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College Essay FAQs

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General FAQ

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By the time admissions officers start reading your college essay, they already know all about your grades and test scores, your extracurriculars and your family background. What they don’t know is what you’re like in person. What are your outstanding personality traits? What is it like to spend a day with you? What motivates you to take action? What are the events that have had a meaningful impact on your life? When trapped within the confines of a generic college application, so many students look the same. You would not believe how many good students and club leaders there are, or the number of students who achieve perfect scores on the SATs. The only way to make yourself stand out is to show admissions what makes you an individual. The essay is your one true chance to show it, and it can make all the difference between rejection and admission.

Category: FAQ - General

In short, pretty much everyone. The average college admissions reader spends 2-3 minutes on a student’s personal statement, which means each student has about a commercial break’s worth of time to make a lasting impression on the person who has randomly been selected to seal their academic fate. Whether you are applying to an Ivy League institution, a renowned private university or a selective state school, it is important to make those minutes count.

Category: FAQ - General

We at CEA love all English teachers (some of us even used to be English teachers), and find they can be an effective supplementary resource during the admissions essay writing process. But if you have an English teacher who can execute a full year’s worth of curriculum while giving each of their students’ application essays the attention it deserves, then you have a superstar on your hands. Most English teachers have their plates full simply teaching their demanding course load for each quarter, and though many are talented writers, few are familiar with the specific requirements of each individual college or the style in which the personal statement is written. Though Junior and Senior English class is a great place to start for the brainstorming and drafting of your personal essays, CEA’s services can help push your piece to the next level. With this task in particular, personal attention is key.

Category: FAQ - General

Unless it is 11:30pm with an essay due at midnight, it is never too late to work with CEA. We want you to be thrilled with the writing you submit to the admissions board, and find there is almost always room for improvement. Not only that, we have extensive experience with and insight into what admissions committees are looking for when they read through a student’s essay. A fresh pair of eyes, free from the bias of the teachers and parents that know a student intimately, are always an asset. Do you love your essay? Does reading your essay make your brain launch into a Disney-fireworks-style celebration of uncontainable glee? If not, it’s probably not too late to work with us.

Category: FAQ - General

The pool of students applying to college gets ever more competitive as a college education cements itself as more of a requirement and less of a choice for young professionals. This competition is expanding across the board in schools of all levels, and students of all abilities are beginning to seek help outside of their school-given resources. Don’t sell yourself short or miss your chance to push your application to its greatest potential. When admissions decisions start to roll in, you don’t want to wonder whether you could have done more to make your application the absolute best it could be.

Category: FAQ - General

The Common Application personal statement comprises 650 word (or less) in response to one of five essay prompts. The personal statement is just as it sounds: an essay that reflects something personal about the student’s life, and we use the prompts as a launch point for finding an essay subject that is tailored to each student’s specific interests and style.

Supplemental essays have become increasingly popular over the years, and especially in response to recent changes to the Common Application. These essays are often found in the supplemental portion of a school’s application and must be completed in addition to the personal statement. Supplemental essays range in length and scope on subjects that range from deeper explorations of a student’s collegiate and academic interests like, “Why do you want to attend Boston University?” (250 words) to more amorphous topics like, “What is your favorite book and why?” (Brown University, 450 words). Students who work with CEA are often encouraged to nail down their personal statement topic first, and supplemental essays are then completed in priority order according to submission deadlines.

Pro tip: Ivy League applications often have extensive supplements, as do many other top-tier schools and honors programs.

Category: FAQ - General

One-On-One FAQ

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By the time admissions officers start reading your college essay, they already know all about your grades and test scores, your extracurriculars and your family background. What they don’t know is what you’re like in person. What are your outstanding personality traits? What is it like to spend a day with you? What motivates you to take action? What are the events that have had a meaningful impact on your life? When trapped within the confines of a generic college application, so many students look the same. You would not believe how many good students and club leaders there are, or the number of students who achieve perfect scores on the SATs. The only way to make yourself stand out is to show admissions what makes you an individual. The essay is your one true chance to show it, and it can make all the difference between rejection and admission.

Category: FAQ - General

In short, pretty much everyone. The average college admissions reader spends 2-3 minutes on a student’s personal statement, which means each student has about a commercial break’s worth of time to make a lasting impression on the person who has randomly been selected to seal their academic fate. Whether you are applying to an Ivy League institution, a renowned private university or a selective state school, it is important to make those minutes count.

Category: FAQ - General

We at CEA love all English teachers (some of us even used to be English teachers), and find they can be an effective supplementary resource during the admissions essay writing process. But if you have an English teacher who can execute a full year’s worth of curriculum while giving each of their students’ application essays the attention it deserves, then you have a superstar on your hands. Most English teachers have their plates full simply teaching their demanding course load for each quarter, and though many are talented writers, few are familiar with the specific requirements of each individual college or the style in which the personal statement is written. Though Junior and Senior English class is a great place to start for the brainstorming and drafting of your personal essays, CEA’s services can help push your piece to the next level. With this task in particular, personal attention is key.

Category: FAQ - General

Unless it is 11:30pm with an essay due at midnight, it is never too late to work with CEA. We want you to be thrilled with the writing you submit to the admissions board, and find there is almost always room for improvement. Not only that, we have extensive experience with and insight into what admissions committees are looking for when they read through a student’s essay. A fresh pair of eyes, free from the bias of the teachers and parents that know a student intimately, are always an asset. Do you love your essay? Does reading your essay make your brain launch into a Disney-fireworks-style celebration of uncontainable glee? If not, it’s probably not too late to work with us.

Category: FAQ - General

The pool of students applying to college gets ever more competitive as a college education cements itself as more of a requirement and less of a choice for young professionals. This competition is expanding across the board in schools of all levels, and students of all abilities are beginning to seek help outside of their school-given resources. Don’t sell yourself short or miss your chance to push your application to its greatest potential. When admissions decisions start to roll in, you don’t want to wonder whether you could have done more to make your application the absolute best it could be.

Category: FAQ - General

The Common Application personal statement comprises 650 word (or less) in response to one of five essay prompts. The personal statement is just as it sounds: an essay that reflects something personal about the student’s life, and we use the prompts as a launch point for finding an essay subject that is tailored to each student’s specific interests and style.

Supplemental essays have become increasingly popular over the years, and especially in response to recent changes to the Common Application. These essays are often found in the supplemental portion of a school’s application and must be completed in addition to the personal statement. Supplemental essays range in length and scope on subjects that range from deeper explorations of a student’s collegiate and academic interests like, “Why do you want to attend Boston University?” (250 words) to more amorphous topics like, “What is your favorite book and why?” (Brown University, 450 words). Students who work with CEA are often encouraged to nail down their personal statement topic first, and supplemental essays are then completed in priority order according to submission deadlines.

Pro tip: Ivy League applications often have extensive supplements, as do many other top-tier schools and honors programs.

Category: FAQ - General