You have probably seen many students come to you with concerns about getting into the college or university program they want. They might have a ranking system developed for the college or university they want to apply to, and might feel lost about how best to crack the college admissions codes.  Here is advice so you can advise your students on how they might realize their dream of their ideal IT degree program.college admission essay

The Essay

The college essay gives students an opportunity to showcase their personality, character, and writing ability. Here are some more tips:

  • The essay should demonstrate character, not just a listing of the student’s extracurricular activities and impressive grades. It should tell a story, not just contain information
  • The essay topic should focus on one thing: a difficult period in the student’s life that helped them grow, or a hobby they’ve developed over the years. Make sure your student understands what the essay is really asking them, and pay attention to any prompts the directions might give
  • An essay isn’t the only part of a college application, but a poorly-written one can hurt an otherwise strong candidate’s chances, while an effective essay can work in favor for a possible  borderline admissible candidate
  • Offer to proofread your students’ essays, and encourage them to have parents, teachers, and peers review them as well. Read it once for structural clarity and conceptual clarity and again for correct spelling, punctuation and grammar
  • Make sure that students adhere to the formatting guidelines (if any exist), such as margins, font, font size and spacing requirements

Your Important Role in the Recommendation Process

As you know, students can ask for Letters of Recommendation from teachers, coaches, or employers. Some students might also come to you for that important document. They might be making a really smart choice. According to the 2011 State of College Admission report, compiled by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), about two thirds of colleges and universities place considerate weight on the recommendations of counselors or teachers.

According to the College Board, a thoughtful and candid letter from you might especially help:

  • Merit scholarship candidates at any college
  •  A borderline admissions candidates at any college
  • Strong candidates at selective colleges

Additional Application Information

Check out our piece about standardized tests to get some perspective on how to help your students choose between the SAT and ACT. Take a look at these sites as well. They might contain some enlightening information: