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One of my concerns is not having my college essays stand out and them being mediocre. Do you have any suggestions or tips?

#college #university #student

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Subject: Career question for you

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Doc’s Answer

Zemira most students want the college admissions board to view them as responsible, dependable, and academically ambitious. These are excellent essay goals, but you should also consider the essay in relation to your classwork. If your classwork already shows that you are studious and determined (because you have taken a wide variety of advanced classes), then you may want to highlight another feature of your personality. The key to convincing the admissions officers is in understanding what they are looking for. They want students who will:
• Succeed once they are admitted;
• Contribute to the educational experience of other students; and,
• Bring honor and prestige to the university once they graduate.

In your college admissions essay, you want to portray yourself as a student who will meet those needs. Of course, the specifics of what qualifies as “succeed” or “bring honor” will depend a bit on the particular university, but all admissions officers share these three goals. Before you write your college admissions essay, take a few minutes and jot down some answers to the following questions:
• How can I reassure the admissions board that I will succeed in their school?
• How will I show that I am determined and ambitious; that I will not get poor grades or drop out?
• How can I contribute positively to the educational experience of other students?
• How might I bring honor and prestige to the university?
• What are my long-term goals? Might I win an award someday, or start a business, or improve a scientific process?

GIVE YOURSELF TIME
Although every aspect of your college application is important, a strong college admission essay is one of the most important elements of the application. It is one of the final pieces of information that can influence admissions decisions, and it’s the only part of your application that is totally within your control. Your essay is also the only part of your application that is guaranteed to be unique; many other students may have the same GPA, nearly identical transcripts, or the same extracurricular activities as you, but none will have an essay like yours. Beyond helping you get in to school, well-written college admission essays can help students gain scholarships, grants and other financial aid. Investing the time to learn how to create a memorable essay can pay rich dividends. There’s no reason to rush your essay. You won’t score extra point with the admissions department for finishing your essay in an hour. Unless you’ve helped write the State of the Union, your admissions essay will likely be the most influential essay you’ve written so far, at least as it relates to your own life. Give yourself at least a week to compose your essay.

TELL A GREAT STORY
Most people prefer reading a good story over anything else. So... tell a great story in your essay. Worry less about providing as many details about you as possible and more about captivating the reader's attention inside of a great narrative. You have a unique background, interests and personality. This is your chance to tell your story (or at least part of it). The best way to tell your story is to write a personal, thoughtful essay about something that has meaning for you. Be honest and genuine, and your unique qualities will shine through. Admissions officers have to read an unbelievable number of college essays, most of which are forgettable. Many students try to sound smart rather than sounding like themselves. Others write about a subject that they don't care about, but that they think will impress admissions officers.

MAKE YOUR ESSY BEAUTIFUL
You can make your essay beautiful by giving thought to a few things. Use a font that is readable. Consider whether or not bold type face could make your essay easier to read. Don’t crowd your essay near the top of the page, but balance it on the page and attend to soothing margins. Provide the essay prompt at the opening. Separate paragraphs in a consistent way, either by indenting each paragraph or by using block style, keeping all the words to the left margin but spacing extra between paragraphs. If there are a lot of mistakes in your essay, it won't be pretty. Make sure you have spelled everything correctly. Make sure your basic punctuation is correct. This is one of the most important tips on this list. Everyone who writes knows that the words in your head don’t always make it onto the page the way they should. Because you know what it should say, it’s easy to trick yourself into thinking the essay says something that it doesn’t. For this reason, you should ask a friend or a relative (or an English teacher) to look over your essay and check your:

LASTLY PAY ATTENTION TO DETAILS
Zemira college admissions essays require a tremendous amount of work. As you work and rework the essay, pay attention to the admission deadlines and requirements. Every school has their own system for how and when to file your application. Do not assume that, because one school uses e-mails and PDFs, that another school does as well.

Hope this wasHelpful Zemira
Thank you comment icon Thank You Dexter, for your continued support. You cannot afford to live in potential for the rest of your life; at some point, you have to unleash the potential and make your move. Doc Frick
Thank you comment icon Thank you! Zemira
Thank you comment icon Your Welcome Zemira, It was my Pleasure. The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. Doc Frick
Thank you comment icon Thank You Kim. “Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.” – James Matthew Barrie Doc Frick
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Charvey Chhang’s Answer

Hi Zemira!

Pleasure to e-meeting and lets jump right in shall we. :)

Your college essay should expand on your life experiences, NOT Explain.
- What mistakes/ lessons have you learned
- Five WHYs: Why this particular college...?
- Your name, yes name is unique whats the story behind that?
- Your* passions and how it/does it align with your schools vision/mission/values??
Thank you comment icon Thank you very much! Zemira
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Angela D.’s Answer

Great question! Please see the websites below. It can be a bit nerve-wracking to put words together that summarizes or projects yourself as an individual. I would recommend researching the colleges/universities that you are applying to and write a few different essays with a variety of
"flavors". So, for instance, you may write an essay that showcases how you overcame some type of adversity, one that highlights a pet project or volunteer work, or a unique twist on a favorite story. Wishing you the best in your endeavors, Dr. B

https://apply.jhu.edu/application-process/essays-that-worked/
https://admissions.tufts.edu/apply/advice/past-essays/common-application-essays/
https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/get-in/essays/tips-for-writing-an-effective-application-essay-college-admissions
Thank you comment icon Much appreciated! Zemira
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Kevin’s Answer

Make sure your college essay is unique to you as a individual. Your grades & school activities are already explained in your application. The essay is a chance for you to expand upon areas that they can't see. Most college admissions are looking to build a diverse & complete class. By showcasing a different aspect of your life in your essay, it can help you differentiate yourself.

A simple example is a college essay from a high school student who spent every weekend teaching underprivileged kids how to skateboard. This was a big passion for him as he did fundraising to buy skateboards for the kids, met with them at the park every weekend, provided helmets, taught them tricks. He even created videos & edited them so they could show off to their parents with their progress. This is something that you cannot see behind your grades & gives a glimpse of his character & how he can be a valuable member to the college community & atmosphere!

Hope this helps & good luck!
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