Writing a strong college admissions essay

Writing a strong college admissions essay

September 18, 2019 12 By Ronny Jaskolski


First and foremost
when looking at an essay, you’re going to be looking things like, their ability to write well and their appropriation for college. But we’re also using that information to kind of see things like, their resilience and
their love of learning and their intellectual curiosity. – 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. And when I ask why? 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. – 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. – One piece of advice I
would give to every student is to ask someone who
know’s them a little bit, to read their essay and to
tell them what impressions they have of you after reading the essay. – I think the essays that work best are actually quite simple. I think students get really caught up in thinking that this
essay has to emcompass your entire life and it
has to be groundbreaking and, you know, publishable quality. And that’s a lot to ask
of a high school student. So I always advice students to stick to the simple things that you know. And the essays that stand
out the most in my mind are about simple, simple things, very everyday topics. – I have seen some amazing essays about things like students
walking their dog, or even their bus ride to school. – I think our hope is
that if a student were to drop the essay on the
floor of their high school and someone were to pick it up. It didn’t have your name on it. That they’d say for sure, oh I know that is so and so’s essay, because it speaks so much about your voice and your experiences and your perspective. – I think my favorite
essay that I’ve ever read came from a student in the midwest. And he wrote about working
at a fast food restaurant. And he wrote about how
people were treating him as they went through the drive through. And how he was treating them back. He called himself an
undercover anthropologist, which admittedly was a little nerdy in a Brown sort of way. But I liked his essay because, I was able to see what he was seeing and feel what he was feeling. So for the purposes of the application, where we as admish officers are trying to get to know the applicant, that’s a great essay.