A College Essay is an essay written to tell a college admissions committee about yourself and why you deserve to be admitted into their school.
Basically, the college essay is the same thing as a personal statement.
It is simply a written composition of moderate length to a college admission committee by a student containing information about him/her self why he/she deserves to be admitted into their school.
In this article, Ill carefully answer all your questions about college essay, Ill talk through its importance, the length, how to write an effective college Essay and everything you need to know about a college essay
Table of Contents Hide
- About College Essay
- Why Do Colleges Ask For an Essay?
- #1. Insight Into Your Personality
- #2. Evidence of writing skills
- #3: Explanation of Extenuating Circumstances
- 4: Your Reasons for Applying to the School
- When should you start writing a college essay?
- How lengthy is 650 words in an essay?
- What should a college essay be about?
- What format should a college essay be?
- How Long Should A College Essay Be?
- College Essay FAQs
- Is a personal statement the same as a college essay?
- Do colleges care about essay scores?
- What happens if you go over the word limit on college essay?
- How many paragraphs should a college essay be?
- Should I double space my college essay?
About College Essay
The National Association for College Admission Counselings 2011 State of College Admission report found that while the strength of curriculum, grades, and admission test scores are the top factors in the college admission decision.
A majority of colleges and universities believe the essay to be of considerable or moderate importance in determining which academically qualified students they would choose.
In other words, when all else is equal between competing applicants, a compelling essay can make the difference. A powerful, well-written college essay can also tip the balance for a marginal applicant.
Many colleges feeling that the 500 words limit of 2011-2013 was a little too short resulted in the 2022 version of the Common Application essay length limit of 650 words.
Even though the personal essay prompt changes regularly. The length tends to stay in place. Remember that even colleges that dont use the Common Application have clearly defined length limits for essays.
Furthermore, you might be used to writing on a page limit basis. Have it in mind that while some colleges provide page limits for their essays, most colleges use a word limit instead. RELATED: What Is Career Counselling? Salary, Job Description, Degree
This takes care of the standard average length of college essays received by colleges, regardless of font or formatting.
In a nutshell, your personal essay should be very close to but not exceeding the word limit length. In other words, your essay should be at least 50 words less than the word limit in the worst cases.
Therefore if the personal essay word limits if 500 you should try to write between 450-500 words. Hence, in a situation where youre given a range, try to stay within that range.
Finally, most personal essay prompts usually provide the word limit right in the instructions or in the prompt.
Why Do Colleges Ask For an Essay?
There are a couple of reasons that colleges ask applicants to submit an essay, but the basic idea is that it gives them more information about you. Importantly, who you are beyond grades and test scores.
#1. Insight Into Your Personality
The most important role of the college application essay is to inform the admission committees of your personality and what kind of addition youd be to there schools community.
Are you Ambitious? Caring? Inquisitive? These kinds of qualities will have a profound impact on your college experience. But they are hard to determine based on a high school transcript.
It simply tells the admission committee what your drive is.
#2. Evidence of writing skills
A secondary purpose of the personal essay is to serve as a writing sample and help colleges see that you have the skills needed to succeed in college classes.
The personal statement is the opportunity to show off your writing skills. Therefore, take the time to be creative in crafting a piece youre really proud of.
Meanwhile, dont be scared if you arent a very good writer. The admissions officers know youre not a professional at this stage. They just want to see that you can express your idea clearly.
Whatever happens, your essay must be void of errors or typos.
#3: Explanation of Extenuating Circumstances
For some students, the personal essay is also an opportunity to explain factors that affected their high school record.
Be it health-related issues or family emergency. Colleges want to know if you struggled with any serious issue that affected your high school record.
Ensure you include any relevant circumstances on your application.
Regardless, in some cases, there will be a separate section for you to address these types of issues. Likewise, address any black mark on your record like criminal charges or expulsion. RELATED: 10 Cheapest Student Accommodation in Brisbane 2022 | How to Get One Fast
4: Your Reasons for Applying to the School
Many colleges ask you to write an essay or paragraph on why youre applying to their school specifically.
Admissions officers ask these questions to determine if youre genuinely excited about the school and whether youre likely to attend if accepted.
When should you start writing a college essay?
Write at least five to ten of these personals statement over the summer and fall months.
Then depending on when and where you are applying, start as early as you can to write your college essay or essays.
You may want to vary your personal statement depending on the colleges you are applying to.
How lengthy is 650 words in an essay?
1 page is 500 words single spaced, 250 words double spaced. 2 pages are 1,000 words single spaced, 500 words double spaced. Paragraph
3 pages is 1,500 words single spaced, 750 words double spaced. 4 pages is 2,000 words single spaced, 1,000 words double spaced
What should a college essay be about?
That is what theessayprocess is asking students to do. In fact, the purpose of thecollege personal statementis to givecollegeadmissions officers a glimpse of a student that they cant glean from their high school transcript or other questions on their application.
What format should a college essay be?
Below are guidelines for the formatting of collegeessaysbased on recommendations from the MLA (the Modern Language Association).
Fonts: Youressay shouldbe word processed in 12-point Times New Roman fonts.
Double-space: Your entire collegeessay shouldbe double spaced, with no single spacing anywhere and no extra spacing anywhere.
How Long Should A College Essay Be?
Students have written 400-word essays and gotten into good colleges and some have written 2000-words. Generally, students write between 500-700 words.
but the point of finding your perfect length is because, word count is not actually the benchmark used.
While the maximum length for the Common Application essay is 650 words, the minimum length is 250 words.
In as much as you need to follow directions. As long as the colleges online application doesnt cut you off.
Its fine to go over the word limit by 10-20 words in a short essay, and maybe by a few sentences in a long essay.
Colleges have better things to do than to check the word counts of your essays for minor infractions.
Many counselors advise students to keep their essays on the shorter end of the spectrum because college admissions officers are very busy, and they will appreciate short essays. RELATED: Vet Tech vs Vet Assistant: Differences, Similarities, Job, Salary, Programs
College Essay FAQs
Is a personal statement the same as a college essay?
Personal statement an essay you write to show a college admissions committee who you are and why you deserve to be admitted to their school. Its worth noting that, unlike college essay, this term is used for application essays for graduate school as well. College essay basically the same as a personal statement.
Do colleges care about essay scores?
A growing number of elite colleges and universities, including Dartmouth, Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Princeton, Brown, Duke and the University of Michigan, have announced in recent months that they will no longer require SAT essay or ACT essay scores for admission
What happens if you go over the word limit on college essay?
You need to follow directions, but as long as the colleges online application doesnt cut you off, its fine to go over the word limit by 10-20 words in a short essay, and maybe by a few sentences in a long essay. Colleges have better things to do than to check the word counts of your essays for minor infractions
How many paragraphs should a college essay be?
But a general guideline for the paragraphs in your college essays is that they should be about 1/3 to 1/2 of a page. Any longer, and chances are good that you have more than one main idea.
Should I double space my college essay?
While single-spacedessaysare usually acceptable, youressaywill be easier to read if its 1.5 ordouble-spaced. Clearly delineate your paragraphs. A single tab at the beginning is fine
In conclusion, a college essay is simply a written statement. It is an essay written by an applicant to a college or University.
Basically, It contains information about the applicant and why he/she deserves to be admitted into their school.
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