The CollegeVine Blog

The CollegeVine (formerly Admissions Hero) Blog is your go-to source for all things academics, applications, and extracurriculars, straight from our team of top-tier admissions experts.

  • How to Write the Princeton University Application Essays 2016-2017

    Princeton University, located in the Central New Jersey town of the same name, proudly enjoys a current ranking of #1 on the US News and World Report Best Colleges List. It also has earned the no less significant distinction of having the greatest amount of actual ivy of any Ivy League campus. Applicants to Princeton can apply either to Princeton’s undergraduate liberal arts college, “Princeton College,” or SEAS, “the School of Engineering and Applied Science.”

    It goes without saying that students hoping to one day call themselves Tigers must do an exceptional job of setting themselves apart from thousands of other applicants. Check out our guide to answering the 2016-2017 Princeton University supplementary essays.

  • A Guide to the Citizenship Section of the Common App (Can I Still Get Into College if I’m Undocumented?)

    For most applicants, answering the citizenship questions on the Common App is usually fairly simple. However, if you’re an applicant who is also an undocumented immigrant to the U.S., your situation is more complicated. You may be concerned about whether you’ll be able to attend college in the U.S. at all, regardless of your academic qualifications and extracurricular achievements.

    As an undocumented student, you can apply to the vast majority of colleges in the United States, but you’ll need to understand the federal, state, and school-specific policies that will determine how your citizenship can affect your application. Read on for an overview of how the issue of citizenship is addressed on the Common App, what information you’ll need to provide on the Common App about your citizenship status, and how being an undocumented student might impact your application experience.

  • The Ultimate Guide to Applying to Brown University

    Located in the vibrant College Hill Historic District of Providence, Rhode Island, Brown University is the seventh-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States, founded in 1764 as “The College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations,” one of the nine Colonial Colleges established before the American Revolution. One of eight […]

  • Writing the Common App 2016-17 Essay Prompt #5 – Childhood to Adulthood Transition

    Need help with the fifth Common App personal essay? This guide will help you approach and tackle the fifth prompt, and will guide you in writing a thoughtful reflection of yourself as a person and a college applicant. Check it out for guidance in developing and executing your personal statement strategy in response to the fifth Common Application prompt.

  • A Guide to the Education Section of the Common App

    It’s time to tell your chosen colleges about your high-school academic performance. From grades to class rank to what courses you took, colleges will want to get a detailed look at what–and how–you did in high school.

    Are you unsure what a “weighted” GPA means? Wondering where and how to tell colleges that you graduated early from high school? Stressing out about listing your academic and career aspirations under the Future Plans section? Read on for more application guidance from CollegeVine on these topics and more.

  • How to Write the Common Application 2016 Prompt #2: Failure and Success

    If you’re reading this, it means you have decided that you’re ready to begin tackling your personal statement. Congratulations! Now that you’ve officially begun, we can let you in on an insider’s secret—the hardest part is over! Here at CollegeVine, we know that the task of writing your personal statement is one of the more daunting things you’ll have to do during the college application process, and starting is undoubtedly the most overwhelming part. Luckily, you’ve got us here to help.

    In this post, we will try to give you as detailed and extensive a guide as possible to crafting a killer personal statement in response to the Common App’s second prompt, which reads as follows:

  • A User’s Guide to the Common Application

    College applications take a lot of work to complete – if you’re an aspiring or current college applicant, you know this all too well. The sheer volume of information you’re expected to provide, covering every aspect of your young life, can be very overwhelming— especially when multiplied by the 7, 10, 15, or however many schools you’re planning to apply to.

    This is where the Common Application comes in. Less formally known as the Common App, this system streamlines the college application process by letting students apply to any of its hundreds of member schools through a common portal.

    If this is your first time dealing with the Common App, or if you need a refresher, this is the time to get familiar with the Common App system— well before deadlines hit.

    Ready? Let’s dive in.

  • Why Does the Common Application Ask Where my Parents Went to College?

    If you have started working on the Common Application, you may be wondering about the Family section, which asks several questions about your parents and siblings, including if and where they attended college. So why exactly do you colleges want to know about the rest of your family’s education?

  • How to Receive A Common App Fee Waiver

    The college application process can be a very costly endeavor. If you’re applying to a range of safety, target, and reach schools, as you’re generally advised to do, the costs can really start to add up, especially if you’re an applicant from a low-income family. However, no college wants to see potential applicants excluded from attending—or even applying—because of their financial need. In this post, we’ll go over the process of requesting, obtaining, and using an application fee waiver through the Common App.

  • How to Write Claremont McKenna College’s 2016-17 Essays

    As most high school grads prepare for their next big steps of professional development, the time draws near for our clients to sum up their lives. To be more precise, it becomes time to prepare your college admissions essays. Some colleges require applicants to think more outside the box than others in terms of the questions asked, but regardless of the college, our team at CollegeVine has compiled some wisdom about the ins and outs of what your essay should look like. Here’s what we have to say about Bryn Mawr for the 2016-17 application cycle.