Importance of college essays

Put yourself in the shoes of an admissions officer: Is the essay interesting? The answer is that it depends on a number of factors. Be honest and genuine, and your unique qualities will shine through. There are typically three types of essay questions: the "you" question, the "why us" question and the "creative" question.

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What you think is funny and what an adult working in a college thinks is funny are probably different. But as with the essays themselves, your zip code — like your grades alone — are not the deciding factor. Not sure how to get started with the Common App? Factors that Affect the Influence of College Essays Huge public schools, such as state flagship universities, tend to have more applicants that private schools , as well as limited resources with which to evaluate candidates. Experiences that may seem mundane, such as a book that inspired you or a friendship that helped you grow, can often make for powerful essays. Therefore, they can devote more time and resources to each individual application. An upside to this type of question is that while working on the essay, the student might realize that the college is not a good match — and it's better to know that sooner than later. Christine Peterman College Advisor Prep 4 Admission Sharing your "voice" As part of the admissions decision, the essay is your chance to show the admissions committee who you are. But it's also a unique opportunity that can make a difference at decision time. If your essay has a theme, weave that theme throughout the essay. Essays will be more important for smaller schools that are committed to reading holistically.

Large state universities — because of the huge applicant pools — often rely much more on grades and scores, at least for the first cut. You want to write it and set it aside and revisit it, get some input from your counselor or teacher not friends.

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At top-tier colleges, many of the candidates are already excellent students who have stellar grades, test scores, and extracurricular activities, so essays provide an additional way to differentiate candidates and understand their entire profiles and personalities.

Want more college admissions tips? But so many kids squander this opportunity to focus on stories that reveal their leadership and initiative.

What is the purpose of a college essay

In contrast, smaller colleges, especially liberal arts schools, tend to take a more holistic approach to evaluating candidates, since these colleges tend to be more self-selective and receive fewer applications. Warn students not to write about high-minded topics or exotic locales simply to impress the reader. As with so much in the world of college admissions, there is little to no transparency. Anyone can write about how they won the big game or the summer they spent in Rome. You can use your essay to speak about how your particular situation has influenced you and made you the person you are today or the person you hope to become. The College Admission Essay is Where You Can Set Yourself Apart From the Crowd Despite the mountain of college admission essay advice available, the vast majority of applicants still make the same mistakes: turning the essay into a resume in literary format, citing irrelevant anecdotes, lacking a coherent theme, having an essay that starts strong and ends weak, and submitting a college admission essay that has errors in grammar, punctuation, and word choice. A powerful, well-written essay can also tip the balance for a marginal applicant. Instead, paint a picture that will be remembered long after your file is read. Advise students not to simply write out their resume in paragraph form. You still need to present a well-written and carefully considered essay, of course. They also want to know something about the personality of the student.
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The College Admission Essay is More Important than Ever