As an educator that has helped numerous high school students construct their perfect essay for hopeful entrance into the college of their choice, I would like to think that I have quite a bit of wisdom to share on this topic. I have witnessed what essays will get high school students accepted and what essays will have colleges close their doors to you.
If you are a current high school junior or senior and haven’t yet written your college entrance essay, take close notice of these tips. If you have already written your essay but still haven’t been accepted into a college yet, or at least not the one you have your heart set on, perhaps you should do a little editing and follow these directions along the way.
Read the Instructions Carefully
There are plenty of colleges and universities with specific directions you must follow for your college entrance essay. Read these directions like your college life depends on it and then follow them to a tee. Places of higher learning do not take kindly to students that can’t follow directions. Also, they may provide your writing prompts to choose from for your essay.
Keep to a Word Count
As fascinating as your life may be, the college admission’s board does not have a ton of time on their hands to read long essays. If they see an extended essay, they probably will either skim it for a few seconds or skip it altogether. Try to keep your college entrance essay to approximately 500 words. Anything more than that could cost you.
If your essay is littered with grammatical errors and mistakes, it will go in the trash. This is not a fancy text message you are sending. It would be best to make sure spelling is correct and your grammar and punctuation are on point.
Use Your Voice
Every writer has a unique voice. It is just a matter of if you want to share it. Use your personality, at least the best parts of it, and try to wow the admission’s board with your empathy, charm, and wit. It is perfectly acceptable to show humility, as well. The college board’s last thing will want to read an essay where someone is patting themselves on the back for five minutes nonstop. Speaking of your successes is fine, but also mention some of your failures as well.
Share a Story or Two
The admission’s board wants to learn about you. Share a compelling story or two that will let the admissions office into your life.
Mention Your Work Outside of School
Your life is not just the school. Write about your family, any places you volunteer, extracurriculars, and the jobs you have held as you completed high school. Tell them what is important to you and why you are interested in their specific school.
Have Someone You Trust Proofread It For You
Even the best writers can overlook their own mistakes, time, and time again. It can be challenging to share with someone an essay that you have written from the heart, so choose the person wisely to proofread it. But make sure they have the skills needed to make your writing better. After all, you can ask your ten-year-old brother to proofread it, but you might not get a lot of help from him.
It’s Not Just Your Essay
Let’s face it, these tips will make getting into the college of your choice a little easier, but if you don’t have the grades to at least get your foot in the door, they won’t even bother reading your college entrance essay. If your grades are not where they should be, iAchieve can help. There might be enough time to turn it around and get not only your grade point average up to where it needs to be, but we can also improve upon your SAT or ACT score!