Sandy Clingman is an independent educational consultant and founder of Better College
She writes about the college admissions process to enlighten and encourage college-bound students from all backgrounds as they find their place in higher education.
I build rapport with my students and create a breathing space so they can tell their stories.
I coach them to develop essays that reveal their genuine character.
Admission committees use scores, grades, and citizenship to gauge the applicant’s legitimacy.
But they rely on the essays to get to know a student and their fit with the school.Helping people with their writing is the perfect confluence of everything I love most: words, nuance, paying close attention.I’ve been helping unwittingly since elementary school, when peers first started picking me for Book Report group the way that other kids were claimed for recess soccer teams. All services are available on your own timetable: as frequent or infrequent, short-term or long-term as you seek.My coaching services help young people share their deeper, authentic selves in the written admissions essay form.Preparation pays off—92% of my clients last season earned admission to their preferred schools.It’s easy for them to tell the difference between a seventeen-year old voice and a forty-something one; a middle-aged dad with writing finesse sounds like a middle-aged dad with writing finesse.Natural phrasing and word choice are generation-specific and difficult to disguise.It may be grammatically correct, but a boring essay adds nothing to the application.It is, therefore, a wasted opportunity to enhance the student’s admission possibilities.There may also be a letter of recommendation from the student’s eleventh grade English teacher — a letter that will specifically address the student’s aptitudes and abilities.(Some teachers even provide a short sample of the student’s work.), as in: “We were so worried when I was in the emergency room; the doctor told us I was lucky we came in immediately.” There also tend to be notable references to what Mom or Dad did, thought or said — “Dad breathed a sigh of relief” or “My Mom was very anxious.” Spell check won’t catch those types of errors for you.