All private colleges and universities and some large state universities require carefully written essays or personal statements. The highly selective universities now require responses to several essay topics and short answer questions. The increased emphasis on college essays is reflected in the planning that English teachers and the college counselor do to assist juniors, both in classrooms and in the structured college counseling program provided during the spring semester. The process of selecting topics, outlining ideas, writing, editing, and re-editing several times is the most time and energy consuming portion of an application. Parents, teachers, and the college counselor may assist students but not re-write essays. It is essential that the primary effort be that of each student: an honest, thorough, and well-written expression which sets that individual apart from competitors.

Essay Edge is online course that can be accessed at www.essayedge.com. Additional information is available to all juniors during the college planning workshops.