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    It's Opening Day of Admissions Season

    It's Opening Day of Admissions Season

    "To be desired by a college, be a desirable student-applicant."- Hans 

    Well, that makes perfect College-Logical sense. Sure it does, but it's anything but typical. What's more typical is for students to do nothing more than just "Hit the Submit" button and hope for favorable outcomes.

    It's official, today is the kick-off to the college admission and application season. No, you won't find it on your calendar. No, you won't hear about it from your guidance counselor, travel team coach, or next door neighbor. You will only hear about it here!

    To win the college admissions game, you must know that the next 3 months of precise execution of your admission plan is necessary to win preferred acceptances and maximize scholarship potential. So, our annual July gift to you are our Top 10 Admission and Scholarship Tips. Here is-

    #1- Build relationships with the people in the admission office who will make the decision on your application.

    Having your application tagged "Stealth Applicant" when it comes across the computer screen for evaluation is a losing proposition. Rather, becoming well-known in the Admissions Office long before you hit-the-submit button is your ticket for getting preferred treatment for acceptances and scholarships. The admissions decision is a human decision, not a computer decision. Make it hard for them to say "No". Make it easy to get the checkmark.

    Stay tuned through the month for more!

    Oh, you don't have an admissions plan? Contact us and we will quickly have one for you.


    If you would like to save thousands on college costs, then this is a must book to read- 

    Dissecting the Big Business of College


    Founder CollegeLogic

    Office # 203.470.3704

    River of Divide

    River of Divide

    What made John Steinbeck famous as an author? It was his vivid descriptive style! 

    The key, and most missing element, to having a great application essay is to write in a vivid descriptive style.

    Writing with vivid language is a way to describe an action or a scene, allowing the reader to envision what you are talking about, painting a clearer picture for the reader to enjoy. Vivid description is writing which makes you feel as if you are standing there, right there where the author has just described something. Vivid description appeals to the senses- eyes, nose, ears, skin, and makes you feel a part of the scene.

    John Steinbeck, a great American author from the middle 1900's, beginning in the 1930's with books still read in schools today- "Of Mice and Men" and "The Grapes of Wrath", was an expert user of vivid language. All you have to do is read the first couple pages in Of Mice and Men to see for yourself, and you will instantly become a better writer for it.

    When it comes to college essays, you can count on this- good writing follows a flow; good writing is focused and written for a purpose; good writing is grammatically correct and easily readable; and good writing uses vivid description making it more enjoyable.

    You create your own advantage by having an essay that is interesting to read, making it more likely to get read by the college counselor.

    In writing a quality essay, here are a few important tips to consider.

    1) Have a creative title; the key is to draw immediate interest

    2) Do not stray or deviate from the topic; the key is to stay on point

    3) Steer clear of confusing terms and unnecessary words; the key is to be vivid and precise

    4) Begin with a dynamic first sentence; the key is to get the reader's immediate interest

    5) Create a flow from start to finish; the key is to move towards the conclusion

    6) Admission counselors much prefer shorter over longer; the key is to keep their interest

    Here is an awesome essay of a Syracuse student. 

    The River of Divide- The Mississippi River begins its course in northern Minnesota and wanders southward for 2,320 miles down the heart of America through the Mississippi Delta and into the Gulf of Mexico. To me, this has always distinguished how our nation is divided between the east and the west. The Mississippi River has always been considered the great divide of this country. However, we now have a new divide and this divide seems nearly as wide as the Atlantic Ocean, for which I call the racial-divide. It feels to me that the racial-divide in this country is expanding in width largely due to a combination of economic issues and discrimination practices. And with it comes a distrust amongst people which will only serve to widen the gap and further damage relationships. 

    I am a firm believer in the term that two-heads-are-better-than-one provided that both heads are working together to achieve common goals. But, I also know that when two heads are working against one another, the cause will be compromised and is often doomed. It seems as though our government's partisan way operates this way. And it feels like America is turning this way with racial strife that is ever present in society today. There are too many people in complete opposition with one another, causing distrust and turning to violence. 

    I will not stand for this anymore. My mission in life is to ensure that there is no division in my relationships with people no matter what their race, gender, ethnicity, or any other differentiating factor of the individual may be. While I realize that I can't resolve the country's divide, I assuredly can say that I will play no factor in contributing to it. It truly seems as if the media and politicians are flooding this river of divide as opposed to draining it.

    Though I live in Fairfield, Connecticut with a minority population under 7%, I live just five miles away from the city of Bridgeport which has a minority population approximating 80%. I've grown up knowing that differences exist in our communities, but I don't see any differences while I am out everyday living my life. I interact on sports fields and in classrooms with everyone equally without regard to someone's heritage or income level. 

    I am forever determined to follow my sense that two heads are better than one. Future partners and relationships of mine depend on this mindset. Once someone's race or ethnic background takes precedence over talent, intelligence, and character, then the opportunity is compromised. However, if we can forge new relationships without bias and prejudice, then our potential is unlimited. In this regard, I see opportunity as being the size of a vast ocean and not limited to that of a narrow river.

    When I look ahead to college, I will be better prepared to go to school and live amongst a student population coming from a variety of racial backgrounds and ethnic cultures. To many fellow students, I will be the one coming from a different background offering a different perspective. And that's ok! I will be rooming, studying, eating, and socializing with fellow students of various nationalities and unique personal characteristics. I will become aware of my triumph when I learn from other people's perspectives, and they learn from mine. I will openly engage in the social and academic opportunities in college in order to broaden my perspectives on life itself. Accordingly, I will never widen the River of Divide , rather I will always work to narrow it.


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    Turning Goodbyes into Hellos

    Turning Goodbyes into Hellos

    Too many essays are repetitive and boring, lacking of any real meaning and substance!  

    Picking a prompt is easy, picking a topic is critical. It is not about hardship, disadvantages, disappointment, sadness, trouble, or compromising circumstances that may challenge you in college. They don't want to hear about that, it won't work in your favor. Picking the most appropriate topic of interest and relevance is a challenge that takes substantive thought.

    Here's your chance to share something special about you that is not reflected anywhere else on the application. Think about the one thing that you want the admission counselor to know about you that will reflect favorably upon you. Think about the one thing about you that has prepared you best for college success. This is the task.

    Once you have picked a topic, it's time to start writing. But a freelance approach doesn't work. Rather, an organized and established writing style is much preferred by college admission offices. Follow these simple guidelines to writing a quality college essay.

    Essay style

    The college essay should be written in the narrative, telling a story and making a point. It should reach deep into your memory and provide the reader insight into you, the writer. It needs to be engaging and interesting. Begin with a title in mind, then concentrate on style, flow, and direction. Our preferred style of essay is called Show and Tell and it consists of three sections.

    The first section is the Show, beginning with the details of the story, the memory of what happened, when it occurred, and how it turned out. The story should refer to a defining moment that changed the course of your life, a personal challenge faced, a specific lesson learned, or a core quality developed. It should reflect a personal story that shaped your belief system allowing the reader to get a glimpse inside your life. It should conclude with making a point in the final sentence.

    The middle section is the Tell, the purpose of which is to express meaning, informing the reader what it all means to you and how it fits in your life. It should reflect in how it has become a part of who you are today, how it contributes to your everyday belief and decision process. Provide examples of how it's working for you.

    The final section is the Application, explaining the future benefit you will draw from the Show and Tell. I like this section to always begin with- When I look to my college days ahead, I will be... This may refer to being better prepared, better aware, better suited, or better ready for college. The final sentence should tie it all together and give the title clear meaning.

    The essay should reveal the quality of you. Use it to reflect something about you that cannot be found otherwise in your application. Do not use the essay to try to impress the reader by listing accomplishments or using big words. View the essay as your chance to separate yourself from others, making it memorable by engaging the reader with your story.

    Here is a top quality essay from one of our students, an Elon student today.

    Turning Goodbyes into Hellos

    After moving halfway across the world from South Africa to the United States, my family and I were finally adjusting to a new life. We had a home, I had finally established myself in a friend group, and things were stable for once. Yet right when I had settled down, it was time to pick up and move again. Devastated, I said goodbye to the new friends I had finally grown close to, and realized I would have to start all over again. It felt like a never-ending cycle. Despite the closeness of Westport and Wilton, the move felt like another trip across the world. I longed to stop being the new kid. I longed to have a friend group like every other child my age. The thought of not fitting in overwhelmed me.

    My first day of school approached faster than I had hoped, and I clung onto my fathers arm as I walked down the hallways of the unfamiliar school. Children rushed around with friends by their side, and I immediately felt isolated. Everyone already knew each other, and had experienced half a school year with each other. Panic took over me. When my father and I reached my classroom I realized it was time to part ways with him, and enter this room full of strangers, completely alone. Bursting into tears, I held onto him, begging not to go in. Not only was I distraught about having to take on a whole new school, but also I was overcome with anger. It seemed unfair that I had to do this. I had not chosen to move, and it was entirely out of my control.

    There are moments in life that stay with a person forever, and the day outside my classroom is one of them. With tears swelled up in my eyes, my father began to walk away, knowing that he had to force me in there. Suddenly, a young girl from my classroom came outside and hugged me. My crying ceased, and she took me into the classroom to join the others. From that day on she was my best friend. Although that hug seemed like a simple action to her, no one will understand what it meant to me. Had she not befriended me that day, my memories of that day could be far different. I have learned to value friendship, and have sensitivity to those that lack friendship in their lives. Having been on the side of the new kid numerous times, I am aware of the uncertainty, the fear, and the sadness it brings. Goodbyes are never easy, but after experiencing it many times now, I know that there are always hellos. Although moving felt like the end of the world it ultimately worked out for the best.

    As I plan for college, I realize that some of the greatest fears my fellow students have, I don't have. They fear saying goodbye to the friendly confines of their home, school, and community. I welcome in all the new hellos that lie ahead during my college journey. It's a wonderful, exciting, and empowering feeling to know I can head out into the unknown world with confidence in my ability to blend in with others doing the same thing. For college success, it is vital to get outside the comfort zone of familiarity and to embrace the challenges of meeting others and building new friendships. In doing so, I am able to leverage my abilities into a better school experience and improved options as I move towards my young adult life thereafter. I will once again turn goodbyes into hellos. This time around, however, I plan to be the one helping others do the same. Hello to college, here I come!


    As always, if you'd like to learn how to save thousands in college costs, you can pick up a copy of our new book today- 

         Dissecting the Big Business of College



    How to Write a Great Application Essay

    How to Write a Great Application Essay

    Some people write great college essay's, most others just write essays...the difference is huge!  

    It's that time of year. Our students will have their college application essay completed by July 31. It will draw and keep interest of the admission counselor. Anything otherwise and a denial can be arrived at quickly.

    We have our annual 3-part series on writing the college application essay to show you how we do it. Each part will conclude with an awesome sample essay. Imagine the moment your child's application comes across the computer of an admission counselor for their evaluation. Either it draws and keeps interest or it results in a quick denial, regardless of academic qualifications.

    Upon opening the application, a quick check on the student's academic record will be made. The counselor will likely turn to the application essay for a quick read. If found interesting, the counselor may read further and stay on the application. But in many cases, the counselors report they can't get past the first sentence or two of the essay.  

    In a matter of 5 minutes, the counselor will decide if it's worth their time to continue on with your application or send a denial letter. Don't assume it should be any other way. That's how important the application essay is, it cannot be overstated. 

    The application essay serves a golden opportunity for the student to demonstrate their ability to write with flow and direction, clarity and insight, meaning and purpose, doing so in a vivid and reflective style gaining immediate interest of the reader and keeping it through to the end. It will correlate a situation or circumstance with present day meaning. It will begin with a Title, provide interesting content, perform the basis for reaching a conclusion, and will tie it all together with a well-constructed ending.

    The student's initial job is to pick one of the seven prompts provided on the common application and answer it in 500 - 600 words, where less is more, wordiness is discouraged, and the use of big words and complex terms are highly disliked by the readers. The first prompt has been the most long-lasting. The fourth prompt was new last year and is of significant interest to admissions.

    Here are the Application Essay Prompts

    1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

    2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

    3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?

    4. Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma - anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.

    5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. 

    6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?

    7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design. 

    Here is a top-quality essay from one of our students, a UPENN student today.

    Next Stop

    September 6, 2012: I watched the doors slowly close behind me as I scrambled to find a seat on the train. I paused for a moment, wondering if I could pull the alarm bell and get the conductor to stop the train and let me out.  Here I was, thirteen years old, on my way to my first day of class at Lauralton Hall, 24 miles from home. Most kids my age were taking the bus to school, excited and having fun with their friends, while I was taking the train. My parents told me the train would be a great experience for me, it would be exciting and fun for me too. What I was experiencing was anything but fun and exciting. They said it was time to grow up. I thought it was time to go to high school. I knew adults commuted to work, but I didn't know kids commuted to school, but here I was sitting on the train waiting for my stop.

    Next stop: Fairfield "Fairfield, please watch the gap when exiting the train. Next is Bridgeport," the conductor stated over the speaker system in the train. A flood of men and women in suits stepped aboard the train. I moved my backpack so a woman talking on her cell phone could sit next to me. I tuned her out as I looked out the window and imagined the next four years of my life.

    Next stop: Bridgeport "Bridgeport, please watch your step when exiting," the conductor's voice boomed through the speakers once again. I glanced out the window and saw things I had never seen or at least noticed, ramshackle buildings covered in graffiti and garbage lining the streets. Time flew by as I looked out the window at my new surroundings. I anxiously waited as we traveled closer and closer to my destination.

    Next stop: Milford "This is Milford, watch the gap please," the conductor declared as I jumped out of my seat, grabbed my backpack, and ran off the train. I stepped out of the doors and onto the platform and this began my journey to my new school, my second home, for the next four years- Lauralton Hall.

    Three years later, in looking back to those early days, I realize how far I've come and in many ways. First of all, I'm proud that I have taken this train six hundred times going to school and six hundred times returning home without missing it once. Every morning, I wake up on a tight schedule with a sense of urgency to get to the platform on time because the train truly waits for no one. I've learned to make good use of my time while on the train, studying for tests, doing next week's homework, and preparing for the day ahead. I have had to adopt this level of discipline and responsibility on my own. To make it work day in and day out, I've had to own it.

    I have spent three years commuting to my own job- school. Sure, I could have quit, and decided to attend my local high school with my neighborhood friends, but no, in the face of the challenge, I have persevered and continued. Every time I step on the train I am reminded of that first day and my thought of pulling the alarm bell, but I have adapted and am much the better for it. Only two hundred more roundtrips to go.

    When I look to my college days ahead, I am a well-seasoned traveler, prepared and determined to see it through. I am ready to embrace the challenges, adapt to the new environment, and contribute to the college community. I'm excited for the opportunity to expand my own perspectives while in college and I hope to contribute the same to my new group of students and educators. I look forward to my next commute of walking to class on a college campus. Next stop: college.


    As always, if you'd like to learn how to save thousands in college costs, you can pick up a copy of our new book today- 

          Dissecting the Big Business of College

    Time to Get with the Program

    Time to Get with the Program

    Rarely do college visitors stop by the department of anticipated study, and why not?

    They don't know which department to visit, and that's a sad truth.

    In order to stop by your anticipated department of study while on a college visit, you would need to know which department that is. Most families would say- "My child doesn't know yet." Is that how you buy a car or buy a home? Of course not, and it shouldn't be that way in buying a college education. It's not good enough. Rather, you need to know, otherwise, you're being ineffective. 

    Here are 10 questions to ask in the Dept. of Anticipated Study-

    1. What is the job placement rate and how do you track it?
    2. What types of jobs do your graduates get and how do you know?
    3. What is their average starting pay?
    4. How do your students interact with each other and also with professors?
    5. What are the opportunities for research?
    6. What are the opportunities for study-abroad?
    7. What are the opportunities for internships and how do we get them?
    8. How can we combine studies with other departments?
    9. How do you stay current with all the changes going on in the world today?
    10. What specific studies do you have for preparing students for opportunities in the next decade?

    Now you're having a very effective college visit. You can move on with a great deal more insight into how the college prepares it students for achieving desired outcomes.

    That makes great college-logical sense to me! 

    Visiting these offices during college visits and being prepared to engage with the right questions will signify the difference between being effective versus ineffective! I like to be effective.

    Our student-families are effective in visiting colleges and evaluating the real opportunity; they don't just listen to the marketing pitch. You can be effective too, all you have to do is ask.

    As always, if you'd like to learn how to save thousands in college costs, you can pick up a copy of our new book today- 

     Dissecting the Big Business of College