so when we say school-specific ese we mean the essay that asks you why do you want to attend our school there are two main goals of the school specific essay first the admissions council wants to see what you know about their school they want to see that your decision to apply is well thought out and you’re serious about attending their school second they want to see if you’re the right fit for their school and if your academic and social interests align with their school environment they want to be able to picture you being a positive force and contributor to the student community. the goal of this essay is to put this picture in their minds to help you achieve these goals here’s some tips to write an effective school specific essay note we’re assuming you’ve already seen our five basic tips to write your best college essays video if you haven’t yet click on the link in the description if you apply those tips as well as these you should be in great shape to write a great essay. first research your school go to their website and digest as much information about your school as possible click on every link every tab read everything can find out about that school and all aspects about it academics social life history etc this is gonna help a lot because it’s going to give you some material to write about in your essay and it’ll help you a lot during college interview second try to Center your essay around some aspect of the school that draws you to it maybe they have an academic program that you really like because it aligns. well with your academic goals maybe there’s a social aspect or Club you really want to be a part of or maybe there’s a certain academic subject or social issue that you really want to study or learn more about under a specific professor that teaches at that school this is going to give you a sense of direction when writing your essay and will also allow you to incorporate your own personal experiences into a third relating to the last point be specific when talking about your interests mention specific academic programs specific clubs you want to join specific professors you want to study under and specific classes you want to take this is. important because a lot of applicants are very general when answering why they want to attend a certain school they often say the school has good academics this school is a great social life or great location but a lot of other schools also have those things and the admissions counselor is going to ask. what makes our school different from all the others being specific will answer this question and make you stand out from the crowd thanks for watching if you liked the video hit that like button hit that subscribe button and check out our channel rags-to-riches media for more content check us out on social media or if you want to check out some of the supplies that i personally use to get into Harvard click on the links below thanks for watching and as always stay hungry stay humble stay positive and stay focused my friend
My name is Brian Hodges. I’m the assistant director in the Admissions Office. And my name is Amber Longtin. I’m a coordinator here. Okay. Our Facebook live is going to be about the top seven things you should know when you apply to campus. We’re going to go through that entire list. Number one on that list is, when you apply, you’re going to do a self reported academic record.. you’re going to report all the grades that you receive during your high school career, and courses you are taking, in progress. Make sure you have an unofficial copy. That’s a paper copy or an electronic copy available. We will check and see are those grades accurate,. make sure you have that transcript handy when you submit your application. Yeah.
We know that the self-reported can take awhile. So, I think that we apologize up front. If it makes you feel better, both of us test the application during the summer. We’ve had to fill it out, too. My best advice is to have some snacks. Do you have any nice tips for that section?
It’s going to take some time, be patient. Don’t get frustrated. It’s your time, put all the information you can in there. It’s gonna help you with your application.. make sure it’s accurate. Take some time. Be patient.
Have some snacks. It’s gonna take a little while. And if you are an international student, and you might be applying using some external, exam-based system there is a separate area for that.
But that’s part of why we ask you to apply early. Because there are a lot of different systems and types of high schools, and ways your grades can be reported. And since it can get complicated, if you start applying early, there’s a lot of time to ask Brian and I questions. Exactly.. our second tip is still related kind of to doing things early. It’s about sending your test scores. So, all freshman applicants have to submit either the ACT or the SAT to apply to Illinois. When you ask for those test scores to come, it’s not automatic. Can you believe it? It does take some time.. make sure you submit those test scores early. It usually takes us about two, three— —two, three weeks, yeah to get to our office. And then, in addition to making sure you sent them, if your test scores are listed under a different name, if your email address is different in your test score than what it is in the application, or even if it’s just your street address that’s different, sometimes that means it won’t match to your application.. if you could give us a heads-up, "hey, I’ve sent my test scores, my application email is this," but my test scores are gonna be under this email, that’s really helpful because that can help us make sure your test actually matched to the application.
Yeah, and definitely be patient when you have sent those scores. When you actually ask your testing agency to send us those test scores to us, it might take a little time.. please be patient. Like I said it’s going to take a few weeks before we receive those scores. So, be patient. Lots of patience. The next tip, we’ll talk about the essay.
Now, each individual school will have their own process. Make sure you answer the prompt when it comes to the essay. Answer exactly what we’re asking for in that essay. We’re gonna ask you about why you’re interested in a certain major. We’re also gonna ask you what interests, what activities you’ve done to cultivate that interest in that major,. make sure you’re answering the prompt. Yeah, I think that our prompt is actually probably pretty easy, for most students, until you read how many words it has to be.. University of Illinois is three to four hundred words. That’s shorter than most of your homework assignments. Which makes it kind of difficult to write.
Definitely, which is the next step when it comes to proofreading. that essay. We want you to be very concise, very specific to your major, to your activities in your field. Make sure you proofread it. Make sure you have a counselor proofread it, make sure you have your parent proofread your essay. We do want to see what you’ve done in your particular field. But we only ask for three to four hundred words.. make sure you’re very precise, but you also have somebody to proofread your essay. Yeah, definitely. And if you’re not comfortable having someone proofread, I understand.
I mean, I don’t think it’s something that you should really be shy about. We’re gonna read it. Right.
But there are also other tools you can use. Things like Google translate, you can pop your essay in and have it read it out loud. Because when you’re reading something silently, your brain kind of autocorrects the mistakes that you’ve made. Which isn’t actually helpful in proofreading. Shocking, right?
But if you pop it into google translate, it’ll read it out loud to you and you’ll catch some of those mistakes that you made. What we also want to see in your essay is the passion for your field.. make sure that’s coming through in your essay Tell us why you’re interested in a field. Tell us why you chose certain activities, again to cultivate that interest. We want to see the passion, and why you’re applying to a specific major to the University of Illinois.. the next tip, is one hopefully none of you run across. When you fill out the application, sometimes students will accidentally submit their application. Because they’re reviewing it, and they want to submit. But then your application is final.
And final means you can’t edit things. You don’t wanna be there. No you don’t. No. Make sure you’re completing all the different sections in your application. If you have several We do have several different fields that you have to complete. But make sure you don’t submit until you’re ready. A big tip, there are a lot of times students think, "well I didn’t pay the application fee," it won’t get submitted. And that sounds logical. It does sound logical. But unfortunately that’s not the case.
We accept fee waivers from students. We accept applications without a payment, because the fee waiver might be coming in later. And if you have a fee waiver, you should be making sure you’re working with your counselor for that. But that’s why you can submit the application without paying the fee later. Now if you accidentally submit, and maybe you don’t have your card with you, and you go back and pay later, that’s not a problem. You can still go back and pay the fee,. you’re application will still be fine.
But that is kind of the piece where students often think that they didn’t submit it.. make sure when you do submit, you always double check and see things that you might have missed, If you haven’t paid the application fee, or you need to change certain things in your application, that are able to change, make sure you review what we have available within the application, which actually goes to our next step. After you’ve completed the application, maybe you realize, "Okay, I put in the wrong address," or maybe "I put in the wrong score here" for a certain class, or maybe "I want to add a second major." You can actually do that through your myIllini account. There are several different change forms you can submit within myIllini.
One is biographical, one is a course change form, one’s also a program change form.. after you submit, there are some things you can change. One thing you cannot change is the list of activities. Yeah.
Once you submit that, that’s pretty much it. Those are going to be the ones we’re going to see. The essay is also in the application.
That’s not something you can submit a change form for,. make sure you’re doing your checks before you submit the application, not after. Additionally, those change forms in that myIllini account? The myIllini account is super useful. Yes it is. It’s like the hub for all applicants.. even if you don’t apply using myIllini—a lot of our students will apply using the Coalition application, which is absolutely fine too— you’re still going to end up with a myIllini account.. no matter which application you use, you can still make these edits through there. Another new thing that we actually added this year, you might not know that, we didn’t use to be able to let students add parent email addresses. But you can do that now using the biographical change form. So, if you’ve submitted your application and your mom’s like, "Hey, I haven’t gotten any emails from Illinois," or if you’ve been admitted and your parents are asking those types of questions, they can go into the biographical change form and add their email address as well.
Our next step? You’ve probably heard this already: patience. When you submit your application, you’ve done all the things you need to do, you’ve changed some different things in your application, just relax. Be patient. Our decision dates are for early action, December 15, and for the regular period, February 2.. nothing is going to happen, you’re not going to find out any more information, until those specific dates.. just sit back and relax.
If you haven’t visited campus, you can come visit our campus, or you can take a deep breath, Again, just relax. Go on our different social media pages—YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat—just get more information about the University of Illinois. But be patient. This is definitely the hardest part of all of the steps. Because after you submit an application, you want to know. You want to know right away! There are. many things that are instant. Why can’t this be one of them? Brian and I are working very hard along with everybody else in the admissions office to get you a decision.
But you do have to wait for those deadlines. There are, Brian was talking about, lots of ways you can engage with the university while you’re waiting, though. We’re writing blogs pretty constantly. Yes we are. Those are a great way to connect with campus. And if you’re looking at things and you have questions, we’re still happy to answer questions for you.. we are definitely here in the admissions office. We answer emails, we answer phone calls, we are available throughout the day, Monday through Friday.. any questions you you might have, please feel free to contact us. When we do send out the information as far as being admitted, we’ll send it through your myIllini account.. make sure you’re checking that you have the correct password, that you can get into your myIllini account. Make sure you have all the information you need. you know when those decision dates come, you can actually check your myIllini account. Yeah, the worst moment in the world is when you’re trying to log in to myIllini on December 15 and you can’t remember your password. You don’t want that to happen. Yeah, and we close our office early on those days,. you can’t call to get it reset.
No, you can’t. You’d just have to wait until Monday, which is a really long wait. No one wants to do that.. just make sure you’ve got your stuff together before it gets to that point. And if you apply through the Coalition application, like we said earlier, you will need to create a myIllini account. you can check your application status.. if you haven’t done that already, make sure you create a myIllini account. Make sure you have the right password. when those dates come, December 15 and February 2, you can check your application status. I would say it’s even a good idea to check your application status now, just to make sure it’s complete.
Because occasionally, you’ll think your application’s in and your test scores are there, but for some reason they didn’t match to your file, and you’re not checking your email, or you’re not getting the emails telling you that your application’s not complete.. by checking it now, you’re saving yourself a headache later.. just keep touching base with that myIllini account. That’s also where you can send us emails, too. You just click a link and it will go to the counselor that’s in the office that works with you, which is really nice. You don’t have to remember our email address. It’s taken care of for you. And then we have one last tip that is really, really important. Very important. Please remember that although things are going to be really stressful senior year—you’ve got schools to apply to, finals to take— you only get one senior year.
Enjoy it! Please enjoy it. Yeah, take some time off.
Don’t get senioritis, but enjoy your senior year. No, don’t catch senioritis. We still care about those senior grades! But hang out with your friends. Keep in mind that next year, you might live on a campus that’s not with your family,. maybe next time your brother asks if you want to play video games, you play a couple games!
Little things that you will soon be missing, perhaps. And if you do have any questions after this Facebook Live post, any questions you might have, you can always contact the admissions office. Our email address is email@example.com. And our office number is 217-333-0302. You’re good! I always forget that number.. it’s also on our website, contact link, and that’s the one I use all the time. That’s not. since I’ve been here three years, huh?
You should know that! I know. Again, thank you for listening to our Facebook Live post. If you guys have any questions, feel free to contact us. Again, my name is Brian Hodges. I’m Amber Longtin!
And thank you for visiting with us. Have a great week! Bye.
Alright I’m gonna start this video off with the most important piece of advice I can give you all. the UC application essays and the common application essays are nothing alike. if you’re writing in a similar style for both essays you’re probably putting yourself at a major disadvantage. okay. you might be thinking, "but they’re both college application essays. What can make them. different?" And the answer to that is something very small but also very, very, very significant: word count. the common application essay is 650 words while the UC essays individually are 350 words. they’re basically half the size of the common application essay. and you might be thinking, "okay, word count. Great. What’s the big deal about that? Just fewer words, right?" No. since the common application essay has such a high word count you can use more words to make the story more engaging by adding stuff like literary elements, dialogue, anecdotes, all of that stuff. but since the UC essays only have half as much words you can’t really do that.. what should you focus on then? Well I’ll get to that in the next tip. the key to writing amazing UC application essays is to focus on content but I’m not trying to say don’t have any style in your essay at all but the amount of style you need in your UC essays is way less than the amount of style that you should have in your common application essay. you can think of style like as sugar just think of style as a little bit of sugar and your UC application essays are a bowl of strawberries. a little bit of sugar on your strawberries will taste great but if you put too much sugar on it it’s just not gonna work. too sugary.. you can think of your a common application essay as a powdered donut compared to your UC essays. you really just want to take advantage and use as much words as you can to show who you are, how you think, what’s important to you, etc. and also you want to use all four essays to just build on top of each other and show a different side of you. that way the admissions reader like has a better understanding of who you are and they can actually relate to you more because if you’re not presenting enough information then you’re just gonna be one application out of the dozens that or not dozens, like hundreds of thousands that they’re gonna read and since they have. many to read you really want to just stand out and present as much information as you can. that they remember you that being said you still want to make sure that you have one big secret ingredient in your essay: flow. a lot of people actually forget about flow since they’re trying to fit in. much information into the UC essays due to the 350 word count limit but what happens when you don’t have flow is that your essay either becomes choppy or it reads like a resume both of which will hurt your essay a lot. for those of you who aren’t really sure what flow is I’ll go through an example of it right now okay. the first paragraph has a lot of choppy sentences. it doesn’t really flow that well. you got the person saying I’m really passionate about math, math is fun, I like going to math competitions, and yeah it’s just very choppy, very short, and this kind of makes it also feel like reading a resume this is one issue with flow that a lot of people make but another common example is just transitioning between paragraphs. like the first paragraph is all about math and then suddenly the dude’s talking about becoming a geologist in the second paragraph without even having a clear transition or anything. what you want to do is make sure that your paragraph has an ending sentence that leads into the next paragraph or you want the second paragraph to have a topic sentence that connects back to the first paragraph this will make it easier for your admissions officer to read your essay which will in turn let them have a better understanding of what you’re saying and just get a better picture of who you are. just having a lot of content is not enough you need to make sure that you’re following that up with flow I’d say if we’re ranking what’s the most important in your UC essays first is content then its flow and then its style. flow is even more important than style. if you don’t have flow you’re missing a key ingredient in your essay which will hurt you a lot the next tip is to choose a prompt that works well for you not necessarily one that you think the admissions officer wants to read or one that you think might be easier to write the prompt you choose should be one that you’re passionate about and one that you can really highlight different characteristics about you and one that you have a lot of stuff to say but if you have a lot of good stuff to say about multiple prompts then my next tip might help you decide which prompts to choose. this tip involves looking at your supplemental essays for other colleges and seeing if the prompts line up with any of the UC essay prompts. if you really wanted to talk about either the creativity prompt or the leadership prompt but you were having trouble deciding which one you wanted a pick, you can look at the other colleges that you’re applying to and look at what supplemental essays they require because most likely those are your regular decision colleges. you have some time for those. in my case I noticed that the USC creativity prompt was almost exactly like the UC creativity prompt. I just recycled my UC essay for that one and use it for the USC prompt as well and this was just a coincidence I didn’t know that at the time but this might be worth looking into to see if any of them match up just in case you’re like deciding between a couple prompts. one of the UC application essays has a prompt where it’s like which academic subject inspires you or one that you’re passionate about or something like that and. if you don’t have an extracurricular activity that relates to one of your academic subjects but you want to go with that prompt you can relate you can talk about some of your extracurricular activities that might not be directly related to it but you can show how they’re related to the your academic subject that you like still. for me I talked about my experience with Boy Scouts and then I connected that to my interest in biology and talked about how like going in the outdoors and stuff and just exploring nature showed like how I was interested in biology because I also really liked animals and stuff and exploring the wildlife.
I connected that together. you can do something like that to still show how some extracurricular activities that you have relate to your interest in whatever you’re majoring in and stuff like that and this is optional but you can also show some knowledge about that academic subject that you like. like when I was talking about my interest in biology I mentioned how exploring outdoors and stuff allowed me to see certain lakes that experienced eutrophication which is a term I learned in AP bio where it’s like having too much nutrients in your lake. I kind of explained that a little bit in my essay. that kind of like shows the admissions officers that I actually know a lot about it. I’m not just randomly majoring in biology. it kind of just gives you some credibility a little bit if you show some knowledge about the academic subject that you like my last tip for the UC application essays is to write with confidence don’t worry about whether you’re gonna get rejected or accepted while you’re in the essay writing process since those feelings can translate into your writing. with that in mind you want to make sure that you’re writing your essays while being passionate and confident you can be pessimistic about all this stuff second semester when decisions are coming out but for now just be confident and passionate and just give it your best shot all right if you have any questions or concerns leave a comment down below and if you want to see more videos like this make sure to subscribe and I’ll see in the next video
Dr. Josie: Are you super chatty and don’t know where to stop your college essay, or do you have one paragraph and don’t know how to extend your essay? Watch this video for quick tips to cut and maximize your common application essay, which should be about 250 to 650 words. Bonus secret? Please don’t write 250 words. Stay tuned. Dr. Josie: Thank you for joining me on my channel. For the best college essay advice, subscribe and hit the bell to make sure you get notified when I post new videos. Dr.
Josie: If you have a topic and possibly even a short draft but you don’t know where to go from there, stop and think strategy. By the end of this video, you’ll have three quick tips to figure out when to end your essay and why. Also, I’ll share some brief editing secrets to really transform your essay for maximum engagement. Hi, I’m Dr. Josie with Write Your Acceptance, and with hundreds of students all happy in college or graduates by now, I know how to make the admission officers remember you and root for you. Stick around. Now it’s your turn. Dr. Josie: Okay,. first the hard truth: respect the word count.
The common app main essay should be between 250 and 650 words. But bonus secret? Please don’t write 250 words. In my humble opinion, okay, not. humble opinion is get into the higher range. Don’t pad the essay and try to get to 649 words with material that lacks substance, but try and get to the higher range, 450, 500 words.
Remember that this is you on the mic on a podium, and the admission officers are listening to you. You have a direct line of communication to showcase your best self on this essay,. maximize that time, maximize their attention. Dr. Josie: Okay, now bonus for supplements. If the word count says no more than 200 words, stay to below 200 words.
If it’s between 150 and 200 words, stay in between there. Get over 150, but stay in between the parameters. It is just as challenging to stay entertaining, to deliver snazzy content and still be of substance within the parameters,. stick to the word count because you’re not telling them that you care anymore because you added an extra hundred words over what they asked you for. Dr.
Josie: Three steps for snazzy, word-count friendly common app essays. One is: What if my essay is too long? The first thing you want to do is control+F, control+find all helping verbs.. any content, especially in our narrative sections, where you’re saying, "I was enrolling in AP calculus," you, not me, because I can barely add, or, "I was riding bike," or, "I was walking down the street," all the was, is that is delaying your verb phrase and making your verb phrase longer, kill those and shorten your sentences whenever possible. Make the action more immediate. Dr. Josie: Step two, remember that this piece of text is considered creative nonfiction,. don’t feel like you have to have these transitional moments, transitional sentences that take you from one section of the memory to the next. Break it up. You can have one paragraph that ends with something like, "After five months of attending my AP calculus class, I launched a new tutoring club at my school," and then the next paragraph jumps right into kind of disoriented delight, remember from a previous video. If you haven’t, check it out.
You jump right into a memory and they try and figure out, they’re kind of playing catch up to see what’s going on in this particular moment of the essay, and you’ve cut out sentences that tell you you walked down to the admin office, you proposed this club. No, you’re already in the club already kind of giving us some detail and some kind of narrative scene.. don’t feel like you need those transitional statements. Dr. Josie: Are you stuck on whether or not to kill a transitional phrase, or do you not know how to shorten a line? Comment below. I’d love to help. Dr. Josie: If you are more reserved on the page, let’s say you have 200 words of the 650 or like of the 450, 500, and you’ve said it all, you don’t know exactly what else to add, you have your story down pat, identify two or three symbols or key images in the 200 words that you can provide kind of like an aside where you’re talking directly to your admission officer, your reader. Dr. Josie:. for instance, let’s say you mention a car. Let’s say you’re grounded and you can’t drive, you lost your driving privileges for whatever reason, and that’s what you’re writing about.
I don’t know if students get grounded anymore, but you look out the window and you see your car and you’re kind of upset at the fact that you can’t drive. Okay. Right there you can insert like three lines where you are breaking down the symbol.. cars are a notion of mobility. They take you from point A to point B. They also symbolize kind of wind in your hair type freedom, and right now your circumstance is anything but. It is the antithesis of that freedom.. you can kind of add a couple of sentences where you’re kind of critically engaged or philosophizing a little bit of your current circumstance, and slowly you’re padding a little bit, and feel like you can kind of creatively change the way that you’re speaking where you talk directly to the reader, and that’s kind of like a creative little element that changes up the tempo and kind of gets the reader reengaged into the moment.
Dr. Josie:. whether you have said everything you want to say, whether you’re cutting your essay a little bit because you’re too chatty, or you’re amplifying your kind of critical dimensions in your essay by philosophizing a little bit, by adding a little bit more context or an aside to the reader talking about what symbols mean where, make sure that you vet your topic. Make sure it is exactly the topic that maximizes your candidacy and it’s not a dud. Also, have you answered the growth question? Have you learned something? Are you doing something differently? Are you kind of a different, more wise individual because of your experience? That is a key question. Have you answered that indirectly? And stay tuned for a few other videos where I really delve into that.
Dr. Josie: If you liked my video, if you found it helpful, please like it, give it a thumbs up. Also, comment below if you have any questions.
Share with your fellow college bound friends the video, and definitely, definitely subscribe. And if you want to get off YouTube and join our community, I have content and community waiting for you on WriteYourAcceptance.com. I provide personalized feedback to students.
My students are progressing and happy as clams writing their essays and writing supplements,. join us and stay tuned for more videos. Thank you.