With the number of college admissions applications on the rise, the chances of getting into a top college in today’s times ranges anywhere from 5-26% .
The college admissions essay is the ONE opportunity each student has to provide a college or university with insight into the student’s career aspirations and personal experiences. The essay affords the ability for the student to let admissions officers see beyond the grade point average and test scores. The essay can reveal how leadership, hardships, community service and accomplishments throughout the student’s childhood and high school years have carved out the ideal candidate who is the paradigm of characteristics the college is seeking. What characteristics matter? Things such as integrity, dynamic values, personal growth and success after failure can impact the admissions officers to see the student as the ideal matriculating freshman at the college.
Each college will have a writing prompt for the admissions essay. There is a great deal of autonomy in crafting the admissions essay. It is wise for the student to allow the creative juices to flow. The essay is reviewed by multiple admissions officers, so it is recommended that the essay be succinct due to a word limit, but also descriptive to paint a detailed picture. Sensory details (sight, sound, smell, taste and touch) are a great way to draw the attention of the admissions officers. Think of the college admissions essay as a job interview. It is important to showcase writing skills and market them effectively. Now is the time to make the inner workings shine.
Here are 5 tips to writing a successful college admissions essay:
- Be unique and original. Think about Shakespeare’s famous quote, “To thine own self be true.” It is important to be yourself, not who the admissions officers want you to be. When you are yourself, your essay will come to life and be more believable.
- Use descriptive details and colorful imagery. Writing is a form of self-expression. Show don’t tell.
- Brainstorm before you begin writing. Brainstorming is an important component of the writing process. Read the essay questions and list ideas that come to mind.
- Your opening paragraph must be as strong as your closing paragraph. The opening paragraph of your admissions essay must engage the reader and the closing paragraph of your admissions essay must leave a lasting impression on the reader.
- Hire a professional writer to review and assist with the writing process. Make sure your writer is an expert in essay writing and has a strong command of the English language. Grammar and spelling count.