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The Admission Essay - Make It Real, Make It You

VSAC College Pathways 2016

Michael Stefanowicz

on 29 March 2016

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Transcript of The Admission Essay - Make It Real, Make It You

The Admission Essay
Mike Stefanowicz
Assistant Director of Admission
VSAC College Pathways 2016
What is my Admission Counselor looking for?
What should I write about?
What distinguishes a good essay?
Tips & Tricks
Scoring Your Application
- Academic Performance
- Strength of Schedule
- Writing
- Extracurricular Involvement & Personal Qualities
- Enrollment Goals
Quality of writing within your college essay
Quality of writing on other parts of your college application
Choosing Your Topic
What is important to you?
What sets you apart from others?
What do you WANT to write about?
What don't I know about you?
What if your essay was all I saw?
What NOT to Write...
Inappropriate Topics
Too Casual
Lack of Resolution
"Safe" or "Easy"
No Connection to YOU
So what exactly do I look at all day?
There is nothing more important to me throughout my high school career than the high school hockey team...
...Two years ago the team was playing in the Smith division, which was the league below the Jones division, which we now played in...
...Our team had young defense and a new goalie along with talented forwards.
My father was disappointed in me...I had gone a whole two months with my license and I had not taken our family's Jeep Wrangler mudding...
...I did as I was told, and as the Jeep crept forward I felt the suspension adjust to the rougher terrain on its own. Seeing my more relaxed posture, my dad commanded that I gun it through the upcoming puddle. I did, and as the darker mud flew through the air, we let out a whoop in unison. Our eyes met and a new connection was made between us...
...My dad patted me on the back with a new kind of pride - the pride for something we had done together.
"David, this is the best part of fly-fishing!" exclaimed my grandfather as we sat by the campfire. I watched as he savored every bite of the freshly-caught brook trout that he caught earlier that day. I was a young boy at the time...

...Then one day on the river, something happened...

...Moments later, I was landing the biggest brook trout of my life. However, something changed in me that day. While I was admiring the beautiful colors on the trout I realized something: it was perfect. Not only was the trout perfect, but the whole environment that it came from was perfect. How rare is it to come across perfection in life? I felt compelled to simply let it go. I realized how much I loved nature and everything in it, including this magnificent prize resting in my net...

...Thanks to fly-fishing, I consider myself an active environmentalist. But I'll never forget how fly-fishing taught me to think for myself - even if my thoughts differ from those of my beloved grandfather.
The Takeaways!

Remember your audience

Apply what you already know about good writing, and PROOFREAD

Your essay can make or break your application
If my essay was the ONLY thing that my Admission Counselor was going to see when evaluating my application for admission, would that be OK with me?
Make sure that the answer to this question is YES!
Full transcript