The College Application Essay – It Must be Perfect
You meet the academic requirements for the college of your choice; you have participated in a number of activities and organizations; you have been involved in service learning projects. In short, you are an ideal candidate for the institutions to which you are applying. The only thing left, of course, is that college application essay. Easy, right? Not so fast!
Many students attack the college application as almost an afterthought, and nothing could be a bigger mistake. The belief that this essay is not as important as all of the other factors in admissions decisions is simply not true. When students with the same academic and co-curricular records are vying for admission, sometimes that application essay is the only thing that tips the scales in favor of one over another.
The college application essay is written in response to one of several essay prompts that are provided either in the “common application” or by the institution itself. All of them will ask the student to reflect on life experiences, values, goals, and/or backgrounds and to speak to the importance of these to him/herself as a person. For this reason, they are often called “personal statement” essays.
Plan and Think Ahead
As early as one’s junior year in high school or college (if graduate school admissions is the goal), students must begin to ask themselves some very important questions:
- What are my most important values and how did I acquire them?
- What experiences in my life have been so impactful that they have contributed to who I am today?
- How have my socio-economic environments affected me?
- Who are my heroes and why are they my heroes?
- What are my personal and career goals?
- What do I hope to contribute to society?
Keeping a journal of thoughts on these topics will go a long way toward being prepared to respond to the essay prompts that will most certainly appear. In fact, it would be a good idea to take a look at the essay prompts of the “common application.” These are published all over the Internet and are easy to find. Begin to think about these prompts, and begin to write down points that you might include in a response essay.
Writing Skill is Crucial
You may have great and creative thoughts about responses to admissions essay prompts. It is quite another thing, however, to translate those thoughts to the written word, in a way that grabs the attention of the reader(s) and results in your unique status as a candidate. The other consideration, of course, is your ability to express yourself in a grammatically proficient manner.
If you have concerns about your writing skills, your great ideas and thoughts may not be presented well, and that will hurt you. A great option in this circumstance is to seek help from creative and expert writers who can make your experiences, your values, and your persona “leap” from the page and capture the reader. Many applicants enlist the help of a reputable writing service where they can get a personal creative writer to prepare an essay that will be intriguing, compelling, and memorable!