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In 500 Words or Less (2009)

 -  Documentary
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 11 users  
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Going to college is a rite of passage for many American high school students, but the process can be overwhelming: college fairs, tours, SATs, applications. And then there's the personal ... See full summary »

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Title: In 500 Words or Less (2009)

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Going to college is a rite of passage for many American high school students, but the process can be overwhelming: college fairs, tours, SATs, applications. And then there's the personal essay. How does a seventeen-year old define herself to total strangers when she's only beginning to discover who she really is? And how can she be expected to do it in an essay of 500 words or less? Point Made Films takes you on the journey to college with four very different young people as they spend their last year with their families trying to figure out who they are and who they want to be. . Ride Molly's emotional roller coaster as she tries to balance her parents' expectations with her own dreams . Cheer Michael on as he steps out from behind his older sister's Ivy League shadow to discover his own priorities. . Encourage Leo to fulfill his mother's American dream while trying to maintain ties to his Dominican heritage. . And root for Lindsay as she searches for her next home while the one ... Written by Point Made Films

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college | high school | teenager | See All (3) »

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Fitting in is over. Now it's time to stand out.

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Documentary

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No real surprises here
10 November 2010 | by (Los Altos, CA) – See all my reviews

The premise is simple enough here. Follow 4 seniors as they go through the college application process. (I hardly think it counts as a spoiler to note they all get into good schools.) It is touching and moving as we see these young people in the process of making their lives, theirs. The kids portrayed are personable, verbal and attractive and it is easy to see why their parents like them. No doubt this movie will be a favorite of college counselors though I think a great deal has left out of the process. We see nothing of what schools the kids considered applying to or the process by which they chose which schools they would apply to. There is no real discussion of the pros and cons of visiting schools in advance of the application process. The financial considerations are only tangentially alluded to, the implication being that no matter what they charge, college is a good deal. (And people wonder why the cost of college has gone up faster than inflation ever since 1950.) The bottom line is these seniors make it through the admissions process with their sense of themselves still intact ... which I suppose is the minimum goal that a college counselor should have for her charges.


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