On the surface I think I am like most young and modern American women: I take school seriously, I have dreams and goals for the future that I am determined to make happen, and I don't expect anyone to do the hard work for me. I come from what is an increasingly normal background: my parents are divorced and I live with my mom and sisters and only occasionally see my dad since he now lives on the other side of the country, but I still feel very lucky to have a supportive, if spread out, family behind me. What makes me different from the rest of the crowd though is how I choose to fill my time away from school... Sometimes a task can seem monumental when you try to visualize the entire thing, but if you break it down into smaller goals suddenly it can become manageable. When I first started to consider going to college so that I could make a better life for myself and my daughter, I thought it was going to be almost impossible.
Application essays are among the most important parts of college applications today, and with good reason — it’s your opportunity to show admissions officers why you deserve a spot in next year’s class. Enlist the expert support of one of our Ivy-League editors, including Harvard and Yale graduates, and know that they’ll coach you to write a rock star essay that gets noticed and helps to improve your chances as a candidate. "A friend used Essay Edge last year and got in at all of her chosen schools. That's why I used it this year and I must say that I'm glad I did.
Stanford sociologist Mitchell Stevens spent 18 months embedded with admissions officers at an unnamed top-tier liberal arts college and found that, even in cases where students were within the admissible range in terms of scores and grades, officers rarely looked to the personal essays as a deciding factor. It might not make a difference for your college admission chances. You know that beautifully crafted, deeply felt, highly unusual college application essay you've been polishing? He wrote about his experience for The New Republic, and here's the most interesting part: Yet even in these middling cases, personal essays rarely got even cursory attention from admissions officers. There were simply too many files to consider in too small a time frame, and too many other evaluative factors that mattered much more.
Many students find writing a college essay quite hard. Today, all college students, no matter where they come from in the world, have to write essays on a regular basis. As a result, college students are quite busy throughout their academic life. In truth, writing essays is a demanding task to varying degrees depending on the subjects, topics and word counts of the essays. As almost all students studying in colleges nowadays also take up non-academic activities, extracurricular activities to gain every valuable experience in other areas of practical life, they often find it difficult to write a lot of essays within a tight deadline.
How much of an impact can admissions essays actually make? If you are overqualified and applying to a school with a high acceptance rate, then maybe not. However, if you are like most students where you are applying to competitive schools, then your essays will make a significant difference in the number and quality of acceptance offers that you receive. Especially for students who fall just short of a school’s admissions requirements, the essay can be your way to help the school understand why you belong in their program and how you can make a meaningful contribution. If you show passion and enthusiasm, then you can tip the scales in your favor. However, you’ll need to craft an essay that is stellar in every dimension: content, organization, tone, and writing that is free from errors.
Go straight to our COLLEGE APPLICATION ESSAY LAB for a step-by-step walkthrough of the writing process, from brainstorming all the way through to revisions. Essay is not a four-letter word—though you may feel like using a few of your own when it comes time to write one. They're much more like narratives, journal entries, and free form writing than the highly structured, boring 5 paragraph essays you’ve probably been writing in school. Most students would rather swim in a vat full of sharks while singing the national anthem (sharks singing = Shmoop's worst nightmare) than sit down and write an application essay. It's easy to shrug off brainstorming, outlining, and agonizing over essay prompts for a Saturday afternoon snooze or four back-to-back episodes of . In fact, some people say they’re even easier to write because they’re meant to be written in an everyday voice. But we also know that, sometimes, all you need to get started is a gentle little Shmoop. It should all flow easily once you figure out what you want to write about. , of course, is the hard part: deciding what stuff to write about. But the nice thing about applying to colleges is that you’ll be able to recycle some of the essays you write for different schools, so you'll probably only have to write 3-4 essays at most.
The essay is often the college application component where students experience the most stress, and the element where they’re more likely to make mistakes. College admissions essays are not rocket science, but there are a number of steps that students can take to put together the most accurate and compelling essays that will help their chances of gaining admission to their top-choice colleges. According to the National Association for College Admission Counseling, application essays are the most important “soft” factors, or non-quantitative elements, that colleges consider when making admission decisions, right behind “hard” factors, or quantitative components, like grades, curriculum, and test scores. Essays are often more important than recommendations, extracurricular activities, and other qualitative application elements. While it’s important to put considerable effort into all college application components, essays are often the finishing touch and should be treated with great care and consideration. The essay is your opportunity to reveal something about yourself that can’t be found anywhere else in your application – use it!
I’ll bet if you had asked them where they were last year at the same time, they’d say: where are now. 24, first-year students moved into their residence halls at Connecticut College. And if you asked how it was to write the essay, they’d say it was one of the most challenging parts of the application. It’s a little-known fact that even the students who absolutely love to write struggle with the application essay. So if you’ve been biting your nails or tearing your hair out even a little, you’re not alone. I’ve been in the Admission business long enough to have gleaned a few tips that I think are worth passing along.
Daniel Bekai '20Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates People who have grown up with siblings might laugh at the idea that I consider being an only child an essential part of my identity. But just as a relationship with a brother or sister can be deeply formative, so can the absence of these relationships. For me, this absence has been a powerful stimulus to my imagination and my growth as a person. When people discover I am an only child, they often react with some sympathy, as if growing up alone meant growing up lonely. It's certainly true that I spent a lot of time alone; even though I had close friends in elementary school, I hung out with them mostly on weekends. As a young child, I loved to get lost in different projects of my own--whether it was building rudimentary circuits and illuminating LED lights with my “Deluxe Electronics Lab,” or improving my origami technique with my “Fold-a-Day” calendar.