How to write a great college essay

How to write a great college essay

ANSWER THE QUESTION

It seems obvious, but be sure you understand the essay question. College essays can range from writing about your hero to drafting a personal faith statement to submitting a creative writing project. Once you understand the question, do some research: Why is this question important to this college? With a clear understanding of the question and the college, you're ready to start writing.

TIP
Read the college's mission statement to get some insight into what they look for in applicants.

LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE

College essays are a great opportunity to tell your story. Weave into your essay some interesting and unique experiences you've had and explain how those things have impact your life, your faith and your perspectives. College reps read these essays carefully to find out how you will fit into a college community and what gifts you can contribute.

TIP
In addition to the essay, many colleges ask you to complete an activities chart of the things you were involved in during high school. This list provides another snapshot of who you are and what you bring to the college. It can also help colleges identify special scholarships for you.

EDIT

Should you spell check? Absolutely. Use all the tools available to you to edit your essay. Grammar and spelling mistakes don't make the best academic impression. Have a teacher, guidance counselor or parent read through your essay before you submit it.

TIP
If you're completing your application online, write your essay in another program first, then copy and paste it into another application after you've edited it.

VERGE: winter 2011

From soccer to sutures
Chaos!
From Grand Rapids to Ghana
How to write a great college essay
Lab notes from Psych 333
Track star
First-year experience: Sarah Stripp's schedule
Gallery: Project Dormway: Part I
Grand Rapids: There's 4 years' worth of SERVICE here
A very personal internship
On the street with ArtPrize
Faculty Profile: Doug Vander Griend
Alumni Profile: Ben '03 and Cherie Katt '03
Alumni Profile: From Piano to Princeton
×
First-Year Experience
People
Places