About.Com College Admission Essay

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You don't need to have started your own business or have spent the summer hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Colleges are simply looking for thoughtful, motivated students who will add something to the first-year class.

Getting to know you, helping you understand how you are unique and can stand out is what we love to do and will do for you.

It may sound like a chore, and it will certainly take a substantial amount of work.

However, selective colleges receive applications from many worthy students with similar scores and grades—too many to admit.

So they use your essay, along with your letters of recommendation and extracurricular activities , to find out what sets you apart from the other talented candidates. You have a unique background, interests and personality.Last year’s Common Application essays had a word limit of 650 words. Before getting started, read some college essay examples.Colleges will learn about you from your transcript and standardized test scores but those are just numbers. You want to be original and tell your story however, it helps to understand what makes a good essay.When recalling these events, you need to give more than the play-by-play or itinerary.Describe what you learned from the experience and how it changed you. What you write in your application essay or personal statement should not contradict any other part of your application–nor should it repeat it.It does not matter which prompt you answer, the topic of the essay is always the same Y-O-U. Reflecting and thinking about who you are, what you love, what is important to you and what you want to do.The Common Application and also most other college applications require the candidates to write a personal essay.This is especially important to note if you’re aiming to attend a very competitive school – everyone applying is going to have a high GPA, a laundry list of advanced classes, and will have been president of every student organization since the dawn of mankind. So treat a college application essay as a tool for standing out in ways the robots can’t.It’s a lot like the cover letter you write when applying for a job – it’s your chance to reveal the person behind the accomplishments and statistics.Be honest and genuine, and your unique qualities will shine through.Admissions officers have to read an unbelievable number of college essays, most of which are forgettable.

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