College process breakdown: College essay

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Morgan Grant, Reporter

 

Applying to college can be a daunting task, but there are many ways to make it easier. With help from current high school seniors, and tips from college admissions and guidance counselors, the process of applying to college can be a lot easier.

 

Writing your college essay:

 

College essays are a way to help schools learn more about you. Take this opportunity to show them what they can’t get from your transcripts and test scores.

Share a story that demonstrates how much you’ve grown throughout high school and how this shows you will be a successful college student. Or write about a special talent you have, or an activity you like to participate in that demonstrates your individuality. Adding details that make you unique will allow you to stand out when college admissions are reading your paper–especially if your approach and content aren’t cliche or typical.

Some students choose to write about their experience and activities they are involved in, while others choose to write about what makes them the person they are today. If a topic is important to a student, they should write about it because that genuineness will shine through. 

“Be yourself,” English teacher Mrs. Juster said. “Unique essays filled with an authentic voice stand out in a stack of formulaic essays.”

John Larsen, an admissions counselor at the University of New Hampshire, recommends that students write about what is most important to themselves and what will make them stand out.

“I think students should be honest, genuine and true to themselves,” Larsen said. “If it has meaning to the student, it is worth writing about.  The essay is supposed to help me learn more about the student than what I can find on a high school transcript.  We want a well-written essay that helps us learn who the student is.”

Look for a teacher to proofread your essay. A past or present English teacher is always a good choice. Your teachers can help you formulate your ideas as well as work with you on your formatting. They have read many student essays over the years and know which essays work and which ones don’t.

“Get feedback from many sources,” Juster said. “Your essay will most likely be read by several different college admissions people at each school. When you get feedback from many sources, you get a wide range of perspectives and interpretations which can help your shape and revise your essay.”

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