How important are essays for college admission

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How important is the essay? What you write in your application essay or personal statement should not contradict any other part of your application—nor should it repeat it. Just as with all the components of your college applications, your essay does matter. You have a unique background, interests and personality. Example: "How did you become interested in American University? Warn students not to write about high-minded topics or exotic locales simply to impress the reader. Factoring in your particular interests, talents, and intended major makes the importance of the essay even more nuanced. Danger: Any factual errors in the essay will reveal that the student really hasn't thought deeply about the choice. At any rate, find out from the rep how essays are weighted and used in the admissions process. Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard. Large state universities — because of the huge applicant pools — often rely much more on grades and scores, at least for the first cut. Other articles by Laura. In fact, your essay could end up hurting an application for an otherwise strong candidate if it appears hastily written or not well thought-out.

You don't need to have started your own business or have spent the summer hiking the Appalachian Trail. If you have had a particularly inspiring life experience and think you can write a good essay about it, go for it.

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Want more college admissions tips? Our free webinar will teach you how to use the Common App, organize your activities, answer the essay prompts, and more!

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At any rate, find out from the rep how essays are weighted and used in the admissions process. This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform.

Perhaps you have a particular talent, skill, or life experience that will set you apart from other applicants. Many students try to sound smart rather than sounding like themselves.

How important are essays for college admission

It may sound like a chore, and it will certainly take a substantial amount of work. Our free webinar will tell you everything you need to know about filling out the Common App and what mistakes to avoid. Colleges may also revoke admission if they find out after you have been accepted. This is your chance to tell your story or at least part of it. Describe an experience or idea that you find intellectually exciting, and explain why. But it's also a unique opportunity that can make a difference at decision time. You may point out areas that need revision, but you cannot rewrite or edit — the essay must be the student's work. As with so much in the world of college admissions, there is little to no transparency. How much help is too much help? It might not make a difference for your college admission chances. Additionally, students who have faced extraordinary adversity or life circumstances may be able to turn their experiences into a powerful essay. What can you do to help your students within the guidelines of your job? On the other hand, if your focus is clearly on a subject in which writing personally and creatively is not as essential, such as the life sciences or math, and your intended major follows the same suit, admissions committees may provide a little more leeway and judge your essay less harshly. And many Common App colleges also require supplements.

The "you" question This question boils down to "Tell us about yourself. For the student who otherwise presents a strong profile, with a high GPA, competitive test scores, and stellar extracurricular activities, the essay is unlikely to have a big impact on your overall application, because you have already demonstrated your ability to succeed.

The "why us" question Some institutions ask for an essay about a student's choice of a college or career.

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Explain to students that this is a "tell us a story" question. Just how much does it really matter to your overall academic profile? However, you should still aim to write a strong essay. Other articles by Laura. A powerful, well-written essay can also tip the balance for a marginal applicant. Additionally, students who have faced extraordinary adversity or life circumstances may be able to turn their experiences into a powerful essay. Perhaps finances or other things restricted your ability to have the kinds of accomplishments that other students have. She dreams of having a dog. But what about the essay? Additionally, make sure that the information that you are including is important for the admissions committee to know for a potential applicant, not the information that would be important for someone to know about you if you were making a personal friend. What can you do to help your students within the guidelines of your job? Don't just recount—reflect!

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