200,000 applications and now 4 essays, that is 800,000 for a few readers. The competition is fierce out there, my son and daughter even used an online admission essay coaching service that caters only to UC applicants and they really helped them a lot.
I paid both bills and they seemed to be a very helpful company.
Think about what you accomplished and what you learned from the experience. Did you help to resolve an important dispute at your school, church, in your community or an organization?
And your leadership role doesn’t necessarily have to be limited to school activities. Do you have a creative skill that is important to you? If you used creativity to solve a problem, what was your solution? How does your creativity influence your decisions inside or outside the classroom?
It’s not because of the word count, it is because instead of having to brainstorm two essays, students will now have to brainstorm four essays.
Picking a theme and figuring out what to say is the hard part, not the actual writing. What would you say is your greatest talent or skill?The new prompts allow for a 350-word limit on each of the four prompts.My thoughts: • I’m glad they got rid of the poorly worded prompts they had been using.One of the pluses is that the questions should take some of the mystery out of what the admission office "wants." The questions are straightforward, which makes it easier to come up with direct answers.The need for an artful personal essay, a form not taught in most high schools, is reduced.If there’s a talent or skill that you’re proud of, this is the time to share it.You don’t necessarily have to be recognized or have received awards for your talent (although if you did and you want to talk about it, feel free to do so). Does the talent come naturally or have you worked hard to develop this skill or talent?On the other hand, the prompts mean more work for many.Students who are applying to UC schools and other colleges will need to write these four essays and the longer personal essay required for the Common Application and the new Coalition application. The only choice is to make sure to accept that in the college application process the essays can make a big difference, a topic I take up at greater length here: Web Link The UC System has been overwhelmed for some time now.In these times of extreme competition for admission to the UC's (and many other colleges), whatever essays are submitted by an applicant really should be written in a controlled environment.I think it is fair to presume that some applicants are getting much more "help" than others with their essays.