The College Admissions Essay

Posted on July 3, 2009. Filed under: college admissions |

The Common App is now online (as of July 1st) and is ready for you to register and get going. –  As of June 17th , 49 more colleges were added and this website now houses 392 colleges! Some more challenging parts of this application are the Activity Page – due to limited space – After all, how are you going to condense 4 years of any extracurricular activity into 10 words, undoubtedly a challenge.  There are two required essays – one short and one long and both have limited space to express yourself. In addition to this, most colleges have supplements and many include more essays.  So what are some basic tips?

Here are some basic tips to writing an excellent college admissions essay:

1. Make yourself shine within your own story

It’s important that you don’t repeat what has already been stated on your activity resume, but you should highlight your accomplishments in your essay – weave them into your story. Reveal your personality and perhaps your future goals in your writing.

2. Be humble but don’t be modest

Don’t underestimate yourself in any way – be confident in your statements – be proud and secure in who you are.  Sincerely describe your most impressive accomplishments but don’t overdo it.

3. Be confident – it’s important to write as though you deserve to gain acceptance

4. Use personal stories  – you really own your essay in this way – no one can tell your story – this is what makes you unique

5. Write descriptively – engage your reader and be specific about your experience.  If writing a memorable story about a ride in the car and what you saw, have that reader sitting there with you –  a good story is priceless. You will catch attention in this way. Use powerful imagery and personal anecdotes whenever you can. Leave readers with a lasting impression and it can make a difference come decision time.


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