Essay Writing Cheat Sheet for Stuck Students

Essay Writing Cheat Sheet for Stuck Students

I’m always looking for ways to help students quickly develop topic ideas and a road to cranking aside their college application essays.

Typically, I advise them to begin with their defining qualities or characteristics, and then discover real-life stories or moments to illustrate one of these simple, and go from there.

(Use How to create Your Common Application Essay in 3 Tips for that strategy. It is also spelled out in more detail in my own well-known writing guide, Escape Essay Hell!, available on Amazon.)

There are lots of ways to discover unique topics. I published this Cheat Sheet Slideshare (a glorified Powerpoint below) to help students who’re feeling caught and are alson’t worked up about my ‘defining attributes strategy.’

In this short-and-sweet Slideshare, I encourage students to first root around their past ( stick to twelfth grade years) for something which occurred for them an event, communication, moment or ‘time.’

Then I step them through developing that mini-story (anecdote) into an essay that also helps them showcase their character what they think, believe and worry about. Here is the heart of a great college application essay.

If you’re feeling caught in your essay writing, give this a go.

You still focus your essay on one defining quality or characteristic, but you come at it from the different perspective.

It may be good deal easier than you think!

( Make sure to click the little bins in the Slideshare that bring you to definitely more in depth tips back at my weblog!)

All the best! And let me know in reviews when you have questions.

Nearly all of you landed here in Essay Hell finding advice on just how to write your college application essays.

And you’re certainly during the right spot!

This post, nonetheless, I’m skipping the essay talk and providing anything equally valuable:

The Best Insider Resource on the best way to buy Your ideal College!

I’m no expert on this. Essays are my thing.

But my spouce and I have put our very own two (big) children through exceptional colleges now (Hurrah!!) and learned a few things along the way in which.

We started preserving early through our 529 plans.

We ignored the peer pressure to drive our youngsters toward prestige colleges at the expense of all our sanity.

We learned all about the amazing liberal arts colleges within our country that may cost just as much as state universities.

But looking right back, I sure wish I’d known my pal, Lynn O’Shaughnessy, before we started the procedure.

I’m confident we could have saved potentially thousands of dollars considering all of the wise advice, recommendations and a few ideas she shares with readers of her College Solution weblog, and through her incredible The College Cost Lab online course.

Do yourself a favor, ensure you get your name on her behalf e-mail listing to learn about her online class!

Even though we have been both former journalists which published to find the best newspapers in southern California, Lynn and I came across after our paths crossed in the crazy world of college admissions.

Lynn is now the leading expert on leading households through the bewildering world of financing a college training.

Like nailing your college application essay, the secret to maintaining your top while investing in college is performing your homework.

The greater you realize, the less you certainly will make high priced blunders. And discover the secrets to saving.

Everyone loves that Lynn loves to debunk a lot of the college economic fables to help parents stay sane and solvent. Like all good journalists, she actually is a truth seeker, and likes to share exactly what she learns and knows.

I needed to familiarizes you with a number of her wisdom here.

She generously is permitting me to share her most recent post, which explains that confusing procedure for determining if you be eligible for a educational funding. I’m also including some links with other helpful posts below.

By Lynn O’Shaughnessy

10 Things You Need To Find Out About Expected Family Contributions

July 28, 2016 One of the greatest questions that parents with college-bound children puzzle with is if their youngster includes a opportunity for educational funding.

This can be more confusing than you may think because at some schools a household could be eligible for a need-based aid if they make $200,000 per year and also at another school, the ceiling for aid might be $70,000.

The first rung on the ladder that you ought to just take when grappling using this problem is to get your Expected Family Contribution. You ought to try this before seriously exploring your teenager’s college options.

10 EFC Guidelines

This is a summary of what you need to know about this crucial figure:


An Expected Family Contribution is really a dollar figure that signifies what financial aid remedies believe a household should certainly buy twelve months of a kid’s college training.

No. 2:

The EFC for the typical American home with an AGI of $50,000 will generally vary from $3,000 to $4,000. There is no cap on EFCs so some very rich households will have EFCs that exceed the price of a costly personal college.

No. 3:

It is best to get yourself a ballpark concept of exactly what a household’s EFC may be as early as a child’s freshman year in twelfth grade. Receiving a preliminary EFC gives parents a rough concept of the minimum amount they would be likely to buy college.

No. 4:

Households with home incomes of $60,000 to $80,000 and above typically find that they usually do not be eligible for a need-based aid at state universities, nevertheless they may be eligible for a need-based aid at personal schools. Deciding in case a student is entitled to need-based aid needs subtracting the EFC from the school’s cost of attendance.

This affluent family’s EFC exceeds the price tag on their state school therefore the student wouldn’t be eligible for a need-based aid

In this scenario, the student will be eligible for approximately $25,000 in need-based the help of the personal college because the price of this establishment is a lot more high priced and exceeds the household’s EFC.

No. 5:

Households, which find that there is a high EFC and aren’t entitled to need-based educational funding, should seek out schools that offer merit scholarships which can be provided irrespective of need. Most schools fall into this category.

If an EFC is small, households should search for schools that offer exceptional need-based help. Far less schools match this category.

No. 6:

Households will usually have to pay for more for college than their EFC indicates they can pay for because most schools usually do not satisfy 100% of a student’s demonstrated economic need. Consequently, it’s important to recognize the most generous colleges that could think about a youngster a attractive prospect.

No. 7:

Parents can acquire their Expected Family Contribution using the College Board’s EFC Calculator. This is what the calculator website appears like:

You need to utilize figures from your tax return as well as your most recent non-retirement investment account statements including checking and savings records and any records and income your youngster has actually.

Using this calculator, parents may wish to get their EFC using the federal and institutional remedies. The calculator will produce one EFC using the federal methodology that is from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

The calculator will even produce an EFC using the institutional methodology, which is from the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE. The the greater part of personal and general public universites and colleges only make use of the FAFSA while 229 mostly personal, selective schools also make use of the PROFILE.

No. 8:

After finishing the FAFSA, a student will receive his/her official federal EFC via a digital document called theStudent Aid Report. The SAR includes the household’s EFC close to the the surface of the report and also provide all of the information that the household included regarding the FAFSA. Parents should look for precision.

PROFILE filers will not get an EFC from the College Board, which has and runs this educational funding application. Organizations that use the PROFILE customize their aid applications by selecting from hundreds of different questions so that you find yourself with a different EFC for every school. Parents should ask each PROFILE school due to their EFC if the organizations usually do not include this crucial dollar figure on the children’s educational funding prizes.

No 9:

Sadly, many schools don’t add a family’s EFC on the educational funding prizes. Some organizations claim that such as the EFC on the aid letters will confuse households. More likely, schools do not want to share with you EFC figures with households simply because they may then determine if the package is stingy.

When a household has actually their EFC while the educational funding package, compare the EFC with what a school is offering. Let’s imagine that the price of a school after deducting institutional grants is $39,000 while the EFC is $28,000. Which means there is an $11,000 gap between exactly what the EFC shows that household will pay and exactly what the college desires to charge your client. Based on this knowledge, household can appeal the prize.

No. 10:

Plug new numbers to the EFC calculator in case a family’s finances changes because of things like a separation and divorce, separation, death, disability, task loss or even the care of a elderly mother or father.

Learn More…

If you want to dive more deeply into how to cut the cost of college, please sign up to be notified once I have significantly more information regarding next launch of my well-known online course The College Cost Lab. I’m going to be launching my most useful class ever before in September!