Last Saturday, Dr. Joseph and Juan Chavez, a first gen freshman at UC Riverside, shared strategies at East Side Stories at Roosevelt High School in east LA about helping teachers and college access advocates embed college application and scholarship essay writing strategies into their high school English classes. These autobiographical narratives can help students tell counter-narratives about their lives and worlds to colleges. They work perfectly with the new Common Core standards.
We want students to have college options so they can return and empower their families, communities, and the world. We want them to tell specific stories that share their core qualities and beliefs to colleges and scholarship groups.
Over the next few weeks we will share our curriculum ideas. We look forward to sharing them and even piloting them at your school or community organization sites. If you want a copy of our powerpoint, you can access it on slideshare. http://www.slideshare.net/getmetocollege.
We ask if you use the materials in your schools that you replace our pictures and essays with your those of your students as kids really do better with reading about their peers than strangers.
Here is a picture of Juan in his folklorico group at UC Riverside.
Honors College Essay Time
It’s time to write applications for honors colleges.
You must check to see whether you can use what you have already submitted to that college.
If you must start from scratch, tell a story that is recent and really relates to where you envision yourself making a mark.
Here are the University of Michigan’s creative prompts. Maybe you will get an idea about another essay you can write for a scholarship.
“2013 Honors Essay Prompts
The LSA Honors Program is community of individuals who are interested in ideas, discovery, and intellectual and cultural exchange. We seek academically talented students who want to be part of such a community. To help us determine whether you might thrive in the Honors community, you will respond to one of the posted prompts.
Your essay should be 500-1000 (please, no more than 1000 words). You will put your name along with UM ID number at the top of your essay, indicating the prompt to which you responded. (You will save your essay as a pdf, and name the file with your last name, first name, and UMID: “doe,tammy13131313.pdf.”)
Essay Prompts for the Fall 2013 Freshman Class:
- “This must be Thursday,” said Arthur. “I could never get the hang of Thursdays.” How do you get the hang of Thursdays?
- Why is there air?
- Lost in Translation. It’s been a lament of many people, a concern of scholars the world over, even the title of a movie. Elaborate on an example from your own life when you lost something in translation.
- In the second century BC, Terence said in Eunuchus, “In fact, nothing is said that has not been said before”. What do you have to say?
- Describe an American innovation that would convey some sense of our nation’s distinctiveness in the world.1
1. See Delbanco, Andrew. 2012. College: What it was, is and should be. Princeton University Press, pg. 1.”
Good luck and apply now!!!
Positive Feedback is Fabulous
I’ve been working on my app for such a long time that receiving unexpected praise makes it all worthwhile. I received this email last week:
“Thanks so much. I love your website and your iPhone App: All College Application Essays. I was sitting in a session at NACAC in Denver and a woman showed me the app. I immediately put it on my phone, and it’s the best $4.99 I’ve ever spent.
Cyndi Niendorf Certified College Counselor”
Thanks Cyndi. I’m purring.
Follow Dr. J’s Into, Through, & Beyond Approach: Brainstorming Tip #8
Your essay needs to grab readers from the first word. You are competing for the fleeting attention of admissions officers who have dozens if not hundreds or thousands of essays and files to process. So don’t waste their precious time and tell them a story that no one else can tell. That will help you get admitted to the match college of your choice.
So follow my three pronged approach.
INTO: With your INTO, grab us into the story with a moment in time. That moment must reveal a core quality. The INTO can be a sentence, paragraph, or series of paragraphs.
THROUGH: Then go into two levels of THROUGH.
- THROUGH 1 provides the immediate context of the INTO.
- THROUGH 2 provides the overall context.
BEYOND: End with a BEYOND that is not sappy but powerful. Think of a metaphor that guides you and weaves through your story and into your ending.
College Application Essay Tip #10: Self Yourself
Tip 10. Most importantly, make yourself come alive throughout this process. Write about yourself as passionately and powerfully as possible. Be proud of your life and accomplishments. Sell yourself!!!
Don’t lose this incredibly important opportunity to share unique stories about yourself. These are not autobiographies. They are moments in time that reveal a core story, a key quality, a powerful moment.
See Dr. Joseph’s new blog on Teen Life. 10 Tips for Staying Organized in the College Application Process. http://ow.ly/75dwr
College Application Essay Tip #5: Share Positive Messages and Powerful Outcomes
Tip #5: Plan to share positive messages and powerful outcomes. You can start with life or family challenges. You can describe obstacles you have overcome. You can reflect on your growth and development, including accomplishments and service. College admissions officers do not read minds, so tell them your powerful life stories.
“I really love the app (ALL COLLEGE APPLICATION ESSAYS) and use it as a go-to for a lot of different things. I notice it’s available through the Google Play store now (I’m an Android AND an Apple user — go figure!)
I took a screen shot of the Middlebury app and sent it to my colleague in Westchester NY and she bought the app, too. I also introduced it to our local public high school college programs coordinator.” —Janis Allen