Don’t tell us how much you want to attend XYZ University when you are submitting the essay to The College of ABC.
Remember, in the grand scheme of the college admissions process, the application essay is a unique opportunity — and an opportunity to be unique.
Think about it: Most of the items you submit to the colleges or universities you’re applying to showcase talents that you have developed over a long period of time. At the same time, you shouldn’t downplay the importance of the essay either. This is your chance to paint a picture of who you are. Professionals on admissions committees have the daunting task of reading thousands of application essays per year, and it can get a bit tedious after a while.
Your high school transcript contains at least three years of grades, showing evidence of hard work in a variety of subjects. Keep in mind essays are a major separating factor in sorting the mediocre students from those who have gone (and most likely will continue to go) above and beyond. I can’t even tell you how many wonderful application essays I’ve read about students’ mothers, fathers, brothers, grandmothers, neighbors, and even the ice cream truck driver being the most influential person in their lives. After reading them, I want to call the students up and encourage their grandmothers to apply! Don’t get me wrong, I love the essay prompts for many colleges, but some essay questions don’t exactly push for creativity or thinking outside of the box.
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Some college and university applications provide essay questions that influence some pretty good answers.
For example, at The University of Tampa, the question, “How do you feel about the month of February?
They will go on and on about the time they did this illegal thing and broke the law, but it’s OK, because they learned from their mistake.
The application process is competitive, and there are plenty of good applicants out there who have never broken the law.