College Essays

Writing a Winning Essay

Writing a Winning Essay

Essays have always been a key part of a college application, but now they’re more important than ever!

A well-written essay provides insight into your student’s unique personality, passions, values and goals.

That said, the essay must be the student’s own work and ideas. It’s okay to brainstorm topics with you or a college consultant, but don’t tell your child what to write about or actually write the essays for them!

Review the essay with a light touch and remember that colleges expect the writing of a 17-year-old, not a 45-year-old. It’s very easy for an admissions counselor to compare the quality of the essay with the student’s English grades or SAT scores!

For a number of years, there has been a 500 word limit to the personal statements on the Common Application, which limits creativity. That makes it more important than ever to find new ways to be creative: use an interesting quote, make a bold statement, start your essay with a question.

I know what admissions counselors are looking for in essays, and I help students ensure that their essay message will resonate with the rest of the application, and shows the student as a growing person who would be an asset in a college community.

Also, don’t make your essay about how the coronavirus has affected you – there’s a separate place on your application for that.