Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Study Offers Students Tips on College Application Process

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Study Offers Students Tips on College Application Process

Article excerpt

ALEXANDRIA, VA.

As high-school students nationwide assemble their college admission applications this fall, a new study by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) offers some tips to help make the process less stressful.

The study, authored by Sarah M. McGinty of the Harvard Graduate School of Education and funded by NACAC, confirms conventional wisdom about the dreaded college application essay: that while the essay can be an important "tip factor" in an application for admission, college admission officers are looking at other things first.

According to the study, students place more emphasis on essays than do admission officers. Students (49 percent) were more likely to rate their essay as a very important part of their overall application packet than were admission officers (36 percent). The overwhelming majority of admission officers and students both perceive the essay as being at least "somewhat important." At the same time, admission counselors underestimate the time students devote to writing essays, estimating about half the time students report they spend.

While much has been made of online essay services, students reported that their parents, English teachers and school counselors (in that order) were the top three sources of essay help. …

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