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Story Up! The College Essay Blog

Storytelling: The Secret to Writing Great College Essays

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 7, 2015 12:44:00 PM / by Jocelyn Johnson posted in storytelling, college essays, essay writing tips

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by Jocelyn Johnson, Marketing and Social Media Coordinator, Story2,
© 2015 Story2. All rights reserved.

What’s the secret to writing great college essays? The answer might surprise you, and no, it’s actually not perfect grammar (although that is certainly important). It’s storytelling. There is a Native American proverb that goes, “Those who tell the stories rule the world.” But, what makes stories so powerful?

Stories incite a chemical reaction in the brain.  Neuroscience shows us that when you tell, read, or listen to a story, it ignites a process called Mental Mirroring and 3 things happen:

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College Admission Strategy that Parents Want to Know [Q+A]

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 1, 2015 10:23:00 AM / by Jocelyn Johnson posted in college admission essay, parents, essay writing tips, preparing for college

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by Jocelyn Johnson, Marketing and Social Media Coordinator, Story2,
© 2015 Story2. All rights reserved.

(Image source: The Sport Excel Zone)

A week ago, we hosted a webinar on How Parents Can Lead a Positive College Admissions Process. Carol Barash, PhD, Founder and CEO of Story2, author of Write Out Loud, and former English professor and advisor to the admissions committee at Douglass College, Rutgers University, shared advice and resources for parents of children entering the college admission process based on her work with over 15,000 students.
Over 100 parents attended and asked some great questions about college admission strategy and how students can best position themselves in the college admission process. Here’s a look at some of the top questions and their answers from the webinar:

Q: What are pros and cons about Early Decision and Early Action?

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How Parents Can Help Their Students with College Admission Essays [Q + A]

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 26, 2015 1:00:00 PM / by Jocelyn Johnson posted in college admission essay, parents, essay writing tips, preparing for college

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by Jocelyn Johnson, Marketing and Social Media Coordinator, Story2,
© 2015 Story2. All rights reserved.

This past Wednesday, we hosted a webinar on How Parents Can Lead a Positive College Admissions Process. Carol Barash, PhD, Founder and CEO of Story2, author of Write Out Loud, and former English professor and advisor to the admissions committee at Douglass College, Rutgers University, shared advice and resources for parents of children entering the college admission process, based on her work with over 15,000 students.

Over 100 parents attended and asked some great questions about how they can help their child manage the often agonizing college application essay writing process, without creating additional stress. Here’s a look at some of the top questions and answers from the webinar:

Q: What is the best way for parents to help their child with college admission essays?

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Key Takeaways: How Parents Can Lead a Positive Admissions Process

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 25, 2015 12:30:16 PM / by Jocelyn Johnson posted in parents, college process, webinars, essay writing tips, college admission strategy

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by Jocelyn Johnson, Marketing and Social Media Coordinator, Story2,
© 2015 Story2. All rights reserved.


Yesterday, Carol Barash, Story2 Founder + CEO, led a webinar How Parents Can Lead a Postive College Admissions Process. Here's a look at the key takeaways from the webinar: 

Want more advice on how to position students for a successful college admission process? Download a recording of the entire webinar here. Just want the slides? Click here.

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10 Things Class of 2016 Parents Should Start Doing Now

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 22, 2015 3:30:00 PM / by Carol Barash posted in parents, college process, college admission strategy, Class of 2016

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by Carol Barash, PhD, founder and CEO, Story2, and author of Write Out Loud
© 2015 Story2. All rights reserved.

This post was originally published by Getting Smart as a part of their Smart Parents seriesClick here to see the orignial post. 

Each year, as winter fades into spring, I watch parents shift into overdrive. Parents, with every good intention, start obsessing about their children's (lack of) college planning, and tend to jump in—making lists, planning summer visits and perfect summer programs, creating a big chart on the wall of the kitchen to map out the whole process and get it under control. "If I left it to my daughter," one woman explained, "she wouldn't get it right."

If this sounds like you—even a little—here are 10 simple steps to put the college admissions process back into your child's hands. The payoffs for this approach are huge: your child will learn how to manage a big, complex project, they will land at a college that is right for them, and—most important—you will be able to enjoy your child's last year at home as their parent and advisor, not their project manager.

[For more advice, sign up for our upcoming webinar: How Parents Can Lead a Positive College Admission Process.]

1. Listen to your child

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4 Free Apps to Take on Your College Visits

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 18, 2015 1:28:00 PM / by Diane Thomas posted in college visits, technology, college process, Guest Post

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Guest post by Diane Thomas, editor of Student Advisor, Scholarship Advisor, and Learning Advisor

Summer is the perfect time for families to plan college visits with their high school students who are on summer break. But college visits can become stressful when there is information overload, too much time spent on the road, or when your student feels overwhelmed by the potentially life-altering choice that lies ahead. Thankfully, there are easy ways to dial back the stress. One is to finish your common app over the summer, and another is to download free  mobile apps to help you navigate and organize your college visits.

Here are 4 free apps you can take with you on your college visits this summer to make the college admissions process go more smoothly.

1. Waze

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7 Frequently Asked Questions about Writing College Admission Essays Answered

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 12, 2015 8:00:00 AM / by Jocelyn Johnson posted in college admission essay, college application essay, college essays, advice, essay writing tips

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by Jocelyn Johnson, Marketing and Social Media Coordinator, Story2,
© 2015 Story2. All rights reserved.

Summer is the perfect time to begin working on your college admission essays! But, during the summer, students usually have more questions about writing their Common App essay than answers. Wondering where, and how, to get started? Here are the answers to 7 of the most frequently asked questions students have about writing college admission essays.

The following is an excerpt from the new Story2 Guide to the Common App: Section by section tips, how to’s, and answers to FAQs.

[Click here to download the entire guide.]

Q: Where do essays fit in colleges’ decisions?

After grades and SATs, the essays are the most important part of your application.

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Why You Should Challenge Yourself This Summer

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 10, 2015 8:07:00 AM / by Jocelyn Johnson posted in advice, summer job, summer, summer internships, summer programs

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by Jocelyn Johnson, Marketing and Social Media Coordinator, Story2,
© 2015 Story2. All rights reserved.

I tried to shake out the feeling of pins and needles prickling up my leg from the sole of my foot. But, there was nowhere to move or stretch in our church van. I was sitting in the back seat, and three other teenagers were stuffed back with me. In total, we managed to fit, or rather squish, eleven teenagers into a van that only properly seated eight. As the van drove from North Carolina to Pennsylvania, mostly everyone was asleep. Except for me.

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Understanding Your Financial Aid Award Letter

[fa icon="calendar'] May 1, 2015 3:00:00 PM / by Elizabeth Chereskin posted in financial aid, college decisions, paying for college

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Guest Post by Liz Chereskin, Content Manager, College Greenlight

Congratulations on choosing a college! Now comes the more challenging part-- coming up with a plan for how to pay for college. A helpful tool for figuring out what you and your family need to contribute financially is your Financial Aid Award Letter. If you're accepted, have completed your FAFSA and listed the school on it, you should have now received an award letter from the college.  The FAFSA helps to determine your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) which, in turn, helps to determine how much aid you'll need, or if you'll need to seek out other ways to fund your education.

While each school's letter may look a little different, they each will have information about the Cost of Attendance (COA), how much your family is expected to contribute (based on your FAFSA), how much financial aid you'll receive from the school, and how much is left over that you will be expected to cover. While that sounds simple enough, it might be a little more difficult to decipher which parts of the letter are scholarships, loans, or other types of aid such as work study and this information is extremely important--you'll have to pay back those loans (with interest!)

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The Storyteller’s Guide to Acing A Summer Internship Interview

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 29, 2015 11:04:00 AM / by Michelle Sheu posted in storytelling, internships, summer internships, interviews

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by Michelle Sheu, Collegiate Content Contributor, Story2
© 2015 Story2. All rights reserved.

The air smells different around this time of year, and it’s not just because the city is beginning to warm up. Rather, it signals the distinguished season that makes students rampant with anxiety, hitting up their networks and searching ever so fervently. What could it be?

Internship season.

The awaited summer session kicks in soon, and high school and college students will emerge from their educational institutions, sharpening their claws and ready to pounce on opportunities to amp up their resumes.

When you are invited to the next step of the recruiting process from application to an interview, that means that they see you as a potential candidate, someone who possess the qualities and aptitude that the organization is looking for. The interview determines your fit with the company culture. How can you be sure to stand out in a competitive applicant pool during the interview process?

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