College Admission Essay Writing Tips


Brainstorm College Essays

Okay rising seniors…you know you need to do it…no more procrastinating. 

It’s time to start working on those college admission essays. The Universal Application (accepted by several dozen colleges) went live July 1. The Common Application (accepted by several hundred colleges) goes live next Friday, August 1. Many colleges have released their essay questions, or will do so in the coming weeks. The average
Ten Hours to Write Admission Essay
college admission essay takes about 10 hours to write between brainstorming, drafting, revising, rewriting and polishing. As the fall school year gets underway, many seniors will not have much time to work on essays and, trust me, it will show. 

Here are a few tips to get you started:


  • Think of your essay as an interview. Your voice needs to come through loud and clear. You should be able to put your essay in a pile with 50 other anonymous essays and the people who know you best should be able to pick yours out “because it sounds just like you!”
  • Think first about what else you want a college to know about you. It’s a waste of time to repeat the things that are already going to be in your application file. This is your chance to share a story about yourself that you want the college to hear.
Revising College Essays

  • Keep it positive and focused. You are trying to show some of your personality and why you would be a good fit for that college. Ideally you want the application reader to finish reading your essay and think, “Wow, I want to know more about this student”.
  • Write it yourself. It’s okay to get help with brainstorming or proofreading, but own your essay. Many eyes are fine, but your essay should only have one voice- YOURS!