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  • Writer's pictureElizabeth La Porte

College Admission: July To-Do List

Dear Friends, I hope this newsletter finds you in good health and getting through the COVID-19 summer with a minimum of stress.  As schools get ready to re-open either in-person or online for the next academic year, students can also prepare for the next steps in the college admission process. Need help with your essays?  Take a College Essay Class. Now is the time to plan ahead and complete your college applications.  For those who want an edge on getting it done, register for a college essay class (on Zoom) where you'll review successful college essays, identify significant topics, and draft personalized UC, Common Application, and Supplemental essays.  You'll receive individual feedback and editing. The next class starts on July 27.​ To sign up, call (650) 766-0969 or email me at $300

Four-Day College Essay Workshops on Zoom M, W, F, Sunday: 3:00-4:30 pm.

  • July 27, 29, 31, 2 - space still available

  • Aug 3, 5, 7, 9

  • Aug 10, 12, 14, 16

  • Aug 17, 19, 21, 23

  • Aug 24, 26, 28, 30

It's July.  Have you begun your college applications? It's tempting to wait until the fall (school starts in less than four weeks!) to complete your college applications, but knowing how much time it takes to create polished, competitive apps, it's best to begin now.  Plus, you want to be able to apply by November 1 to access financial aid and scholarships.  So, what should you be doing now?  Have you researched and finalized your college list? 1. You should finalize your college lists as well as review possible majors. The Computer Science major at each UC, for instance, varies from campus to campus; at UCSD, in particular, the major is even capped.  Being informed is the first step to a competitive application.

Now, begin drafting your essays. 2. Second, you should review the UC prompts - and begin drafting.  The Common app essay, almost twice the length of those required by the UC's, will be challenging for most and simply choosing the prompt may be anxiety-provoking; drafting this now should be a relief.  Don't forget the supplemental essays - there can be many! 3.  Besides guiding my students on their UC essays, I'm encouraging them to keep up with the supplemental essays  - there can be many!  These private school essays are in addition to the Common App essay - and present a different level of work, namely, analysis and research. Many supplements require a response to the obvious question: Why do you want to attend our campus?  You need to formulate a reasonable and specific reply, beside a school's rankings or its great location.   Request your letters of recommendation - soon. 4.  Finally, for those who are applying to private schools, you should reach out to teachers to request letters of recommendation. If you are applying Early Decision . . .  5.  The question of applying Early Decision (ED) is another important consideration; approximately 450 schools offer Early Decision; the application is due by November 1 with decision letters sent out in mid-December. Read this NYT column by Frank Bruni about the ethics of ED.

Need more information? Attend a free College Information Session. 6.  Join me for a free, live, online informational presentation about the college admission process for sophomores and juniors - and get all your questions answered!

Saturday, Aug 1, 4pm-5pm

For a Zoom invitation, email me at

Thanks for reading and please forward to a friend.

Stay safe, 


Raised in Lafayette, Liz La Porte is an experienced college advisor and credentialed high school English teacher, who founded her education practice in 2012 to help students successfully navigate the college admission process. Working one-on-one with her students to maximize their applications and to write genuinely personal essays, her students have been accepted to Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, UCB, Duke, and others. Liz attended Swarthmore College and UC Berkeley.  Visit her bio here.  Call (650) 766-0969 for a free initial consultation. Visit or email her at (650) 766-0969 For archived newsletters, click here. Copyright © 2020 LP Education Advising All Rights Reserved

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