Pomona College Supplement Essay 2013

“Matt,” I said, “your guinea pig isn’t going to college, you are. I know how much you loved Bucky, but this isn’t going to work.” Matt and I talked about ways that he could write an essay that would reflect his love of animals and he settled on writing about his experience at the rescue ranch.He wrote a tightly focused essay that was stuffed with delightful details.One reason why students are confused is because I believe that high school counselors and English teachers typically don’t understand what elements are necessary to compose an excellent admission essay.

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The committee, however, decided to eliminate the best essay question available – Option No. This option prompts applicants to write on: “.” The son of a friend of mine used Option No. 6, one of my nephews wrote a college essay that shared the simple joy he experienced during the many weekends that he spent volunteering at a ranch for abandoned farm animals. The first thing Ben wants to do when he returns home from his study abroad in Budapest this week is to buy lumber for the Christmas presents that he is going to make.

6 when he wrote about how he would love to create a superior pickle. This animal lover, who is a freshman at Westminster College in Missouri, started his essay with a vivid description of one of his main jobs — dumping wheelbarrows full of horse manure into a huge, steaming mountain of dung near the stable. Coincidentally, the Common Application announced it was ditching this valuable option on the day I talked with a friend whose daughter had attended a summer camp at Cal Tech.

I’ll give you one example of what I’m talking about.

Like a lot of high school seniors, my nephew Matt originally wrote his college essay in his English class. Louis.) Matt wrote about his pet guinea pig who had recently died.

If there had been professional writers on the panel, they would surely have blockaded the door until the group agreed to leave Option No. Reading the tea leaves, it appears that the counselors believed that Option No.

6 needed to be eliminated because minorities students would have trouble with this question.Doolittle had influenced his passion for animals or some other nonsense.(In my next post, I’m going to share Matt’s essay because I think it’s important that students appreciate what a good one looks like.) Rather than censoring what students can write about in their college essays, I wish the folks at the Common Application would explore ways to educate teenagers across the country about how to write a proper college essay. If you want to weigh in on this ill-conceived essay change, the nonprofit says it will continue to listen to feedback. Matt described how sick Bucky was, how brave he was and how he had used his last energy to crawl to Matt’s side.The English teacher signed off on this essay and Matt was going to use it in his applications until he talked to me.I would much rather learn more about the kid who wants to make better pickles.Not surprisingly, there’s been a lot of push back about this essay change.Matt didn’t have to tell the admission readers in the essay that he loved animals, it came through in his story.I shudder to think how stilted the essay would have been if Matt had been stuck with Option No. Imagine how different the essay would have been if Matt had been forced to write about how Dr.I surely hope that this isn’t the motivation because I think it is HIGHLY INSULTING to students of color!!!As a volunteer at my son’s high school in San Diego (High Tech High), I helped many students with their college essays, including the sort of students whom the counselors appear to want to protect.


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