Your Concise Guide to the College Application Process!

Stressed out by the college application process?

Don’t miss my latest article in Arlington magazine for a step-by-step guide to this often confusing and frustrating process. I interviewed dozens of students, parents, admission officers, college essay coaches, and college admission counselors to get their best advice for you.

Organized chronologically, my article emphasizes a common sense, low stress approach to finding the best fit for any student.

Find Arlington magazine on newsstands, book stores, and grocery stores throughout Arlington, VA, including Lebanese Taverna Market, Bayou Bakery, Covet, and Cassatt’s. I’ll post a link when it’s live.

My Annual Free Talk on Writing YOUR College Essay!

Stressed out about college essays? Not sure what to write about or how best to do it?

I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll give my annual, one-hour talk on how to write YOUR college essay on May 21st at 7 p.m. at Arlington Central Library, 1015 N. Quincy St., Arlington, VA. All are welcome, but high school juniors and their parents will find it most helpful.

And, yes, it’s absolutely free! Giving this talk is my way of sharing my writing know-how with my cherished community. Most high schools don’t include any instruction on writing personal essays, so many students feel ill-equipped to handle these probing essay questions that demand introspection and story-telling skills. During my talk, I’ll share writing tools you can use to capture that admission officer’s attention and make yourself memorable. I’ll pay special attention to hooks and share some powerful examples from some of my former students’ essays.

I’ve guided hundreds of local students and three of my own children through the essay process and can help you, too! Wherever you are in the college application process, you’ll find my talk tremendously helpful and calming. And, if you decide you’d like more time with me, I still have openings for essay coaching in the 2017-18 season. (I did have to turn students away last year, so please let me know shortly after my talk if you’re interested.)

Yes, most admissions officers truly want to connect to you. Help them by sharing your best insights about yourself in the strongest words possible. Hope to see you in my audience on May 21st!

And please come early — it’s been standing room only the last few years.

Read On… and On and On

BoWbookpileThis particular article in Arlington Magazine is near to my heart. I’m a huge reader and think the world would be a kinder, calmer place if everyone read more. And research shows that regular readers live longer, are less stressed, and earn more money than those who rarely read. Wow! (Read my article below for the details. Here’s the link to the research on living longer, which came out after my article went to press.)

In addition, instilling a habit of reading into your children is THE BEST way to prepare them for the testing culture of SATs, ACTs, SAT II’s, and many Advanced Placement tests.

So how do you encourage your child to become a reader? Read on, dear reader.

College Essay Time

CoachSkills_400With some high schools out already and others finishing up soon, it’s the ideal time to start thinking about your college essay and schedule a meeting with me. A strong college essay requires introspection and excellent writing tools. Most high school students I’ve worked with don’t have a lot of experience writing personal essays and are intimidated by the prospect.

No worries! My coaching is designed to SHOW you how to write the best personal essays you can. I use model essays from college websites and from my own former students who have been accepted by great schools*. We’ll talk about how to write an irresistible hook and what writing tools work best in personal essays. My students leave our first meeting feeling confident and relieved that I’m on their side. Not only will they use their new writing toolbox for these essays, but they’ll also take it with them to college and beyond. And — the best part — I get back to my students within 48 hours when they send me anything, whether it’s a sample hook or a complete draft.

My schedule is already full during a few weeks over the summer, and I did have to turn away students last year. Please contact me ASAP if you’re interested in a reflective and less stressful college application process. I look forward to coaching you!

* Incidentally, a great school is the one that matches you well, whether it’s Harvard or Christopher Newport, Johns Hopkins or Warren Wilson. I had students who were accepted by and then chose all of these schools last year. (See “Testimonials” on the side panel for a complete list of which schools have accepted my students. It’s pretty impressive, if I do say so. I’m proud of my students who work diligently and creatively to convey who they are and thereby connect with the admissions officers at their chosen schools.)