Spark Admissions Blog

Applications, Essays, Where to Apply, Strategy, and More

Common Application Essay Prompts for 2017-2018

February 09, 2017
Written by Taylor

The Common Application recently announced their essay prompts for next year, some of which are the same as this year's and some of which are brand new. If you're a rising senior, it's not too early to start thinking about how you might approach this important essay, so we're sharing the 2017-2018 prompts below, along with notes as to whether they're revised or completely new.

Understanding the National Merit Scholarship Program

January 27, 2017
Written by Taylor

The National Merit Scholarship Program is a national academic competition for high school students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. It is administered by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). Students qualify for the program by achieving a high score on the PSAT—more formally called the PSAT/NMSQT (“National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test”)—in their junior year, and then they may be designated as Commended Students, Semifinalists, or (after an additional application) Finalists for a $2,500 scholarship.

2017 College Admissions: What’s Been on the Minds of Admissions Directors

January 20, 2017
Written by Taylor

At this point in the year, high school seniors have been receiving acceptances, rejections, or deferrals from their Early Decision schools, and they’re eagerly awaiting word on the applications they submitted for January deadlines. As we start to see the results of the 2016-17 college admissions cycle and consider what it might mean for students applying 2017-18, it’s worth looking back to see what admissions directors at colleges nationwide had on their minds this year.

College Sports Recruiting Tips, Part II

January 10, 2017
Written by Taylor

If you’ve been following the tips from our previous post (College Sports Recruiting Tips, Part I), you now have an athletic resume, a preliminary list of colleges, and a growing list of camps, tournaments, and achievements in your sport of choice. Now, it’s time to start getting the word out about your intention to play college sports.

College Sports Recruiting Tips, Part I

November 11, 2016
Written by Taylor

Being a college athletic recruit certainly sounds alluring. As college admissions continues to get more competitive, it’s understandable that high school athletes would have dreams of the day when schools compete over them, as opposed to the other way around. But college athletics recruiting requires more than simply waiting to be discovered; there’s hard work involved.