<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=643855279873876&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Skip to the main content.
College Guidance for Parents & Guardians

 

Create an Account

Pricing

Scoir is free for your students and for you. We also offer Advanced Solutions to help you better guide your students.

Learn More

Resources

Access resources in the areas of test prep, essay support, and financial aid to better navigate every part of the admissions process.

Explore

Scoir is Free for CBOs

 

Join Now

Pricing

 

Learn More

Resources

College and academic advising resources to guide and inspire college counselors.

Explore

Simplified Advising for Counselors

 

Book a Walkthrough

District Solutions

 
Pricing

We offer a flat 50% discount for each student who receives free or reduced lunch in your school or district.

Learn More

New! Middle Schools

Enjoy Career Readiness Early Access for grades 6-8, built to help you guide students and track progress in the early years of career learnings and activities.

Learn More

Resources

ScoirU_WP_image-1

Career development (certifications, courses & curriculum) for changemakers.

Explore

View Bonus Resources

Enrollment Solutions for Colleges

 

Schedule a Consultation

Join a Demo

Pricing

Our pricing is fair for schools of all sizes, transparent, and rewards those schools expanding access to underserved students.

Learn More

Resources

Check out content and practical guides to help inform your enrollment strategies and programs.

Explore

2 min read

Don't Be Afraid of the College Essay - It's Your Time To Shine!

Don't Be Afraid of the College Essay - It's Your Time To Shine!

No college application is complete without an essay. In his article Confessions of a Former Admissions Officer, Ed Boland, a former admissions officer at Yale, says that the essay is the “most important part of your college application.” Johns Hopkins University agrees. But all the importance placed on the essay can be… stressful, to say the least. We’re told that college application essays should “capture our essence,” but how?

I think that, to answer this question, we need to think about why the essay is held so highly by admissions. Besides the essay, most schools receive transcripts, test scores, and teacher recommendations. The problem with all of these is that they don’t really explain what kind of person you are. Yeah, you got an A- in biology, but what pushed you to get that grade? That C+ in history looks bad, but maybe there was a family issue that kept you from studying. The point is, there’s an entire dimension to you, not only as a student but as a human being, that a college can only see through how you write yourself. High schools often lean heavily on the “adversity narrative,” but this isn’t a guaranteed method for getting in, and it can be pretty difficult for students who haven’t overcome their own adversity, or learned nothing from it.

So then what do you write about? The important thing is to choose a prompt that you’re comfortable with, whether you’re applying through the Common App or through a college’s direct application. In my view, a good college essay will serve several purposes. Primarily, it is a chance for you to share what makes you special with your prospective colleges. What makes you stand out from the hundreds or thousands of other students? This can be in your passion for learning, your interest in an extra-curricular, or even in how you write your essay. Standing out doesn’t mean getting good grades and lining your belt with a bunch of clubs that you hated. It means showcasing the you that you think is worthy of note. The you that learned how to juggle because you felt like it. The you that reads to your sister every night. The creative, interesting - and interested - you that any college would be lucky to have.

While the admissions office is the primary focus of the application, it’s important to recognize that the colleges are not the only ones that benefit from a strong essay. The application essay is a chance for you to finally articulate yourself. You may not know why you want to major in chemical engineering, but through your writing, you can come closer to understanding what it is about that field that you’re so interested in. Even if you don’t know a major, the essay can be a space to explore your motivations for attending college. Maybe the first thing that comes to mind is a community service project you worked on, so you know that you want to help people, but maybe not how to accomplish that. The point is that you can use this essay to find what’s important to you, since that’s what colleges are looking for anyway.

So don’t disregard the essay, but don’t be afraid of it. It can help both you and your prospective colleges understand who you are and what you want out of your undergraduate experience.

Learn the next steps in your college journey - Scoir College Planning Guide
The Best Ways to Get Out in Front of Learning Differences

5 min read

The Best Ways to Get Out in Front of Learning Differences

A critical element of your college application is your ability to bring clarity to the interpretation of your academic record. In other words, when...

Read more
Going on a College Tour? Helpful Prep Tips + College Evaluation Form

12 min read

Going on a College Tour? Helpful Prep Tips + College Evaluation Form

College visits on your mind? Not sure how to prepare or what to expect?

Read more
College Search Guide: Learning Disabilities and Attention Disorders

13 min read

College Search Guide: Learning Disabilities and Attention Disorders

Most parents worry about sending their son or daughter off to college. However, for those parents whose children have learning disabilities or ...

Read more