Going Geek: What Every Smart Kid (and Every Smart Parent) Should Know about College Admissions

The Other Essays that are "All About You": Your Recommendations

John Carpenter is back this month to remind students that there are some other essays that are "all about you" -- the recommendations from your counselor and teachers. Read on for his tips on how to get the best writing -- that is, the best results!

In applying to college, writing is enormously important because good writing tells us something we need to know. I spend a lot of time talking to students about writing their essays, and I usually enjoy reading what people have written and hearing the stories.  While there’s a lot of emphasis on creating the perfect essay, there’s another kind of writing where students also have some influence and most high school kids don’t even think about it -- and that’s the recommendations.

Yep, recommendations.  Those other great little essays that are all about you, written by your teachers and counselor.  If you think it’s tough to write a personal statement for an application and a couple of short supplement essays as well, imagine what it’s like for your high school English teacher who is probably writing about 15 or 20 essays--er, I mean, recommendations--for her students.  And then there’s your counselor who, depending on how big your graduating class is, could be writing 15 or 20 -- or even as many as 100 or more.  Seriously! 

The Wait List: Explained

John Carpenter, author of  Going Geek: What Every Smart Kid (and Every Smart Parent) Should Know About College Admissions, has a column on his website today at AskJohnAboutCollege.com that every student on a wait list could benefit from reading. "Don't You Hate the Wait List" explains how colleges manage their wait lists, the implications for financial aid, and what a students next steps should be. Carpenter's advice is both realistic and reassuring. Check it out.