How to Read a College Application Essay Prompt

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Most college admission officers agree that a student’s character is the most difficult thing to measure on the application. College essays are the place for students to reveal their personal stories in an authentic, engaging and sincere way . In addition to what has already been mentioned, it’s important to read the essay prompts carefully and understand the intent of the question.

The sad truth is that most college application essays are not very good

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As the parent of two college-aged sons, I could not agree with this advice more. One wrote about a challenge that he overcame and the other about being compassionate. Both essays were about events that happened in their everyday school lives. Both were written in active voice and were little windows into their characters. Neither used the words challenge or compassionate. I am convinced that it was the strength and sincerity of their essays that opened the doors at the top schools that said “Yes” to my sons. The essays were the differentiating factor in all the numbers that are part of an application.
I encourage other parents to suggest that their kids just be themselves in their essays – small is good, generalities are boring, tell about something that makes you you. Oh, and read The Gatekeepers – – it offers the best insights into the college admissions process of any of the dozens of books I read on the topic.

You need to have a good essay to get through the college and, at the same time, ..

“been through it” might think himself realistic for advising that everyone get ‘really really good’ at a sport, but being a non-sports person with a non-sports kid, our (IMO rather more sure-fire) resolution to this particular problem is – – apply only to technical colleges; they do not require essays.

How to Write a Good College Application Essay in 8 …


How to Start a College Essay - wikiHow

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.

College Essays - The College Board

The main heading of any essay is the most important and crucial part of the document. Even if the essay has been composed nicely, you might still not be able to capture the reader’s attention if there is no proper heading for an essay. Learning how to write a good essay heading is very important.

Tip Sheet: An Admissions Dean Offers Advice on Writing …

My daughter is a National Merit Finalist (actually won a National Merit Scholarship at a school she chose not to attend), had an “unweighted” GPA over 3.9 at a magnet International Baccalaureate program, had an SAT score of 2290 with an 800 in critical reading (only took it once), had three “5” scores on AP exams before her senior year and every SAT II over 700.
She was accepted at every small college she applied. Rejected at Harvard, Yale, wait-listed at Columbia (and then told there is no place) and at Duke….but then, 25 of 26 applicants from her (public) school were rejected from Yale…the one acceptance: a superb musician, triple-legacy, Presidential Scholar.
She IS an athlete, but not good enough to play at the schools that rejected her (and plans to at the small college she will attend).
Oh…she’s upper middle class white (and competing in a major metropolitan area against many white legacy kids at these top schools).