All College Application Essays

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Instead of seeing this as one more part of the application, think of it as the best chance you're going to get to show them who you are, and your goal is to get them so focused in your world, that they'll look up at the end of the essay and wonder where you went, because they'll feel like you've been talking with them.

You can do that with a good post to social media, so you can also do it with a good college essay.

In many ways, the essay is the most important part of the college application.

Think about it: the grades you've earned in your high school classes tell part of the story of who you've been, and so do your test scores.

If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

In the world of college applications, this is like your best friend texting you and asking, “What's up? O’Connor, Ph D, is associate dean of college counseling at Cranbrook Kingswood School in metropolitan Detroit.A past president of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) and the Michigan ACAC, Patrick also teaches “Counseling in the College Selection Process” as both a graduate class and a professional development program.But where do the colleges get to find out who you are now, and learn more about what matters to you, what you think about, and what you'd like to do in the future?All of those answers can be part of a strong college essay, where sharing the story of your life can make all the difference between bringing your application to life, and being just another applicant with a bunch of numbers. They view the college essay as just one more part of the application, another item on the college checklist they have to take care of. It takes a long time to put together a book report, or a research paper—and that essay on what I did on my summer vacation? It's easy to see that most of the writing students do is hard—but a lot of it is pretty easy, too. Talking about who did what at a recent concert, or what someone wore to the music awards show.But if they did that with every applicant, they'd need 20 years to decide who gets admitted.Since they can't do that, they ask for your side of those conversations in writing—and just like a face-to-face conversation or a really good text discussion, the quality of the conversation in the college essay is all up to you.Think about the student who wrote about taking a plane ride.He didn't save anybody's life, or have to land the plane all by himself without radar---it was just a plane ride.In 2017–18, he served as the inaugural School Counselor Ambassador Fellow with the US Department of Education, keeping the Department informed of current trends and issues of interest to school counselors.Many students don't think the college essay matters all that much in the college application, but since this is the only time students can “talk” to a college, the essay proves to be very important.


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