4 Tips to Make Your College Application Essay Speak Volumes
When applying to your dream college, nothing delivers a personal touch quite like the essay section. GPAs, SAT and ACT scores, and a litany of extra-curricular activities highlight a student’s academic strengths and capabilities, but the college application essay provides much needed insight into what makes a student tick. It’s the perfect opportunity to explain your passions, showcase your personality, and share your own story.
So how do students make their college essays stand out and speak volumes? Here are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind come college application season:
· Only You Can Tell Your Story
In other words: be yourself! It’s tempting to gloss over your quirks and imperfections and present yourself as the picture-perfect college candidate, but your college essay is meant to tell your story and share your true self: the life lessons you’ve learned, the larger questions you’re drawn to, and your hopes for the future.
The essay is also a great opportunity to explain any ambiguous parts of your transcript or test scores, so that college admissions counselors have the fullest and most accurate picture of who you are and what you’re capable of.
· Stay Focused
Most colleges use the essay section to determine two things: whether you’d be a good fit at their institution and if you can handle their academic rigor. Whatever the essay prompt is, decide on a clear theme and then organize your essay accordingly. Don’t just rattle off a list of your accomplishments. Instead, brainstorm a few stories that display your strengths and lessons learned, choose one, and stick to it. It’s better to have one strong and memorable story than a hodgepodge of ideas and anecdotes.
· Rewrite, Rewrite, Rewrite
Editing may seem arduous, but it’s one of the wisest things you can plan for when drafting your college application essay. Schedule some extra time so that your parents, a teacher, your tutor, and even a friend, who can read it over to double-check grammar, flow, and that it truly represents your voice and strengths. To boot, give yourself a week away from your essay and come back to it with fresh eyes—you’ll be surprised at the difference it can make!
· Get Inspired
Sometimes writing a college application essay can feel like an impossible task—either too intimidating or too cliché. If you’re feeling stuck in a rut, try reading some essays by the pros to get your creative juices flowing. Flip through a favorite magazine, visit the best blog you follow, or check out a valuable resource like Longform.org to read inspiring, well-crafted essays that can help you decisively bypass writer’s block.
At the end of the day, remember that the college application essay is all about you—and college admissions officers want to hear your authentic voice. At Vogel Prep, we offer a variety of resources to help students craft memorable, stand-out college essays. From small group classes to one-on-one tutoring, we ensure our college test prep curriculum meets each student’s learning style and goals. From start to finish, we are here to help students build sturdy academic foundations that serve them throughout college and for years to come.
Vogel Prep offers private tutoring and small group classes for students in the Phoenix area, including Scottsdale, Arcadia, Cave Creek, Paradise Valley and Fountain Hills, looking to improve study skills, increase SAT and ACT scores, and much more. At our conveniently located tutoring center at 13951 N. Scottsdale Rd. Suite 211 in Scottsdale, Vogel Prep also provides academic advising services to students and their families.