When applying for college, drafting your application essays early is essential. To be sure you have enough time to write them, set deadlines two weeks in advance, and move them up to avoid any unforeseen events. While many colleges and universities ask students to write about similar topics, they will request different styles. You need ample time to write essays for each school, including those that you will apply to later. Listed below are some tips on how to write an application essay that will get noticed.
Describe a specific experience, hobby or quirk
Unlike many other types of essays, a personal essay is a great way to leave an impression of the author. Unlike other essays, an application essay explicitly asks you to describe your background and experience. Many students believe that their application is incomplete without a personal story. But if this is not the case, you can use your personal essay to highlight your unique traits and quirks.
Focus on your learning and growing as a person
In your Common App essay, focus on your personal growth. How has your growth impacted your view of yourself and the world? While this sounds overwhelmingly positive, personal growth is not always easy to achieve. You might experience setbacks along the way, but the “during” portion of your essay can highlight how you have learned from and dealt with these challenges. Here are some tips to write a winning application essay.
Avoid boilerplate essays for different schools
When writing an application essay, there are a few things you should avoid. First of all, you should never use boilerplate essays that have been used to apply to several different schools. Instead, write a unique essay that tells the admissions committee something about you. Make sure you research the school’s mission, values, and admissions process, so you can tailor your essay to fit the requirements.
The second mistake students make is to use a boilerplate essay that applies to many different schools. A boilerplate essay is one that uses the same theme or topic over again, but doesn’t relate to the school’s specific requirements. While reusing an essay is acceptable for one college, you should take note of the word count to make sure it is appropriate for another. You may need to cut or expand your original essay, or include more detail than you did in your first one.
Avoid topics that highlight a privileged lifestyle
If you are a wealthy student, you might want to steer clear of topics that highlight your privilege. After all, you already have a lot of money, so you can afford expensive extracurricular activities, elite sports, and traveling. Rather than talking about all of those activities, focus on hobbies and interests that aren’t as expensive and aren’t related to your family’s income level.
If you’re an immigrant, you should also stay away from addressing immigration-related topics. These may seem controversial, but they can be very off-putting to admissions officers. Rather, use topics that highlight your accomplishments, such as your grades in previous courses. In addition, don’t write about any topics that highlight your privileged lifestyle. For example, framing a common athletic injury as your greatest challenge may not convey the impression that you are resilient, and may even suggest that you don’t understand other, more challenging obstacles.