Tips on writing a college essay

Tips on writing a college essay

Meghan Maier, Writer

For many people, writing college essays is stressful and difficult. According to a 2019 National Association for College Admission Counseling survey, college essays ranked as the “fifth most important factor in the admissions process”. Below are five tips on how to improve a college essay.

1: Avoid writing one essay for multiple colleges

A lot of people tend to write one essay and then just change the college. Sometimes people can forget to change the college on the essay and send it in with the wrong college. It also doesn’t help answer why you specifically chose to go to that school.

2: Be Accurate

Pay attention to the mechanics of writing. Don’t only use spell check and make sure to correctly use commas and semicolons. Double-check spelling and capitalization and the correct use of words.

3: Don’t repeat yourself

Each part of the essay should be sharing something new. A repetitive essay may come off as boring or unprofessional, the opposite of what colleges are looking for. If you write in one section your family is the most important part of your life, don’t write another on how your parents are the people you admire the most. 

4: Be Honest

Don’t embellish achievements. College admission officers look for students who are confident in themselves and their work. Suspicions will arise on certain achievements at one point or another. It’s just fine to be the treasurer of the student council instead of the president. Don’t lie about participating in clubs. You will feel better if you don’t strain to inflate yourself and are admired for honest achievements.

5: Don’t wait until the last minute

Students who submit on the date of their deadline just assume that the college received everything but essays can get lost in cyberspace. When submitting an essay on the due date, by the time the college receives all the candidates essays it’s possible the due date has already passed and your college will no longer see you as a candidate, or the essay will be one of the last read, giving a smaller chance for admission.