Why the College Application Essays Matter
If you’re under the impression that grades and test scores are the only admissions criteria that really matter, it’s time to think again. While it is true that these types of hard factors carry significant weight throughout the admissions process, well-written essays that reveal your true personality are also extremely important.
When it comes time to start writing your personal statement and supplements, you need to work diligently and develop several drafts so that you can create content you are genuinely proud of. Keep reading to learn more about the importance of application essays and what you can do to stand out!
Demonstrate Your Interest
In addition to a personal statement, many colleges include supplemental essay questions in their application. These supplements can be the perfect opportunity to articulate why you are interested in a specific school and demonstrate your knowledge of the institution. Some colleges may explicitly ask students why they are interested in their institution while other universities may include less direct prompts that focus on long-term goals and ambitions. Regardless of the nature of the question, applicants should strive to tailor their responses to the university they are applying to and weave in school-specific details that highlight their knowledge about programs and opportunities on campus.
Add Personality to Your Application
Every applicant is more than the sum of their grades, test scores, and extracurricular involvements. College application essays give students the opportunity to reveal who they truly are and the personality traits that set themselves apart. Consequently, students shouldn’t be afraid to use their own authentic voice in their essays and let their unique character shine through. Many essay prompts focus on moments of growth and self-discovery, which can provide applicants with an opportunity to discuss the personal experiences that have defined them and helped them grow. Instead of striving to write something that sounds academic, focus on creating compelling essays using your own authentic voice. It can be helpful to read your essay drafts out loud in order to ensure your words sound like something you would really say.
Reveal Something New About Yourself
Application essays can be the perfect place to reveal something new about yourself or discuss something that is not obvious elsewhere in your application. Students may wish to consider drafting personal statements about experiences that aren’t highlighted in their resume or transcript. For example, instead of writing about scoring the winning goal, a star athlete may choose to focus on an experience outside of their chosen sport, since it is likely that this extracurricular activity is referenced throughout their application. A student like this may choose to focus on what they learned from a summer job, a volunteer experience that changed their perspective, or a personal challenge that enabled them to grow.
Articulate Your Impact on Campus
Admissions officers are looking to admit applicants who will become active participants on campus. Take advantage of personal statements and supplements to convey not just who you are now, but what you wish to achieve. For school-specific supplements, applicants may wish to highlight the groups and programs that they are eager to join if admitted. Similarly, students may choose to weave in details about their future goals and ambitions in a personal statement, which can help give admissions officers a sense of the impact they wish to make.
Given the importance of college essays, students should start drafting their pieces well in advance. If you are currently working on application essays and looking for expert guidance, our team of college admissions counselors can help you find your voice.