The summer of COVID-19! Is it looking a little different for you than expected? No school, no summer job, no hanging out at the community pool or movie theater or coffee shop? You may find yourself with some extra time these days.
The college admission process is also looking different than expected for fall. Many colleges have opted to be test optional for the first time. This means that admission officers are faced with the task of distinguishing among highly qualified students without relying on test scores. How do you choose between hundreds or thousands of applicants who have excellent grades and challenging classes on their transcripts? Needless to say, your essay is one part of the application that can help you stand out!
If you don’t have any exciting plans ahead, why not spend some extra time this summer refining your essays? Especially at test-optional schools, your essay can take on special significance. The Common App essay prompts are the same as last year. If you haven’t already started on your Common App essay, now is the time. In addition, Common App has added a special “Additional Information” optional essay about how COVID-19 has impacted you. Should you write this extra essay? Brad Schiller, founder and CEO of Prompt (a writing feedback company), has some advice for you on his blog. Also, the one and only essay guru Ethan Sawyer, AKA the College Essay Guy, answers this question in his own unique way on his blog.
You should also check to find out if any of the schools on your list require supplemental essays or short answer questions. If you are applying to colleges that do not use the Common App, check the college websites to get their essay topics.
Write something! Get a first draft of your college essays started now. This will give you plenty of time to get feedback from multiple people (parents, counselor, teachers, and even friends). It will also give you a chance to put it aside for now and come back to it later.
At EdMission Possible, we offer essay packages that are customized to your specific needs. Our brainstorming session for the Personal Statement will bring your true story to life and make your voice heard. Having completed the counselor programs through Prompt and the College Essay Guy, we employ the most up-to-date college essay techniques. Call or email us today to inquire about our essay packages.
Burcak Deniz Cakir
Founder and President | EdMission Possible
Burcak Deniz Cakir has a B.A. in Foreign Language Education, an M.A. in English Language Teaching, and an M.B.A., all of which have laid the solid foundation for her professional experiences as an educator. She has completed the College Counseling Program at UCLA, which is known to be the most prestigious certificate program in the profession. She has previously taught English as a Foreign/Second Language (EFL/ESL) in Turkey and in the U.S. at Virginia Tech, Harcum College, Rutgers University (Newark and New Brunswick Campuses), and Pace University. Having taught EFL/ESL at the college level for over 20 years, Burcak can communicate effectively with college-age students from different countries. She is bilingual in Turkish and English. Her extensive experience with international students from many countries including but not limited to Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Korea, and China has given her the opportunity to understand their unique problems that domestic students may not be facing throughout the college admissions process, such as but not limited to extra testing requirements (TOEFL, IELTS), the translation of high school transcripts and recommendation letters, different financial forms and statements required, visa issues, being homesick, culture shock, etc.
Burcak is an Associate Member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) and a Voting Member of the International Association for College Admission Counseling (IACAC). She currently lives in Edison, New Jersey with her husband, two daughters, and her four-legged son. In her free time, she can be found spending time with her family, reading (lots!) about college admissions and college essays, watching her favorite movies, getting lost in design magazines, and decorating her house.
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