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Greenes' Guides to Educational Planning: Presenting Yourself Successfully to Colleges

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In recent years, as the number of applications to top colleges has risen dramatically and fewer schools have been able to grant personal interviews to most applicants, the written application has become one of the most important factors for admissions committees. ...

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In recent years, as the number of applications to top colleges has risen dramatically and fewer schools have been able to grant personal interviews to most applicants, the written application has become one of the most important factors for admissions committees. Marketing yourself successfully to schools — making yourself stand out from the thousands of high school seniors applying to college — is no easy task, but with the help of this straightforward, easy-to-follow guide you will make the most of your personal application. You will learn what kinds of essays have been successful and why and see how to write a unique personal statement that reflects your strengths. With checklists, writing samples, and advice on how to get great recommendations, Presenting Yourself Successfully to Colleges will give you all the tools you need to make your application stand out. Howard and Matthew Greene will explain how to:

  • Assess your strengths and unique characteristics
  • Assemble your application
  • Write an outstanding personal essay that represents you well
  • Create a strong resume
  • Ask for recommendations
  • Make yourself known to colleges
  • Maintain ongoing communication with colleges
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Editorial Reviews

The authors, professional college placement counselors, continue their successful series of educational planning titles called Greene's Guides with this latest book. Addressing a dilemma many graduating seniors face, they discuss the ever-growing glut of competing college applications out there and the limited number of interviews being granted by prospective colleges. They surmise that the only way for a student to get into the college of choice is to market oneself by creating an application that stands out from the rest. Chapters take the reader step-by-step through the process of self-evaluation, writing an effective personal essay, getting the needed recommendations from mentors, and packaging the application properly. The personal assessment section should help the teen reader clarify strengths and weaknesses. The bulk of the book examines college essay writing, with a useful compilation of essays that represent many categories of students and varieties of writing styles. A list of clichés, childish phrases, and slang words to be avoided is right on target. The marketing chapter covers résumés, the interview, portfolios, and letters of recommendation. The guide concludes with summarized checklists and frequently asked questions about the application process as a whole. The advice given here is sound, practical, and comprehensive. All libraries serving nervous college-seekers should consider this book a readable, student-friendly manual and bargain buy. Biblio. VOYA CODES: 4Q 2P S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2001, Cliff Street Books/HarperCollins, 273p,
—Kevin Beach
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060934606
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/28/2001
  • Series: Greenes' Guides Series
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,366,219
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Howard Greene, M.A., M.Ed., is the president of Howard Greene & Associates, the nation's leading independent educational consulting company, and is a former Princeton University admissions officer and member of the Faculty Board of Advisors. Howard has counseled thousands of students for almost forty years and has been a consultant for numerous schools, colleges, and corporations. A graduate of Dartmouth College, he holds master's degrees from Harvard and New York University. He lives in Wilton, Connecticut.

Matthew W. Greene, Ph.D., is Educational Director of Howard Greene & Associates. Matthew has consulted with families for a dozen years and often writes and speaks on educational planning and college admissions issues. A graduate of Dartmouth College, Matthew has taught and advised students at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he earned his doctorate in public policy. He lives in Wilton, Connecticut.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix
Introduction 1
Chapter 1 Presenting Yourself to the Colleges of Your Choice 9
The Importance of Stating Your Case to the Admissions Committees 9
What "Marketing Yourself" Means 11
How to Assess Your Strengths and Unique Features 18
When and How to Market Yourself 21
Assessing the Colleges That Closely Match Your Strengths 22
Communicating Your Strengths by Supplementary Documentation 24
The Value of Recommendations from Those Who Can Speak to Your Strengths 26
Summary 29
Chapter 2 How to Write an Exciting Essay 30
Getting Started 30
Major Requirements for Good Essay Writing 31
What Is a Personal Essay? 33
Don't Get It Right, Get It Written! 35
A Reflective Personal Statement 39
A Pair of Mature Personal Essays 42
Chapter 3 Principles of Good College Essay Writing 47
Why Do We Have to Do This Stuff? 48
What Some Colleges Say about Essay Writing and Presentation 49
Pieces of the Puzzle: Assembling Your Application 55
Different Types of Essay Questions--Yet You Are You 56
Sample Essay Questions from the Common Application and Applications from Top Schools 63
Reading between the Lines of Essay Questions 74
Adapting Your Work: Using the Same Essay for Multiple Topics 75
The Additional Writing Sample 76
Asking and Answering Your Own Question 77
Dos and Don'ts of Good Essay Writing 78
How You Know When You Have Written Your Best Personal Statement 81
Chapter 4 Types of Students and Examples of the Essays They Have Written 82
The All-Around Kid 82
The Athlete 89
The Performing or Creative Artist 100
The Liberal Artist 113
The Research Scientist 122
What I Stand For: The Student with a Passion and a Statement to Make 130
The Survivor 144
The International Student 151
The Expatriate 153
The Student with a Learning Disability or Special Needs 165
The Late Bloomer 173
The Fallen Angel: The Student with Something Negative to Explain 177
Special Circumstances 178
The Postgraduate or Student Taking a Year Out 183
The Transfer Student 188
Miscellania: Other Strong Examples of Writing on Different Topics 194
Now That You Have Written Your Essays... 206
Chapter 5 What Else? Marketing and Presenting Yourself through Supplementary Materials and Communication 208
Marketing and Presenting Yourself 208
Reporting New Developments to Colleges As They Occur 211
Putting Together a Strong Resume 212
Interviews 224
Contacting Supporters and Writing Letters 225
Asking for Recommendations 225
Letters from Others 226
Letters from You 236
Assembling and Submitting Supplementary Materials 251
Portfolios 252
A Book List (Bibliography) 253
In Summary 256
Chapter 6 Summary Checklist and Frequently Asked Questions about Presentation 258
Presentation Checklist 258
Frequently Asked Questions about Presentation 263
A Presenter's Glossary 267
Concluding Advice for Parents and Students 272
Bibliography 275
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