Tips for College Application Essays

Isabelle Harrel, Staff Writer

As the first couple months come to a close, seniors are beginning to write their college application essays. The task may be a difficult one to approach, but there are numerous tips that can help make the process easier.

  1. When colleges read the essays that students send in, they are expecting it to sound as if it was written by a 17-year-old, not a professor. With that in mind, make sure that the voice coming through the paper actually represents someone of that age (college.usatoday.com). Sounding too sophisticated might lead the readers to believe that somebody was hired to write the essay, which would lead to that paper being discarded.
  2. Members of the admissions board have read thousands of essays, so they have noticed certain elements of writing that are used. Avoid implementing overused techniques such as beginning with a dictionary definition (qz.com). These methods are used so often that papers that are full of them won’t stand out to the readers and will lessen the chances being accepted into the school.
  3. Write about a passion instead of something that others find interesting. Yale, as well as other top universities, are looking for people who are passionate (qz.com). Focus on a topic that will allow for passion to be conveyed throughout the entire paper. Passion makes for interested readers and interesting the readers increase the odds of being accepted.
  4. Don’t just write about what can be found on a transcript. Instead, write about an attribute that not as many applicants will be able to say they have (nbcnews.com). The admissions board wants to see what sets students apart from one another. Many college applicants have similar GPAs and test scores, so the essay is the one chance to say what the scores can’t. Make it count.