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A Culture of Care >> Read Smith’s plans for the fall 2021 semester.

College Admission Workshop

Young woman practices interviewing skills during Smith College admission workshop

As you start thinking about applying to college, there are clear ways to make your applications—and yourself—stand out. Learn the latest insights and insider expertise from admission professionals about how to succeed in the application process. The College Admission Workshop is designed to give promising young women like you the best practices, guidance and top tips for successfully navigating the college application process. Your instructors are Smith’s professional admission staff, as well as visiting admission officers from other top-ranked colleges and universities.

Program Dates for 2021

REMOTE: July 12–16 

Accepting students who will be rising 11th and 12th graders in 2021.

You’ve Got This!

You will learn how to write a compelling essay, ace a college interview and speak in public with ease and confidence—skills that will help you succeed in getting into college but will also help you succeed in life. You will attend workshops conducted by top admission and financial aid officers from Smith and other similar institutions. Selected workshop topics include affording college, critical thinking and reading, finding the right fit for postsecondary education, and taking a gap year.

Ruth Penberthy ’21


Program Details

Remote Program

Remote via Zoom

July 12–16, 2021

Classes are Monday–Friday

1–4 p.m.

See curriculum.

Additional synchronous sessions may be scheduled. Sessions will be scheduled at the instructor’s discretion and with student availability in mind.

College Admission Workshop Tuition

Tuition for one course online: $850
Tuition if enrolled in another course online during the session: $2,425

See the Apply to Summer Programs webpage for more details.



What You Will Gain

A Polished Essay
You will finish the program with a completed, or semi-completed, admission essay to be used for the Common Application, as well as tips to customize your essay if the Common Application is not used.

Public Speaking & Interviewing Readiness
You will gain new confidence and skills for public speaking, specifically when interviewing and speaking comfortably about yourself and your achievements.

Self-Editing Skills
By developing skills in critical thinking and writing, including critical reading, revision, creating and defending an argument, you will learn how to read and revise your own work for any personal, professional, or academic writing assignment.

Clear Choices
After attending the program, you will come away with a better idea of the type of college or university that is a good fit for you. We will have explored what type of learning environment you thrive in and your areas of academic interest, giving you an opportunity to compile a list of possible schools that are right for you and to which you will want to apply.


Remote Program

The College Admission Essay

Many students find the college admission essay to be one of the most difficult pieces to write because it can be challenging to strike a balance between “bragging” and “boring.” This session helps you find the right balance to ensure that you represent your best self on paper. Deconstruct past students’ essays to examine the most effective ways to write a compelling opening, develop a strong narrative and end with a memorable conclusion. Then, work on your own rough drafts for two Common Application questions. Personal instructor feedback will guide you through the writing process.

The College Admission Interview

One of the most stressful aspects of applying to college is the interview. Learn how to approach interviews, how to handle all impromptu speaking situations, and how to effectively introduce yourself and talk about your accomplishments and goals. This session is based on the public speaking class offered to Smith seniors. You will learn how to give a speech of introduction, overcome stage fright and construct a well-organized talk, all without having to rely on notes.


Peter Sapira

Peter Sapira, academic director for precollege creative writing and instructor, received his bachelor of arts in English from San Francisco State University and his master of fine arts in English from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. In addition to his work with Precollege Programs, Peter also teaches composition and public speaking at Smith College.

As part of his work in the Smith College Jacobson Center for Writing, Teaching & Learning, he helps students write grant proposals, graduate school and internship applications and cover letters, as well as essays for classes across the curriculum.