|HailiN, hi, I just read your story. Since you wrote this to submit to a graduate degree program I thought I'd stick to some basic problems I saw in your writing. While your dialogue and grammar are good, there are some other concerns I have.
One of the things educators look at is POV. Your's is not consistent and that is a problem. For example, in Paragraph one you are in third person POV, using he walked, she died, he started, etc.
In paragraph two you switch to 1st person narrative. "I can't believe that blanket had more sentimental value to her than I did." It is a common mistake, but because it happened on the very first page, a red flag is going to go up and your piece may not be taken seriously.
I would also eliminate a lot of speaker tags, such as "he said, she said, Kieran said, etc. When dialogue is between two people, it is not necessary to use them. You are correct when you begin each new speaker with a new paragraph, and that is enough for the reader to keep track of who said, she said, he said. Once you have established who said what first, the rest is easy enough, for the most part, to follow.
Try not to begin so many sentences with the word "he." He did this. He did that. Maybe you can combine two sentences into one in some places, eliminating some of the redundancy.
You began your story with the importance of a quilt. You ended your story with the mention of the same quilt. BUT, between the beginning and the end, the quilt got completely lost. You must either remove the quilt or make it more accessable (important) to your overall plot.
And speaking of plot, I felt that the mystery of Lena's disappearance could have taken on a bigger space. Perhaps get the police or missing persons involved, concentrate more on building up a mystery and the suspense and toning down Danny's emotional status.
Good luck with your story. Thank you for the read.