What’s Your Word? Reply

application4I’m a writer. Given that you’re reading this, you probably already figured that out. Maybe I should’ve planned the introduction to this post a little more carefully… oh well, going with it at this point. Onwards!

Why am I emphasizing the obvious fact that I’m a writer? Because today I want to talk about something related to writing, especially for those authoring admissions essays, personal statements, statements of purpose, or any other piece of written work that will be submitted as part of your college, graduate, or professional application. More…

Monday Link Roundup for Week of 10/28/13 Reply

P copyIt’s Monday and you know what that means: only 5 more days until the weekend! It’s also Halloween week, so hopefully most of you have some fun stuff planned involving costumes, scary movies, fun with friends/family, and most importantly of all, epic quantities of candy that would give a dentist nightmares for years. More…

College Costs: Aim High, Pay Low Reply

aid1If you’ve been paying attention to the news for the past day or so, you may have seen reports with headlines like, “College Costs Slow Down,” “Are Soaring College Costs Finally Leveling Off?” and “Annual Rise in Cost of Public College Slows.” All of these articles focus on a new report from the College Board showing that on average, tuition and fees at four-year public schools rose just a hair under 3% this year, the smallest increase in roughly four decades. Obviously that’s good news for students, applicants, and parents everywhere. More…

The Common App, College Applications, and Preparing for Unforeseen Obstacles Reply

So the Common App and its technological challenges are still in the news this week. After reading a ton of articles on the topic, I realized many of them focused on how horrible this has been for applicants and how much stress it has added to an already stressful process. This got me thinking: are there things applicants can do to avoid or at least minimize stress when problems come up while completing college applications? After discussing with some colleagues and jotting down some notes, I realized that the answer is definitively yes – and the advice on how to do so is surprisingly simple. Read on for my take on how to avoid or at least effectively deal with surprise road blocks during the college application process! More…

Monday Link Roundup for Week of 10/21/13 Reply

P copyWelcome to the first of what will be an ongoing weekly feature here at the Peterson’s Newswire: our Monday Link Roundup. Every week we’ll start you off by sorting through the college admissions news from the previous week, picking out the most interesting and relevant articles, and putting them all together here for your reading convenience. Given the massive amount of news on this topic, we want this to be an easy way for you to stay up-to-date on recent trends without having to spend hours slogging through Google searches or RSS feeds. More…

College Essay Q&A Reply


The other day, I hosted a live Q&A chat at EssayEdge, one of our sister sites here at Peterson’s. The focus was on college application essays but we also delved into some other issues related to college admissions in general. Even though if you’re reading this, you almost certainly missed the live event, you can still read the transcript of that chat and hopefully get some value out of it. Here are a few examples of questions that were asked and answered: More…

The Gap Year Reply

Yesterday in an article on CNN.com, teacher and educational consultant David Marcus responded to the recent technical difficulties on the Common App website by using those glitches to encourage more students to take a gap year between the end of high school and start of college. He says:

I urge 12th-graders to consider a gap year, combining working, going to community college and doing public service. Grow up, I say, and take a year to find your passions and to give back to the taxpayers who have done a lot for you. Parents in high-pressure communities usually dismiss that idea.

I’m secretly hoping for more delays with the Common App.

If kids can’t apply to college now, they can’t go next year. And that means they’ll be forced to take a gap year, which likely will be the best preparation for college of which anyone can dream. More…

So, About those Common App Glitches… Reply

I’m guessing that most college applicants have heard about – or possibly experienced firsthand – the problems plaguing the Common App online interface recently. If you haven’t here are a couple news stories that should bring you up to speed:




Recommendations for Grad School – Choosing a Recommender Reply

We just added a new article on the site designed to answer some of the most important and basic questions about letters of recommendation for graduate school. In this first release, we focus on how you should decide on someone to write your recommendations. Check it out:


And be sure to stay tuned, as we’ll have another related article up in the coming weeks that focuses on some other important considerations when it comes to your recommendations. Have further questions or ideas for an article we could write on this topic? Let us know in the comments!

Should You Submit a Supplemental Essay? Reply

I get this question a lot, particularly when students are dealing with an application that says something like, “If there’s anything else you think the admissions committee should know…” or, “If there’s any part of your application that requires further explanation…” and then gives you the option to write. What to do when given this option? More…