Many individuals young and old make the decision to apply for & attend college. There are essays or personal statements for college applications. Depending upon which college application you use (Common Application, Coalition application, School Specific Applications), there may be a few essays or a series of long and short statement that will be required.
Creating application essays for some can be the most anxiety ridden aspect of completing a college application, despite their age. Essays topics vary from general essay topics related to why are you interested in attending a specific college to more nuanced questions related to leadership experiences and issues related to diversity.
Essays can vary in length and complexity. Individuals can take a meaningful experience and create a reflective/insightful essay that adds a powerful message to the admissions committees. Here are some strategies that can help you create an essay that will help bring your application to life.
- Start Early
- Download all essay prompts from each application.
- Take time to reflect on each essay and brainstorm how to develop the draft of your response. Developing the theme for your essay can take several tries to find the right story/example to share.
- Be Authentic.
- Share your true self/voice with the admissions staff.
- Admissions committees want to discover who you are, what you have a passion for & why you would be a good fit for their institution.
- Keep your essay clear, specific & concise
- Focus on providing an essay for the specific question/prompt.
- Do not lose sight of the story you are trying to share.
- Think about how the essays fit into the totality of the application.
- Review your essay(s) prior to adding each to your application(s)
- Seek assistance from a teacher/instructor, school/independent counselor or family member to review your essay(s) and provide you with feedback.
- Important as you fine tune your essay(s) that you check your grammar, spelling. You would be amazed at the number of essays that get submitted that have basic spelling errors.
- Another each thing is to ensure you have the correct college/university name for each essay if needed. You would be amazed how many applicants do not change the institution’s name if they are utilizing the essay for more than one institution.
Creating an impactful essay is one of the best ways admissions committees get to know you. They read thousands of applications annually and make difficult decisions regarding who will get admitted and who will not. Essays are a part of the application that can showcase your voice to the admissions staff in real time. Be Focused, Be Bold & Be Authentic!