The Admission Essay

What does it take to write a great essay?

What does it take to use your essay to help you to stand out in the college admission process? A lot of the focus on the essay tends to be on the topic of the essay. Coming up with something great to write about, something that's really gonna stand out for the admission office. And that's really not what we're looking for.

That's not the best approach to the essay at all. In fact, it's quite the opposite. We are honestly interested in hearing what you have to say about something that's important to you. But you're goal in the essay is not to come up with a topic that we've never encountered before. Something we've never heard before, but to write thoughtfully about something that matters to you. Being honest, straightforward, genuine in your approach to answering questions that we'd ask of you. It's not easy to write a great essay, it takes a lot of work. Writing is a difficult task, and we hope that you'll put a lot of time and energy into writing your essay. But I promise you the time and the energy that you do put into writing your essay will pay off. Taking your time, being open and honest with us and straightforward with us is what we're seeking as a way to get to know you.

Another way to put it, if you put your focus on the topic of your essay, it's not likely to work out very well for you. If you just take me, myself alone, forget the rest of my staff. I've read 25,000 college essays in my career. Your chances of coming up with an essay topic that I've never encountered before just are not very good and that's not what I'm seeking.

I'm not looking for a good story to tell my colleagues around the water cooler. I'm looking to read an application cover to cover and encounter an essay where at the end of reading that essay I feel like I've genuinely gotten to know another person here better than when I started.