Admissions Essay - What Colleges Look For
First, a student preparing a college admissions essay should consider the character and history of the intended college. The entrance essay or a college admittance essay for an art school can be very different from that expected from an engineering program. In addition, the student should be prepared to write a separate entrance essay for each college. While students often apply to several different schools, many will decide to only write and send one standard letter. This is a mistake; a form letter will fail to consider the unique character of individual schools and will likely be boring or inappropriate for all institutions. A specific letter that mentions that name of the school will demonstrate that the student carefully selected the school and crafted an appropriate essay.
In addition, there are some common characteristics found in all good college entrance essays. First of all, college admittance essays don’t waste time with statistics. The admissions committee will already have access to the student’s statistics through transcripts and standardized test scores. The purpose of a college entrance exam is to explain the person behind the statistics.
Second, strong entrance examinations demonstrate enthusiasm and creativity. If the members of the admission committee are bored by your essay, they may not remember your application later when they are making their final selections. This is especially important when the student is applying to a particularly selective school or when the student is sitting on the edge of meeting the school’s entrance requirements. A well crafted, thoughtful essay can help nudge an application forward in the process just as a poor essay can increase the chances of rejection.
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