Nothing Common About this Application

WG Juniors Receive Training for the Common Application Process

Rae Anne DiBaggio


Rae Anne DiBaggio

Everyone knows that being a high school senior is stressful. But what about the juniors ? Life is perfect, right ? Stress free, right ? No way ! Applying for college is a stressful and complicated journey, but the seniors do not have that market cornered ! We do not, however, have to go down that road alone. There are people to help ease the stress for prospective college students. People like Mrs. Rae Ann DiBaggio, a Case Western Reserve University admissions counselor, are here.

The West Geauga junior English classes had an opportunity on May 19th to listen to a presentation on writing a common application essay. The common application is part of the system that hundreds of colleges use in order to preview/review applicants who have applied to their colleges and universities. This application process consists of different parts: a student’s transcript, the student’s accomplishments, and, finally, the essay portion.

For 2017 and 2018 there are seven essay prompts that are available to students, or they can submit an essay they have already written, if they feel it reflects their best work. It’s tough to have a college admissions counselor “get to know you,” based on 650 words or less. Mrs. DiBaggio presented the students with a variety of actual essays that have been submitted to her as an admission counselor. During the assembly in Room 124, she had students read the essays aloud and then, by a show of hands, asked the students if they thought each applicant should be accepted/admitted or not. Once the students provided feedback, Ms. Dibaggio explained what was good (and for some essays, not – so – good) about the efforts.

According to junior Sylmari Bailey, “The time I spent in there was definitely worth it. At the very least it showed us what a good common app essay looked like.” Because the college application process is stressful and grueling, this program was successful in helping to ease the students’ minds and collect insight into a college admission counselor’s mind.  When asked about her day at West Geauga, Mrs. DiBaggio said, “The students are really attentive and it’s a timely topic for juniors. I’m hoping the presentation provides some good insight that can be helpful for the college application process.”

To further assist the students, the West Geauga Ed. Foundation is once again bringing “App Day” to the high school. App Day educates students and parents as to how to fill out the Common Application, which is used by many colleges to determine admission. As in the past, emphasis will be placed on the importance of the college essay and tips given to create an essay that stands out and helps your application for admission, scholarships, honor colleges, and special programs.

 Registrations are now being accepted for the August 21st session, but students must be pre-registered in order to participate. So, on Monday, August 21 from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, Class of 2018 students should bring their laptops and their completed essays.

Mrs. DiBaggio and college admission counselors from various schools (past counselors in attendance have come from Hiram, Cleveland State, Oberlin, Vanderbilt, OSU, Notre Dame College and more) will be helping students complete their application and polish their essays. The session starts with logging into their Common Application. After a brief break, students will have their college essay critiqued by at least two college admission counselors who are traveling to WGHS for the sole purpose of meeting our students and assisting them in obtaining admission to their desired school. The cost is $20 cash or check (payable to West G Ed Foundation).

For registration or more information contact Mrs. Theresa Kulp at [email protected]