I would argue that the admissions committee was able to relate a little more to this essay than the first. And it was certainly more evocative and detailed. It also conveyed more about the writer (and applicant) — a crucial quality in a college admissions essay.
I turn, now, to excerpts from a recent essay that struck a visceral chord within the admissions office at Occidental (where, as an aside, President Obama began his college career):
I believe that students who don’t have diligent and involved English instructors who are willing to make these college essays a part of their curriculum or personal time are at a significant disadvantage.
After that experience, my daughter put together her essays easily with my son’s input. She ran them by her college English and History instructors (she went entirely the community college route in lieu of high school). She got into Berkeley – that was her first choice.
Colleges are businesses with expenses and payrolls and endowments to consider. Use every tool you have to write a great essay, but grades and SAT scores still trump the
essays unless you can guarantee you’ll bring them their first ever College Golf Championship! (Might be a good topic to write about!)
Your college admissions applications will require cover letters and essays. It is never a good idea to recycle material on these. Make each essay and cover letter unique. Each of your applications should be individualized for the college or university to which it is intended.
The first step is to request an admission package from the list of colleges and universities to which you have decided to apply. With this information in hand you will be able to make a checklist of all required documents, letters and essays you will need to complete your application fully and on time. Take note of any and all deadlines associated which each of your applications. The only thing worse than an improperly made application is no application at all.
While there is no magic formula for the perfect admission essay, there are a few things prospective college students should know. Here are my Top Ten tips:
The admissions essay may be one of the most feared parts of the college admissions process but it is also one of the most important. It is your place to shine as an applicant and a great essaycan definitely tip the scales in your favor.
Ms. Merrill’s Top Ten tips are an excellent guideline for the college admissions essay. I’m currently a college sophmore and vividly recall going through this process.
One additional tip I would add is keep it lite. I think college admissions panels are tired of reading about how you spent your summer wielding a hammer for Habitat for Humanity or ladling soup in a homeless shelter.
Students with an eye towards continuing their education beyond high school should begin to consider their college choices as early as their sophomore year. Guidance counselors and online directories of accredited universities are good places to begin your search for the right college. Respected teachers can also prove helpful when considering your college choices. Their experience can help you make an informed choice when searching for the college program that suits your personal interests and goals. To narrow down your college search ask yourself a few basic questions:
Many college applicants are required to provide one or more along with their college application. This is a tool you can leverage to make your college application more powerful. Letters of recommendation can come from a favorite teacher, a counselor, a coach or even a boss. These letters are designed to emphasize your positive attributes, outline your scholastic accomplishments and demonstrate your extracurricular passions. A successful letter of recommendation explains why you are a prime candidate for a particular college or university.
The college admissions process can be long and involved,but it does not have to be difficult or frightening. With a little hard work and an attention to detail you can make a great first impression at the college of your choice.
Although the essays chosen as the “good” examples are well-written, I found the other 2 more interesting. Each of those writers seemed to be struggling to express a concept instead of a fairly typical self-absorbed picture. Obviously. the “good” essays are easier to identify with, but they are also rather juvenile. Our education system tends to reward the neat package, not the messy one. I’d like to think that both sets of essay writers deserve an excellent education.