What should I write about to get into college? Admissions officers are looking for three things in your admission essay:
Some students rehash their activities and achievements without adding the personal flavor, perspective and substance that admissions officers look for. Learn how to avoid these and other damaging traps. As an independent college admissions consultant, I read many application essays and see many common application essay mistakes.
Select the Best Topic and Subject. The Common Application, as well as many individual college applications and supplements, give students a choice of essay topics.
Resist the temptation to quickly make a selection. Then read the options carefully and decide which topic s provides the best opportunity to portray your self in a desirable manner.
If the application requires more than one essay, select distinct topics and subject areas so the admissions people get a broader, and more complete, picture of you. If you are an athlete, for example, try not to write more than one essay about sports.
Read the prompt carefully and pay particular attention to two part questions. The admissions people are looking for a window into your character, passion and reasoning. Be Personable and Specific. If you are asked to describe your reasons for your interest in a particular school that you are applying to, make sure your essay addresses the particular features of that school that appeal to you and explain why.
Many prompts specify a desired number of words or a range.
In fact, many on-line applications will not even accept more than the stated limit. Lincoln got his points across succinctly in the Gettysburg address — in less than words. Do not distract the reader with unnecessary words and repetition.
If you come across as a spoiled child, a stuck-up rich kid, lazy, sarcastic or a cynic, the admissions team might decide that you are not the right fit for their school. While few applicants are genuinely altruistic, most colleges are turned off by students who appear more focused on what the school can do for them, rather than how they can benefit from the education and at the same time be a contributing member of the campus community.
If you are applying to a business program, the average starting salary of recent graduates should not be your stated motivation for seeking admission! A good way to catch mistakes is to read your essay very slowly and out loud. Some of the best and most memorable essays are based on a simple conversation between people.
The impressions and takeaways from such a conversation can be extremely engaging and provide a valuable window into the personality and values of the writer. Skip the Volunteer Trip. Dedicated community service over a period of time can be a strong topic for an application essay.
Volunteer day at the local park, or two weeks of school building in Africa, will probably not impress the admissions committee.
They see many essays of this type. Not only is it difficult to stand out from the pack, but these experiences are often more about the experience than about you, or convey that money buys opportunity.
The admissions committee relies on essays to learn additional things about you such as your initiative, curiosity about the world, personal growth, willingness to take risks, ability to be self directed, motivation and ability to make the most of a situation.
They are interested in your personal qualities such as leadership, confidence, ability to work in a team, strength of character, resilience, sense of humor, ability to get along with others and what you might add to the campus community.
In short, use your essays to showcase a side of you not visible from other parts of the application. Peruse the Entire Application. Many applications, especially for some of the more competitive schools, are complex and require multiple essays and short answers.
For example, if you have five key areas you wish to cover, and there are five essays, try to strategically focus on one area in each essay.
Resist the temptation to be a sesquipedalian or come across as a pedantic fop!
Use caution when showing off your extensive vocabulary.The tips and sample essays below will still provide useful guidance and essay samples for the new Common Application, but be sure also to read the new article for the Common Application: Tips for the 5 New Common Application Essay Prompts.
The Common Application Essay Prompts Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it.
If this sounds like you, then please share your story. Writing the Common Application essay can be tough. Check out our 6 simple common app essay tips, effective tricks and strategies to help you write a good - .
We are pleased to share the Common Application essay prompts with you. Colleges Want to Read It.
and The Common App Essay Prompts Are Changing. You will also notice two new prompts. The first asks students to share examples of their intellectual curiosity. The second is a return to inviting students to submit an essay on a.
Wondering how to answer Common App essay prompts? Here's our complete strategy guide breaking down what colleges are looking for. While there is no magic topic that will automatically ensure admission at the college of your dreams, there are experiences everyone has that you can use to find your strongest possible application essays.