From Sarasota Herald-Tribune, July 9, 2021
Ryan McKinnon

A group of prospective students with their parents take a campus tour of New College of Florida located in Sarasota on Thursday, March 28, 2019. [Herald-Tribune staff photo / Thomas Bender]A new local program is offering high school students guidance on how to write the perfect college essay.

New College of Florida and the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation announced a partnership this week that will provide free workshops for students who need help on the personal essay section of a college application.

As several colleges and universities have dropped test score requirements, there will be greater emphasis on how well a student can write.

“Personal essays carry greater importance in a student’s overall college application because a growing number of colleges and universities are dropping the requirement of SAT and ACT scores,” said Jennifer Wells, director of writing and head of New College’s Writing Program.

The program will be offered remotely and will cover topics including how to generate ideas, how to write reflectively and how to approach rewrites, a press release announcing the workshop stated.

The July session is already full, but university officials have announced online sessions in August and November. The university will be adding two on-campus, in person dates in October as well.

Visit https://apply.ncf.edu/register/?id=65e5b694-b611-4a97-be77-879a2255b881 for more details.

Transfer training

In addition to sponsoring writing workshops for area high school seniors, the Barancik Foundation grant, totaling $73,737, also provides funds to strengthen New College’s support of transfer students.

New College is trying to bolster flagging enrollment, and one key strategy is by making it easier for students to transfer into the university.

Over the summer, faculty and staff members at New College are taking workshops to learn how to ease the transition for transfer students, and every student who transfers into the university will receive an adviser who will connect them to support services.

Ryan McKinnon covers schools for the Herald-Tribune. Connect with him at ryan.mckinnon@heraldtribune.com or on Twitter: @JRMcKinnon. Support the Sarasota Herald-Tribune by subscribing today. 


Founded in Sarasota in 1960, New College of Florida is a top-ranked public liberal arts college and the state’s Honors College of Florida. New College prepares intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement by providing a highly individualized education that integrates academic rigor with career-building experiences. New College offers 45 undergraduate majors in arts, humanities and sciences, a master’s degree program in applied data science, and certificates in technology, finance, and business skills.

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