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The College Essay Category

Tips for Writing Your College Essay

Oct. 9, 2017—When I speak with students about the components of an application to Vanderbilt, I always save the personal essay for last. This is partly because it is my favorite part of the application to read, but also because I know this is often the most dreaded part of the application process. I know, I know:...

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Frequently Asked Questions (regarding your Vanderbilt application)

Jan. 12, 2015—Here is an easy source for your frequently asked questions regarding your Vanderbilt admissions application for the 2014-2015.

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Tips for Letters of Recommendation

Oct. 31, 2014—You need recommendations as a part of your application for admission, and we're here with the three steps you need to get them done right.

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3 Steps to Tackling Your Personal Essay

Oct. 10, 2014—The personal essay can seem like a daunting part of the application process, but these three steps will help you tackle it.

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#selfie, Old School Style

Jul. 9, 2014—#selfie may be the modern method of self-promotion, but the personal statement remains a quintessential way to promote who you are to a college.

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How To: Write Your Personal Essay

Sep. 11, 2013—As fall begins, so does application season. To help guide your way, Carolyn offers advice on all aspects of the application process, beginning with your personal essay.

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Application Reading 2.0

Nov. 29, 2012—Carolyn walks us through her new and improved process for reading applications.

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How I Read a File

Dec. 5, 2011—Carolyn Pippen on how she reads admissions files.

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Extracurriculars

Sep. 20, 2010—The well-rounded student vs. the well-angled student.  Which does Vanderbilt prefer?  Both!  We need generalists and specialists in our class of 1,600.  What really matters to us is that you love what you’re doing.  Passion is hard to fake.  If you’re just choosing activities to fill a resume, it shows.  Stop worrying about what each admissions...

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Writing a Personal Statement

Sep. 13, 2010—Last year I was responsible for approximately 1,000 applications.  Numerically, far too many of my students look identical.  It’s the intangible pieces: essay, letters of recommendation, and extracurriculars that set one student apart from another.  The essay is my personal favorite.  I love a good story.  I know, though, that this can be a stressful...

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Service Work at Vanderbilt

Feb. 16, 2010—During high school I was president of a service organization. As a RA in college I was required to coordinate monthly service projects that the women on my floor would find engaging. Service work was a fairly regular part of life. However, when I started graduate studies I found myself repeatedly finding reasons why I...

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Pan Flute Simplicity

Oct. 16, 2009—It's true, Vanderbilt's applications have grown (+73% in five years). A natural reaction is to try and find someway to stand out in the crowd. But for us, at the heart of the holistic review is an understanding of you - your past accomplishments, what you care about, and drives your curiosities. In each of these things - simplicity is a supreme virtue.

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