Why Do Colleges Want Essays?

Does my college essay have to be about my major?

If the college application essay is for undergraduate admission in general, you’re safe writing about whatever you want as long as what you write fits the essay prompt.

So, you can also write your potential major there, if required..

What do college essays have to be about?

Your college essay should reflect your opinions and experiences and display clear and critical thinking. It’s more than a list of facts or a highlight reel of successes; it helps college admissions officers understand your character. … Colleges may provide writing prompts or leave the topic up to you.

Can you lie in college essays?

While writing your essay, there’s no need to stretch the truth. The essay is your chance to let your own voice come through your application: don’t waste it on lies. … When it comes to the college essay, admissions committees have seen it all. The worst thing you can do is make up a story for your college essay.

What kind of essays do colleges want?

Here are 5 essential traits of a compelling college essay. Your essay doesn’t need to have all 5, but college admissions officers look for at least one of these traits or possibly two….How to Write a College EssayDrive. Think self-motivation. … Intellectual curiosity. … Initiative. … Contribution. … Diversity of experiences.

Do colleges really read essays?

Yes, every college essay is read if the college has asked for it (and often even if they did not ask for it). The number of readers depends on the college’s review process. It will be anywhere from one reader to four readers.

How important is essay in college application?

That’s where the college essay comes in. The college essay offers students the chance to tell their own story to admissions officials. … It ranked as the fifth most important factor in the admissions process in a 2019 National Association for College Admission Counseling survey.

Do college essays matter?

At the top 250 schools, your essays generally account for 25% of your overall application. This is only slightly behind the 30% for extracurriculars. Essays are actually ahead of the 20% for grades and coursework, 15% for test scores, and 10% for recommendations and interviews.

What are the best college essay topics?

Here are 5 places to find great college essay topics your own life experience:Memorable meals. Everyone eats! … Outdoor activities. The first time I ever advised a student on their college application essay, I worked with a quiet student, a guy who disappeared into the back of his classes. … Challenges. … Failure. … Commitment.

Can a college essay be sad?

The college essay should relate one moment, one characteristic, one experience, or one single thing that succinctly captures the student’s persona and motivation. It can be happy. It can also be sad or challenging as long as the student shows growth, self-awareness, and hope by the end of the essay.

What should you not say in a college essay?

College Admissions Essay Topics to Avoid:A Summary of Your Accomplishments. College essays are similar to life and, in life, nobody likes a braggart. … Highly Polarized or Sensitive Topics. … Sports. … Humor. … Why You’re SO Lucky. … Volunteer Experiences & Trips. … Self-Expression. … Illegal or Illicit Behavior.More items…

How long is a good college essay?

Main application essays are generally 500-650 words. For example, the Common Application, which can be used to apply to more than 800 colleges, requires an essay ranging from 250-650 words.

Why do colleges ask for essays?

By allowing you the freedom to express yourself through your writing, the admissions officers will be able to see a real human being in ways that can’t be seen through standardized test scores, CVs or even letters of recommendation. Ultimately, that is why they ask you to write essays: to get to know you better.

Is it OK to use contractions in college essays?

These essays are less formal in nature than the typical academic essays you wrote in English class. Because they are supposed to be more casual and familiar, it’s often fine to bend some of the rules of the English language. For example, it’s ok to use contractions (such as I’m instead of I am).

How do you know if your college essay is good?

4 Ways to Know if You’ve Written a Good College EssayPut the essay away for a day or two. Then read it again. … Read your essay out loud. You shouldn’t stumble over words or phrases when you read your essay out loud. … Ask yourself if your essay says everything you want it to say about you. … Pretend you’re a college reader.

Can colleges tell if you’re lying?

Colleges know how to spot inconsistencies in your application. They notice when things you say don’t match with what your teachers or counselors say in the letters of recommendation. And colleges won’t hesitate to call your counselor to verify information that doesn’t seem right. They don’t do it to catch you in a lie.