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My Successful Harvard Application (Complete Common App + Supplement)

In 2005, I applied to college and got into every school I applied to, including Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, and MIT. I decided to attend Harvard.

In this guide, I'll show you the entire college application that got me into Harvard—page by page, word for word.

In my complete analysis, I'll take you through my Common Application, Harvard supplemental application, personal statements and essays, extracurricular activities, teachers' letters of recommendation, counselor recommendation, complete high school transcript, and more. I'll also give you in-depth commentary on every part of my application.

To my knowledge, a college application analysis like this has never been done before. This is the application guide I wished I had when I was in high school.

If you're applying to top schools like the Ivy Leagues, you'll see firsthand what a successful application to Harvard and Princeton looks like. You'll learn the strategies I used to build a compelling application. You'll see what items were critical in getting me admitted, and what didn't end up helping much at all.

Reading this guide from beginning to end will be well worth your time—you might completely change your college application strategy as a result.

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William and Mary Supplemental Essay: 3 Key Writing Tips

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Dec 31, 2019 7:00:00 AM

College Essays

The College of William and Mary in Virginia is the second oldest university in the country, and it’s consistently ranked in the top colleges in the nation. Their acceptance rate reflects that: every year, only 36% of students who apply are admitted.

That means that if you’re interested in applying to William and Mary, you’ll want your application to shine. Simply having good grades and test scores isn’t enough on its own—in fact, 75% of accepted William and Mary students were in the top 10% of their high school class

This is where the optional William and Mary essay comes in. This is your chance to make your application stand out! So what is this optional essay, and how optional is it? This article will tell you everything you need to know about the William and Mary supplement essay, including: 

  • Explaining the William and Mary supplemental essay prompt
  • Walking you through how to answer the prompt
  • Going over what admissions counselors are looking for in an excellent supplemental essay

We have a lot to cover, so let’s get started!

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4 Top Tips to Write a Stellar Syracuse Essay

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Dec 30, 2019 3:00:00 PM

College Essays

Getting admitted to Syracuse has only gotten tougher in recent years, and its current acceptance rate is about 50%. You’ll need a strong application to get admitted, and that includes your essays. You’ll need to write two supplemental essays as part of your Syracuse application, and we’re here to guide you through every step of the process. Read this guide to learn what the essay prompts are, what the admissions team is really looking for in your responses, what you can write about (and what to avoid), and what strong examples of Syracuse essays look like.

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3 Top Tips for Writing Your WashU Supplement Essay

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Dec 23, 2019 12:00:00 PM

College Essays

As of Fall 2019, all applicants to Washington University in St. Louis will have to submit a supplemental essay as part of their application packet. That means that in addition to the essays you write as part of your Common Application or the Coalition Application (WashU accepts either one), you’ll have to submit a third essay that you write specifically for Washington University in St. Louis. 

Because WashU’s acceptance rate is highly competitive—only 16% of students are accepted every year!—you’ll need to write a stellar WashU supplement to give yourself the best shot at getting in. But what does a good WashU supplemental essay look like? 

This article is going to explain everything you need to know about the Washington University supplemental essay, including: 

  • Explaining what the WashU supplemental essay is and how to choose the correct essay prompt
  • Separate walkthroughs of both the general supplemental essay prompt and the Beyond Boundaries supplemental essay prompt
  • Tips and tricks for writing an excellent Washington University supplemental essay

So without further ado, let’s dive in!

 

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3 Writing Tips for the University of Florida Essay Prompts

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Dec 19, 2019 5:00:00 PM

College Essays

Are you applying to the University of Florida? There are six essay prompts you’ll need to answer as part of your application: one long essay and five shorter prompts in the University of Florida supplement. Many people rush through the shorter UF essay prompts, but they are an important part of your application. Read this guide to learn what the University of Florida essay prompts are, what admissions officers are looking for in your response, what you should include and avoid in your answers, and what strong UF college essay examples look like.

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4 Tips to Write Stellar Emory Essays

Posted by Hannah Muniz | Dec 19, 2019 4:00:00 PM

College Essays

Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Emory University is a prestigious private university ranked within the top 25 universities nationwide. To apply here, you'll have to submit your transcripts, SAT or ACT scores, and a few essays. But what do you actually have to write for your Emory essays?

Below, we present to you this year's Emory University essay prompts and offer you tips for figuring out which prompts you should choose for your application. We will also look at admissions officers' feedback for real Emory essays that worked.

Let's get started!

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Purdue Supplemental Essay: 4 Top Tips for Writing Yours

Posted by Hannah Muniz | Dec 18, 2019 8:00:00 PM

College Essays

Known for its highly ranked engineering program and huge array of academic programs, Purdue University is an excellent public university to consider for college. To apply here, though, you will need more than just good gradesyou will need to write unforgettable essays as part of the Purdue supplement.

In this guide, we go over the current Purdue essay prompts and offer helpful tips on how to write each Purdue supplemental essay you’re required to submit. After, we take a look at a real Purdue supplement essay example.

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4 Top Tips for University of Michigan Supplemental Essays

Posted by Hannah Muniz | Dec 9, 2019 2:00:00 PM

College Essays

The University of Michigan is one of the highest-ranked universities in the nation and is therefore a popular choice for many students, especially those in Michigan and the Midwest. At present, U-M's got a relatively low acceptance rate of just 23%.

If you’re planning to apply to this coveted university, then you’ll need to know how to write your best University of Michigan supplemental essay possible. Read on to learn what the University of Michigan supplemental essays entail and to get some advice on answering the various prompts. We also give you real University of Michigan essay examples and general tips for producing a great college essay.

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College Essay Prompts: Complete List, Analysis, and Advice

Posted by Alex Heimbach | Nov 17, 2019 8:30:00 AM

College Admissions, College Essays

When talking about college essays, we tend to focus on the Common Application prompts, and it's true that many students will need to write a Common App essay. However, there are actually quite a few schools, including both public and private universities, that don't use the Common App and instead ask applicants to respond to their own college essay prompts.

Luckily, college essay prompts tend to be pretty similar to each other. In this guide, I'll list all the college essay questions for popular schools in the US (and a few abroad) and then break down the patterns to help you brainstorm topics and plan how to approach multiple essays efficiently. After reading this guide, you'll be able to strategize which essays you'll write for which colleges.

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How to Write an Excellent "Why Tufts?" Essay

Posted by Melissa Brinks | Nov 3, 2019 11:00:00 AM

College Essays

If you're applying to Tufts University, you should already have an answer to "Why Tufts?" But answering the "Why Tufts?" essay question as part of your application requires more than acknowledgement that it's a good school.

Whether you attend because Tufts has some of the happiest students or because you want the prestige of attending a well-regarded research university, this guide to the "Why Tufts" essay prompts will guide you through the requirements, expectations, and strategies you need to write an exemplary essay.

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3 Tips for Writing a Stellar Why Boston University Essay

Posted by Hayley Milliman | Oct 13, 2019 3:00:00 PM

College Essays

If you're applying to Boston University, you'll need to respond to the Why Boston University essay prompt. The Why BU essay is a required element of your application and a great way to show the BU admissions committee why Boston University is the right fit for you, and vice versa.

In this article, we'll break down the Why Boston University essay prompt, give you ideas for what to talk about in your own essay, and offer tips for writing an essay that's sure to wow the admissions committee.

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4 Tips for Writing a Stellar Boston College Essay

Posted by Hannah Muniz | Oct 13, 2019 12:00:00 PM

College Admissions, College Essays

Ranked among the top 50 colleges nationwide, Boston College is an excellent college choice, especially if you're hoping to attend a religious institution. As part of the application process, you'll need to submit a Boston College essay. So what should you write about in your essay to raise your chances of getting admitted here?

In this guide, we closely analyze all Boston College essay prompts, providing you with our best tips and advice. We'll also take a look at real Boston College essay examples to give you an idea of what a successful Boston College essay can look like.

So let's get started!

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4 Tips for Writing a Johns Hopkins Essay That Works

Posted by Melissa Brinks | Oct 13, 2019 12:00:00 PM

College Essays

Johns Hopkins University is considered one of the top-10 national schools in the United States. As the country's first research university, Johns Hopkins is interested in fostering lifelong learning and research. Although their medical school is perhaps their most famous department, Johns Hopkins has many prestigious programs—and their reputation means that admittance is extremely competitive, with just an 11% acceptance rate.

If you want to join the band of Blue Jays, you'll need to be a stellar student—and you'll need to write a killer Johns Hopkins essay. This guide will walk you through the Johns Hopkins supplement, including best practices for answering the prompt, how to plan your essay, and analyzing essays that got other applicants in.

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5 Tips for Writing the Michigan State Admissions Essay

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Oct 6, 2019 12:00:00 PM

College Essays

So you’ve decided to apply to Michigan State University. You’ve made a great choice—not only is it one of the top public universities in the nation, 95% of undergraduates land jobs or go onto graduate school after graduation! Additionally, more than 25 of its undergraduate programs are ranked in the top 20 nationally, including the best supply chain management and logistics program in the country. And like most top schools, the MSU application requires you to submit an application essay.

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about writing and submitting the Michigan State admissions essay, including:

  • A discussion of the Michigan State admissions standards,
  • Where to find the Michigan State application, and
  • Five tips to write a Michigan State admissions essay that will get you in.

So let’s get started!

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3 Expert Tips for the Boston University Supplement Essays

Posted by Hayley Milliman | Sep 29, 2019 3:00:00 PM

College Essays

If you're applying to Boston University this year, you'll have to respond to at least two Boston University essay prompts.

In this article, we'll cover what the Boston University essay prompts are, how to answer them, and provide key tips for writing the best application essays possible.

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