So much of college admissions counseling is customized to specific student needs, wants, and fit. There is a seemingly infinite number of students and college pairings. And there is no shortage of ways that students can learn, be guided, and travel through their college application journey.
But while many resources are available both online and tucked away in the C:\ drives and Google Drives of college counselors around the world, there are certain special destinations on the internet that offer incredibly helpful resources for admissions that can be used right out of the box...and completely for free.
One of those destinations is Emerson Educational Consulting Resources & Free Tools section. This veritable treasure trove includes college application checklists, Letter-of-Recommendation guides, and much more.
We sat down with Marilyn Emerson, who authored these documents, to provide a more in-depth guide to help counselors and students utilize these resources.
THE COLLEGE APPLICATION CHECKLIST
From Marilyn: "Students can keep track of application deadlines and what each college or university requires for admission. It is fillable online using Adobe (it’s free to use). Tip: Seniors should update the form weekly until all their applications are complete."
DO'S AND DON'TS OF WRITING A COLLEGE ESSAY
From Marilyn: "These tips to help students write a college essay that lets the reader get to know the student, how the student thinks and what the student will add to the incoming class: Tip: Don’t make someone else look bad to make yourself look good."
HOW TO SHINE DURING YOUR COLLEGE INTERVIEW
From Marilyn: "If a college offers interviews students should seriously consider taking advantage of this opportunity. This includes sample questions and things students should think about before meeting with an admission representative. Tip: Students should do their homework before the interview and learn about the school."
THE PERSONAL COLLEGE VISIT REPORT
From Marilyn: "As someone who is constantly visiting colleges, it is often difficult to remember which college had “that interesting program” or the interdisciplinary major that sounded so interesting. This form helps students create personal college profiles, keep colleges and universities from blending and answer the “why do you want to attend” question with ease. Tip: Fill in the form shortly after your visit concludes."
STUDENT GUIDE TO GETTING GREAT LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION
From Marilyn: "Students, before you ask a teacher for a letter of recommendation learn how to choose a teacher to ask for a LOR and how to ask the teacher in a way that helps the teacher remember all the great things about you. Tip: It’s very important to give teachers as much time as policy to write your letter of recommendation."
The following are post-secondary resources for students:
POST-BACCALAUREATE PRIMER FOR MED SCHOOL APPLICATIONS
From Marilyn: "Students need to consider the type of post-bac program that will best help them on their journey to becoming a health professional. This primer can explains the different type of programs. Tip: Students, if you are thinking about taking individual courses rather than participating in a formal program, you should take two science courses per semester, at a four-year college, to show medical schools that you can handle the academic load."
GUIDE FOR UNDERGRADS SEEKING SHORT-TERM RESEARCH POSITIONS
From Marilyn: "Many students are unsuccessful in their attempt to find research positions because they don’t go about the search properly. Emerson Educational Consulting offers some practical advice for finding a research experience. Tip: If you send out 10 to 15 inquiries you are likely to receive two or three responses."