Say Hello To Your Opportunity

8423157044_f32d9f9f2e_oYou will be defined by the college you go to – because of the opportunities that will come with it . Opportunities, however, are only worth what you make of them.

Colleges know that, and want to admit the students who have shown they can make the best of their opportunities. 

The real question to ask is not, “Will I get into my dream college?” It is, “What am I doing now that makes me worthy of getting in?”

Volv is a unique coaching program, that brings to the college admission context a proven approach, that has been the cornerstone of success for many highly successful people.

Image Credit: Some rights reserved by One Way Stock

What is your differentiator?


To get into the college of your choice, you need not have PERFECT grades and scores and extracurricular activities; in short, you need not be perfect in everything.  Identify what truly stands out in you and realize that as your differentiator.  Remember, you are SPECIAL and your experiences make you the person you are.

Your college admission officer is looking for interesting and unique students.  Being YOU is what makes you unique and interesting.  Bring that out in your essay in your own voice and voila!, you have become that.

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What Do Your Clubs And Your Titles Mean?


Please don’t start another club at school just to impress admissions officers. And, for heaven’s sake, don’t become Executive Director of something meaningless, just to get it on your resume. 

It is true that admissions officers won’t figure out how awesome a leader you are, unless you show them. However, there are better ways to do that. 

Tell them how the stamp collections changed when you and your friends could more easily exchange stamps, and they will know you are an enabler. Tell the stories the stamps tell you, and they will know you are a true stamp enthusiast.

When you say that you started a stamp collector’s club, and grew membership ten fold: don’t expect them to not guess the membership went from 1 to 10, and that most of the people did you a favor when they joined. Admissions officers are too smart for that.

And, more importantly, this little secret will bring you success with college admission and beyond.

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How Am I Special?

The question is not : am I special? You are. There is no one who has lived the life you have. There is no one who sees things exactly as you do. There is no one who enjoys things exactly the way you do. There is no one who can be more you. The question is: how am I special? Figure that out, because

  1. In spite of you being – just – you know – regular, you are special
  2. Special does not mean genius or international champion or world record holder, and college admissions officers consider it your job to know the difference

Which picture are you showing your college admissions officer?

Image credit: facebook

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The Right College List

The New York times ran a front page article today, emphasizing how the various college lists are contradictory and confusing. Earlier this month, we wrote a guide to help you understand these lists, and not be taken in by the illusions they sometimes create. 

Truth is, we are bombarded with information.

A friend’s son received direct mail from over 500 colleges, wooing him – many of which, he suspects, will not admit him if he did apply. Then we have all these different rankings to grapple with. It truly a paradox of choice.

Let us listen to real students, and how they waded through all this information:

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How To Be The Perfect Admission Candidate


The best and most selective colleges don’t have a template that you can mold yourself into, in order to get admission.

Correct that: they do have a template … for their class.

And they have experience with other students from your school.

You have three choices –

  • look like the students from your school who went to that college. If they worked OK on the quilt, and you fashion yourself after them, you might too. If you take this path, remember that many others in your school are trying to do exactly that.
  • Look like someone who they have not seen. Someone who may make the quilt interesting.
  • Just show your best colors and patterns, and let the right quilt find you.
Image credit: Some rights reserved by quiltiverse

Free Webinar: Breaking Down Supplement Essays

Our dear friend, Carol, is offering another awesome free webinar tomorrow (Tuesday, October 15) 4:00-5:00pm Pacific Time.

Space is limited! Sign up today

If you attend, you can ask questions. If you are in a timezone you cannot attend, I still recommend registering, and they typically send you a link to the recording.

As a follow up to the last post, below is Miss South Carolina’s second attempt:

Supplemental Prompts and Other Beauty Pageant Questions

“If you had your community’s undivided attention, what would you tell them?” is Pomona College’s supplemental prompt for this year.

In the next post, we will share valuable information about answering these questions. Today, let us just relax, enjoy this 49 second clip, and thank our stars that our answers will never be on YouTube.