The Influence of Money on College Essay Topics

They say that money doesn’t buy happiness. Well, it apparently also doesn’t buy wise decision-making when it comes to choosing a topic for the Personal Statement in college admissions. A piece in yesterday’s New York Times by Arvin Ashok entitled “The Persistent Grip of Social Class on College Admissions” focuses … 

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Vulnerable Confessions in College Essays

Thinking about writing about something embarrassing in your college essays? Maybe about a time you accidentally wet your pants or let out a fart in public? In a recent piece for The Chronicle of Higher Education by Matt Feeney entitled “The Abiding Scandal of College Admissions,” he shares the story … 

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2021-2022 Common Application Essay Prompts

The 2021-2022 Common Application essay prompts have been released and we’ve got them for our readers. The headline? The essay prompts will remain the same, with one exception. The following essay prompt, which was the least selected by college applicants among last year’s seven options, is no more: “Describe a … 

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Red Flags in College Essays

Today, we thought we’d share with our readers some verbiage that college applicants so often include in their college essays — or elsewhere in their applications — that significantly hurts their chances of admission to highly selective universities. In our experience, these students don’t realize these words will essentially ding … 

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Privileged Information in College Essays

Each and every year, we work with a batch of students and parents navigating the highly selective college admissions process. And while we of course care deeply about our students, it’s our parents who are ultimately our clients. This, at times, can leave us in an unenviable position — notably … 

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Avoiding Sob Stories in College Admissions Essays

Many students and parents are under the mistaken impression that sharing sob stories in college admissions essays will pull on the heartstrings of admissions officers at highly selective college and inspire them to want to offer the student admission. Maybe it’s a story about enduring a childhood illness, like leukemia. … 

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Use the Maximum Word Count in College Essays

If the maximum word count for a college admissions essays is 650 words, applicants should not write 500 words. They should write 650 words — or pretty close to it. When you’re a real estate developer in Manhattan and you’re allowed to build twenty-five stories, you don’t build ten stories … 

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Done with College Essays

When folks write in saying that they’re basically done with their college essays, including their Personal Statement and all of the supplemental essays required of the universities to which they’ll be applying, we typically cringe. Just because a student has entered 650 or 500 or 250 words into a document … 

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Words in College Essays

At Ivy Coach, we love data. We consider ourselves to be the purveyors of Ivy League admissions data. Nowhere will you find more comprehensive information on admissions statistics than on Ivy Coach’s website. And we’re always intrigued by a Moneyball approach to highly selective college admissions. After all, it’s an … 

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College Essays About Nothing

Have you ever seen the TV show “Seinfeld”? If not, know that it was a major hit in the 1990’s and it served as a staple of NBC’s “Must See TV” Thursday night comedy block. It starred Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Michael Richards and it was a … 

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