At its core, the Common Application essay is designed to make you answer the question, “WHO are you?
” What colleges and universities want to know are (1) how have your experiences or background shaped you into the person you are today and (2) how is who you are today going to affect your future performance. If most of the applicants applying to a top college have similar academic profiles, how can the schools distinguish one candidate from another?
So if you want to talk about the latest environmental disaster or the plight of a local ethnic tribe, make sure that story is about how that issue impacted you and shaped you as a person. Instead, provide real, specific examples to support your statements.
Your attention to detail will help make you more memorable to an admissions officer who has to read hundreds, if not thousands, of essays.
So, you’re applying to college and are probably panicking about how to write the hardest part of your application: the Common Application essay. These participating colleges and universities all use the same common biographical and academic information forms. If you’re applying to art schools, the schools will provide extra links on their Common Application sites.
If you keep the following tips in mind, we’re confident that you’ll be well on your way to drafting a strong common application essay that screams out, “Dear College, this is who I am, and here’s why you want me! The Common Application centralizes the admissions process for over 700 schools. Now, many of the top-tiered schools require additional information and essays, but most of these documents can be uploaded into the Common Application.This essay is one of the most important parts of your application, and in some cases, especially for top-tiered schools, it is weighed as much as, or more than, your grades and test scores. It’s all in the story you craft, and we’re here to help you tell the best version of you! Your lack of passion will be evident in your writing.So don’t pick a topic because everyone else is writing about it, especially if that subject matter is meaningless to you. Is that what you want admissions officers to think of you? You don’t know which admissions officers will be reviewing your essay.College application essays require you to follow a prompt or question.Select one idea, develop it throughout the essay, and include only the information that pertains to your topic.These points include: When writing a college application essay, it's important to be concise while still providing sufficient detail.Some essay topics will call for longer essays than others; if your prompt asks for large amounts of information, you'll probably need more essay length to address all points.In general, though, it's better to be short and to the point than long-winded.The College Board also advises cutting out unnecessary words, leaving only the words that best convey the message or idea.The first says you like something, while the second not only shows that you like something but also shows your level of commitment and your desire for challenge.Of the two example sentences, which do you think maximizes your use of words and would be more interesting to admissions officers? If someone else can pick up your draft and say, “Hey, that’s about me, too,” then you know something is wrong. You’re trying to distinguish yourself from the others, remember? As you start writing, you’ll soon realize that 650 words is not a lot of space to talk about you. You are NOT supposed to write an autobiography cataloging everything in your life. We know you’re busy with tests and life, but, hey, this is your college application we’re talking about.