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You are the Best You: Tips for Authentic Applications

You are the Best You: Tips for Authentic Applications

Lesley Klecan
Director of College Counseling
St. Mary's School


The best thing you can do to better your chances of admission is to be authentically yourself. 

Admissions officers say that the best applicants are those whose personality shines through. They read thousands of applications, so they can usually tell when someone is not being completely truthful. Melea Tejedas, Assistant Director for Portland Metro Recruitment for the University of Oregon, says, “When students are authentically themselves through the admissions process, it shows. Sometimes students will write an essay, or have a conversation with us, or withhold information about themselves, thinking that it is what we want to hear- or don’t want to hear. The truth is that when a student is honest and open about who they are, it shows. Honesty and authenticity allow us to truly connect with the student and their experiences, and to envision how they will fit on our campus. No individual is perfect, so a student attempting to portray that they are does not come across as genuine.”


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Exterminating College Process Termites

Exterminating College Process Termites

Kate Peltz
Director of College Counseling
Concord Academy

My husband and I were in the midst of a home improvement project. Everything was going smoothly until we took out a large shrub, could better view a post on our porch, and discovered evidence of insect damage.  More than what I could see, what worried me was the places my imagination took me.  I had visions of swarming termites devouring my porch from the inside out. We did not see evidence of any active critters, but how could we be sure we were not facing a major issue?  My mind raced to dark places, causing me to feel both vulnerable and filled with questions.  How big was the scope of our problem?  Is there such a thing as "normal" wear and tear?  Did every very old home have some insect damage? I longed for an expert; I wanted guarantees.  Then it hit me. 

For parents of juniors in high school, worry about the impending college process is the equivalent of termites.  Instead of a manageable project that might even be fun and informative for both student and parent, learning about, preparing for and applying to college feels threatening and destabilizing.  Here are some examples of what college process termites look like when activated: 

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College Essay Advice Gone Wrong

College Essay Advice Gone Wrong

Tyler Sant
Director of College Counseling
Holy Innocents' Episcopal School

Recently the New York Times published an article titled “How to Write a Good College Application Essay.”  The article would have been better titled “Confusing, Out-of-Context Tips for Writing a Disjointed and Inauthentic College Essay.” 

College admission is confusing.  It’s secretive.  Few people get to see the inner workings of how an admission decision is made.  And not surprisingly when things are confusing and secretive, presumably well-meaning, so-called experts emerge to crack the code for the unwashed masses. 

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Slaying your Senior Summer: Taking Full Advantage of Your Summer Vacation

Slaying your Senior Summer: Taking Full Advantage of Your Summer Vacation

Carter Delloro
Associate Director of College Counseling
The Taft School

With roughly a month remaining in your summer vacation (your timing may vary, depending on where in the world you are), what are some of the things you can do as a rising senior and soon-to-be-college-applicant to make sure you’re making the most of your time?

First off, whether you’re working a job to earn some money, showing off your leadership skills at a summer camp, or participating in some other summer enrichment opportunities, give it your all and end with a bang. You want to live these moments to the fullest, because (as any adult in your life will tell you) you won’t get many more summers to devote to self-fulfillment. Learn as much as you can from whatever you’re doing right now, and it will make you a better person, student and employee in the future. 

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