The 2017 Common App Essay Prompts Are Out. What Are They?

Posted by IPFW Admissions Team on 6/6/17 4:30 PM

Earlier this year, the Common App announced some changes to its essay prompts. The app includes revisions to some existing prompts, plus two new additional prompts. The Common App administrators do things like this because they want to improve the system and make it even more valuable and useful as the schools evaluate potential students.

We summarized the changes below and offer some information on how they might impact you or your child.

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Topics: Applying to College, Common App

If the Common App Essay Is Optional, Should You Do It?

Posted by IPFW Admissions Team on 6/1/17 4:30 PM

You made it through the Common Application’s personal profile section. You survived telling them about your family and your education. You slogged through your test scores and labored over your activities list. 

Then you see it: The Common App essay. The optional one. And it’s standing between you, your college future, and your plans for binging on Netflix tonight.

Hmm … if the essay is optional and many colleges don’t require it (including IPFW), could you just call it a night without writing one? Even if none of the schools on your list require an essay, can you really skip it without any concerns? Will an essay-free application make you look like a weak admissions candidate? Or will including an optional essay seem like overkill to your admissions officer?

Those make great questions, but let’s start with simpler one: Why do they ask for an essay at all?

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Topics: Applying to College, Common App, Essay Advice

Oops! I Made a College Application Mistake. Can I Fix It?

Posted by IPFW Admissions Team on 5/30/17 4:30 PM

Everyone knows that sinking feeling when you realize you made a mistake on something important. But there aren’t many things in life as important as the college you attend, which is why a goof-up on your application can feel like the end of the world, especially if it’s your dream school..

Fortunately, a mistake on your application isn’t the end of the world. If you just realized you made a blunder on your application, follow the steps below to handle the problem gracefully and minimize the negative impact.

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Topics: Applying to College, Common App

4 Things to Take Care of While You’re Waiting for a College Admissions Decision

Posted by IPFW Admissions Team on 1/12/17 8:30 AM

And just like that, your last application has been submitted. First of all: congratulations! If you’ve followed our advice over the past few months, you’ve put a lot of time and work into applying to college and you should feel proud.

Waiting to hear back from the schools on your list can be agonizing, but it doesn’t have to be. The trick is to keep busy. 

Shifting your attention to other things on your college application to-do list will help make the time go by faster, and ensure you’re ready to hit the ground running once you’ve received the last of your decisions.

Here are four things to do during the next couple of months (that don’t involve hitting refresh on your admissions status portal).

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Topics: Applying to College, Common App

How to Find Your Colleges on the Common App Website

Posted by IPFW Admissions Team on 12/13/16 8:30 AM

One of the hardest parts of the college search process is identifying schools to apply to. The easy part? Finding the schools you want to apply to on the Common App website. It’s a simple two-step process once you’ve made your account.

Step One: Search for your schools.

Click on the College Search tab to get started. You’ll use the College Search tab to locate and add schools to your list. If you already know which schools you want to add to your My Colleges list, you can type each name directly into the School/City field.

You can also search for schools by state or country, or search for schools based on distance from your zip code. 

Additionally, you can refine your search based on application deadlines.

Step Two: Add your schools. 

To add a school to your My Colleges list, check the box besides its name and click the Add button at the bottom of your search results. If you want to add all the colleges from your search results, you can click the box next to Member Name in the top-left area of your screen.

And that’s it! Your schools have now been added to your list. You can continue to search and add additional schools, or begin reviewing your deadlines and requirements for each school you’ve added.

If you’re ready to begin your applications, be sure to read our guide on 12 Common Mistakes First-Timers Make When Applying to College with the Common App, or check out our recent article: Common App FAQ: 10 Burning Questions Answered for College Applicants.

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Topics: Applying to College, Common App

Your College Application Checklist for December 2016

Posted by IPFW Admissions Team on 12/1/16 8:30 AM

 If you’re all caught up on your November checklist for college applications, it’s time to keep moving in the month of December. 

(We know it’s tempting to take a break over the holidays, but you’ll be glad you kept on top of things once January rolls around.) 

For High School Juniors

  • Keep doing your best in your classes
  • Look for ways to get involved in clubs, organizations, or volunteer work
  • Take the PSAT Exams (if you haven’t already)
  • Continue researching colleges and universities
    • List the important priorities for you
    • Talk to your school counselor
    • Reach out to your colleges’ admissions teams
    • Attend college fairs and meet with the admissions reps
    • Follow schools on social media

For High School Seniors

  • Check your list of deadlines from November, including:
    • Application deadlines
    • Scholarship deadlines
    • Financial aid deadlines
    • Recommendation letter deadlines
  • Check your Common App deadlines (if you’re using Common App)
  • Retake the SAT/ACT (if necessary, and if you didn’t in November). Remember: schools allow you to apply with your best scores from each section of the test, so taking the SAT/ACT multiple times can help improve your chances of getting into college
  • Research and apply for at least two scholarships

Keep checking your list throughout the month, and try to knock something out every week. You’re making great progress, and spring is just around the corner.

Want to know how to prepare for the rest of the year? Be sure to download our Ultimate College Decision Timeline.

Download the checklist - The Ultimate College Decision Timeline

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Topics: Applying to College, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Application Timeline, Common App


 

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