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GUIDANCE WRITING & POLISHING COMMON APP ESSAYS
Don't worry. I can help.
Did you know that NOT EVERY college requires an essay? And SOME require supplementals!
And UCs & SERVICE ACADEMIES require several. You need to be sure of what's what and who's who and who's what in the process. WOW! This can get confusing.
Does one size fit all?
Are you applying to any UC or CSU schools? Familiarize yourself with their requirements. UCs ask you to respond to 4 of 8 Personal Insight prompts. CSUs do not require an essay for admission, but some of their specific campuses do.
Remember that your Common App Essay satisfies the schools who accept the Common App. Can you use that same essay for other schools? Maybe. But you will likely need to tailor it this way and that. Be a careful reader. You don't want to waste your precious time having to start over because you were in a hurry.
NARROW & CATEGORIZE YOUR COLLEGE CHOICES
Know the optimal fit for YOU!
Take a personal interest survey and questionnaire to learn your interests, passions, and learning style. You may surprise yourself!
WHO ARE YOU?
Learn what YOU want in YOUR college experience.
Academic Programs? Activities? Campus Life? Greek Life? Sports? Religion & Spirituality? Culture? Politics? Campus Size? Public or Private? Location? Tuition Costs? Same Gender? Scholarships?
Some, or all, of these things matter to you. Do your homework (more homework?) and have a good idea of what's important to YOU. Start with a plan.
SHOW ME THE $$$
SCHOLARSHIPS, WORK STUDY, FAFSA, AND LOANS...OH MY!
Know the differences among them.
FREE MONEY awarded by schools based on your academic achievements (GPA and standardized test scores). You can also apply for scholarships online. Check what's being offered locally, statewide, and nationwide by businesses foundations, charities...There are hundreds of them! Be sure to read the requirements before taking the time to apply.
Public scholarships have very particular parameters. Also, google scholarships with words like "weird", "unique", "unusual", "wacky" and you will find just that. Searching and applying for scholarships can become a full -time job.
Expect to write a short essay for each one which have specific prompts. You may be able to use parts of an essay again, but don't forget to PROOFREAD!
Self-Explanatory, but not all athletes get full rides. Student athletes can apply for and accept any other kind of of assistance.
A federal student aid program providing part-time employment while you are a student to help you pay for your education.
(Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
Pay attention to the deadlines! There are federal and state deadlines, and your colleges may also have a deadline. The earlier you apply, the more $$$ you are likely to get...if you qualify. Do NOT put this off until the last minute! Your parents will need to fill out the majority of this form and they will need to supply financial docs and tax returns. Click on the FAFSA button above to take you to the website.
Applicable if you or a family member have or has had military status.
Foster Care Eligibility
Current or former foster care youth may apply.
Financial Aid that does not have to be paid back unless you withdraw from school.
It's critical that you know the different types of loans available and the terms in repaying them. Accepting a loan should be your last resort in paying for college because of high interest rates. This is NOT free money; it's money at a high cost to you. Consider a Federal Loan first because of lower interest rates.