24 The College Application Help your child submit an impressive application. Applications and Essays Make sure the information on every application is complete and accurate, and that essays are well written. An essay is an opportunity for students to share their dreams and passions, talk about an obstacle they’ve overcome, or show how an event has helped shape who they are. An essay should not include information that can be found on the application or transcript. Instead, it should offer insight into who your child is and what makes him/her unique. Admissions officers read lots of essays. To stand out, an essay must be well written and original. Recommendations Many applications require a letter of recommendation from a counselor or teacher. The person writing the recommendation needs to know: 1) what information should be included; 2) when it needs to be completed; 3) what to do with it once it’s written. Anyone writing a recommendation for your child will welcome written information and anecdotes with regards to your child’s strengths, interests, talents, leadership skills, and educational plans. They should also be given a copy of your child’s “Activities Record” or resume. Even if an application does not require a recommendation, one can still be included. If there’s information you want an admissions officer to take into consideration, encourage your child to attach a short essay or letter to the application. Deadlines Make sure all materials are submitted well before the deadline. Many colleges will not consider an application that’s submitted after their deadline.