Please provide any additional information you would like to share regarding how these events have affected you or your family. 

Supplemental essay prompts for students entering college in fall 2021 are being released! Check the International College Counselors website for the essay prompts; we are posting them on an ongoing basis as they come out. Some of the prompts are the same as years past, and others are new. For the first time, the University of Miami is requiring applicants to submit a supplemental essay. The topic will be resilience.

  • Students using the Common App to apply to college in 2020-2021 will see the addition of more than 40 colleges and universities across the United States, including Clemson, Auburn, the University of Georgia, and the University of South Florida. Students can now apply to more than 900 schools in the U.S. and abroad using the Common App.

  • Many colleges that use standardized tests to filter through thousands of applicants, including all eight of the Ivy Leagues, have stopped asking for SAT or ACT scores, at least temporarily. However, it’s important to understand that “test-optional” doesn’t mean “test-blind.” While test scores will not be required as part of the application to test-optional colleges, the majority of test-optional schools will still look at the scores-if submitted-and will give weight to strong ones as part of the application evaluation. For a list of test-optional schools, visit fairtest.org.
  • In addition to changing to test-optional for the coming admission cycle, Princeton University will have one application deadline for first-year applicants– Jan. 1, 2021– instead of separate dates for Single-Choice Early Action and Regular Decision. We will see if other schools follow suit.

If you have questions about college applications, standardized tests, or anything else pertaining to college admissions, please call or email us at International College Counselors. Visit https://internationalcollegecounselors.com/ or call 954-414-9986.

Upcoming Webinars and Programs
Dale Carnegie and International College Counselors Training for Teens
July 13-July 22
July 27-August 5
Dale Carnegie and International College Counselors are proud to collaborate on a unique, unequaled program that will prepare your teen for the real world. In this series of courses, young adults will strengthen their ability to achieve their goals and live up to their full potential – at school, home, and work. The highly interactive sessions include real- life scenarios and role-playing, which will build skills in communication, collaboration, problem solving, and leadership. Also emphasized are the skills needed to ace college admissions, including how to interview, how to secure letters of recommendation, and how to rise to leadership roles.

FREE: Applying to Four Year Universities in Florida 
June 30, 2020 at 7pm EST
Florida has some of the top colleges in the nation for both academics and value. Learn about the different schools, the eligibility requirements, the admission rates, and what your student can do to stand out

FREE: Get the College List Right
July 15, 2020 at 7pm EST
Narrowing down a student’s college list can be challenging. There are hundreds of good choices, including in-state colleges, private schools, and public out-of-state colleges. Learn how to get your shortlist down by discussing academics, extracurriculars, campus culture, financial concerns, and more.

FREE: Great Admissions Advice for Medical School Applicants
July 29, 2020 at 7pm EST
Planning to apply to medical school? Join International College Counselors’s Director of College Advising, Kerri Medina, for a free webinar on navigating the medical school admissions and application process.