Summer may have just begun, but for rising seniors, there is plenty they can do during the break to prepare for college applications. While much of their academic and extracurricular records are complete, seniors still have complete control over their application essay.
The Common Application has announced its prompts for 2013-14. In addition to these, many schools will require supplemental essays – responses to specific questions and/or personal statements. There are many ideas circling about what an admissions essay should include. Some of the common ones we’ve heard are: a list of accomplishments, an explanation of part of your application, and a comedy routine. While we’re not going to get into what the essay should NOT include (ahem…none of the above), we are going to look at what it should aim to accomplish.
What Should a College Admissions Essay Include?
Above all, the goal of the essay is to provide information about you that the admissions committee might not otherwise know. Therefore, the first step in writing the college essay is to deeply reflect on what additional things the admissions team should know about you. The essay needs to show your individual voice, so the topic you choose needs to allow for you to write primarily about yourself. Narrating a story without going into the implications and effect on you will likely not leave a lasting impression.
College Essay Ideas
Consider the following ideas if they fit with your experience:
When to Start the College Essay
Crafting a great college essay is a process that requires time. For some, selecting a topic proves to be the most time consuming part. Use the ideas above as starting points to see what you can come up with. Run your ideas by your family and friends who know you best – they’ll be able to give you valuable feedback on whether your ideas will truly paint an accurate picture of you to someone who you’ve never met.
Marina del Rey
West Los Angeles