Tip 3 — Get excited! Enthusiasm is contagious. Read the website thoroughly not just the homepage. Watch videos, connect on Facebook and get regular updates in your newsfeed. Pay attention when you visit and, when something interests you, ask questions. Visualize yourself as a freshman on campus: What classes are you taking? Why do you love being there? How are you contributing to the campus community? Tip 3. Professors are notoriously hard graders. The school boasts 34 Nobel laureates among alumni and faculty.
Recent grads tend to get high-paying jobs. With 1, undergraduates, Pomona features close student-faculty relationships. Most every one at this rural campus is united by an enormous amount of school pride, especially around the football team. The most meaningful essays are those where I feel like the student is sitting next to me, just talking to me. This college essay tip is by Kim Struglinski, admissions counselor from Vanderbilt University.
Verb you, Dude! Verbs jump, dance, fall, fail us. Nouns ground us, name me, define you. Teach them well and they will teach you too. Let them play, sing, or sob outside of yourself. Give them as a gift to others.
Try the imperative, think about your future tense, when you would have looked back to the imperfect that defines us and awaits us. Define, Describe, Dare. Have fun. This college essay tip is by Parke Muth , former associate dean of Admissions at the University of Virginia 28 years in the office and member of the Jefferson Scholars selection committee. Keep the story focused on a discrete moment in time. By zeroing in on one particular aspect of what is, invariably, a long story, you may be better able to extract meaning from the story.
So instead of talking generally about playing percussion in the orchestra, hone in on a huge cymbal crash marking the climax of the piece. Or instead of trying to condense that two-week backpacking trip into a couple of paragraphs, tell your reader about waking up in a cold tent with a skiff of snow on it.
Start preparing now. Take a look, and start to formulate your plan. Brainstorm what you are going to tell us — focus on why you are interested in the major you chose. If you are choosing the Division of General Studies, tells us about your passions, your career goals, or the different paths you are interested in exploring.
This college essay tip is by Hanah Teske, admissions counselor at the University of Illinois. Imagine how the person reading your essay will feel. No one's idea of a good time is writing a college essay, I know.
But if sitting down to write your essay feels like a chore, and you're bored by what you're saying, you can imagine how the person reading your essay will feel. On the other hand, if you're writing about something you love, something that excites you, something that you've thought deeply about, chances are I'm going to set down your application feeling excited, too—and feeling like I've gotten to know you.
Think outside the text box! Put a little pizazz in your essays by using different fonts, adding color, including foreign characters or by embedding media—links, pictures or illustrations. And how does this happen? Look for opportunities to upload essays onto applications as PDFs.
This college essay tip is by Nancy Griesemer, University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University graduate and founder of College Explorations who has decades of experiencing counseling high schoolers on getting into college. Write like a journalist. Think about any article you've read—how do you decide to read it? You read the first few sentences and then decide. The same goes for college essays. A strong lede journalist parlance for "lead" will place your reader in the "accept" mindset from the beginning of the essay.
A weak lede will have your reader thinking "reject"—a mindset from which it's nearly impossible to recover. So application essays are a unique way for applicants to share, reflect, and connect their values and goals with colleges. Admissions officers want students to share their power, their leadership, their initiative, their grit, their kindness—all through relatively recent stories. Use your essays to empower your chances of acceptance, merit money, and scholarships.
Rebecca Joseph, professor at California State University and founder of All College Application Essays , develops tools for making the college essay process faster and easier.
Get personal. To me, personal stuff is the information you usually keep to yourself, or your closest friends and family.
So it can be challenging, even painful, to dig up and share. Try anyway. When you open up about your feelings —especially in response to a low point—you are more likely to connect with your reader s.
Because we've all been there. So don't overlook those moments or experiences that were awkward, uncomfortable or even embarrassing. Weirdly, including painful memories and what you learned from them! Chances are, you also shared a mini-story that was interesting, entertaining and memorable. This college essay tip is by Janine Robinson, journalist, credentialed high school English teacher, and founder of Essay Hell , has spent the last decade coaching college-bound students on their college application essays.
I believe everyone has a story worth telling. Sometimes the seemingly smallest moments lead us to the biggest breakthroughs. Keep it simple! No one is expecting you to solve the issue of world peace with your essay. Remember, this essay is about YOU. What makes you different from the thousands of other applicants and their essays?
Use vivid imagery. This college essay tip is by Myles Hunter, CEO of TutorMe , an online education platform that provides on-demand tutoring and online courses for thousands of students. Honor your inspiration. My parents would have much preferred that I write about sports or youth group, and I probably could have said something interesting about those, but I insisted on writing about a particular fish in the pet store I worked at—one that took much longer than the others to succumb when the whole tank system in the store became diseased.
It was a macabre little composition, but it was about exactly what was on my mind at the time I was writing it. I think it gave whoever read it a pretty good view of my 17 year-old self.
I'll never know if I got in because of that weird essay or in spite of it, but it remains a point of pride that I did it my way. This college essay tip is by Mike McClenathan, founder of PwnTestPrep , which has a funny name but serious resources for helping high school students excel on the standardized tests. Revise often and early. Your admissions essay should go through several stages of revision. Ask your parents, teachers, high school counselors or friends for their eyes and edits.
It should be people who know you best and want you to succeed. Take their constructive criticism in the spirit for which they intend—your benefit. Write about things you care about. The most obvious things make great topics. What do I mean? Colleges want to learn about who you are, what you value and how you will contribute to their community.
I had two students write about their vehicles—one wrote about the experience of purchasing their used truck and one wrote about how her car is an extension of who she is. We learned about their responsibility, creative thinking, teamwork and resilience in a fun and entertaining way. Don't tell them a story you think they want, tell them what YOU want. Of course you want it to be a good read and stay on topic, but this is about showing admissions who you are.
You don't want to get caught up in thinking too much about what they are expecting. Focus your thoughts on yourself and what you want to share. This college essay tip is by Ashley McNaughton, Bucknell University graduate and founder of ACM College Consulting , consults on applicants internationally and volunteers with high achieving, low income students through ScholarMatch.
Be yourself. A sneaky thing can happen as you set about writing your essay: you may find yourself guessing what a college admissions committee is looking for and writing to meet that made up criteria rather than standing firm in who you are and sharing your truest self.
While you want to share your thoughts in the best possible light edit please! Show your depth. Be honest about what matters to you. Be thoughtful about the experiences you've had that have shaped who you've become. Be your brilliant self. And trust that your perfect-fit college will see you for who truly you are and say "Yes! This is exactly who we've been looking for. Admission officers can spot parent content immediately.
The quickest way for a student to be denied admission is to allow a parent to write or edit with their own words. Parents can advise, encourage, and offer a second set of eyes, but they should never add their own words to a student's essay.
Tell a good story. Remember, this essay is about YOU. Even the most fluid writers are often stifled by fitting their narrative neatly into a category and the essay quickly loses authentic voice.
Your Name. Proofread, proofread, proofread. But the prompts give you enough freedom to write whatever story you want to tell about yourself.
Don't expect a masterpiece from this exercise though stranger things have happened. Make notes where and when you can so that you can capture those organic thoughts for later. Sometimes just figuring out where to start can take forever. What does "Levi's" suggest? We want to learn about growth.
Your essay can include elements of tension, conflict, and controversy, but keep the tone positive overall. For a sophisticated touch, I use needle and thread to sew the papers together. Keep it interesting by using a variety of sentence structures.
It should be people who know you best and want you to succeed. Being funny is tough.
Seek qualified second opinions You should absolutely ask others to take a look at your essay before you submit it. Tips which, by the way, will uplevel any form of writing. This college essay tip is by Nancy Griesemer, University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University graduate and founder of College Explorations who has decades of experiencing counseling high schoolers on getting into college.
Begin by writing one of your main ideas as the introductory sentence.