How will I show that I am determined and ambitious; that I will not get poor grades or drop out? How can I contribute positively to the educational experience of other students? How might I bring honor and prestige to the university? What are my long-term goals? Might I win an award someday, or start a business, or improve a scientific process? Your answer to these questions will help you frame the content of your essay. Tip 2: Determine Your Essay Goals Along with the three questions above, you should contemplate how you want the admissions officers to perceive you.
After reading your college admissions essay, what should they think of your personality and activities? Most students want the college admissions board to view them as responsible, dependable, and academically ambitious. These are excellent essay goals, but you should also consider the essay in relation to your classwork. If your classwork already shows that you are studious and determined because you have taken a wide variety of advanced classes , then you may want to highlight another feature of your personality.
Along with developing an image of your character, writing the college admissions essay allows you to feature other aspects of your life that are not reflected in your pre-college coursework.
Some aspects to consider: Have I worked at an interesting or relevant job? Do I belong to any clubs or organizations? Have I demonstrated leadership or teamwork? Have I demonstrated compassion or community-responsibility? Tip 3: Distinguish Yourself from the Other Applicants This bit of strategic thinking should be fairly easy. As an international student, you by definition are different from the bulk of American citizens who apply to American universities.
Remember that you are more than just an international student from an interesting background; you are a complete person with a lifetime of experiences. In particular, be open to showing vulnerability.
Nobody expects you to be perfect and acknowledging times in which you have felt nervous or scared shows maturity and self-awareness. This college essay tip is by Charles Maynard, Oxford and Stanford University Graduate and founder of Going Merry , which is a one-stop shop for applying to college scholarships Be genuine and authentic.
Your essay should be a true representation of who you are as a person—admissions officers want to read essays that are meaningful, thoughtful, and consistent with the rest of the application. Essays that come from the heart are the easiest to write and the best written. Have a teacher or counselor, not just your smartest friend, review and edit your essays. This college essay tip is by Jonathan April, University of Chicago graduate, general manager of College Greenlight , which offers free tools to low-income and first-generation students developing their college lists.
Note how the writer incorporates a wide range of details and images through one particular lens: a scrapbook. Prompt: Describe the world you come from — for example, your family, community or school — and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.
The layouts of the pages are already imprinted in my mind, so I simply draw them on scratch paper. Now I can really begin. Cutting the first photograph, I make sure to leave a quarter inch border. I then paste it onto a polka-dotted green paper with a glue stick. For a sophisticated touch, I use needle and thread to sew the papers together.
Loads of snipping and pasting later, the clock reads three in the morning. I look down at the final product, a full spread of photographs and cut-out shapes. As usual, I feel an overwhelming sense of pride as I brush my fingers over the crisp papers and the glossy photographs.
For me, the act of taking pieces of my life and putting them together on a page is my way of organizing remnants of my past to make something whole and complete. This particular project is the most valuable scrapbook I have ever made: the scrapbook of my life. The entire left side I have dedicated to the people in my life. All four of my Korean grandparents sit in the top corner; they are side by side on a sofa for my first birthday —my ddol.
Meanwhile, my Texas cousins watch Daniel, the youngest, throw autumn leaves into the air that someone had spent hours raking up. To the right, my school peers and I miserably pose for our history teacher who could not resist taking a picture when he saw our droopy faces the morning of our first AP exam.
I move over to the right side of the page. At the top, I have neatly sewn on three items. The first is a page of a Cambodian Bible that was given to each of the soldiers at a military base where I taught English. Beneath it is the picture of my Guatemalan girls and me sitting on the dirt ground while we devour arroz con pollo, red sauce slobbered all over our lips.
I reread the third item, a short note that a student at a rural elementary school in Korea had struggled to write in her broken English. I lightly touch the little chain with a dangling letter E included with the note. Moving to the lower portion of the page, I see the photo of the shelf with all my ceramic projects glazed in vibrant hues.
With great pride, I have added a clipping of my page from the Mirror, our school newspaper, next to the ticket stubs for Wicked from my date with Dad. I make sure to include a photo of my first scrapbook page of the visit to Hearst Castle in fifth grade. Unlike the previous one, this page is not cluttered or crowded. There is my college diploma with the major listed as International Relations; however, the name of the school is obscure.
The remainder of the page is a series of frames and borders with simple captions underneath. Without the photographs, the descriptions are cryptic. For now, that second page is incomplete because I have no precise itinerary for my future. The red flags on the map represent the places I will travel to, possibly to teach English like I did in Cambodia or to do charity work with children like I did in Guatemala. As for the empty frames, I hope to fill them with the people I will meet: a family of my own and the families I desire to help, through a career I have yet to decide.
Until I am able to do all that, I can prepare. It reads like the opening to a movie. She keeps clothes for a long time; she likes to be comfortable. What does "Levi's" suggest? She's not obsessed with neatness. What do these details tell us? Family is really important to her. Fireplace: What does a fireplace connote? Warmth, closeness. My brother's hot cocoa: Why hot cocoa? Again, warmth. How is the fact that her brother made it change the image?
It implies that her brother is engaged in the family activity. Do you think she likes her brother? Would your brother make hot cocoa for you? And finally: Listening to rain: Why not watching TV? What does it tell you about this family that they sit and listen to rain together? Taken together, they create an essence image. Quick: What essence image describes your family? Even if you have a non-traditional family—in fact, especially if you have a non-traditional family!
Based on the image the writer uses, how would you describe her relationship with her family? We know all we need to know. Did you notice? Did you notice how clearly she set up the idea of the scrapbook at the beginning of the essay?
Look at the last sentence of the second paragraph bolded below : Cutting the first photograph, I make sure to leave a quarter inch border.
The sentence in bold above is essentially her thesis. It explains the framework for the whole essay. She follows this sentence with: This particular project is the most valuable scrapbook I have ever made: the scrapbook of my life. Super clear. Never use text-style abbreviations or rude or profane language. After the essay is submitted, check your email and voice mail daily to make sure you see and respond promptly to messages from admissions staff members.
Many students check only texts and sometimes miss emails asking follow-up questions or requesting an interview. What you should be are doing is getting noticed as unique. If you are on a date, you would naturally want to be smart, funny, nice, caring, unique, not boring. You also want to have an opinion, not step back like an unthinking geek. Write your essay as though you would be a great second date. Make your essay correct and beautiful Dates should look good, too.
You can make your essay beautiful by giving thought to a few things. Use a font that is readable. Consider whether or not bold type face could make your essay easier to read.
Provide the essay prompt at the opening. Separate paragraphs in a consistent way, either by indenting each paragraph or by using block style, keeping all the words to the left margin but spacing extra between paragraphs.
If there are a lot of mistakes in your essay, it can not be pretty. Make sure you have spelled everything correctly. Make sure your basic punctuation is correct. Did you separate dialogue correctly from the rest of your text?
I suggest handwriting versus typing on a keyboard for 20 minutes. Admissions staff members want to know how your presence will make the college a better place.
Proofread The last step is editing and proofreading your finished essay. Two reasons: 1. Explain with knowledge and passion why you want to study at this particular college rather than at others. What are your hopes?
To get myself in a meditative state, I spend 60 seconds set an alarm drawing a spiral. College essay questions often suggest one or two main ideas or topics of focus. For example, Christopher Rim of Command Education Group, which coaches students, remembers that one student who wanted to become a dentist set up a nonprofit and held fund-raisers to distribute toothbrushes, toothpaste and other dental products to homeless shelters. Therefore, follow these tips to ensure that your essay shines in the competitive admissions process. It allows reviewers to connect with you and understand your personality and what drives you.
When you open up about your feelings —especially in response to a low point—you are more likely to connect with your reader s. When recalling these events, you need to give more than the play-by-play or itinerary. Because we've all been there. This college essay tip is by Charles Maynard, Oxford and Stanford University Graduate and founder of Going Merry , which is a one-stop shop for applying to college scholarships
Nouns ground us, name me, define you.
Even if you have a non-traditional family—in fact, especially if you have a non-traditional family! It was a real thing, which happened to a real person, told simply. Don't tell them a story you think they want, tell them what YOU want. You may also want to make a connection to how this has inspired some part of your educational journey or your future aspirations. Take a look at our college essay samples to get an idea of what colleges are looking for in your essay.