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Pay close attention to the essay prompts, try to achieve word economy and eliminate throwaway words like “that” to maximize the word count.
But that shouldn’t be taken as a cue to try and write about an impossibly unique topic, said Sue Corner, senior associate director of admission.
“It’s not what you write about, it’s how you write about it,” said Corner, who also teaches workshops on essay writing.
We’ll spotlight some of the essay prompts you’re likely to see, and we provide a few examples of essays that have actually earned students passage into the colleges and universities of their choice. Of course, your college application essay is just one part of your admissions package, along with your GPA, your class rank, and your extracurriculars. But those colleges which require an essay are giving you a unique opportunity to set yourself apart from all the other students who also have awesome grades, ran for student body president, and volunteered at a retirement home.
Consider this a good set of references as you hammer out your ideas, and work through your essay drafts. Then — unless your heart has perfect grammar and diction — seek support from a trusted source. Many selective colleges and universities have their own essay prompts.
Or go for their heart — trying to move an admission officer with emotion isn’t a bad idea, either.
If you underestimate how long it will take to write the essay properly, or don’t think it’s that important, it will show.Last year, Common App members provided more than M in need-based fee waivers." The Common Application also gives you the option of responding to one of 7 different essay prompts.If you will be using the Common App, you’ll be able to choose, and write about, one of these prompts.The college application essay is your opportunity to distinguish yourself as something more than an anonymous collection of academic stats and achievements.But it helps to know what college admissions officers are looking for in a college essay.They’re an important representation of a student’s academic preparation, and in some cases, a pivotal piece of the admission decision.For students choosing a test optional route to admission, the essay can be the tipping point that determines admissibility.If you don't plan on using the Common App, these prompts can still offer insight into a topic you'll likely be writing on for your school of choice.So whether you’re seeking flexibility in your college admission essay or you’re just doing a little preliminary research on likely essay prompts, the Common App is a good place to start. On the subject of essay prompts, Meredith points out that the 7 variations offered by the Common App are designed to give all applicants the opportunty to share something meaningful about themselves.Depending on your comfort level with the written word, crafting a college application essay is either an exciting opportunity to share something meaningful about yourself with the college of your choice, or it’s a terrifying exercise in academic purgatory.If you fall into the excited category, consider this a complimentary resource.