Senior year at high school can be a challenging and harrowing environment as students begin the college application process and attempt to piece together little nuggets of wisdom from various sources.
Overworked and thinly stretched college counselors form the primary source of guidance, supplemented by sites like College Confidential, which must be ingested with a liberal amount of salt. The Collegiate Blog is a forum that allows students who successfully navigated college applications to directly share their knowledge and experiences with aspiring ones.
When current sophomores Hope Brinn and Steven Gu started thinking of starting the blog last year (having just been through the process themselves) they aimed to create a platform that was accessible to students from every background, gender, race, religion, income group and nationality, and allow them the chance to easily access legitimate application-related information.
Preliminary discussions about writers, logistics and content have led to the final creation: a blog that offers information ranging from the kinds of extracurricular activities and preparatory activities to participate in during college to extensive SAT and SAT Subject Test guidance list. Topics are outlined and followed by a thorough explanation of the actual college application, which includes the personal statement and interviews. The onslaught of readily accessible information continues with a section on financial aid and pointers to incoming college freshmen about everything from choosing majors and what to pack to eating habits at school.
The blog opened for public consumption at the start of the college application season and received a remarkable number of hits within the first few days — over 2,000 — and then a 3,000 view leap between June and July. The Collegiate Blog has also received attention from admissions officers from various colleges wanting to share additional information, and even press coverage from the Wall Street Journal.
As the popularity of The Collegiate grows by word of mouth and Google searches, Brinn and Gu are looking towards expanding the blog to include a mentorship program and changing the text-only format of the site to include more multimedia content. The future of the blog consists of more content concerning college life and a diverse set of writers, which presently includes Joyce Wu and Michelle Yang too.
To paraphrase Steven’s words, The Collegiate is successfully breaking down the barrier between application related bloggers and their readers.