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Essay writing prompts for high school

Essay writing prompts for high school

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High School Student Accepted to Five Ivy Leagues After Writing Essay About Her Love for Costco: Mobile

Friday April 08, 2016 08:25 PM EDT

High School Student Accepted to Five Ivy Leagues After Writing Essay About Her Love for Costco

One 18-year-old college student used her love for Costco to score acceptance letters from five Ivy Leagues and one other top university, according to reports.

After paralleling her love for the wholesale distributer to her life experiences, Brittany Stinson was accepted to Yale, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, and Cornell, NBC reports. Stinson was also accepted into to Stanford.

According to the network, the essay prompt asked students to write about a "background, identity, interest or talent that is so meaningful," that their application wouldn't be complete without it.

Stinson did just that.

"My intense desire to know, to explore beyond the bounds of rational thought; this is what defines me. Costco fuels my insatiability and cultivates curiosity within me at a cellular level. Enfolded to immerse myself in the unknown, I find it difficult to complacently accept the 'what;' I want to hunt for the 'whys' and dissect the 'hows.' In essence, I subsist on discovery," Stinson wrote in her essay – obtained by NBC – after detailing how the commonplace samples, and product choices triggered her curiosity as well as intellectual conversations.

Despite her mother Terry telling the network that she is "first in her class," Stinson – an only child who wants to be a doctor – reportedly chose the unique essay topic to help her stand out from other students with similar grades.

"I couldn't afford to go via the traditional route. I would actually be more worried about taking a traditional route at the risk of blending in with other applications," Stinson told NBC. "I knew that writing about my experiences at Costco would at least make for a memorable essay, whether [admissions committees] loved or hated it. On another hand, I felt that the essay ended up being such an accurate representation of me and my personality."

Now, the high school senior is tasked with making the difficult decision of which school she will attend, however she said "admitted student day visits are going to be so vital," since she has no idea where she wants to go. She added that financial aid packages will also play a role in her choice.

Read her full essay here.

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This essay got a high school senior into 5 Ivy League schools and Stanford

This essay got a high school senior into 5 Ivy League schools and Stanford

High school senior Brittany Stinson learned Thursday she was accepted into five Ivy League schools - Yale, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, and Cornell.

She also got into Stanford, which has an acceptance rate of 4.69% - a lower rate than any of the Ivy League schools.

"I'm sort of still in shock; I don't think I've processed everything yet," she excitedly told Business Insider.

The Ivy League is notoriously hard to get into, as the hundreds of thousands of other applicants to the eight elite schools are well-aware. The schools Stinson was accepted into have acceptance rates ranging from 13.96% to 4.69%.

Stinson graciously shared her Common Application admissions essay with Business Insider, which we've reprinted verbatim below.

Prompt 1: Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

Managing to break free from my mother's grasp, I charged. With arms flailing and chubby legs fluttering beneath me, I was the ferocious two- year old rampaging through Costco on a Saturday morning. My mother's eyes widened in horror as I jettisoned my churro; the cinnamon-sugar rocket gracefully sliced its way through the air while I continued my spree. I sprinted through the aisles, looking up in awe at the massive bulk products that towered over me. Overcome with wonder, I wanted to touch and taste, to stick my head into industrial-sized freezers, to explore every crevice. I was a conquistador, but rather than searching the land for El Dorado, I scoured aisles for free samples. Before inevitably being whisked away into a shopping cart, I scaled a mountain of plush toys and surveyed the expanse that lay before me: the kingdom of Costco.

Notorious for its oversized portions and dollar-fifty hot dog combo, Costco is the apex of consumerism. From the days spent being toted around in a shopping cart to when I was finally tall enough to reach lofty sample trays, Costco has endured a steady presence throughout my life. As a veteran Costco shopper, I navigate the aisles of foodstuffs, thrusting the majority of my weight upon a generously filled shopping cart whose enormity juxtaposes my small frame. Over time, I've developed a habit of observing fellow patrons tote their carts piled with frozen burritos, cheese puffs, tubs of ice cream, and weight-loss supplements. Perusing the aisles gave me time to ponder. Who needs three pounds of sour cream? Was cultured yogurt any more well-mannered than its uncultured counterpart? Costco gave birth to my unfettered curiosity.

While enjoying an obligatory hot dog, I did not find myself thinking about the 'all beef' goodness that Costco boasted. I instead considered finitudes and infinitudes, unimagined uses for tubs of sour cream, the projectile motion of said tub when launched from an eighty foot shelf or maybe when pushed from a speedy cart by a scrawny seventeen year old. I contemplated the philosophical: If there exists a thirty-three ounce jar of Nutella, do we really have free will? I experienced a harsh physics lesson while observing a shopper who had no evident familiarity of inertia's workings. With a cart filled to overflowing, she made her way towards the sloped exit, continuing to push and push while steadily losing control until the cart escaped her and went crashing into a concrete column, 52" plasma screen TV and all. Purchasing the yuletide hickory smoked ham inevitably led to a conversation between my father and me about Andrew Jackson's controversiality. There was no questioning Old Hickory's dedication; he was steadfast in his beliefs and pursuits - qualities I am compelled to admire, yet his morals were crooked. We both found the ham to be more likeable-and tender.

I adopted my exploratory skills, fine tuned by Costco, towards my intellectual endeavors. Just as I sampled buffalo-chicken dip or chocolate truffles, I probed the realms of history, dance and biology, all in pursuit of the ideal cart-one overflowing with theoretical situations and notions both silly and serious. I sampled calculus, cross-country running, scientific research, all of which are now household favorites. With cart in hand, I do what scares me; I absorb the warehouse that is the world. Whether it be through attempting aerial yoga, learning how to chart blackbody radiation using astronomical software, or dancing in front of hundreds of people, I am compelled to try any activity that interests me in the slightest.

My intense desire to know, to explore beyond the bounds of rational thought; this is what defines me. Costco fuels my insatiability and cultivates curiosity within me at a cellular level. Encoded to immerse myself in the unknown, I find it difficult to complacently accept the "what"; I want to hunt for the "whys" and dissect the "hows". In essence, I subsist on discovery.

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Don - t Let Ivy League Acceptance Rates Give You a Panic Attack

Don’t Let Ivy League Acceptance Rates Give You a Panic Attack

Have you seen the admissions statistics for Ivy League schools?

  • Brown University: 9%
  • Columbia University: 6%
  • Cornell University: 14%
  • Dartmouth College: 11%
  • Harvard University: 5% (!!)
  • University of Pennsylvania: 9%
  • Yale University: 6%

We can sense a few of you hopeful applicants (and hopeful parents!) reaching for a paper bag, ready to hyperventilate (or say goodbye to your most recent meal). And we’re here to tell you to relax, take a deep breath, get yourself out of the fetal position, and journey with us to discover why this is not the end of the world.

First, let’s examine these Ivy admissions rates from a purely statistical point of view.

5 percent for Harvard is 1 out of 20 (if only my AP Stats teacher Mr. Murphy could see me now!). That’s not half bad, when you think about it. The chance of the average American being audited by the IRS is 1 in 100. Each year, the odds of being bitten by a dog in the U.S. are 1 in 50. So you can tell your parents, “Hey, Mom & Dad! I have a better chance of getting into Harvard than you have of getting audited or attacked by Freckles!”

Crazy statistics aside, here is what the numbers won’t tell you: the college admissions process is not a game of chance . In other words, you don’t pop your completed application into a machine, crossing your fingers with an arbitrary 5% chance that you’ll get accepted. That’s not how it works. This isn’t the Mega Millions lottery, after all.

Why? It’s because college admissions committees (especially in the Ivy League) are made up of thoughtful, intelligent, emotional people. Yes, people. They give every single one of those applications a fair chance. Believe it or not, they read your application. They consider it thoughtfully. Sometimes, they get into deep discussions about a single candidate. This is true across the board for those highly coveted Ivy League institutions. The admissions process is a careful blend of art and science, and admissions committees are damn good at what they do.

What does this mean for you, the potential applicant (or the parent of a potential applicant)?

It means you’ve got to work your butt off to create the best application possible, one that presents you in an honest, appealing, and three-dimensional way. Most applicants make the mistake of thinking that pure numbers will get them accepted – high SATs. a zillion extracurricular activities, a staggering GPA. But here’s some food for thought: last year, around 10% of Harvard applicants were valedictorians. The shocker? Most were rejected.

Some students cringe at this statistic. “But Admissionado!” they cry, “I’m not even a valedictorian. If they’re getting rejected, what chance do I have?!” A great one, in fact, if you know what you’re doing. Because if you look at the other side of the coin, you’ll see that a huge amount of successful applicants aren’t valedictorians. Instead, they are united by another common thread: awesome applications. Of course, they’re also intelligent, unique, and have a distinct point of view. But they key is that they manage to present this in the application, which is the hardest part when you think about all the other intelligent, unique candidates with distinct points of view vying for those top schools.

How do they do that? And, more importantly, how can YOU do that?

Join us for our upcoming webinar, “The Insider’s Guide to Ivy League Admissions” to learn the Ivy League admissions process from, yup, the inside. We’re going to walk through the key aspects of successful Ivy League applications: what the admissions committee is looking for, why they want it, and how you can build a profile and create an application to beat the odds. This 1-hour webinar will include advice for high school students (and parents of those students!) ranging from rising 9th to rising 12-graders, so all are welcome. For more information and to register, click here. (Spots will fill up quickly, so sign up soon!)

How to Get Into the Ivy League - Oxbridge Essays Blog

How to Get Into the Ivy League

As we reported in our previous blog. rising tuition fees and diminishing course choices are prompting more and more UK students to look abroad for higher education. Many set their sights on the prestigious US Ivy League; the group of 8 elite universities that forms the American equivalent of Oxbridge. They are Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania and Yale University. But applying to these top colleges from the UK is no mean feat, with admissions requirements differing significantly from the UCAS process. Here are our top tips for getting into the Ivy League…

1. Ace the SAT

To apply to an American university you have to take a standardised test called the SAT. There are hundreds of text books and sample papers out there so use them to prepare to the hilt – you will need a very high score to be considered by the Ivy League. We recommend using the official College Board practice materials. as they are likely to be the most accurate indicators of actual exam content.

2. Take some Advance Placement Tests

APs allow US students to study college level material whilst still in high school. If they score highly enough on the tests, their results will be worth ‘college credit’ when they get to university. These tests are usually taken by high-achieving high school students to prove their potential for Ivy League applications. so it is worth sitting some if you want to be able to compete.

3. Give your Personal Statement Punch

As with UCAS, a personal statement is required for the US application process. Use yours to make you stand out from the crowd – try to imbue it with a real sense of personality and pizazz and avoid generic platitudes like “I want to be a doctor because I want to help people.” For more advice on spicing up your statement, see our 3-part Personal Statement Guide .

4. Amazing Admissions Essays

Admissions essays are perhaps the single most important component of any Ivy League application. They range in topic from specific, even bizarre prompts like the University of Chicago’s “What would you do with a foot and a half tall jar of mustard?” to more traditional questions about career aspirations, subject choices and your reasons for choosing a particular college. Make yours shine, with the most original ideas, structure and language you can think of. Try looking at the question in a new and different way, or question why it is being asked at all – above all, make sure you stand out from the crowd.

5. Fantastic References

The Ivy League application package also requires references from your current teachers. Make sure you search out the teachers who know you the best and are likely to write the most glowing reports. Remember that UK teachers are used to writing UCAS recommendations – so may not be aware of word length or content requirements for American applications. Research these for them and politely let them know the details to be confident of getting a pitch perfect reference.

Still stressed? Check back soon for a more detailed guide to writing an amazing admissions essay!

How do I write an excellent supplement essay (usually - why school - is the topic) to get into Ivy League schools?

I think essays are not the factor that will get you in but will definitely work against you if your essay is poorly written.

Here are some tips to writing a good essay.

1. Be authentic. The essay should have your voice not what others want to hear. How do we do this? Brainstorm and write an outline and see if the story is coherent and compelling.

2. Have others read it. In your head, your essay is the most beautiful thing but once it is read by others well. time for revisions.

3. Write and rewrite. Make sure you keep crafting your essay. There is no one go. it's a painful and arduous process.

4.Write from a different view. Admission officers have read thousands of essays and they have seen everything from saving the world and making dad proud. So it is hard to come up with an original topic but rather try to write it from a different view.

For instance, for why this school essay, instead of focusing on the superb education that you will get, maybe write about how you would like to learn why the school's education is superb and why other schools have not been able to achieve this and how you would later like to help other schools achieve this level. Instead of saving the world, write about why there aren't more people trying to save the world and what role the university plays.

At the end of the day, write a good, coherent, and compelling essay and wish for the best ^^ Remember that the admission processes are somewhat idiosyncratic but most schools are great schools and any school has great programs, professors and colleagues :)