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College Admission Workshop

July 22—28, 2018

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.

This one-week College Admission Workshop is designed for rising high school juniors and seniors 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.

What You Will Learn

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.

Classes are held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Attendance is required at every scheduled event. In the evening, 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.

What You Will Cover

Throughout the week, you’ll participate in the following classes:

How to write a 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.

How to ace a college admission interview

One of the most stressful aspects of applying to college is the interview. We teach you how to approach these interviews, how to handle all impromptu speaking situations, and how to effectively introduce yourself and talk about your accomplishments and goals.

How to give an introductory speech

There are settings in which you may be asked to give this type of speech, often called "A Speech of Introduction," whether at a conference, a job interview or an academic class. This session is based on the curriculum for 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.

How to write a college-level essay

Based on the Colloquia in Writing course for Smith undergraduates, this session will help you learn both the basic and advanced techniques of creating a thesis and supporting an argument throughout an essay. You will also learn the differences in requirements and expectations between high school and college essays.

What You Will Gain

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.

You will have prepared for and gained new confidence when interviewing, learning how to speak comfortably when talking about yourself and your achievements.

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.