Monday, October 03, 2005

College Admissions: Writing For Success

Joanne Jacobs' piece about college admissions essays has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle. Here is a sample:
By applying her mother's work ethic to education, Selena became an A student in the first graduating class at Downtown College Prep, a San Jose charter school created to prepare underachieving Mexican American students for four-year colleges.

But her grades and test scores weren't enough: To win one of the rare scholarships open to undocumented immigrants, Selena had to nail the essay.

A new season is beginning in the college admissions sweepstakes. It's a contest in which middle-class suburbanites envy students like Selena, blessed with poverty, brown skin and compelling stories of hardship.

The advantaged analyze their life histories for useful traumas, perhaps a parental divorce or an injury before the big game. Those with real family problems, such as alcoholism or mental illness, usually aren't ready to write about it.

The phonies do better: One of my daughter's classmates at high-ranking Palo Alto High wrote a moving account of coming out as gay, which he's not. Another invented a kidney donation to his grandmother.
Consider taking the time to read this highly engaging essay written by one of the best writers in the EduSphere.

Our 13-year-old daughter, the TeenWonk, is already thinking about college. Interestingly, she is insisting on going to a school where there are boys. Let the worrying begin!
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