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July 2, 2021

2 Minutes Read

Hi friends,

Greetings from Chicago and happy of 4th July weekend!

The Savvy Applicant is a biweekly email where we share important news and actionable guidance on the selective college admissions process. If you have a question you'd like answered, send it our way.

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New and Upcoming @PCC


✍️Write Your Way Into College (class of 2022)

Registration is now open for our signature college essay writing course. It's 5 weeks that takes students through a series of video lessons, live classes, and 1-to-1 coaching sessions. Live Zoom sessions begin July 13

📺College Essay Masterclass

Earlier this week we recorded a live 1.5 hour webinar showcasing our "ACE" method for writing a compelling college essay.  It's nowhere near as detailed as our course, but it's full of actionable insights and worth checking out. ICYMI, you can watch the recording.

🚀College Admissions Launchpad (class of 2023 and 2024 + parents)

Hosted by Peter and myself, this intensive virtual workshop addresses every element of the college preparation and application process. Registration for the July session is now closed. Next Available Date: Aug 7. 




👨‍🍳Too Many Cooks


Receiving feedback is a crucial part of the college essay writing process. Even the most talented authors have editors. The key is to ensure you are asking someone whose opinion is credible, and that you trust to give constructive, honest, and valuable feedback.

Be mindful however; one of the biggest mistakes and causes of stress for students is getting feedback from too many people. They all mean well, but "too many cooks in the kitchen" never works. 

So whether it is a counselor, teacher, parent, or sibling, try to work primarily with one person. There are points where it may be appropriate to share with someone else, but be specific about what you are asking them to do:

“What are the main character strengths or values that this essay highlights?” is a good question. It limits the scope and ensures you get actionable feedback.

As you go through the writing process, be patient. Know that many exemplary essays have often gone through many drafts before you have had a chance to read them. Know that if your story is authentic and well developed, admissions committees will appreciate your work. 

For more, check out our guide on How to "ACE" Your College Essay



A few more things...


  • 😎California DreaminIt's no secret that many state colleges look to fill budget gaps by admitting large numbers out-of-state students who pay more in tuition. 3 of the top publics, UC Berkeley, UCLA , and UC San Diego have now committed to reversing this trend. Bottom line: these schools are going to be a reach for everyone, but even a little further for some of us. You can read the WSJ article here.
  • 👨‍🔬STEM For Fun: Whether you are interested in MIT or not, they compiled an excellent list of some competitions, fairs, summer programs, organizations, and websites that will challenge your imagination and powers of analysis, connect you with other like minded peeps, and help you prepare for the rigor of an elite college (not to mention make you a competitive applicant).  
  • 💰On The MoneyThere is no shortage of college essay examples to read, but every year the New York Time's publishes five that touch on issues of money. The best (college) essays—whether about money or something else—offer a momentary bit of enlightenment and delight. 

😱Correction: It was brought to my attention that the last Savvy Applicant Newsletter had a bad link. My apologies! For those of you looking for our detailed guide to letters of recommendation, please enjoy. And as always, let me know if you have questions.

Remember that the college admissions process is a character-based evaluation. Your character gets communicated in your LORs and almost every other piece of your application!

6 Elements of Character