The Common App is Now Available

Rising high school seniors across the country now have access to the 2017 Common Application where they can submit an application to more than 700 colleges with one form.

The website streamlines the application process and allows applicants to use one main essay for all schools.

The essay is used in lieu of a face-to-face interview with college admissions officers or university representatives.

“The college essay can be the deciding factor in a student’s admission to the college of his or her choice. Choose a topic that reflects something about the core of your personality and illustrates what you will contribute to society,” said Joyce Pellino Crane, founder of the College Essay Confidantè, a remote and in-person tutoring service for college applicants.

College Essay Confidante Unveils New eBook

Joyce Pellino Crane has written a free eBook for rising high school seniors planning to apply for college this fall.

Writing Your College Essay,” packages the seven prompts from the Common Application with interesting story ideas into one simple eBook. Opening sentences from sample essays are also offered.

The book is designed to help essay writers connect the dots between their every day lives and the compelling story they are hoping to tell about themselves. It tells them how to discover that story and where to begin.

“The college essay should reveal the uniqueness of the writer. This is an opportunity to tell a personal story that no one else could write because each essay is exclusive to that person,” said Crane.

Crane noted that most colleges don’t require face-to-face interviews, so the college essay is considered the equivalent. It can become an admissions officer’s deciding factor regarding a borderline student, she added.

“That’s why the essay is so important and should not be left up to chance,” Crane said. “And never leave it to the last minute. Besides the unnecessary stress, a last minute submission doesn’t allow the writer to give the essay the attention it deserves.”

Crane is known as the College Essay Confidante. She is the News Director at Westford Community Access TV and a former community newspaper editor. She was a Boston Globe correspondent from 2000 to 2010. Between 2011 and 2016, she was the recipient of numerous newswriting and reporting awards from the New England Newspaper and Press Association. In addition, she won an editorial award from the 2015 Best of GateHouse and a first prize NENPA award for commentary writing.

 

College Essay Confidante Brings 50 to College Prep Night

Almost 50 parents and rising seniors attended a college preparatory night on June 28 at the J.V. Fletcher Library. The group was there to learn about the application and admissions process.

Presenters were, Wendy Pechacek, Westford School Department Guidance Coordinator 6-12; Troy E. Lazaro, Assistant Director of Multicultural Recruitment, UMass-Lowell; Andrew N. Carter, Senior Associate Director, Office of Admissions, College of the Holy Cross; Julie Shields-Rutyna, Director of College Planning at the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority.

The event was organized by Joyce Pellino Crane, the College Essay Confidante. Crane, a journalist, also presented a workshop to rising seniors to help them brainstorm topics for their college essays.

Countdown to College Prep Night

“Applying for College, What You Need to Know,” is only three days away and more than 50 rising seniors and their parents will meet a panel of experts who will answer questions and offer information.

The panel includes a college admissions officer, a high school guidance curriculum coordinator, a college financial planner, and a director of multicultural affairs

The Westford, Massachusetts-based event is brought to you by Joyce Pellino Crane and the J.V. Fletcher Library.

If you are not already registered, the event is unfortunately closed to new registrants. But keep your eye out for our upcoming video classes. You’ll be able to get instruction and commentary online in the near future.

In the meantime, watch for our upcoming booklet on “How to Write Your College Essay.” The informative download will be FREE  to all and will be online within a week.

 

 

Upcoming from the College Essay Confidantè

Here’s what’s coming up from the College Essay Confidante. If you’re a rising senior in the northwest region of Boston, please consider registering for one of my workshops. If you’re in a remote location, let’s arrange an online video conference.

1. “Brainstorm Your College Essay,” Thursday, June 22 from 4 to 7 p.m. This 3-hour workshop is for rising seniors only. Designed to help students find a topic for their college application essay, the workshop offers a brainstorming session followed by writing exercises with feedback. Students will leave with a solid topic and an opening paragraph for the essay and some follow up if specified deadlines are met. Fee: $150 per student. Limited to 6. Register at http://www.collegeessayconfidante.com/workshops. Questions? Email winningcollegeessay@gmail.com. JUST ONE SEAT LEFT!

The Westford location will be provided to registrants.

About the tutor
Joyce Pellino Crane is an award-winning journalist, recognized for editorial writing by two major newspaper organizations. Her essays have appeared in the Boston Globe, Newsday, and GateHouse Media publications. She has taught college essay workshops to high school students for several years. Joyce is the news director at Westford Community Access Television and is an approved Westford Academy tutor. She is the former editor of the Westford Eagle.

2. I offer private tutoring at $75 per hour. (The rate is $85 per hour for anyone outside of Westford or Chelmsford.) We usually meet in a public location for one-hour sessions in the late afternoons. We start by brainstorming topics and engaging in writing exercises. I usually assign a writing exercise in advance of the first meeting to help the student think about topics. To schedule a meeting, email me at winningcollegeessay@gmail.com.

3. I’m teaching the same three-hour workshop (“Brainstorm your college essay”) for Acton-Boxborough Community Education on Thursday, June 29 from 4 to 7 p.m. The fee is $175. This amount is non-negotiable because I’m doing it through the Community Ed program. You can find registration information here. Scroll to page 52 for the course description.) Limited to 8 high school rising seniors.

Please note the location is at 15 Charter Way in Acton.

College Essay Workshop, June 29, Acton, Mass.

Award-winning journalist Joyce Pellino Crane. PHOTO BY JOHN WALKER

The College Essay Confidanté is bringing her college essay workshop to Acton, Mass. on Thursday, June 29 from 4 to 7 p.m.

Joyce Pellino Crane’s three-hour “Brainstorm Your College Essay” is limited to only 8 rising seniors at $175 per student.

Register here to reserve your seat (Scroll to page 52 in the online booklet.)

Designed to help students find a topic for their college application essay, the workshop offers a brainstorming session followed by writing exercises with feedback. Students will leave with a solid topic and an opening paragraph for the essay.

Joyce Pellino Crane is an award-winning journalist who was recognized for editorial writing by two major newspaper organizations. Her essays have appeared in the Boston Globe, Newsday, and GateHouse Media publications. She has taught college essay workshops to high school students for several years. Joyce is editor of the Westford Eagle and Littleton Independent and is an approved Westford Academy tutor.

The workshop is sponsored by Acton Community Education and will be held at 15 Charter Way.

Questions? Email WinningCollegeEssay@gmail.com.

An exercise to prepare you for writing the college essay

Are you a rising high school senior contemplating what to write for your college application essay? In the five years that I’ve been teaching my “Brainstorm your college essay” workshop, I’ve found that asking my students to do short writing exercises helps them think more deeply and creatively.

Most likely, no one knows you better than your family members. I recommend you interview them as though you are doing research.

Here’s an exercise that might help you look at your life from other people’s points of view.

Write down a list of questions about yourself that are individually targeted for your siblings, your mom, your dad, and even your grandparents.

When you conduct the interviews, do them individually in a quiet area of your home.

Ask your brother or sister such things as:

  1. What do you think I do best?
  2. What’s the personality trait you like best/least about me? (No one will be more brutally honest than your brother or sister.)
  3. How are we most alike? How are we different?

Ask your father such things as:

  1. When you think about my future, what do you imagine me doing?
  2. Was there a moment in your mind when I went from being a baby to a person? (Ask him to describe it.)
  3. If you could choose the perfect sport for me to play what would it be?

Ask your mom such things as:

  1. What was it like the first time you held me after I was born?
  2. Do you have a favorite picture of me? (Ask her to show it to you and ask her why it’s her favorite photo of you.)
  3. When you imagine me grown up, what kind of job do you see me doing?

These questions are just to get you started. You may come up with much better ones. But before you start your interviews, write down your questions so you’re prepared and be sure to take careful notes. How your family members perceive you could help you understand yourself better.

As you approach your essay you may be feeling stuck for ideas and you may even believe that there’s nothing about your life that’s compelling or even interesting. I guarantee you there is. Given enough time and access, I could probably write a riveting profile of anyone who walks this earth because everyone is fascinating in unique ways. Try it yourself, by interviewing a close friend or relative and getting inside his thoughts.

Your assignment is to give yourself permission to move inside your own thoughts. Find your own truth and allow yourself to review your memories. Brainstorming is a powerful and satisfying process.

If you choose to take my three-hour workshop, the above exercise will help you prepare and make your workshop experience more fruitful.

If you’re interested in knowing when my next workshop will be held and the cost to attend, email me at WinningCollegeEssay@gmail.com.

Panelists for Westford’s College Prep Day Announced; June 28

Registration for this free College Prep event is required. Visit collegeessayconfidante.com/events.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The College Essay Confidantè is bringing a college prep day to Westford.  

Be sure to register now to reserve your seat. Space is limited.

Here are the details:

IT’S COLLEGE PREP DAY IN WESTFORD

(Sign up for one or both)

  1. Brainstorm Your College Essay, Wednesday, June 28, 5 to 6 p.m. – This FREE workshop is available to rising seniors only. The abbreviated workshop will help students understand how to choose an essay topic and how to begin writing. This is a shortened version of the three-hour workshop provided by Joyce Pellino Crane. An award-winning journalist, Joyce has been tutoring Westford Academy students for five years. Registration is required by clicking here (It’s FREE!). Space is limited.
  2. Applying for College; What You Need to Know, Wednesday, June 28, 7 to 9 p.m.– Get a jump on the college application process by attending this FREE panel discussion provided by college experts and moderated by Joyce Pellino Crane, theCollege Essay Confidante. Experts will take you through the application process from beginning to end. Registration is required by clicking here (It’s FREE!). Space is limited.

Panelists are; Wendy Pechacek, Westford School Department Guidance Coordinator 6-12; Troy E. Lazaro, Assistant Director of Multicultural Recruitment, UMass-Lowell; Andrew N. Carter, Senior Associate Director, Office of Admissions, College of the Holy Cross; Julie Shields-Rutyna, Director of College Planning at the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority; Joyce Pellino Crane, the College Essay Confidantè and News Director at WestfordCAT.

LOCATION: J.V. Fletcher Library, 50 Main. St., Westford 

Priority given to rising seniors and their parents/guardians.

REMEMBER: Registration is required for each program by clicking here (They’re FREE!). Space is limited.

 

 

 

 

BREAKING: The College Essay Confidantè is Bringing You A College Prep Panel Discussion

The College Essay Confidantè is bringing a panel of college experts together to help you prepare for the college application experience in September. The event will be video-taped and posted for on demand viewing. More information to follow. Rising seniors are also invited to register for a short workshop on finding an essay topic (see below).

Brainstorm Your College Essay, Wednesday, June 28, 5 to 6 p.m., J.V. Fletcher Library, 50 Main St., Westford – Find your kernel of truth through brainstorming and writing exercises. This abbreviated workshop will help you find an essay topic and figure out where to begin writing. Workshop presented by award-winning journalist Joyce Pellino Crane, the College Essay Confidantè.

Applying for College; What You Need to Know, Wednesday, June 28, 7 to 9 p.m., J.V. Fletcher Library, 50 Main. St., Westford Get a jump on the college application process by attending this FREE panel discussion provided by college experts and moderated by Joyce Pellino Crane, the College Essay Confidante. Experts will take you through the application process from beginning to end.

Panelists are; Wendy Pechacek, Westford School Department Guidance Coordinator 6-12 Wendy Pechacek; Troy E. Lazaro, Assistant Director of Multicultural Recruitment, UMass-Lowell; Andrew N. Carter, Senior Associate Director, Office of Admissions, College of the Holy Cross; Julie Shields-Rutyna, Director of College Planning at the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority.

Priority given to rising seniors and their parents/guardians.

Pre-registration for both events is required by clicking here. Space is limited.

Prepping for the College Application, June 28

The College Essay Confidante is bringing a panel of experts to Westford, Massachusetts, for high school rising seniors.

The event, “Prepping for the College Application,” will take place on Wednesday, June 28, 7 to 9 p.m. at the J.V. Fletcher Library, 50 Main St., Westford.

The panel includes: Director of College Planning Julie Shields-Rutyna, Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority, Westford School Department Guidance Coordinator 6-12 Wendy Pechacek, and College Essay Confidante Joyce Pellino Crane.

Admission is free! More information to follow.

Ask questions in person or email them in advance to: winningcollegeessay@gmail.com.