Danielle | Scripps Ranch High School
The most valuable thing about Passport Admissions for me was that it helped me realize that there were actually interesting things about myself! I had all these stories and I figured that they were all completely uninteresting from an admissions perspective, but Passport showed me not only which ones were perfect for college admissions essays, but also how to write about them in a way that was both interesting and completely in line with my own writing style.
I chose Passport admissions because I went to a brief overview of the program and really liked the staff. I was really worried about budgeting time between completing applications and finishing my school work and Passport's ability to develop a schedule that would allow me to finish applications over the summer was such a relief! I also liked the fact that I could work one-on-one with someone who was helpful, friendly and dedicated to helping me edit my college essays. In addition, when I first came to Passport I wasn't exactly sure where I wanted to apply and loved that Passport would help me find schools to apply to based on what I was looking for out of the college experience.
When I first started the admissions process I was totally overwhelmed by the sheer number of schools out there: big, small, public, private, and I was really unsure of which type would best fit me. Working with passport helped me realize exactly what I was looking for in a college and one of Passport's suggestions, Occidental, actually became one of my top choice schools. I think, like many people, that in the beginning of the process I wanted to apply to all these schools that were extremely prestigious and difficult to get into and so I was worried that I might not be accepted into any, but Passport showed me schools with all the same characteristics of those schools that could be "safety" schools for me, and these were schools that I could genuinely see myself attending. When I began to fill out my applications Passport was extremely helpful with how to use the common app website and the website for UC applications. For my essays I also worked with Alison who was honestly one of the nicest and most helpful people I have ever met! We went over each essay question for all my colleges and brainstormed ideas that I could write about. She really helped me draw out from within myself what was most interesting about me as a person as well as what I could write best about. She was also vital in the editing process as she caught errors that neither myself nor my parents ever would have seen.
Thanks to Passport and Alison I was actually able to complete my applications before the summer was over so unlike many of my peers the first semester of my senior year was quite relaxing! Passport also had several sessions that aided in how to conduct an interview, what questions to ask colleges on visits and how to appropriately ask for a letter of recommendation from a teacher. Once I was admitted to colleges Passport also researched the campuses for me and helped answer any and all questions I had about the pros and cons of each school. I was accepted into UCSB, Davis, UCLA, Berkeley, Occidental, Willamette, Colby, and Tufts. Right now I am still trying to make my decision between Tufts and Occidental!
Once again, I'd just like to say that Alison was the most amazing person to work with! I felt so comfortable around her and I really got the impression that she cared a lot about my success! I appreciated her input so much in both deciding what to write about and the editing process. I think her help was the most important factor for me in complete my applications and she definitely helped me make my essays way more interesting then I would have made them on my own!