In the competitive landscape of college admissions, the essay is your chance to showcase personality, uniqueness, experiences and aspirations. However, many students struggle with what to write and get stuck in a spiral of rereading and rewriting.
Senior Assistant Director of Admission
shares some essay-writing tips and secrets about what counselors are looking for in the college essay!
What makes a college essay stand out?
It may seem obvious but write in your own voice about something that truly interests you. We can tell when passion comes out in writing, and it will sound better when you’re being authentic and true to yourself. Also, don’t feel like your topic needs to be some groundbreaking or life-altering thing; sometimes the most unexpected topics make the best essays!
What do admission counselors look for in an essay?
We’re looking to learn more about you! This is an opportunity to give us a sense of who you are as a person beyond your application and recommendation letters. We’re also looking to see if you’ve taken the time to build out your idea and fully formalize it in writing.
What should I NOT do in my essay?
Remember that actual people will be reading your essay so keep the language and content appropriate. Also, don’t feel like you need to impress us by adding a bunch of fancy words and unnatural vocabulary; just be yourself!
Will it hurt my chances if I talk about my disability, trauma, mental health, etc.?
Absolutely not – if you feel like this is an important part of your story, you can write about it. At the end of the day, we’re looking to learn more about what makes you, “YOU.” If this includes extenuating circumstances or personal challenges you wish to share, we welcome the opportunity to create a safe space for you to do so.