Volunteering College Essay

Volunteering College Essay-83
The applicant wasn’t the star of the team, Roberts remembers, and didn’t even like playing baseball much.

The applicant wasn’t the star of the team, Roberts remembers, and didn’t even like playing baseball much.

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"I remember in the days after [Hurricane] Katrina, I had an otherwise thoughtful and engaged kid sitting across from me bemoaning how the kids in New Orleans were 'going to have awesome essays,'" says Ponnusamy.

"This sense amongst upper-middle-class kids that 'nothing bad has ever happened to me' is always amusing. The essay that got Isabel Polon into Yale swells with appealing and insightful details that show her meticulous nature.

With early application deadlines upon us, guidance counselors, professors, and admissions consultants slipped Kathleen Kingsbury seven essays that helped get kids into top schools last year—and she examines exactly what they did right. These are a few topics on independent consultant Arun Ponnusamy’s list of what not to write about in your college application essay.

What you learned about poverty on your $9,000 trip to Africa.

Instead, Roberts advises, "It's OK to take on serious topics, but tell us how it relates directly back to you." ( Click here to read Nawal's essay.)Rule #2: Show That You Have Some Perspective Hallie Jordan knew not to pretend she'd had a hard-knock life with no options.

If you're a white, middle-class kid, it never hurts to show that you realize how lucky you are—and that you sought out diversity.The essays were slipped to us by college professors, high-school guidance counselors, independent admissions consultants, and even staffers at student newspapers.For confidentiality reasons, admissions officers can't talk about these essays expressly, so we chose essays that demonstrate the most salient principles to abide by when writing them.(Scroll down to read the essays, unedited and in full.)You'll need the help: Competition at these schools is fiercer than ever.For every kid who’s hung prayer flags on a mountain summit in Tibet, there are a dozen others who’ve studied a Bantu language in Rwanda, worked with Guatemalan orphans, cooked with a celebrity chef, or been on reality TV.I don't care who it is, they all have 750 words of something compelling to say to an admissions officer." He adds, "They need to relax, think about what means a lot to them or gets them fired up, and then write about it." ( Click here to read Hallie's essay.)Rule #3: Essays Succeed or Fail in the Details The "hand-cranked" ice cream. "If the essay mentions you going to dinner, I want to know what you were eating," says Ponnusamy.Adds UVA's Roberts: "A standout essay starts with good writing.(A few more: Don't write about mom and dad's divorce, and no general philosophizing—you're 17, get over yourself.) Admissions season is under way, and with early applications deadlines starting November 1, you've only got a few more days to polish your make-or-break essay.Straight As and stellar SAT scores won't be enough.“I just felt like I knew him.”Roberts worries that students tend to be too conservative with essays and are afraid to take risks.“There are no wrong answers here, and the last thing you want is a dry or boring essay,” he says.

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