The CollegeVine Blog

Author: Anamaria Lopez

  • The Ultimate Guide to Objections in Mock Trial

    Few things are as intimidating to a new mock trial attorney as the concept of making objections during trial. An objection is a statement made by an attorney during a case for the purpose of questioning or challenging any specific evidence. Often, the end goal of the objection is to have evidence limited or altogether ruled inadmissible by the judge. Read on to learn more about how to master objections in mock trial.

  • Ultimate Guide to the Japanese Language and Culture Exam

    The AP World Language and Cultures program features eight foreign language courses and exams. Of these eight programs, the smallest is the AP Japanese Language and Culture program. In 2016, fewer than 2,500 students nationwide took the AP Japanese Language and Culture exam, accounting for less than 0.01% of the 2.6 million AP test-takers that year. Still, Japan has the third largest economy in the world, so speaking Japanese could in coming years be an valuable skill in our increasingly global economy. To learn more about the AP Japanese Language and Culture Exam, and how you can prepare for it, read on.

  • The Ultimate Guide to Self-Studying AP Exams

    Curious about self-studying for an AP exam? Read on for more information about what self-studying means for you, how to choose your self-studied AP exam(s), and how to set yourself up for success when studying for an AP exam on your own.

  • The Ultimate Guide to Science Olympiad

    Are you a student looking to expand your scientific knowledge in a competitive setting? Or perhaps looking to be a part of a team that doesn’t involve athletics? Science Olympiad offers all of this and more. Whether you’re a seasoned competitor looking for some extra tips or you’re totally new to Science Olympiad, below you’ll find a guide to the basics of competition and how to succeed as a Science Olympian.

  • How to Write Mock Trial Opening and Closing Statements

    Competing as an attorney for high school Mock Trial can be extremely rewarding and satisfying, especially if you’re interested in debate, public speaking, or law. In addition to direct and cross examination, in which attorneys question witnesses on both sides,, attorneys often need to perform opening and closing arguments, which serve very specific functions in a case and must be organized and executed accordingly. Opening and closing arguments are critical to any high school Mock Trial case and serve several important functions. In this blog post, we’ll discuss everything you need to know to write a stellar opening and closing argument for Mock Trial.

  • What Happens if I Get Caught Cheating on the SAT or ACT?

    It goes without saying that the college applications process is stressful and challenging for many students. In the face of such pressure, turning to less-than-honest methods—such as plagiarizing your essay or cheating on a standardized test—can be tempting. But despite the short-term benefits these solutions may provide, in the end, being in any way dishonest on your […]

  • Which Colleges Accept the Coalition Application (AKA CAAS)?

    Chances are, if you’re a high school senior applying to college this fall, you’ve heard about the Coalition Application, also known by its acronym, CAAS (the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success). The Coalition is a group of over 90 member schools committed to making college accessible and affordable for all students, regardless of their socioeconomic background. In this blog post, we’ve compiled a list of all schools accepting CAAS this year.

  • UChicago Goes ED: What This Means for Your Application

    The University of Chicago, which was recently ranked the #3 school in the United States by the renowned US News and World Report college rankings, has for the first time implemented Early Decision I and Early Decision II application plans for the 2016-2017 applications cycle. In this post, we’ll cover what exactly ED I and ED II are, Early Decision vs Early Action and their differences, and what this new development means for your chances at being admitted to UChicago.

  • How to Write the Coalition Application Essays 2016-2017

    The 2016-2017 application cycle marks the debut of the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success application platform, commonly referred to as the Coalition Application. Like the Common Application, the Coalition Application provides a platform with which students can apply to any of its member schools with a single application, saving students the hassle of inputting the same basic information for each school to which they apply.

    What distinguishes the Coalition Application from other similar platforms like the Common Application or the Universal College Application is the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success’ commitment to making college affordable and accessible for students of all socioeconomic backgrounds.

    All of its 52 member colleges either provide financial aid that meets 100% of student’s demonstrated need (for private colleges) or provide low-cost tuition for in-state students (for public colleges). If you have more questions about the Coalition or their mission of affordability and accessibility, you can check out their FAQ page.

    Like other shared applications, the Coalition Application has a set of essay questions, from which each student must respond to one prompt. Without further ado, we present the 2016-2017 guide to responding to the Coalition Application essay questions.

    Before you begin brainstorming your essay topic, note that the Coalition Application describes the ideal essay length as 300-400 words, and strongly recommends that responses not exceed 500-550 words. Thus, essay topics should be simple enough to fit into the defined word limit, while also complex enough to offer meaningful insight into your personality, skills, and motivations.

    If you find yourself struggling to fit your essay within the word count, we recommend first writing a draft without regard for word count, and then editing down until the only content remaining in your essay is that which is absolutely essential to communicating your story. If you still exceed the recommended limit, consider your sentence structure, tense usage, and word choice — you may be able to cut down your word count significantly by making slight alterations in these areas.

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

    Princeton University, located in the Central Jersey town of the same name, proudly enjoys a current ranking of #1 on the U.S. News and World Reports’ Best Colleges Rankings. It has also earned the 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.”

    However, the competition is stiff regardless; Princeton’s stunning gothic architecture and stellar academic reputation draw tens of thousands of applicants each year. Last year, 29,303 students vied for 1,894 spots in the Class of 2020, resulting in an acceptance rate of 6.46%.

    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. While strong grades, high test scores, and well-developed extracurricular activities certainly are important, nowhere in an application does one’s individual voice shine through as clearly as in their essays.

    The only problem: How can you write an essay for your Princeton application that demonstrates your accomplishments, communicates your passion for Princeton, and exhibits a clear personal voice and style — all wrapped up in a tiny word count? Check out our guide to answering the 2016-2017 Princeton University supplemental essays.