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Through our very own editors and guest writers, this blog will discuss the INSIDE scoop on the admissions process of various schools and programs. If you wish to ask a specific question, please write to us, and we will make every attempt to address your questions in our future blog discussions.
Monday, July 29, 2013
Unveiling of the Essay Topics
Forget the Royal Baby Watch. If you're a high school senior, summer is ready to come to a screeching halt in just a few short days.

Ok, not exactly. But it may be time to get your head back in the game. Kate and William will release the little prince's name, and your life will go on as normal. Then reality kicks in. School starts again in a month or so, but this year-your senior year-you have a few extra things on your plate.

Like your college applications.

They aren't due, of course, until Fall, which may feel light-years away. But the Common Application and many universities have their eyes squarely on the deadline. On August 1st, the Common App releases its essay questions for the 2014-2015 admissions cycle. Essay prompts from high profile colleges have begun to trickle out.

Bear in mind that even if your schools of choice use the Common App, they may also require the submission of supplemental essays. So even if you have no intention of hitting the keyboard until October, you should pay careful attention to what is required of you.

While some schools have attracted recent press for scaling back the essay requirements (Harvard eliminated it, Georgetown's MBA program is inviting a tweet alternative), the vast majority of them still want a good old-fashioned admission essay. Not many schools will ask you to spill 500 words about your favorite kind of mustard.

You're more likely to get a standard like this one from the UC: "Describe the world you come from -- for example, your family, community or school -- and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations."

It doesn't exactly get the creative juices flowing. And yet, in a few months' time, you need a good response. Starting early may not sound good, but it's a whole lot better than finishing late.

Just because it's summer, doesn't mean you shouldn't keep your eye on the ball.


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