Getting into a good college takes a lot of hard work and dedication. One of the last hurdles to admission is the application essay – and it's a great opportunity for you to shine. Here are some tips to help you create an application essay that gives you the best chance at getting into your top school.
Show your brand. Most pieces of the application process are simple fill-in-the-blanks. The essay is your chance to truly show your personality and what you are all about. Think of how you're portraying your personal "brand" through what you choose to write about. Consider your tone and what you want it to convey – humor, intensity, seriousness?
Be original. Many colleges allow you flexibility in choosing what to write. Think about what experience you have that lends a unique perspective. Choose a topic that feels comfortable and can play to your strengths as both a writer and a student. If the essay does have a specific assigned topic, try to bring your own angle to the subject while showing your knowledge.
Edit, edit, edit. A great essay is rarely done after the first run through. Between spelling mistakes, run-on sentences and unclear ideas, editing is an important tool in perfecting your essay. Don't make the mistake of simply relying on a computer spell-check to catch problems. Re-read and re-write your essay until you feel it's perfect. Getting a friend or family member to read it as well is smart since they will have fresh eyes to spot errors.
Do it yourself. The quickest way to get eliminated from consideration is to plagiarize your essay. It may be tempting to use great words from others, but you must be sure to attribute anything that did not come out of your own brain. Finally, stay away from paid services that offer to write your essay for you. This defeats the purpose of showing your uniqueness through an essay and they often are poor quality anyway.
Here to help
After nailing the application essay and getting into that great college, your next goal is to figure out how you will pay. Click here for details on our scholarship program for high school seniors planning to continue their education.
College is one of the best investments you can make. Contact us at 800-656-4328 or visit us online to learn how we can help you or your student.