Writing a Successful College Application Essay

Today, the education market is more competitive than ever. As the job market becomes more difficult and unpredictable, entrance into college can take a great deal of effort and work. That’s why it’s so important to write a strong college admission essay. There are a limited number of spaces and way too many applicants, so your entrance essay must set you apart from the other applicants. For many students, a 500 word essay doesn’t seem like a very long assignment, however, those 500 words may mean the difference between getting into the college you want and settling for the college that will take you. Keep in mind that many will have similar test scores and grades as you do, so focus on the admissions essay.

As with any piece of writing, the most important part of the assignment is the subject at hand. That being said, it’s important to brainstorm and be creative. Do your homework and truly study the subjects you’re considering writing about. Don’t make this decision lightly, because the final outcome is extremely important. Things to consider include:

Major accomplishments and what steps you took to make these accomplishments in the first place. How have these accomplishments shaped your life in general, in addition to your academic life? What distinguishing skills do you possess? How might these skills help you be successful in your studies/What keeps you motivated personally and what are your hobbies and interests? Do these interests help you academically and professionally? This may seem trite, but it can be important.

Have you gone through any life changing situations? If so, how have these changes affected your life and how you handle situations?

How you respond to failure (as well as pointing out that you aren’t above failure) may also be a key point.

What are your best and worst personality traits?

Have you participated in community activities? If so, how and why?

What do you see in your future (say, 10 years from now) and how do you expect to accomplish those goals (completing your studies would be a good start to answering this question).

Other things to consider include your childhood, role models and determination. Talk to your friends, relatives and colleagues to find out what they view as your strong points. Don’t disregard any point and take notes so you don’t forget. While writing your essay, keep in mind that the individual reading the essay will have likely read between 50 to 100 essays a day, so it’s important not to go on and on, but also to make key points regarding your personality and how those points will help you be successful in school. Find a good hook (opening introduction for the essay) that will be sure to hold the reader’s attention and make them want to know more. Be creative without being immature and silly. While writing your essay, keep in mind that diversity, first impressions and honesty matter.

The second most important part of the essay (besides the introduction) is the conclusion. Avoid using common ending introductions to the conclusion paragraph (such as “in conclusion”, etc). Instead, briefly summarize the key points of your essay and draw a conclusion that brings all points of the essay together. The conclusion should provide closure and ending for the essay in its entirety. Follow the simple steps outlined in this blog and take good notes to ensure success. You may want to write several drafts and provide the drafts to friends and family members who you trust. Take their feedback and input in stride and use it to edit your essay. In the end, you should have an admissions essay that is strong and valuable.