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High School Students Look For An Edge

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By Michael Pope

School doesn't start for weeks, but some students are already thinking about getting into the right college. Some of them gather each week at T.C. Williams High School looking for an edge. Rising senior Marian Wolz says the competition for in-state schools is steep.

"They will be more and more competitive because of this economy, because not as many people can afford to go out of state," says Wolz.

Enter Karen Schwarz. She started coaching students on the college admissions process last year. Now she's at T.C. Williams giving free tips. So listen up, college-bound boys and girls. Schwarz warns against bragging in essay submissions. She says, focus on strong verbs instead of extraneous adjectives, and ultimately, craft what she calls "beefy sentences."

"Instead of saying 'I love going to the park,' you might say, 'Going to the park is my escape from the chaos of a big public high school,'" says Schwarz.

Schwarz also says don't rely on spell check, or you may end up like the student who sent a college essay identifying her favorite Disney movie as the "Loin King."

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