College Bound: The Write Stuff

December 8, 2013 | Nancy Frieder

How NOT to Write about an Inspirational Person

As I have driven past numerous flags at half-mast in respect for Nelson Mandela, I have thought about all the “heroes” and motivational people my students have written about in their college application essays. As their writing coach and editor, I must carefully guide the students into not getting caught up in the person they’re […]

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December 5, 2013 | Nancy Frieder

Boys vs. Girls

Recently I listened to a radio show discussing gifts for children, and much was said about the differences between “boys’ toys” and “girls’ toys.” Some stores even have designated blue and pink aisles to help shoppers along. One parent lamented that even the building projects were stereotyped. For instance, the pink aisle contained dollhouse kits; […]

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November 22, 2013 | Nancy Frieder

A Different Twist on the Anniversary of the JFK Assassination

This is the year of some significant 50th anniversaries, first with Martin Luther King Jr’s historic march on Washington and now with the JFK anniversary. I recently came across Kennedy’s college application to Harvard and thought it would be interesting to share. Kennedy may have been a fine President, but what do you think about […]

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October 22, 2013 | Nancy Frieder

What’s the Final Word about the Word Count for Essays?

The essays on the College Board's Common Application must be between 250 and 650 words. Shorter or longer essays will be rejected when they're electronically submitted. It’s that simple. Or is it? Students understand the concept, but sometimes they still aren’t sure how long their essays should be. I helped a student whose completed essay […]

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October 17, 2013 | Nancy Frieder

Adult Support for Getting Through College Application Stress

If your family is going through a lot of stress because your son or daughter is applying to colleges, you’re not alone. As the deadlines approach, many applicants have begun tearing their hair out over the college application essays. The bad news–as I’m sure you’re discovering–is the senior year is even more stressful than the […]

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October 8, 2013 | Nancy Frieder

Sailing Away in the Midst of College Application Season

I’m a fairly careful person, especially when it comes to superstitions. I assure you, I don’t believe in them, but I know about them and tend to decide for myself if I should pay them any heed. In other words, I step on cracks all the time, but I try not to break any mirrors. […]

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September 29, 2013 | Nancy Frieder

photo paper

Does Quality Matter?

Usually it’s the news in the newspaper that tends to disturb me. Today it was a thought. Donald Graham, who had announced he was selling The Washington Post in hope that the new buyer can figure out, in the current market, how to keep it from plummeting in value both monetarily and editorially. It’s a […]

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September 26, 2013 | Nancy Frieder

Calling for Great Application Essays

My husband and I are perhaps the most unlikely couple to have jumped on the “latest-greatest” iPhone bandwagon. He hasn’t yet mastered the art of email, and I never felt the need to welcome Siri into my world, being totally satisfied with my “obsolete” iPhone 4 and its 3G technology. Yet here we are, both […]

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September 16, 2013 | Nancy Frieder

Shopping for an Essay Topic? Think Locally!

The big buzz this week is Wegmans, the supermarket experience like no other. When the doors opened at 7 a.m. on Sunday, 1,000 people already were lined up to shop and get in on the action, according to an Associated Press report. Technically, many weren’t really checking it out because they had already shopped at […]

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September 13, 2013 | Nancy Frieder

black cat spock with Kathi Stanhope

Luck’s Role in Getting into College

It’s “Friday the 13th,” a day deemed unlucky. Even those who usually aren’t superstitious take extra caution on this day, “just in case.” This makes me think about—you guessed it!—the role luck plays in getting into college. Because I help students with their college application essays, one might think I would believe luck plays little […]

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