How to stop procrastinating and actually write your college essays

Writing 650 words encapsulating the very core of your personality and the sum of your youthful accomplishments is easier said than done. What’s more, as we enter the festive season and the accompanying familial visits, end-of-term exams, holiday performances, dark weather, and the mounting pressure of approaching deadlines, it can be harder to concentrate on writing. Here are a some of my top tips to stop procrastinating and actually write (and revise, and re-revise) those college application essays, born of years of experience working with students…

Top 25 universities in the US

Princeton and Harvard have consistently held the top two places, while Yale has been joined at number three by UChicago, Columbia, and MIT in the most recent years. Stanford tends to rank just below this group, followed by Duke, Penn, Northwestern, and Dartmouth; over the past decade, Caltech has fallen somewhat in the rankings to join this latter group, while Johns Hopkins has steadily climbed to join it. Below the top ten schools fall Brown and Vanderbilt, then Cornell (the last of the Ivies), Rice, and Notre Dame…

Acceptance rates at the most selective US colleges

This visualization shows the acceptance rate at the most selective schools in the US — the forty-three institutions where, in 2018, the acceptance rate was below 20%. At nearly half of these schools, the acceptance rate was below 10%, meaning that one in ten hopeful students were accepted. New York University had one of the steepest drops in admissions rates, falling from 32% in 2016 to 19% in 2018, a 40.6% decrease in just two years…

Yes, you can get into college.

Maybe you haven’t heard the good news: most colleges accept most students.

That’s right.

A majority of colleges and universities in the US accept more than 50% of their applicants.

This is great news, because it means that if going to college is important to you or your family, you can definitely get in! Many of these schools are excellent places to learn, network, and start your career — and in fact, some of them might just be the perfect fit for you as a student.

The most competitive school?

Which school is the most competitive? In 2013, for the first time ever, Stanford accepted students at a lower rate than Harvard — 5.69% of applicants were admitted to Stanford, versus 5.8% to Harvard. In the years since, Stanford has remained the most competitive school. In 2018, the university accepted just 4.36% of the 47,451 students who submitted applications.

College acceptance rates, 2018

Many have heard that acceptance rates have been tightening year by year. As class sizes at most institutions has remained constant while the number of applications has skyrocketed, university places have become more and more competitive. This year, NYU alone received over 75,000 applications for admission, setting a new record for applicants received by a private university in the US.

Not surprisingly, the 2018 admissions season saw acceptance rates that were lower than ever before…