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While students will not be let in on their SAT or ACT scores alone, for many selective colleges these results function at least as a simple “sorting hat” that divides the possible admits from the merely hopeful.Similarly, while an outstanding personal essay will probably not overcome the weight of poor grades or lukewarm letters of recommendation, they help admission officers choose from among a surfeit of strong candidates. The percentage of all colleges, public and private, for which the essay is a significant factor in selectivity, has increased from 14% in 1993 to 25% in 2012, according to the National Association for College Admission Counseling in its latest annual report.Travel with a new perspective “Participants on Alternative Spring Break get an opportunity to be a part of something bigger than themselves.
The essay is perhaps the most daunting part of college applications, alongside standardized tests.
SATs and essays essentially act as bookends to the admissions process.
While some decried the release of these “sacred texts” and the public mockery of their young writers, others pointed to the banality, absorption and self-aggrandizement of the published examples.
Admission officers at highly selective institutions like Columbia are well aware of the skill, social breadth and intellectual depth they can reasonably expect from some of the world’s highest performing students.
But they also remain deeply conscious that they are poring over the writings of high school children.
Meanwhile, a recent decision by the Common Application (the online application used by 400 universities) to radically overhaul the personal statement has once again highlighted the role of the essay in an American college application.ASB trips can focus on a wide range of social issues: from working in a soup kitchen or homeless shelter to rebuilding trails in national parks; there is much to benefit from and learn while on a service-oriented break.Though it may seem like a big commitment to give up your spring break, here are five benefits from joining your school’s ASB program that'll change your mind.A college’s ASB program is usually offered through their campus activities or student affairs department.Some schools also partner with organizations, like Habitat for Humanity, that run college programs designed to execute volunteer trips.Maybe it’s a hike through the Amazon or a safari in South Africa. We think it’s a major mistake for you to be writing about such topics in your college essays. We’ve been saying it for years and yet, year after year, students send us their college essays boasting of their extensive travel throughout the world. Just as nobody wants to look over your shoulder as you show them picture after picture of your adventures on the Greek Islands (even if they’re smiling and nodding that they do), no college admissions officer at a highly selective college wants to hear about it either. And you don’t want to be boring in your college essays. But beyond boring, all that traveling abroad conveys to admissions officers at highly selective colleges is that mommy and daddy can afford to send you to far off parts of the world.Habitat For Humanity’s Collegiate Challenge program connects volunteers to needs in their communities and since its start in 1989, the program has had 230,100 students volunteer through their spring break program and 543 affiliates have hosted student groups.Break Away is a national nonprofit organization that promotes the development of quality ASB programs through training, assisting and connecting campuses and communities.We all know that a sincere, well-written essay that provides insights about how the student has matured, is occasionally shared among the admissions staff.But, I’m guessing that there are a lot more essays that produce eye-rolls, giggles and gasps of “not again.” So how do you make your essay famous instead of infamous?