Your high school transcript contains at least three years of grades, showing evidence of hard work in a variety of subjects. Keep in mind essays are a major separating factor in sorting the mediocre students from those who have gone (and most likely will continue to go) above and beyond. I can’t even tell you how many wonderful application essays I’ve read about students’ mothers, fathers, brothers, grandmothers, neighbors, and even the ice cream truck driver being the most influential person in their lives. After reading them, I want to call the students up and encourage their grandmothers to apply! Don’t get me wrong, I love the essay prompts for many colleges, but some essay questions don’t exactly push for creativity or thinking outside of the box.
Your clubs, organizations, sports, community service, and other accomplishments reflect years of participation and dedication to fields outside the classroom. Let’s get started It’s time to pick your essay topic. But, after reading these enthralling stories about other people, I still know absolutely nothing about the student who wrote the essay. For example, “Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you ...” is the essay topic where I hear an awful lot about Grandma, and the “topic of your choice” prompt can go from interesting to ridiculous pretty quickly.
While it is important to talk yourself up as the awesome student you truly are, you still have to remember that the application essay is not a résumé.
You can certainly submit a résumé with your application, but your essay is not the place to do it.
- The essay is really neat in that it's one of the only places in the application where they have complete control.
Where they can write about the things that they've been involved in and things that they've done.
- I always tell a student, you know, if you had the chance to come meet with the admissions committee and present yourself in person, would you want to do it?
And without fail students say, yeah I'd love to have that opportunity. They say because if they were able to get know the admissions committee, the admissions committee would want to admit because they would know them and they would get to know what their about and what makes them unique and special.
Even your good old SAT or ACT scores reflect the accumulation of vocabulary, mathematics, and reading comprehension talents acquired throughout your life. That being said, remember to choose an essay topic that helps keep the focus on you but is still flexible enough for you to incorporate your personality, your history, your individuality, and your impact on those around you.
Some college and university applications provide essay questions that influence some pretty good answers.