Four Tips to Help You Write a Better Admissions Essay
It will be uncommon that you will find a college admissions application that does not include an admissions essay. However, there is no need to fear. Your essay is not being graded so much as it will be understood to be a reflection of your personality, your drive, and your mission. The purpose of a good admissions essay is to make your application stronger, and provide meaning to your interest in seeking admission.
It does not matter what you plan to major in. It does not matter where you went to high school. Of course, this is not to suggest that grades aren’t important, as they provide early access into admissions, but they are not the only thing that colleges consider when reviewing your application. What matters is your journey through life, no matter how short it has been, as well as your ambitions for the future.
Here is a handy guide to writing a great admissions essay. If you require a more detailed guide, contact a student coach today.
1. Have a Narrow Focus
You may be constrained in word or page length. In that case, you cannot possibly write about everything you want, without focusing solely on the superficial. It is far better to limit yourself in your essay’s scope, only including what is truly important to your rationale for applying to the university you are interested in attending.
You are just one out of thousands of prospective students who apply each year. Sometimes, this will not even be the first time someone has applied. The admissions officers at your prospective university, no matter how passionate they are, will only be able to take a few minutes (or even a glance) at your essay. Therefore, you need to make it sharp, easily digestible, and “to the point.” Have a narrow focus. To help narrow your focus, contact a professional student coach.
2. Topics Don’t Matter Until They Do
Since you take a limited amount of time to “wow” your admissions officer, you need to be on point. Let’s assume you want to enroll in pre-med. You are going to be competing against thousands of students who all want to get into pre-med. So, what makes you and your application special? Did a life experience influence you to want to become a doctor? Are you a naturally caring person, and how? Have you volunteered with a blood drive or organized your community for a medical cause, like the prevention of childhood diabetes? Think about what will make your application different, and special.
The topic does not matter per se, but there is a difference between writing about a formative life experience that influence you to become a doctor, versus writing you want to become a doctor due to the prestige and wealth. Choose your topic carefully and you will stand out as an applicant. For more focused and guided help to choose the perfect admissions essay topic, no matter your prospective major, contact a student coach today.
3. It Is a Game of Show and Tell
You remember show and tell from grade school. Some kids would show, and other would tell. Pretty simple, right? The admissions essay is exactly like that. The more you show, the more intrigued the admissions officers will be. The more you tell, the more you could have shown.
Do not write that you are passionate in a subject; exemplify your accomplishments in the field. You are in high school so you probably will not have many accomplishments, but admissions officers are looking for passion, drive, and ambition. Your application needs to stand out from the thousands of applications they have received.
You do not need to cure cancer, but you need to show your passion in your respective field. Using oncology as an example, did you volunteer at a hospice, a children’s hospital, or raise funds for a charity? Write about that. Showing is always more interesting than simply telling. A student coach can help evaluate your experience and choose the most pertinent ways to "show" accomplishments for you to include in your essay.
4. Understand That Essays Cannot Communicate Tone
You may be a funny guy or gal. You may joke around and have a great wit. However, one of the most important rules in comedy is to know your audience. If you do not, you can bomb badly on stage. If you are funny, or quirky, or say things that may be controversial, you should understand that essays cannot communicate tone.
The admissions officers do not know you personally. They can only surmise whether you are a right fit for their school based on your application. If you make a joke, or write something controversial, you cannot know how the admissions officer will react to it. If they are deeply offended, it may look bad for your application.
So, while you are free to use humor or any other form of rhetorical device, you should understand the consequences of doing so. For a expert proofreading of your essay, as well as an insight in how it will be received, contact a student coach.
If you follow these four tips, you will be able to write a better admissions essay for your application. Are you still feeling a little nervous about your admissions essay? Contact a student coach today. Good luck!