Due to a large financial contribution to the school, Stuyvesant seniors have been given free access to an online college application aid service known as College Essay Organizer (CEO). The donation to the school, approximately totaling 3,000 dollars, was made by the parents of an alumnus of the class of 2010. Despite the generosity of the grant, the parents, as well as the alumnus in question, have expressed wishes to remain anonymous.
According to Parent Coordinator Harvey Blumm, the parents of the 2010 alumnus made their donation out of gratitude towards Stuyvesant for the quality of education their son received at the school.
“They [The alumnus’s parents] wanted to give something back to the school. Given how much anxiety and stress there is in the college admissions process, they wanted their donation to do something to alleviate that stress,” Blumm said. “[The alumnus’s parents] were amazed by how many essays students have to write [for the college process]. Their son was constantly juggling essays. They came upon this service and felt it really helped.”
Students were informed of their access to the service through an email sent by the College Office to every member of the senior class on Monday, October 4. According to the email, the program is “designed to help [one] save time by effectively organizing, cross-referencing, and keeping track of the multiple personal essays [one] must write for the Common Application, supplemental essays, and for scholarship applications”
The site offers two services—Essay QuickFinder and Essay RoadMap. Essay QuickFinder generates a list of application essay requirements for every school a student is applying to. Essay RoadMap is an upgrade of the Essay QuickFinder tool, and simplifies the list of essays generated, eliminating redundancies in different schools’ application requirements, and showing students where specific essays can be submitted to multiple schools on their list. This service ordinarily costs $49 to compare 15 colleges’ application requirements, however Stuyvesant students are able to use the Essay RoadMap service free of charge.
Student responses to the program have been mixed, although many feel that the service is at least partially helpful.
“[CEO] really cuts down on my organizing time,” senior Sara Shi said. “It gives you all the essays and supplements [you need to write] in an organized manner, so you won’t have to do it yourself. If you had to do it on your own, it would take a couple of hours looking everything up.”
“It helps gather everything in one convenient place,” senior class president Alexander Wong said. “On the other hand, it’s still a bit unclear on some things. I personally wouldn’t rely on it completely, but it’s nice to use it as a general checklist.”