Wow made the national news for our panel discussion (standing-room only!) at the National Association for College Admissions Counseling’s (NACAC15) annual meeting last week in San Diego: What Admission Wants in an Essay: How to Instruct Your Students? We brought together top admissions officers from Cornell, UC-Berkeley, and two of the nation’s leading high school counselors, for this interactive presentation that confirmed our consistent message: Gimmicks are useless and do not help students write essays that stand out, buzz words (passion, leadership, initiative) confuse students, and reading sample essays by admitted students will not help applicants write insightful personal statements that catch the attention of the admissions office. Check out this Forbes article on our session! What’s more, our experts offered useful tips and resources to help high school counselors and independent educational consultants translate the message from inside the admissions office into meaningful instructions for students.