10 Practice Essay Prompts

  1. Discuss a significant personal archievement.
  2. Evaluate the pros and cons of a political issue, and discuss how that issue related to your community.
  3. Write an essay describing a person who has influenced you.
  4. Write about your favorite book, poem, or play.
  5. The admissionos committee has a copy of your autobiography opened to page 367. What does it say?
  6. discuss a challenge you overcame and how it changed you.
  7. What is the best advice you have received, and why?
  8. If you could time travel, what period in history would you visit, and why?
  9. You have been selected to meet with the president of the United States for one hour. What will you discuss?
  10. If you could switch bodies with someone for a day, who wouldyou choose, and why?

Source: College Planning Workbook, Spark Publishing, 2008, p. 138-167.

Impressive Candidate vs. Admitted Student | InLikeMe

Impressive Candidate vs. Admitted Student | InLikeMe
So, who gets in to the most selective colleges and universities? For the most part, admitted students fall into one or more of these three categories:

(1) students who can bring something “special” that the school desires;

(2) those with exceptional promise; and

(3) academically-qualified legacy applicants.

Focus on quality over quantity. We look for the opportunity to pursue (with gusto) one or two interesting projects, activities, and/or areas of research where the student can showcase some combination of leadership, character, determination, intellectual curiosity, talent, heartfelt interest, creativity, problem-solving and/or communication skills, maturity and ability. The “hook” should be genuine and be a good fit with the student’s interests and abilities. A hook can also be developed to either offset an area of perceived weakness or to create positive differentiation.

As an example, one of my clients was dismayed by the lack of intercultural harmony at her public high school. She endeavored to improve the situation by bringing together students to share her love for gardening. She founded a community garden project and encouraged diverse participation. She described her experiences (positive and negative) in various college application essays and was thrilled to gain admission to a number of the most selective colleges and universities.

Colleges that are still taking applications for Fall 2011

Locally:

Univ. of the Pacific, Univ. of San Francisco, Menlo College, and Dominican Univ.  are still accepting applications.

Down in Southern CA:

Marymount, Chapman Univ., Concordia Univ., Azusa Pacific Univ., Biola, and Univ. of Redlands will also consider them.

Looking a little farther away from home:

Univ. of Arizona, Univ. of Nevada, Reno, Colorado State Univ. at Fort Collins, Lewis & Clark, Linfield College, Hofstra Univ., Michigan State, Utah State University, Univ. of Colorado at Boulder, Seattle Pacific Univ., College of Charleston, Montana State Univ., Oregon State Univ., Saint Edwards Univ. (Austin) all will consider an application

If interest, sent your application ASAP!  As always, go to the college website and contact an admissions officer to make sure that you have sufficient time to pull a great application together.

UC to wait-list some applicants

UC will again implement a waitlist process for fall 2011 admissions. All campuses except Los Angeles and Merced will use waitlists for their freshman pools. Davis and San Diego also will have a transfer waitlist, and Irvine and Santa Cruz are considering the option for transfers. The university enrolls more than 11,570 students for whom it receives no state funding. A waitlist is an enrollment management tool that enables campuses to attain their enrollment targets with greater precision while offering a space to as many deserving students as possible. What students need to know:

  • They might receive waitlist offers from more than one campus. Students may accept as many offers as they wish. Waitlist offers will be made by the end of March for freshman applicants and the end of April for transfers.
  • Once offered a spot on a waitlist, they must opt in. Instructions for doing so will be included with the waitlist notification.
  • Even if they accept a waitlist offer (or several), students should submit a Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) by the stated deadline to a UC campus or other institution to which they have been accepted. If they later accept an offer of admission from a campus where they have been wait-listed, they will forfeit their deposit at the first campus.
  • Wait-listed freshman applicants will be notified of their status no later than June 1; wait-listed transfer applicants, by July 1.
  • Preliminary financial aid awards will be sent at the time students are notified of waitlist offers. Additionally, SIRs of wait-listed students will be considered on time for purposes of housing and orientation, provided they are submitted by the deadline stated in the offer of admission.
  • Eligible applicants who don’t receive an admission offer from any campus to which they applied will be in the referral pool, even if they are on the waitlist at another campus.
  • Campuses will still consider appeals. Applicants who feel they have grounds for an appeal should submit one, but they should keep in mind that the purpose of the appeals process is to deal with errors and compelling new information and hardship. Students cannot appeal for a spot on the waitlist.

In the fall 2010 admissions cycle, the first time waitlists were used broadly, a total of 11,703 waitlist offers were extended to freshman applicants across all campuses except UCLA and UC Merced. Two campuses — UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara — were the only two campuses to admit significant numbers of students off their waitlists. These campuses yielded more than 40 percent of students admitted off the waitlist.

2011 U.C. UNIVERSITYWIDE ANALYTICAL WRITING PLACEMENT EXAM (AWPE)

This year, UC will administer the AWPE on Saturday, May 14th, to student who have been admitted to the University for fall 2011 and who, by April 1, 2011, have not satisfied the Entry Level Writing Requirement by other means. The cost of the exam is $110; the fee will be waived for students who qualified for an application fee waiver.

Students are not required to take the AWPE is they have a record on file with the University indicating achievement of acceptable scores on:

(1) the SAT Reasoning Test,
(2) the ACT combined English/Writing test,
(3) the Advanced Placement (AP) English Language or Literature examination, or
(4) the International Baccalaureate Higher Level or Standard Level English A examination.

Students also are exempt from the examination if they have successfully completed a transferable college-level English composition course.

Comprehensive information about the Entry Level Writing Requirement and the Analytical Writing Placement Examination is available online at http://www.ucop.edu/elwr. The site explains the examination process and includes previous examinations that can be downloaded and used by students to strengthen their skills in reading comprehension and writing proficiency.

University of California – SAT Subject Tests Requirement for 2012 and beyond

While SAT Subject Tests will not be required for fall 2012 admission or beyond, some campuses recommend that students vying for slots in competitive majors take the tests to demonstrate subject proficiency. For detail (with future update): University of California – SAT Subject Tests