Home » Uncategorized » Time to get back in the game! #admissions #highered #.edu

Time to get back in the game! #admissions #highered #.edu



For the past several months I’ve intentionally stayed away from @bowtieadmission. I wasn’t tired of it. I wasn’t any less interested or less engaged. I wasn’t being lazy.

But, I had my reasons. 

I stayed away because I was working in a different capacity,  serving as acting president of Augustana College while Steven Bahls was on sabbatical. I’ll admit that I chose not to post and blog because I was terrified I might say something controversial that might reflect poorly on Augustana. I am always concerned about this and remind everyone that this blog reflects my own personal view, but being the “top-dog” does create new and different concerns. 

To be frank, serving as the acting CEO is a lot of pressure and watching one’s words is even more important. 

However, President Bahls is back and he’s at the helm of this great place, which allows me to return to @bowtieadmission.

I am back in the game and excited to be here.

You can expect new posts on a weekly basis about all things higher education. In the coming weeks I will be posting about: A new venture to establish a remote office of admission, value and affordability, the rankings and many, many other things. 

I’ve missed @bowtieadmission as an outlet and a tool with which I can engage other great higher education professionals. 

Here’s to a great 2012-13. 


a.k.a. @bowtieadmission



  1. Welcome back. I became familiar with your blog as we began the college road trip experience last spring. Now, we are getting close to application time and I wondered if I could throw a couple of questions at you.

    The essay appears to be an open subject so first we are assuming he can write one essay and use it for the four applications he will be making. Is that a good assumption?

    Secondly, the theme he has developed is one where he dealt with an issue growing up that shaped his maturity. I think he sums it up nicely with a positive ending. Is that the kind of essay that admissions people like?

    • bowtieadmission says:

      Thanks for the questions. Before I go further, best of luck navigating the process!

      In regard to the essay, if your son is using the Common Application or if the application suggest “a topic of the student’s choosing,” you are safe to assume he can write one essay and submit it to each college that requires this important written part of the application. There are some places (University of Chicago) that are pretty finicky about the essay and specific topics, etc. But, I think most have become pretty flexible, given the anxiety the essay creates in the process. Summary–safe to do one and submit to multiple places unless otherwise stated.

      It sounds like your son has put some thought into telling his story, which is exactly what we want when reviewing an essay. I remind applicants that the essay is the only thing over which the applicant has full control. Getting personal is important and it sounds like he’s headed in that direction, which I applaud.

      My concluding slide in my “Exceptional Essays” presentation includes the following take-aways:

      Take it seriously
      Write from personal experience
      Show, don’t tell
      Say what you would say (not what others think you should say)
      Write, rewrite, rewrite and rewrite
      Proofread, proofread and proofread

      Good luck and don’t hesitate to ask other questions.



      • Thanks for taking the time to respond. Sam gave his first draft of the essay to his AP English teacher. His next challenge is selecting the references. Is there anything of note about the “who” or is what they write the more important aspect you consider?

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