JRA Educational Consulting Blog

How to Get Into Your Dream College: 7 Tips from the Top

Last Updated on Jun 13, 2021 10:00:00 AM

Students and their families often ask us how to get into college. Whether it’s into a small private college or a large public university, the steps are the same—adhering to purposeful planning, and getting an early start. Below, we’ve provided our top seven tips to help make admission to your dream school a reality. Let’s get started.

Topics: College Application Essay, College Admission, College Planning, Educational Consulting

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Topics: College Application Essay, College Admission, College Planning, Educational Consulting

College Application Personal Statement – Chapter 5: The Closing Paragraph

Last Updated on Sep 28, 2020 6:00:00 PM

Over and over in our chapters up to this point, we’ve stated explicitly that your personal statement must convey qualities that reveal your character to the admissions reader. It’s not coincidental that the closing sentences of your personal statement essay should also leave the reader with a final burnished image. In the best case, you tie together your narrative with mature reflection. Therein lies the impact of your writing.

Topics: College Application Essay, College Admission, Personal Statement

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Topics: College Application Essay, College Admission, Personal Statement

College Application Personal Statement – Chapter 4: A Great Opening Line

Last Updated on Sep 28, 2020 4:00:00 PM

College admissions directors read hundreds − if not thousands − of college application essays, morning, afternoon, and evening.  They're the people in college admissions looking for the good read, the applicant’s essay that will make their day. That’s why getting the reader’s attention right from the start goes a very long way toward making you stand out from a long procession of students.

Topics: College Application Essay, College Application, Personal Statement

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Topics: College Application Essay, College Application, Personal Statement

College Application Personal Statement – Chapter 3: Selecting a Topic

Last Updated on Sep 28, 2020 2:00:00 PM

Three of the four qualities we listed in our last blog chapter – maturity, self-reflection, and intellectual curiosity – must be combined well in order to be effective; your essay must tell a story whose conclusion demonstrates the fourth quality, the impact as expressed through personal reflection. You are not simply telling a story; you are demonstrating your observational powers at this stage in your life – specifically, how your story affected who you have become.

Topics: College Application Essay, College Admission, Personal Statement

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Topics: College Application Essay, College Admission, Personal Statement

College Application Personal Statement – Chapter 2: Character Counts

Last Updated on Sep 28, 2020 12:00:00 PM

“To be or not to be” might be germane for Hamlet, but one that’s relevant to the topic at hand is “To Create a College Application essay outline” or to try winging it without one – and the correct answer’s cogent for demonstrating the type of character that admissions officers look for in applicants.

As background, we’ve worked successfully with many thousands of students on their essays, so we’re acutely aware that while one can “get there” with lots and lots of winging, one’s just as likely to both come up with a substandard essay and have one’s fingers fall off.

Topics: College Application Essay, College Admission, Personal Statement

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Topics: College Application Essay, College Admission, Personal Statement

Your College Application Personal Statement – Chapter 1: Starting Steps

Last Updated on Sep 28, 2020 10:00:00 AM

There's no reason to panic – at least not yet– but because college applications are due during the first semester of your senior year, you should begin working on them now if you haven’t already done so. And if you're just getting started and wondering how to complete your personal statement for your college application, we’re here to help, so you've come to the right place.

More than 800 colleges accept the Common Application, so that's what we’re going to focus on in this post.

Topics: College Application Essay, College Admission, Personal Statement

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Topics: College Application Essay, College Admission, Personal Statement

College Application Advice: Selling Yourself and Your Activities

Last Updated on Aug 27, 2020 12:46:48 PM

Before we tell you what colleges are likely looking for in your list of activities, we’ll say this: their importance has not diminished in any way. In fact, it has probably increased in the face of so many colleges going test-optional because of COVID-19. Admissions officers will scrutinize your activities list and read between the lines to understand the true nature of your involvement to each activity. That brings us to activity “fundamentals” – what you must strive to include in your list.

Topics: College Application Essay, College Admission, Common Application, College Application, College Counseling, College Tips

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Topics: College Application Essay, College Admission, Common Application, College Application, College Counseling, College Tips

Covid-19 Has Infected the Coalition Application!

Last Updated on Jul 15, 2020 5:13:57 PM

In our recent blog, Covid-19 Has Infected the Common App!, we discussed the Common App’s Covid-19 essay prompt. Since then, the Coalition App released its own Covid-19 essay prompt:

Topics: College Application Essay, College Admission, College Application, Supplemental Essays

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Topics: College Application Essay, College Admission, College Application, Supplemental Essays

News Flash! Colleges Are Releasing Their Supplementary Essay Prompts!

Last Updated on Jul 7, 2020 9:35:15 AM

News Flash! Colleges are Releasing Their Supplementary Essay Prompts!

Here are a number of supplemental essay prompts that colleges have recently made public, along with our comments – shown in bold, red font – about some of them. As a general principle, we consider prompts presented as “Optional” to be optional only for students who have no real interest in attending the school! If you’re serious about applying to the school, then Optional = Mandatory. So, beginning in alphabetical order, here’s what we can relay to you. As you read through these essay prompts, you’ll see some common themes (Why do you want to attend our school?) and unique prompts, such as UChicago’s. In every case, your responses are important for the essay reader, because what you write reveals whether you’ve done your homework about the school, and how mature and thoughtful you are as an applicant for admission to a particular academic community.

Topics: College Application Essay, College Planning, Supplemental Essays

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Topics: College Application Essay, College Planning, Supplemental Essays

Completing College Application Writing Supplements

Last Updated on Oct 21, 2019 3:44:40 PM

We recently published a blog, Twelve Guiding Principles for Creating a Sparkling College Application Personal Statement, that focused strictly on the main essay/personal statement called for in the Common Application and the Coalition Application. While some colleges that accept those two applications don’t require submission of the personal statement as part of the application, most do. And many of the colleges that accept those two applications have additional writing supplements. In this post, we’ll describe some of those supplements and how they can be best approached.

Topics: College Application Essay, Supplemental Essays, Personal Statement

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Topics: College Application Essay, Supplemental Essays, Personal Statement