Writing A College Admissions Essay

Writing the perfect college admissions essay is difficult for many reasons.

You may have trouble finding relevant stories and concrete examples from your past to relate to the questions. Sometimes it is difficult to be persuasive because you might be unsure of your audience.

However, what matters the most above all is that you are able to write well. The whole point of writing a college admissions essay is for you to showcase your ability to write well and support ideas with logical arguments.

Proofread multiple times

Common mistakes that students make when writing their college admissions essays vary from lack of sentence structure to punctuation and spelling errors. Even if you have proofread your application 20 times, it is always helpful to have teachers, counselors or parents proof read your essay before submitting it.

Stand out from the crowd

Keep in mind that every admissions office has a large stack of papers to read everyday so making sure that your college admissions essay stands out among the bunch will ensure you an extra boost at getting accepted into the college of your choice. The last thing you want is for your essay to blend in and be boring. Stay away form reiteration.

In other words, do not repeat your test scores, GPA or resume in your essay. The admissions office already has that information on file. The essay’s main purpose is to answer the question they give or for you to relay an experience that you have had in your life. This college admissions essay is the chance for the admissions officer to get to know more about your personality, not what is just on your transcript.

Avoid excessive praising

Stay away from excessive praising of the school in your essay. Of course you want to be enthusiastic about why you are applying but schools already know how awesome they are, they want to hear about how amazing you are and why you would fit in. Since we are on the topic of colleges getting to know your personality it is important to watch your tone and not seem self interested.

Be smart about what you include

It is okay to use some humor but don’t over play it. For example, if you come across as a “know-it-all,” cynic, spoiled or lazy most college admissions teams will think you are not the right fit for their school. Same goes for focusing on what the school can do for you rather than how you can benefit from the education, being involved on campus and in the community. Colleges want to see that you are interested in bettering the world not that you are becoming a pre-med so you can eventually make six-figures.

Don’t go over the word limit

It is important to get your point across in a well written and well structured manner when writing a college admissions essay. Many colleges have a word limit, sometime only 250 words, which can put a damper on you story and how much you elaborate on each of your points. It is important to not go over the word limit but instead make your essay intriguing in the limited amount of space they give you.

Toot your own horn

Always accentuate your positive attributes. Mentioning weaknesses are never a good idea unless you were able to overcome a weakness, then it might be a strong topic to use. Even then you want to focus on your accomplishments and how wonderful you are, it is recommended to not brag outwardly about yourself, be sure to never put down class mates but show that you are down-to-earth and remain modest of your accomplishments.

With combining these helpful tips while writing  a college admissions essay you are sure to blow the admissions team out of the water. Remember, don’t be shy when it comes to proofreading. Have your friends, family and teachers look over your essay numerous amounts of times. Ask them what they think of the content and of your point of view, and if you really want to be safe talk to your high school counselor about your essay topic and what you have so far.

Overall, remember to remain positive and exert that energy through your college admissions essay and you will be well on your way to being a student in college!

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Rachel Talaska

Rachel Talaska

Rachel Talaska is a junior at Central Michigan University pursuing degrees in public relations, journalism and marketing. Besides being in class, Rachel can be found working at the campus newspaper, Central Michigan Life in the advertising department or watching re-runs of "Friends." She hopes to one day move to a big city and find her dream job. Rachel enjoys fashion, eating healthy (with the occasional bowl of ice cream), fitness, reading, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.
Rachel Talaska

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