Common Application Help

On the last episode of Getting In: A College Coach Conversation, host Ian Fisher and his guests explored a non-profit program providing free educational and career advice, strategies for presenting your extracurricular activities, and the role of personal debt in the financial aid process.

Massachusetts Education & Career Opportunities Inc.

There are a large number of non-profit organizations that can help students in their college and career search. Our first segment explored one of these organizations with guest Donna Connolly from Massachusetts Education & Career Opportunities, Inc. (MassEdCO). MassEdCO provides free educational and career opportunity advice for students from diverse backgrounds in Massachusetts middle and high schools. Both Ian and Donna agreed the Occupational Outlook Handbook, which is published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is a great resource for students investigating career opportunities.

Understanding the Activities Section of the Application

Next up, Ian welcomed College Coach’s own Julia Jones to talk about the Activities section of the Common Application. Julia talked about how extracurricular activities are reviewed as part of the admission process. What counts as an extracurricular activity? For the super involved student, how do you choose which activities to list in your application? Ian and Julia also discussed tips for how to best use the 150 character limit to describe your activities and introduced an activities worksheet you can use at:

Debt and Financial Aid

College Coach’s Kathy Ruby joined Ian in the show’s final segment to explore the role of personal debt in a financial aid offer. Their discussion included a dynamic exchange on how a financial aid officer’s professional judgement comes into play when a financial aid office makes its award decisions.

On the next episode of Getting In: A College Coach Conversation, we’ll be discussing traveling to and from college—how to get the best deals on flights—as well as how to avoid scholarship and loan scams.  Finally, host Sally Ganga will add her perspective to our ongoing School’s Out: Application Workshop series.



Written by Kristine Sawicki
Kristine Sawicki is a member of College Coach’s team of college admissions consultants. Prior to joining College Coach, Kristine was an admissions officer at Stanford University and Reed College. Visit our website to learn more about Kristine Sawicki.