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Thursday, October 25, 2012

30K PhD scholarship offer from USC...

USC Announces the USC Global Fellowship for International PhD students; 5 for Mexico

A new prestigious award for PhD studies at USC has been founded, and one of its objectives is to attract the most talented and sought-after students from Mexico to USC.  Called the USC Global Fellowships, the award will go to outstanding applicants to any USC PhD program. The awards include full tuition, year-round health and dental insurance, and an annual stipend of $30,000. USC hopes to award at least five fellowships to candidates from Mexico in 2012.

USC's global fellowship programs are designed to attract and serve outstanding PhD students from regions around the world.  Global fellowships represent the highest level of fellowship funding offered by the university. Students receive support packages consisting of two years of fellowship and either two or three additional years of support, depending on their PhD program, in the form of teaching assistantships, research assistantships, or additional fellowships. 
As a leading private research university, USC is engaged in a broad range of research activity, and has more than 300 graduate programs in 17 professional schools and the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences.  Fellowships are available in all fields of study except clinical medicine and other programs that are subject to clinical fees. Applicants should preferably be eligible for support from CONACYT.

Applicants from Mexico please contact Angela McCracken at or +52 (55) 5202-8822 for further information.

Friday, October 12, 2012

College admissions essays: advice, tips, tricks...

Applying to college involves more than filling out some paperwork and submitting your high school transcripts with a list of your achievements. You will also have to write an essay. Even if you’re a straight-A student who also happens to be a published author, writing your college application essay can be incredibly nerve-wracking.

Writing a good college application essay is important. After all, it could technically make or break your chances of getting into your dream school. How? If two students applying to the same college have similar grades, test scores, and extracurricular activities yet one wrote a fantastic essay while the other’s was mediocre … well, you get the drift.

College Application Essay Prompts and Questions

Nearly 500 colleges and universities now accept the Common Application, which requires students to answer one of the required essay prompts in 250 to 500 words. If you’re applying to more than one college—which is “common” when filling out the Common App—you will still submit the same admission essay to all of the schools. (Some colleges do request a customized essay, but they request it on a supplement form.)
You’ll quickly realize that even the maximum 500 word requirement isn’t very long. If you keep your sentences short and sweet, it’s possible to get your message across and hopefully knock the socks off of the admissions officers who read your essay. Here are 10 other college application essay tips and tricks to consider:
1. Write about the given topic. College applications—including the Common App—often present students with multiple essay prompts. It’s up to the student to decide which prompt to choose. These prompts can be questions to answer, fill-in-the-blanks, or something else entirely. Read them carefully and make sure you understand what you are supposed to write about.
2. Don’t just re-word your application. Your college application itself is already highlighting your academic achievements and extracurricular activities. If you volunteer at a pet shelter on the weekends, take music lessons, or have a part-time job—and you’ve mentioned these things on your application—try to cover another aspect of your life in your essay.
7. Proofread and revise. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment when you finish writing your essay, but resist the urge to click “submit” as soon as you’re done. You will want to proofread for spelling and grammatical errors and possibly even revise your essay.
8. Read it out loud. When you think you’re finished, read your essay out loud. If it sounds a little bit “off,” then chances are something isn’t written the way you intended for it to be.

9. Seek feedback, but don’t go overboard. It’s a good idea to share your essay with your English teacher or guidance counselor, but you don’t have to seek feedback from every adult you know. Getting opinion after opinion on your work might drive you crazy or cause you to trash your essay and start from scratch—which is probably unnecessary.

10. Try not to stress out. Even though applying to college stresses out a lot of people, try your best to stay grounded. You shouldn’t take your application essay lightly, but you should also remind yourself that it’s an essay. It’s not the end of the world! You’ll have to write plenty of other essays in your lifetime.

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