the prospect

For the anon who was asking about my spread sheet that I mentioned in my latest article for The Prospect, here it is!

(And here’s the link to my article because I’m a shameless self promoter)

Anyway, the blue columns are safety, the green are match, and the red are reach schools. I haven’t done research for any financial specifics but everything else is up to date. And I was totally kidding when I said there was a column for each school’s proximity to Chipotle…I needed some humor through all this. 

Hope this helps!
How to Write a Successful College Essay about an Emotional Experience

Emotional experiences are ones that have changed your life in some way, even though they caused you grief. This includes parents divorcing, being bullied, having a loved one die, or enduring throug…

DUDE I SWEAR I SAW AN APPBLR ASK ABOUT THIS EXACTLY. It’s so freaking difficult to write about sensitive topics, but this article does a solid job of getting you started, especially when it comes to cranking out that Common App essay. Some highlights: 

  • Make sure to highlight how you overcame your struggles rather than focusing on how difficult the experience was. In other words, leave the pity-party for Tumblr haha. 
  • The author recommends avoiding topics like substance abuse, self-harm or mental illness. If you do decide to write about any of those, you should make sure your academic record reflects how far you’ve come since the incident/period. 
  • TAKE BREAKS. Can’t stress this enough. I wrote a few very emotional columns for my school newspaper this year, and I repeatedly had to step back and collect myself before I continued writing. 

Check out the article for more! Sorry if the influx of TP posts is annoying; since I started helping out on the TP Twitter account, I’ve found some gems and I can’t help but share ‘em. :)


Write Drunk, Edit Sober - The Prospect

They probably posted this a while ago, but I’ve gotten so many asks about how to write application essays and this is says it perfectly, so if you’re curious and in need of assistance, watch!!
10 YouTube Channels to Help You Study for AP and IB Exams

Hundreds of thousands of students are taking AP and IB Courses, and the hardest part for many is preparing for the actual exam. While the AP and IB classes themselves are fairly different, preparin…

Hooray for studying!
How to Visit a School Without Actually Visiting It

 Not every college you’re interested in will be in close proximity to where you live. Many times, it’s impossible to visit these schools before applying to them. Rather than giving up all hope, the…

I remember seeing this article last year and thinking it was the answer to my prayers. If you’re just getting started on researching schools or want some more ideas of how to get a feel for a campus, check this baby out. 

svlyia asked:

Hi I'm a junior rn and I was hoping you could give me more information on SAT's... & how to prep for them. I have not taken it yet & unlike my rich friends I can't afford those sat boot camp classes. General information on them would be much help. Thank you!!!

Hey there! It’s definitely not necessary to take SAT classes in order to do well on the SAT, so don’t worry!~

Here are some links that have a lot of SAT information, whether it be general information about the test (its length, what to expect, what to bring, etc) or how to slay it with guides for each of the three sections: math, critical reading, and writing.

My favorite books to prepare for the SAT have been the official collegeboard blue book, which has actual SAT questions, and the SAT prep black book, which is super informative. While the latter book is subjective to taste (I also like Up Your Score), I think the blue book is pretty crucial, since other prep books do not have official SAT questions, so if you practice with, say, Princeton Review’s questions, you won’t be really used to what the real SAT is going to throw at you.

Best of luck!~
TP's Guide to Prepping the Week Before a Standardized Test

After months and months of learning new vocabulary words, memorizing math formulas, or practicing responses for different questions, you’re finally only a couple of days away from presenting your s…

For all of you freaking out about the June ACT, this article is super helpful! I used these tips the week before the SAT :) 

As an appblr I just want to say that I agree with 99% of the prospect article including the negative things. Perfect communities don’t exist. This one is no exception and we must be open to criticism or we will never ever be able to grow.
The Unnecessary Number That is Class Rank

Let me make one thing clear: it does not matter. Stop with your obsessing over this insignificant number. It does not matter. Say you are ranked 65/500. I think that’s great. It doesn’t seem very low to me. It is very likely that there are many other people in your grade who have the exact same GPA as you, but may be ranked higher because of alphabetization. Besides, it is in no way a definitive representation of a person’s intelligence or achievement.

to all you guys and gals, hopefully this makes things a bit less stressful: there are stories behind numbers that are your grades, class rank, test scores, volunteer hours, (and the list goes ooon…) came to be. don’t get caught up in the numbers

the story > the number

remember that.
5 Things You Didn't Know about Applying for Financial Aid But Should

I’ll be honest: I was REALLY bad at applying for financial aid at first. Like, I let the papers sit on my desk for two months and then a week before it was due realized all the stuff I needed. Ther…

Make sure you figure out the little logistical issues so that your financial aid journey goes as smoothly as possible!

I guess my school is just kind of oddly obsessed with colleges? Middle schoolers have a mandatory class dedicated to college readiness, where we map out our projected schedule for high school, build resumes, and begin our college search. We revisit that class a year later, where we learn about scholarships, college fit, and things of that nature. In our senior year, we again have a class dedicated to our college application process, where we finalize our resumes, work on college applications, and complete our senior project. 

Even if your school typically doesn’t introduce the admissions process to students until their senior year, I don’t think they would turn away a junior. You can talk to your guidance office and teachers for some more information! I had a meeting with my guidance counselor at least once a quarter to make sure I was on the right track for everything. They can get you up to date on scholarships, how much community service you should be doing, and when’s the best time to take those standardized tests.

Other than my school, I’ve learned a lot by talking to those who have gone through the process, whether it be reaching out to those who have graduated, my brother’s older friends, family members, or mentors. Asking for advice, tips, or mistakes they wish they wouldn’t have made can be really helpful! 

And of course, there’s all of appblr. There’s a lot of people who have gone through the process and are willing to answer any questions you have! (TheProspect, Collegeapp-Chick, College-Advice, and AdmissionsAddict are a great place to start). Likewise, there are a lot of previous appblrs who keep their blogs archived for future use (University-bound, Cliche-blog-title, and Fishingforcolleges: Julie’s posts are just a few).

As for websites that are like the collegeboard, there’s:

And then there’s some plain old good websites like: and

That’s all I can really think of for now! Good luck! ^^