Applying to college can be tedious. What differentiates a candidate that is accepted to one that is declined, is a great college application essay. The essay is the most complex component of the application process, and is what remains between you and admission to your dream colleges.
Here are some tips to write a great college application essay to stand out from the crowd:
1. Plan your application
Think about how you would string your points together in a cohesive flow. At this point you can further organize your thoughts into an outline format that can help to gather your thoughts and the argument of the essay as a whole to convince the university admission office to accept you. It is important not to get into too much detail – writing keywords and phrases are the best solution. Highlight your strengths.
2. Choose a topic that highlights your story
Share your personal story and thoughts in your personal statement. It is useful to take a creative approach and highlight areas that aren’t covered in other parts of the application, like your high school records. It may help to treat the college application like a job application, and writing your cover letter.
3. Create a compelling introduction
Condense what you’re trying to say into a short introduction. Your first few sentences should be an ‘Elevator Pitch’ style summary of your essay. should be interested in it. Your introduction for your essay should sell the idea of it to a reader, leaving them wanting to read the essay in question.
4. Be original
Top competitive colleges are looking for originality and quality. The application essay is an opportunity to impress an admissions officer with your determination and knowledge of your chosen subject. It should reflect your skills and ambitions, and highlight how your chosen program will help you achieve future goals. Don’t rely on phrases or ideas that people have used many times before. Statements like “I am passionate about helping people in poverty” are generic and should be avoided. If you are passionate about this, delve into why, or your own personal experience that brought you on this path. Whilst you want to maintain originality and showcase your own personal flair, avoid formal language as it can begin to sound monotonous.
5. Proofread your application and ensure that it flows well
Check the order of your paragraphs and ensure that your strongest points and ensure that your paragraph order makes sense. Reread your essay and check to see if it makes sense. Make sure that sentence flow is smooth and add phrases to help connect thoughts or ideas. On the other hand, remove sentences that do not add value to your application – you want to demonstrate the ability to hold-back. Finally, check your application for grammar and spelling mistakes.
Although the college application process can seem challenging, good preparation will ensure you have the best chance at receiving an offer from your dream university. Good luck!