As the owner of a tutoring center that specializes in ACT/SAT and College Prep, I have learned from years of experience that writing personal college essays isn’t every student’s strongest attribute. The process of organizing and writing a college essay can be a very stressful and sensitive time for students. They often struggle with what information they should or should not include within the essay and what information will allow them to stand out in the sea of applicants. Aside from your student transcripts, standardized test scores, community service, recommendations, and achievements; their college essay is the next most important element of their application. If your child plans to pursue higher level education they will have to be able to jump over the writing hurdle and dive into it! Though there are many tips you may find online, here are some proven ways that your child can “WOW” college admission counselors and gain acceptance to the school of their choice!
Be True To Yourself
Every college is looking for the best students to attend their school. Admission counselors are seeking students who are overall good students and strong writers. The ability to tell a great story through writing is what they are seeking from their top applicants. How can your child separate themselves from thousands of other applicants? By finding ways to tie their personal interests and education goals within the essay question. Be sure to stay away from statements such as, “I want to study here because you are on my Top-10 List” or “I want to study here because you have XYZ major/minor.” There is no “magic” right answer. Students need to be genuine in their answer and make a personal connection between themselves and the university.
Show Your Desire and Be Unique
Admission counselors read thousands of essays during admission season. They are looking for essays that are attention grabbing, creative, and interesting to read. The essay should help to highlight their character and genuine passion for the field that they wish to pursue. Students should show how their desire to attend the university aligns with the universities core values. Your student can learn more about the university by spending time researching their website and/or scheduling a college campus visit prior to writing the essay. Being able to truly visualize themselves on campus and becoming a part of the student body helps to create the desire to attend the school. Oftentimes, their passion is shown in their personal statement when they give the reason for wanting to attend the university. The best colleges are seeking and recruiting students who show promise in areas that are of high economic growth and demand for the university.
Highlight your accomplishments!
Your student’s personal essay gives them the opportunity to share information about themselves that may not have been able to shine through in the rest of their application. If your child has experienced personal hardships such as the loss of a family member, disease, or poverty, it may explain inconsistencies within their application. College Admission Counselors warn students to carefully select the information that they wish to share. They also don’t consider divorce or failing a class because it was difficult, as a personal hardship. Encourage your child to broaden their essay range by finding a way to voice their strengths and weaknesses to add balance to their piece. Make sure they focus on the positive factors!
Remember your student only has one chance this year to make an impact on the counselors reading their application! Admission counselors only spend about 3-5 minutes of reading essays. Be sure to make your student brainstorm their topics first and write rough drafts for all of their essays. Additionally, once their essays are written and completed, go back through and check for grammatical errors, inconsistencies, and areas of weakness, that need to be improved before submission. We don’t want to submit essays that are filled with errors. Your student’s college essay content should strengthen your child’s chances of being accepted in the university/college of choice, not hinder it. And as always, if your student can use additional prep for the ACT/SAT, College Prep, or Essay Writing please be sure to bring them to MASTERs Plus Tutoring, where we specialize in all this plus more.
We will be happy to help!