Are college essays really important

There is only one puzzle piece in which you, the applicant, will have a direct voice: the essay.

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You may point out areas that need revision, but you cannot rewrite or edit — the essay must be the student's work. For instance, a large public university may not have the resources to devote to closely reading the essay portion of the application.

This is your time to share your "voice. Additionally, students who have faced extraordinary adversity or life circumstances may be able to turn their experiences into a powerful essay.

Writing an essay quickly and sending it off will hurt you as a reader can tell when a piece was written hastily. The essay is always important, but just how much it will influence your overall application varies by the school to which you are applying, as well as your individual profile.

Top grades are necessary but not sufficient to get into selective colleges and universities. The following descriptions and tips are based on information found in McGinty's book. The Common App essay — one of many she had to write for the colleges she applied to — confirmed her accomplishments and made her come alive to readers.

They look to your college admission essay to help them choose an ideal student body.

College essay examples

Admissions officers get so bored reading many essays. An upside to this type of question is that while working on the essay, the student might realize that the college is not a good match — and it's better to know that sooner than later. Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard. Describe an experience or idea that you find intellectually exciting, and explain why. The essay is a chance to put a face on your application. It is better for college admissions essays to be straightforward without literary flourishes than to include them, but poorly. You know it is important to have a high GPA, strong standardized tests scores, and extracurricular activities for your college application. And keep this in mind: The Common Application essay is required of many applicants but it can be one of many required essays, depending on where you apply. It might not make a difference for your college admission chances.

Laura O'Brien Gatzionis Founder Educational Advisory Services Importance of the essay in the application review This really depends on the college and how they consider each portion of the application.

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How important is the essay?