Competition is the way of life nowadays; you just can not avoid it wherever you go. College admission essay is such a tool used to combat competition. So here you are, just out of high school with your grades in place and competing with over a thousand students to get into an elite college. You have struggled the whole year with the trickiest of the subjects, managed to get a decent grade but there you are, still being screened amongst others.
Consider your situation with a pizza! Your grades are the base of the pizza, your SAT or GMAT scores are the cheese- these are the factors which you can not change now but there is certainly a topping that you can add to make the pizza more attractive – the answer to this is college admission essay.
The tool of admission essays, if used correctly can make you shine out in a pool of applicants.
Three questions to ask before you strategize your essay
1. WHO are you writing an essay for? It is worthwhile to realize that you are writing the essay to impress upon the admissions officers. Hence, it needs to be something that captures their interests.
2. WHY are you writing this: A college admission essay helps in clarifying your role, your goals, your interests and your worth to an enterprise which is trying to select you from the oodles? Definitely it needs to be personalized or it needs to be something that is linked to you. So if the topic is something like YOUR role model, the emphasis should be not on who is the role model but why is it that he is YOUR role model; what are the values that you like in your model. In this way, you are indirectly talking about your own self.
3. HOW to write this: After a lot of thought and research, finally you arrive at a topic but now the bigger question is what are the key aspects to keep in mind when writing an essay:
• Select your essay writing style before writing an admission essay. You can write your essay with some humour, or it can be based on a case study or it can be the traditional essay writing style. It can even be promoting a certain concept. I am aware of a student who strongly believed in the concept of “Going Green”, and he wrote an essay on a concept which he believes in. Undoubtedly, he was a winner!
• The important point here in writing a college admission essay is to maintain a balance. For example you can be humorous or critical but at the same time not be over critical.
• Your essay can be oriented toward yourself but the same time, do not brag too much.
• Maintain clarity throughout the essay; be in sync with the topic.
• One thing to look out for is grammatical errors or misspellings. If the admissions officer notices that you can not proofread your own document, then it is not even worth a reading attempt.