Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

The Hired Girl

Laura Amy Schlitz

About Jenny Sawyer

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Here are my most recent posts

College Loan Debt:
How Much Is Too Much?

How much college loan debt is too much? The bad news: Maybe less than you might think. Now for the good news: You can figure how much college debt you can reasonably afford, and you can do it in about five minutes. You can do it by the time you reach the end of this […]

College Guides: Which is Best?

A college guidebook can help you find the college of your dreams. If it's the right guidebook. My personal favorite? Fiske Guide to Colleges: I think it strikes just the right balance between opinion and facts. But you might like a college guide with a little less verbiage—or a little more flair. Great news: I’ve read them […]

Ten Best Books for Teens: 2014

Picking the ten best books for teens in 2014, or any year, is never an easy proposition. For one thing, it’s subjective. There are books that my bookish friends raved about this year, which failed to capture my imagination. There are titles—perhaps real winners—that simply never made it through my mail slot. But out of […]

Do this not that when you write to the admissions committee.

I got deferred from my first choice school. I know it’s a long shot, but I heard you can write a deferral-response letter to the admissions committee. So, a couple questions. When should I send it? What should I say in it? And is there anything else that might help at this point? –P.A., USA […]

College Application Essays:
30 Minutes to Great

You can write a winning college admissions essay. You have it in you. Your story is already in your head. The trick is to get it out of your head onto the page. Better still, getting it onto the page doesn't have to be much of a trick. In fact, you can be ready to […]

I Can't Write This Essay!

I’m so stressed out trying to finish my college applications. The supplemental questions are the worst. How am I supposed to say everything I need to in just 250 or 350 words? I don’t know how to write an essay that short. Help! –K.N., USA You’re right: 250 words isn’t a whole lot to work with. But […]


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