JRA Educational Consulting Blog

News Flash! Colleges Are Releasing Their Supplementary Essay Prompts!

Last Updated by Joseph Corace on July 7, 2020

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 by Jason Robinovitz on October 21, 2019

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

Make Your College Fairs Great

Last Updated by Jason Robinovitz on September 24, 2019

College Fairs are no “sideshow.” They are a resource that comes pretty close to your doorstep, providing you with grand opportunities. With a little planning and by following some simple instructions, you can change what might otherwise be a bewildering experience into an extremely productive one.  So,

Topics: College Application Essay, College Visits, College Fair

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Topics: College Application Essay, College Visits, College Fair

How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways…

Last Updated by Jason Robinovitz on March 2, 2019

How does a student “demonstrate interest” in a college? Like revealing any sort of love, it involves more than just a single expression. Something as simple as reading a college’s inquiring email, or clicking on a school’s link can be the first step in revealing that interest. But, that’s merely the tip of the iceberg, and expressing sincere interest nearly always involves more, just like in a relationship with another person.

Topics: College Application Essay, College Admission, Educational Consulting, Demonstrated Interest

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Topics: College Application Essay, College Admission, Educational Consulting, Demonstrated Interest

Getting started: Crafting Your College Essay

Last Updated by Judi Robinovitz on February 1, 2019

By the start of their second semester, most high school juniors have begun creating and honing a prospective college list, and scheduling college visits. What most don’t realize is that it’s also the ideal moment to begin working on college applications, especially the often-dreaded college application essay (commonly known as the personal statement). Where to get started? What’s the perfect topic? What are college admission readers looking for? These and other student questions oftentimes result in panic and procrastination: I’ll worry about it this summer! Then suddenly, it’s September….

Topics: College Application Essay, College Application, Personal Statement

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Topics: College Application Essay, College Application, Personal Statement

Here’s Your Magic Formula for the Perfect College Application Essay

Last Updated by Judi Robinovitz on August 8, 2018

In our recent blog entitled Clearing Up Confusion About the College Application Personal Statement, we explained that “It doesn’t matter in the slightest what you write about for your Common and Coalition Application personal statements — as long as it’s about you. What does matter is what you say and how you say it, because you should have clear objectives, and we’ll provide you with advice on that matter in future blogs.” Here’s the first installment for you.

Topics: College Application Essay, College Admission, Personal Statement

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Topics: College Application Essay, College Admission, Personal Statement

College Application Personal Statement

Last Updated by Judi Robinovitz on August 7, 2018

At this time of year, it’s typical to see rising seniors agonize over what they should write for their college application personal statement. While some colleges have their own applications and unique personal statement prompts, most schools use the Common Application or the Coalition Application, each with its own set of essay prompts. Here they are for each application for 2018-19:

Topics: College Application Essay, College Admission, Personal Statement

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Topics: College Application Essay, College Admission, Personal Statement

How Critical is “Demonstrated Interest” for College Admissions?

Last Updated by Judi Robinovitz on July 25, 2018

While “Demonstrated Interest” (DI) may not carry significant weight for many colleges…it will be important if the school is highly selective with a competitive admissions process.

Topics: College Application Essay, College Admission, Demonstrated Interest

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Topics: College Application Essay, College Admission, Demonstrated Interest

Learn the Difference Between College Applications

Last Updated by Judi Robinovitz on May 23, 2018

It’s time for students to confront this question, not all that simple, and we’re going to help them understand what’s ahead in order to provide some direction.

Topics: College Application Essay, Common Application, College Application, Coalition App, College Counseling, College Planning, Universal App

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Topics: College Application Essay, Common Application, College Application, Coalition App, College Counseling, College Planning, Universal App

The Magic Formula for a Perfect College Application Essay

Last Updated by Jason Robinovitz on October 10, 2017

Well, no. We lied: There is no magic formula for writing the perfect college application essay.

The essays in “Essays That Worked for College Applications” (subtitled “50 Essays that Helped Students Get into the Nation’s Top Colleges”) vary wildly and include “think pieces,” multiple-panel cartoons, poems, and short plays, among others. There is no prototypical essay because there is no prototypical admissions officer: they’re human beings, just like you and I are, and they have differing tastes, just like you and I do.

Topics: College Application Essay, College Admission

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Topics: College Application Essay, College Admission