I am out of town the rest of this week because I’m helping my son Ben move across country to Beloit College.
So I asked David Montesano, an independent college counselor at College Match, to write a guest post in my absence. At the end of the last admission cycle, David tallied up the merit awards that his clients earned and they averaged $57,250 over four years.
Here are four tips that David shared on how to make the best case for merit money by making the most of the supplemental essays that many college applications require.
1. Look at a college’s strategic plan.
Reviewing a college’s strategic plan is a great way to identify what is most important to a college or university and what it needs. A college, for example, may need to build its endowment, gain greater diversity, fill a sports team roster, or prove itself in an particular academic area like chemistry or physics. The easiest way to find a school’s strategic plan is to use Google.
2. Be specific about why you like a college.
Cite concrete things that attract you to a particular college. Don’t wing this –it should be well researched. Your admission officer will not be impressed if you mention the most obvious reasons, such as the location of the school. Dig deeper to find something that is more compelling.
3, Mention the value you would bring to a college.
The value that you bring to a college must be supported by credible proof. Here’s an example: “I led my debate team at my high school to the nationals in this year. I plan to lead the debate team at this college in similar competitions”.
4. State what you expect to get from a college. Let the college’s admission officers know what educational experiences you would like to have when attending the college and why it is important to you.
David Montesano is an admission strategist with College Match,which has offices on the West and East Coasts.