Admission Essay

How to write a US college admissions essay

With increasing numbers of students applying to colleges and universities worldwide each year, getting admitted into the University of your Choice isn’t as easy as it used to be. Therefore, evidence of academic performance (including SAT/ACT scores, transcripts, GPA, etc.), along with extracurricular, volunteer work, and personal projects, is as important as ever in your application. But another critical factor in getting admitted to a top school is the graduate admissions essay.

Admissions essays help convince college admissions officers and graduate school faculty that you are a good fit for their institution. Personal essays give readers a window into your academic interests, achievements, goals, and plans…but more importantly, they offer an opportunity to showcase your intelligence and communication skills. In college or the University admissions essays students are asked to demonstrate their special accomplishments, skills, characteristics, difficulties, and worldviews–this can be done by writing your objectives as a student. Graduate essays such as the Statement of Purpose and the Personal Statement provide graduate faculty members with vital information about your educational background, academic achievements, scholarly and professional goals, and any lessons you have learned throughout your academic journey.

Your admissions essay, CV, or cover letter should portray your achievements, skills, and personal character in a positive light to college and university officials and potential employers.


Introduce With Reflection

Before you start writing, you need to do some reflection. Who are you at this point in your life? Why do you want to go to college? What are you hoping to achieve in college?

Draw attention to the Reader

Admission offices receive ever-increasing numbers of applications each year and have a short time to review all of them. That means that they will probably read your application quickly. If your essay’s opening doesn’t draw them in, they might not feel compelled to read everything you’ve written.

Be Specific and Reliable

For most college admission essays, you have less than 500 words to share a story with the admission office. You don’t have a lot of space to tell a long story or share everything about yourself. Focus in on a specific moment in time, experience, or value to give your reader insight into who you are.

Consider What You Want Your Reader to Know About You

Once you’ve written a draft of your essay, check back in with the earlier reflection you did. Think about what you want the reader to learn about you through the story you have told. 

Final Thoughts

Your essay should be personal, engaging, and free of grammar and spelling errors. As you (or your student) prepare your college application, keep these tips in mind to ensure your essay grabs the attention of the admissions committee.

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