Tips for Writing a Fantastic College Essay

When you reach the point of filling out college applications, most of the work is behind you.  You’ve earned the grades, taken the tests, and have narrowed down a list of colleges to apply to.  The essay is the last piece of the puzzle! Here are some tips I hope you find helpful when thinking about the college application essay.

  • Choose a topic that helps us get to know you

            We only know you from your application so pick an essay topic that shows us who you are. Whether it’s a story, an experience you went through, goals you have, or something you are passionate about, use this as an opportunity to make your application as individualized as possible. We want to hear your unique voice and learn about what matters to you.

  • Take your time and start early

            Calling all procrastinators! This is not the time to say “I’ll do that later” or “It won’t take me too long” or “I work well under pressure”.  When we are reading these essays, it is noticeable when a student has worked hard to submit their best work and when they haven’t. Give yourself as much time as you need to make this essay something you’re proud to show off!   Trust me, you’ll thank yourself later when you are not submitting these essays at 11:59pm the night before the deadline feeling just “okay” about your work.

  • If it’s college specific, be specific

            When a college or university adds a supplemental essay along the lines of “what made you pick our school?”, it’s always best to be as specific as you can.  Write about the time you visited, who you spoke with, what really stood out to you, etc.  This is not the type of essay where you should click “copy” and “paste”. It will go a long way when the person reading your essay sees that you have genuine interest in their specific school. 

  • Proof read!

            Proof read! Proof read! Proof read! And have someone else proof read! Enough said.

  • Have fun!

            Senior year is a stressful time and so is the college application process.  The more fun you have with it, the better!  Remember that we are on your side and are looking for every reason to admit you into our University.  Take a deep breath, be yourself, and try to have some fun along the way.

By Caroline Walker, Admissions Counselor

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