College Essay Lab

Xinyi Zhang

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       As the end of 2016 approaches, seniors across the district rush to complete their college applications on time while maintaining their busy daily schedules. Writing applications that will ultimately determine one’s future college is both physically and mentally taxing, but Cupertino High School’s recently established College Essay Writing Workshop aims to relieve some of the stress in the essay-writing process. 

       The workshop has two stages: several on-campus presentations from college admissions counselors about traits of successful applications and follow-up revision sessions held in various classrooms, tailored to help students meet those requirements. 

       Organized a year ago, the project was a response to growing student concerns and questions about effective ways to tackle college applications. Staff members and teachers have worked together to formulate the best course of action to give seniors the advice they need.

       Said Jessica Yazdani, one of the project heads, “We wanted students to get insight on what a good college application should look like … the entire process is designed to give students tips that come straight from the admissions offices.”

       In late September and early October, three admissions officers from three different universities were invited to Cupertino High School to address common questions during the application process and give examples of responses to past essay prompts. Then, students seeking specific guidance had the option to sign up for a feedback workshop, where English teachers from CHS looked over their essays.