Your college application essay is the first major step in helping admissions officers consider your application. It’s essentially your introduction to these people and your first impression as a person, first and foremost. Thankfully, we have a few college essay tips to help.
Use these college essay tips to help strengthen your application for college admissions officials.
Here are the key differences between college and scholarship essays.
College Essay Tips To Use
Write About Something That Matters To You
Write to share impact, not just to impress.
Virtually all college essays will ask you to write about something that’s had an impact on your life. It doesn’t really matter if it’s a particular experience, a person, a book, etc., unless specified in the specific essay prompt.
Take that idea to heart and think about it. What has impacted your development as a person up to this point in your life?
Remember, the essay is supposed to the first opportunity admissions officials get to learn about you. Keep the focus on who you’ve become and how you got there.
Don’t State Events, Reflect On Them
Facts alone don’t matter; discuss how they actually affected you.
It’s easy to talk about winning the championship game, or summers spent in interesting places. However, breaking down the individual events themselves like a road map isn’t enough.
Stating the facts is a good place to start, but then discuss what you actually learned from them. Discuss your growth.
Don’t Rely On Humor Alone
Don’t try to hard to be fun if it doesn’t work.
If you can effectively incorporate humor into your essay and get your admissions official to laugh, that’s fantastic. However, don’t rely on that tactic as what makes the difference. Humor is subjective, and what is funny to you may come off tone deaf to a decision maker.
Bearing that in mind, try to avoid one-liners, overt snark, and anything that could be seen as off-color. Funny is fine as long as it’s clever and doesn’t detract from the bigger picture you’re painting.
Write Revise Repeat
Start early and treat writing as a process.
The best favor you can do for yourself is start writing as early as possible and go through constant revisions. Even if your first draft isn’t perfect, don’t worry.
Get your thoughts and the basic structure down on paper first. Once written out, change your point of view to an admissions officer.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Is this interesting to read?
- Do the ideas make sense and flow?
- Am I actually learning about this person?
- Is this what the applicant actually sounds like?
The more honest you can answer those questions, the better your revisions and final essay become before submission.
Don’t Rinse And Repeat
One size doesn’t fit all with your essays.
Don’t use your essay to simply repeat information already listed in your application. If admissions officers want to learn about your grades, test scores, and awards, they can through your transcripts and score reports.
Now, if you want to talk about the process of improving your grades over the years, and what it took for you personally to do so, that’s fine. This essay shouldn’t repeat statistics; it’s designed to teach others about who you are.
Answer The Presented Question
Tailor your essay specifically to what’s being asked of you.
Don’t go and reuse a similar response from a different school’s essay. Admissions officials read thousands of essays.
With that much experience, they can tell if you giving them something that’s a one-size-fits-all solution, when they want the answer they asked you for. If your essay reads like a generic story that doesn’t talk about what they want to know, it will get discarded.
Have Someone Else Take A Look
Another pair of eyes to review your writing is essential.
Your best bet is to ask a teacher or counselor to quickly read it over. Ask them if it makes sense, and if there’s any obvious errors.
Ask if they feel it communicates who you are well, given that they likely have a relationship with you already. If they don’t see any serious grammatical errors and think the writing is a fair reflection, then you’re in great shape.
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