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College Admission Essay

Admissions Officers’ Advice on Game-changing Essays

Your college admission essay is a vital component of your application file. Contrary to what many parents and students think, it counts for 30-35% of the final decision. This means an excellent college admission essay can actually tip the balance in your favor if your grades are not so good, just as a student with good grades can get relegated to the back of rejected applicants if your college admission essay is not up to scratch. We sought advice on how to write a successful college admission essay from the admissions officers of some of the top universities in the country, and this is the general tenor of what they said.

Think Thoroughly Before Writing Your College Admission Essay

The applications used by most universities for college admission are actually identical. This is a common application process that instructs all applicants to choose one essay topic (or prompt) out of five and contemplate on it. These questions aim to make you think. You need to sit down and reflect on your feeling with regard to a given topic and then decide how to accurately express this feeling in words. Thinking hard can be a difficult exercise. But given what is at stake, it is definitely worth the trouble to think thoroughly before writing your college admission essay.

Don't Take Your College Admission Essay Lightly

Whether you are admitted into the university of your choice or not, is likely to play a defining role in your future career. So there is no reason to be in a haste: take your time, cogitate about the topic and plan properly before you start writing your college admission essay. Do not just write down the first few ideas that come to your mind: most often, these can be greatly refined if you give the topic a little more thought. Writing your college admission essay without proper planning is a sure recipe for a sub standard essay. As a rule of thumb, the following steps should all be part of your essay writing process:

  • Thoroughly reflecting on the admission essay topics. 
  • The choice of the most appropriate topic for your essay.
  • Drawing up an outline of your college admission essay.
  • Drafting a tentative admission essay.
  • Fine tuning the first draft to get a better essay
  • Fine tuning over and over, until a remarkable essay, is obtained.

Consider Your College Admission Essay as a Whole

For your college admission essay to really make an impact, you have to think it through as a unit. Think about your audience. Think of the message you want to convey through this college admission essay and piece it all up together seamlessly. Any admission essay that does not have an identifiable general tenor will hardly make any impact.

Select your College Admission Essay Topic Wisely

The reason why so many colleges give you a number of topics to choose from is that they want to give each applicant a fair chance of coming up with a fantastic essay. Therefore, you should not spurn this opportunity; take time to decide which topic suits you the best. Do not just choose a topic that you find interesting: choose one on which you know you have enough captivating material to present. 

Choose a Safe Prompt While Writing Your Admission Essay

It is advisable to avoid controversial topics, because the admissions officer who is grading your essay may find your opinion offensive. If you do choose a controversial topic, make sure you approach it from a purely academic, objective, logical viewpoint. The danger with choosing such topics is that you can easily get carried away and start writing in an opinionated manner - more often than not, this will hamper your chances of success. Also, bear in mind that the admission officers marking your essay are probably not of your generation, so they may not be thoroughly well-versed in some of the phenomena that are peculiar to your generation. So, ensure that if you are discussing such things in your college admission essay, you should explain them clearly enough for them to understand.

Stick to Your Topic

Recall that each admissions officer typically has thousands of scripts to go through. So, they will be more likely to read only what really hooks them. Do not expect that if you stray away from your topic, they will have the patience to keep reading and watching out for when you return to it – chances are, they will simply push your college admission essay away.

Move the Reader with Your College Admission Essay

Your college admission essay should be like a terrific piece of music – it should move the admissions officer. Your objective is for the admissions officer who goes through your essay to stand up for you and go out his way to make sure you get admitted. So when writing, bear this in mind: your essay should prompt him to act on your behalf. This will be practically impossible if your hook is not gripping. There are several ways to write a terrific hook, like 

  1. Quoting a wise saying within the essay
  2. Quoting a great personality
  3. Revealing a common misconception
  4. Posing an intriguing question
  5. Stating an eyebrow-raising opinion etc. 

Be sure to use one of these to come up with an irresistible hook in your admission essay. 

Given that these tips come from none other than the people in charge deciding how good your application file is, you can be sure that if you follow them seriously, your chances of admission into the college of your choice will receive a significant boost. If you are interested in an admission essay from our professional writers, fill the form below. 

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