Mrs. Groop and I were at a workshop by the Tufts University director of admissions yesterday. She was stressing the importance of the college essay- a deal maker or breaker at her college. I thought it would timely to talk about college essays, too.
So here are some tips I have been accumulating over the years. College application essays should:
1. tell an engaging story that reveals something important about you, not simply be a recitation of your resume (highlight things you didn’t get to emphasize in other parts of your application)
2. avoid pop and hackneyed phrases (such as “suburban bubble”) or stories (don’t tell how you served the poor and now are grateful for all you have- not that you’re not grateful, but the admissions officers read thousands of this type of story every season)
3. include personal insight
4. show cultural perspective and awareness
5. make your personality evident
6. describe of your passions and how you invested in them at school and in your community
7. show your teamwork or leadership skills
8. explain what you have to offer the college community
9. give evidence of your college-writing ability by using proper grammar, mechanics, spelling and a rich (but not flowery) vocabulary
10. avoid repetition (for example: I did, I was, I saw, I thought)
11. use a little humor (IF you have a humorous personality)
12. check, edit, and check before you send it (maybe even have your folks read over it)
One of the resources I have found for useful tips on college stuff is distancelearning.org
Have fun writing those essays!
Here’s my advice on a great transcript (but you already know that).
Another version of this vlog is at 7sistershomeschool.com.