|Admissions Essays Blog|
|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.|
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Are Law Schools in it for the Money?
Following a recent New York Times expose on law school merit scholarships, a universal push for transparency has emerged. The scholarships, many law students argue, are an elaborate money-making scheme for the law schools. Potential law students are lured through the doors with the promise of merit-based scholarships, so long as they can maintain grades above a pre-stated average. The law schools then make it virtually impossible for students to maintain the minimum GPA, causing many students to lose their scholarships after the first year of law school. By then, the student who has invested a full year in school is unlikely to drop out simply because their financial aid has lapsed. The law school then benefits to the tune of two full years of paid tuition from the failed scholarship recipient.
The law schools argue that the contract terms are clear. Keep pace academically, and the scholarship money will flow. The consequences of a drooping GPA are no surprise. But students complain that there are no objective markers for grading. More importantly, they'd like to see statistics. How many merit-based scholars are actually 'able' to maintain the minimum GPA? What financial incentive do the schools have for rewarding good academics? This issue might fade more easily into the background if it weren't for a simultaneous push for transparency in other aspects of law school data. Across the country, students, faculty and politicians are pushing law schools to be more candid with statistics on post-graduate jobs, debt to income ratio of law school graduates and so on.
No matter which side of the argument you choose, one thing is certain. A law degree is undoubtedly valuable, but placing a viable price tag upon it is no easy task.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
How to Make Your Law School Personal Statement Matter
A quick rummage around the web for information on law school admission will unearth volumes of opinions on how best to get in. On one thing, however, most of them seem to agree: law school admission is a numbers game, balanced delicately upon GPA and LSAT, LSAT, LSAT. Law school admission, it seems, kneels at the feet of the standardized test. For aspiring candidates, the law school admission process is all about statistics. The highest median LSAT scores are inextricably tied to the highest ranking schools, which in turn, churn out the highest percentage of graduates hired at the top-tier firms, with the highest average salaries. The hyperbole gets exhausting. Demoralizing, too, perhaps, for the well-rounded, experienced student without the grades and test scores to prove it. Or is it?
The University of California at Berkeley (ranked #9 by the 2011 U.S. News and World Report Rankings), recently posted suggested guidelines for personal statements for their law school candidates. UC Berkeley Law School
The instructions, written by a former admissions officer, range from common sense tips to candid admonitions about what NOT to (ever) include in a personal statement. The advice is refreshingly honest. Above all, it serves as a reminder that the personal statement does in fact matter. So much so that a poorly written statement can be irritating and distracting to the weary admissions officer.
A reminder, perhaps, that even in the rank-happy world of law school admission, there is a person behind the test-score, and the law school admissions officer wants to see who they really are.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Facebook and College Admission
It's no secret that social media is changing the way we communicate. Some argue that social media sites depersonalize our relationships by emphasizing quantity (of "friends") over quality (of actual relationships). While Myspace, Facebook, Twitter and their ilk have opened up a new world of social interaction at the click of a mouse, they bring with them plenty of drawbacks. In much the same way that employers have admitted to using Facebook pages to vet potential employees, so too are college admissions officers beginning to use such social media sites to check up on student applicants.
Recent studies have revealed that 80% of higher learning institutions utilize social media as part of the recruitment process. It's an ideal arena, given the love affair between youth and the internet. Many college admissions officers admit to taking a peak at candidate's social media profiles. Quantifying the effect of such profiles on the admissions process could be difficult, but common sense dictates that a salacious or offensive Facebook page may not sit well with a college admissions officer, who is on the fence about a candidate.
If you think about it, applying to college or graduate school is not unlike creating a profile on a social media site; both processes involve the packaging and marketing of the self to a wider audience. There might not be a problem if those two audiences didn't intersect. Hopeful candidates should simply be more mindful that they do. BostInnovation
Labels: facebook and college admission
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Job Market Improving for Business School Graduates
With all of the bad news about the economy, it is comforting that prospects are improving for at least one group of people-business school graduates. According to the Graduate Management Admission Council, this year's crop of business school graduates are more likely to already have a job offer before graduating than 2010's graduating class. Salaries are also on the rise. Graduate Management Admission Council
For prospective applicants, this means that there is no time like the present to forge ahead into a post-graduate, business-school education. With hiring slumps prevalent across the board for graduates with other professional degrees, this positive change for business school graduates should serve as inspiration for anyone who has ever had a serious interest in getting their MBA. If this upturn is good for hopeful students, it will probably also mean an increase in competition for slots at prominent business schools. This is where the personal statement can be so compelling. Most people seeking entry into an MBA program can boast impressive credentials. Yet in a competitive market and a world where personal interviews are increasingly less common, the personal statement may be the best chance for a student to set themselves apart.
Writing a personal statement is always a good intellectual exercise. It forces the candidate to hone in on their writing skills, but, more importantly, teaches them how to sell themselves. Learning how to spin and put a positive shine on one's capabilities is nowhere more important than the business arena. So for business school hopefuls, now is the time and place to make a move. Using a well-crafted personal statement and a willingness to take a leap could offer a big payout, especially now.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
UC's Changing College Admission Policies
Good news for out of state residents and foreign students looking for college admission at a University of California. The UC's have just announced their intent to increase non-resident enrollment this year; nearly one-third of the existing student body is comprised of out-of-state students. Though the UC's primary reason for changing their college admission policy is generating additional revenue, this is a change that will ultimately create a multitude of ancillary benefits.
More out-of-state students mean a more diverse learning environment. This is particularly true when it comes to students from other countries. College admission will still be competitive, but the landscape of the student demographic will be transforming. Foreign students, who already face an uphill battle in the college admission process because of language and cultural barriers, may find the new policy a reason for renewed optimism.
The personal statement can be a real challenge for foreign students who often excel in many academic areas but struggle with formal writing. College admission depends upon a solid personal statement. Fortunately, the UC's transition will open up opportunities for foreign students to draw attention to their backgrounds; the personal statement is an ideal venue to let themselves shine.
Post-graduate programs at other universities are also shifting their college admission policy to attract students from around the globe. This will help graduates to keep pace with the increase in international continuity within the workforce. Given the import of the University of California in trend-setting, one can only hope that this new approach to college admission will begin to diversify and enrich many generations of students to come. See the full story here: Mercury News
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Top 5 Myths About College Admission
The university application process is not for the faint of heart. Any student of the journey can tell you that the universal emotion of the prospective candidate is not ambition, or enthusiasm, as much as it is, well, panic. This is particularly true in the drafting of the admission essay. The ratio of applicants to available spaces is lopsided enough to discourage even the heartiest optimist. Each year, the pool of applicants proliferates, and the scramble for those coveted spots intensifies. The admission essay begins to take on an ever more important significance.
The admission essay is the wildcard. All students want to submit an admission essay that is muscular and eye-catching. For those who feel lacking in grade and test scores, the admission essay seems like their only chance. The stress of putting all their eggs into a single, two-paged, double-spaced basket causes people to become paralyzed in anxiety. One of the hardest concepts to get across to university applicants writing their admission essay is that of the bigger picture. The college admissions process, and with it, the admission essay, should be the beginning, not the end of a student's ambitions. Time magazine
Especially for young students, dreams, goals and interests change. What you put in your admission essay may not map out where your future truly takes you.
Stepping back and getting perspective on the college admissions process may be the most valuable tool to usher students through the panic. Bear this in mind when working on an admission essay. You DO have something to contribute. It is okay to be creative with your ambitions and your admission essay. Keep an open mind. The fact that you have your feet in the waters of this process says more about your ambition than you might think.
Labels: myths college admissions essay
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Getting Perspective on Your College Admissions Essay
Whether you turn to friends, teachers or professionals, getting outside opinions on your admission essay can help you to gain the perspective needed to create a powerful personal statement.
Are you having trouble with your college admissions essay? It's easy to get overwhelmed when trying to put together an essay that can wow an admissions board. College admissions are becoming increasingly competitive, with more students than ever competing for fewer spots at choice universities. When it comes to finding a spot at a first-choice school, a great admission essay is often the deciding factor between making it in and being placed on a wait list.
One of the major problems that people face during the college application essay writing process is that they lack the distance and perspective needed to craft an essay that hits the key points that admissions officers are interested in seeing addressed. The things that a person feels are most important in their lives might not be what will create an impact with someone reading an admissions essay.
This is why it is so important for prospective students to ask for outside advice while crafting an undergraduate admissions essay, graduate school personal statement or other portion of a college admission package. Having an outside set of eyes review an essay can give a person the proper perspective. Instead of looking at it from the (sometimes biased) eyes of the writer, someone else can look at it from the standpoint of a reader and tell the writer if their story is compelling or falls flat.
Friends and family are one resource that students can use when preparing an MBA admission essay, undergraduate admissions statement or other piece of the college application process. But while they might be able to help correct grammatical errors and tighten up the wording on an essay, they likely won't have the understanding to know what content will grab the attention of an admissions officer.
A solution to this is working with a service like Admissions Essays who can help you to craft a targeted and powerful admission essay or personal statement. Admissions Essays is staffed by Ivy League-educated experts who understand how the admissions process works and can give guidance and advice to make an essay stand out from the pack.
Labels: college admissions essay
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Admissions Essay Tips for Non-Writers
Even if you aren't a strong writer, you can still create an admissions essay that is powerful and helps you get into the college of your choice.
Even if you aren't planning on becoming the next Hemingway or Faulkner, possessing strong writing skills could make the difference between getting into the college of your choice and spending anxious months negotiating wait lists and potentially having to settle for a second-choice school. That's because college application essays are incredibly important to getting into the right school - even if you are going into a career in computers, science or another profession where writing skills are secondary.
If you are not a strong writer, there's no need to panic when starting to write your college admission essay. Most admissions officers aren't as impressed by flowery, dramatic prose as they are by the content that the essay imparts. At the same time, you want to make your writing as powerful and impactful as possible to grab the attention of the reader.
So how do you go about creating an engaging undergraduate or graduate school admission essay even if writing isn't your strength? Here are three things to keep in mind before starting your essay:
Focus on the introduction: If your introduction doesn't grab the attention of a reader immediately, they are likely to gloss over the rest of the content. No matter how compelling the rest of your essay is, the introduction will make or break it. Spend more time on this than anything else.
Answer the question: Many admission essays require you to answer a specific question. While you will likely have major points about yourself that you want to include in the essay, you also need to focus on presenting them within the context of answering the question. Don't ramble or stray too far from the topic at hand.
End strongly: The conclusion to your essay is your last chance to leave an impression with the reader. Summarize your strengths and use arguments you made earlier in your essay to reinforce the point of your writing.
If you need more help on your admissions essay, consider turning to professional experts. Companies like Admissions Essays work with students to help them craft a powerful, unique undergraduate admission essay, graduate school essay or law school personal statement that will get you to the top of the list with the college program of your choice.
Labels: admissions essay tips
Saturday, January 22, 2011
UC Regents Urge Holistic Approach to Essays and Applications
Students interested in attending a University of California school will be interested to know about changes to admissions policies that are spreading across the university system. The Los Angeles Times reports that University of California regents are urging more schools to take a "holistic" approach favored at UC Berkeley and UCLA in undergraduate admissions that includes grades, their college admission essay and personal life experiences.
The holistic approach places an emphasis on college application essay writing that brings a student's entire history into context. Regents are urging schools to consider applications as one, entire package and be graded as such. In the past, most UC schools had graded essays, grades and interviews individually.
However, both UC Berkeley and UCLA have implemented a policy to consider undergraduate applications within the context of being a complete package rather than individual pieces. Proponents say this is the fairest way to select students from a large pool of applicants. However, this approach is not currently being used within the UC system for a law school personal statement or other post-graduate program application.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Strengthen Your Admissions Essay with an Early Campus Visit
Before students start writing college admission essays, it's important for them to understand the unique make-up of the school they are interested in attending. Admissions officers look at essays with an eye on how the student will fit in, contribute to and diversify the existing campus culture. Trying to write an essay without limited knowledge of the campus places students at an extreme disadvantage when trying to craft a powerful admissions essay.
Just like with a graduate school personal statement, you want to make each undergraduate admissions essay as unique as possible. Adding information about how you will fit in as part of the campus culture is a great way to stand out from the crowd. One way to do this is to take an early visit to some of your top campuses before your senior year of high school.
Early visits to top-choice colleges will give you a leg up in your college admission essay writing. It doesn't have to be a formal visit -- you can stop by the campus for a day and see for yourself what students do. Doing additional research online will also give you a better sense of student life that you can incorporate into your essay.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Too Much Information Hurts Admissions Essays
Are you sitting down with your college admissions essay and trying to determine what should go into it? One common mistake that prospective students make is to include too much information. While it might be natural to want to cram as much information into college application essays as possible, the reality is that this can make your essay seem unprofessional and poorly edited. In addition, it could cause an admissions officer to gloss over the important, relevant information in your essay, ruining your chance to impress them.
This common mistake of too much information includes adding content that has already been covered in the transcripts or the application. You don't need to restate your grade point average or which student clubs you were involved in during high school. Admissions officers can get that information from the other parts of your application if they are interested.
Much like an MBA admission essay, an undergraduate admissions essay is one part of a larger application process. It is your chance to tell a story and explain how your life experiences will enrich the college of your choice. Avoiding pointless content lets you get to the parts of the story that will stand out with admissions advisors.
Labels: hurt admissions essays
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
The Importance of a Unique College Admissions Essay
A solid admissions essay could mean the difference between getting into your first-choice school and a secondary school.
Getting accepted into college is becoming more competitive than ever as the number of applicants continues to rise. The chances of being accepted to a first choice college may be harder than one might think. Good grades and high test scores are a definite plus, but more and more schools are looking beyond grades. College admission essays are a way to stand out in a crowd of applicants, and improve chances of admission.
Though the college admissions essay may seem scary and even unnecessary, it is an essential part of the application process. The admission staff uses the essay to find out who the applicant really is. They are able to learn about the applicants writing skills, and find out a little bit about the personality of the applicant as well.
The topic of the college admission essay is usually left up to the applicant. It can basically be about anything important to them. It might describe why the applicant wants to attend that particular school, tell a story about a particular event in their life, or basically anything that will capture the admission staff's attention. Generally, the more creative the essay is, the more interesting it will be. Spelling and grammar will be checked throughout the essay. Proofreading and spell check are necessary tools before turning the final essay in to the admission staff.
A graduate school personal statement is written somewhat differently than an undergraduate college admissions essay. For the graduate school personal statement, future career goals, things previous education has taught them about themselves and their field of study, and why that particular school appeals to them could be some topics to write about. Applicants might also choose to discuss what or who inspired them to continue with their education. Showing that they are truly committed to achieving their goals is a big plus to the admission staff.
Writing a college application essay might not be an easy task, but it could be the determining factor in getting accepted into college. Admission staff is looking for a well-written, interesting paper that defines the applicant. Applicants should write about something that is important them. It should be an honest essay that makes them stand out among the other applicants. There is no room for mistakes. Before turning in the final product, read and re-read, spell check, and repeat the process. Then it will ready for the admissions staff to enjoy.
Labels: unique college admission essay
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
The Importance of Graduate Admission Essays
A great graduate admission essay can be the difference between being accepted into your dream college and being left out. Learn more about the importance of your admission essay.
With the recession generating nearly twice as many applications as normal, competition for the limited spots in graduate programs is fierce. The application process itself is often stressful, complex and time-consuming - all before courses even start. Preparation for the GRE, GMAT, LSAT or a similar entrance exam takes months, and then comes the transcript requests, letters of recommendation and financial aid applications. It is no wonder that many people feel that writing an essay is the least of their worries.
Unfortunately, this attitude usually means they are headed toward rejection. In fact, the quality of college application essays can often mean the difference between being accepted and starting the process over again at another school.
Depending on the graduate school's admissions process, the application essay may be either the final decision point for entrance into an academic program or the gatekeeper to personal interviews and eventual acceptance. Either way the essays are used to:
The faculty reviewing the documents may choose to divide this information into a graduate school personal statement and other essays that address particular questions. In the case of a personal statement (also known as an autobiographical statement), the goal is to relay biographical information, convey reasons for selecting the school and the program, and - most importantly - sell oneself.
Labels: graduate admission essays
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Model Admission Essay Development
At Admissions Essays, we pride ourselves on providing students with a broad range of customizable admission essay and personal statement development services. While one student may need help with writing an entire business school admission essay, another may require only editing services. By offering specific services -- as opposed to a one-size-fits-all program - we enable our students to realize their potential and apply their knowledge so that they can get into the college of their dreams.
Here is a look at our most popular service -- model admission essay development.
Our custom model essay development service provides students with an authentic graduate admission essay from scratch. However, unlike generic essay development services, our services ensure that the essay is tailored to the student's personal facts and life stories. In order to accomplish this, our writers gather the information they need from each student to draft a unique personal essay. The final result is a powerful, one-of-a-kind essay or personal statement.
Along with our model admission essay development program, we also provide admission essay critique, analysis and revisions services, help with letters of recommendation and scholarship application essay help. Admissions Essays is proud to offer admission essay and personal statement development services for all types of essays including law school, business school, graduate school and Ivy League college admission essays.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Admission Essay Critique, Analysis and Revision Services
Many students love to write. They possess not only the passion to write their own college admission essay but also the skills. However, they may not have the expertise to edit their own essays. In fact, even the most experienced writers require editors. And when it comes to something as important as the college admission essay, an editor's keen eye can make or break an essay. This is why Admissions Essays offers its effective critique, analysis and revision service.
At Admissions Essays, students can receive constructive criticism and detailed analysis of their college or law school application personal statement. This professional review service makes it possible for students who have already written a first draft to receive the right help that they need to bring the essay to perfection. The final product is a unique essay that has been checked by experienced and professional editors.
One of the best things about the critique, analysis and revision service is its fast turnaround time. Students receive detailed analysis of their college application essays within three to seven business days. We also offer discounts for multiple essay packages, making it easier for students to receive affordable services when they need assistance with other college admission documents such as the letter of recommendation or scholarship application essay.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Scholarship Application Service
From college and graduate school admission essays to recommendation letters, there are many elements involved in the college admissions process. Among these is the often overlooked but equally important scholarship application essay. After all, without the proper funding, many students cannot afford to attend the college of their dreams. Fortunately, Admissions Essays offers the scholarship application essay service.
When it comes to college grants and scholarships, the competition is fierce. This is why it is very important to write a powerful scholarship application essay. But with so many other things to worry about - including the daunting college application essay writing process - students have little or no time left for writing a powerful scholarship application essay. To help students achieve their goals, Admissions Essays offers an effective scholarship writing development service designed especially for scholarships where grades and test scores are not as important. We offer both model scholarship essay development and essay critique, analysis and revision service.
In addition to our effective scholarship application service, we also provide a model admission essay development program, admission essay critique, analysis and revisions service and help with letters of recommendation. Our one-on-one admission essay and personal statement development services can be applied to all types of essays including the law school, graduate school and MBA admission essay.
Labels: scholarship application
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
College Application Essay Writing - An Important Skill at Every Level
Summary: Great college application essay writing skills don't just come in handy when you're a high school senior trying to get into college. In fact, the older you get, the more important those skills become.
So, you thought your days of college application essay writing ended when you got that letter of acceptance during your senior year of high school? Think again. Admissions essays have become incredibly important at all level of advanced education - whether you're applying to law school or business school.
Years ago, when fewer people were getting post-graduate degrees, law schools and business schools brought applicants in for one-on-one interviews. That way, admissions officers could see exactly who was applying to their school.
But, the number of law school and business school applicants has skyrocketed in recent years. Now, admissions officers simply do not have time to meet with every single applicant. That means your college application essay writing is the only way to give the admissions staff a chance to get to know you!
On a law school application, your personal statement can set you apart from the other applicants. After all, as a lawyer, you will have to be adept at making a case for yourself in writing. For example, a brief that you file with the judge will have to be compelling, accurate, and convincing. Or, if you write a demand letter to another attorney, you will have to make your points clear and concise. And, you only have limited space to make those points. When you think about it, it's really not that different from college application essay writing. Only this time, you're the client who needs those top-notch skills!
Or, if you're applying to business school, an admission essay can help you make a name for yourself. Let's face it - every business school applicant has great grades and stellar extracurricular activities.
So, how do you set yourself apart from the thousands of other applicants?
With your MBA admission essay!
Your business school admission essay gives school officials a true representation of who you are - beyond your resume. A great essay will show how you have been shaped by personal experiences, and how those experiences will make you a great fit in business school.
An MBA admission essay and a law school application personal statement are today's versions of one-on-one interviews. If yours is good, you will be remembered. But, if yours bad - or simply average - you will never get into the school of your dreams.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Graduate School Admissions Essays - Deciding Your Future in a Few Hundred Words?
Summary: Whether you want to think about it or not, there is a lot of pressure associated with graduate school admissions essays. Used to narrow down the pool of applicants, your graduate admission essay has to grab school officials' attention - the right way.
So, you have always wanted to get your MBA at a certain university. Or, you have always dreamed of a particular law school. Or, you have spent your entire life hoping to get into a certain medical school. But without the right graduate admission essay, your dream may never become a reality.
Many students buckle under the pressure of graduate school admissions essays, because they are simply that important. After all, how overwhelming is it to try and come up with 500 or 1,000 words that describe who you are, what you've done, what you want, and what you're willing to do to get there?
Application essays are what many schools used to weed out applicants. After all, millions of people head to graduate school every year, so there has to be some way to narrow down the pool of applicants every year! It's not like the old days, when it was rare to even head off to get a Bachelor's degree, much less get an advanced degree. In today's world, many professions required an advanced degree. And, if you want to take advantage of the best opportunities after you graduate, you have to start by going to the right school.
So, what does a graduate admission essay have to say in order to be successful?
You don't necessarily need to use big, fancy words. Instead, the best college admission essays give school officials an honest idea of who you are. Sure, your resume has a glowing list of achievements and references. But so does everyone else's. The best application essays tell an admissions board about who you really are, and what kind of assets you would bring to their school. What has happened in your life to make you unique? Have you overcome some kind of adversity? Who are you beyond the GPA and after-school activities? What do you want to accomplish in life? Those are the types of questions that graduate school admissions essays need to answer. And, you don't need four-syllable words to do it!
All you really need to do is present yourself in the best light possible - in 1,000 words or less.
Labels: graduate school admissions essay
Monday, November 1, 2010
Don't Let Stress Bring You Down
It is normal to feel stressed during college application season. But if your stress is getting in the way of college admission essay writing or taking a toll on your body, mind or behavior, it is time to take a break. Instead of succumbing to the pressure, rise above the stress associated with college application season with these simple tips.
Manage your stress. Take a few days off from the college application process including writing the college application essay. Manage your stress by exercise, yoga or meditation. Try to leave your regular study area and take a walk in the outdoors. Participating in your favorite hobby such as playing a sport, singing or reading can also help alleviate stress. The goal is to give your mind a vacation from thinking and worrying about the college application process.
Reach out for help. Remember that you're not alone. Consider asking for help in the areas that you feel the most inadequate. For example, if you can write a powerful law school admission personal statement but lack an editor's eye for grammar and spelling, consider asking a tutor for help. A professional editor can polish your essay and provide you with the constructive criticism you need to turn in a final essay that is well-written and devoid of mistakes.
Monday, November 1, 2010
Overcome Writer's Block
Often times the most challenging part about college application essay writing is getting started. Here are a few tips to help you get the creative juices flowing.
Talk about it first. Before you start writing your college application essay, consider brainstorming your ideas with friends and family. Discussing your essay verbally will give you an opportunity to become familiar with your thoughts and topics before being distracted by structure or formula. Plus, it will give you a chance to weed out of the bad ideas.
Get a head start. Although writing your college of MBA admission essay is probably the worst part of the college admission process, it is better to write it early and get it out of the way. Procrastination can cause more stress. There is nothing worse than having writer's block on the night before you have to send it in. Getting a head start will ensure that your mind is fresh and awake, making it easier for you to write without any pressure from the clock.
For more tips and advice on how to write a powerful college admission essay, please contact one of the professional and helpful counselors at Admissions Essays.
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