The College Admissions Essay

For the most part, Jason will decline to assist filling out college applications… except for one part.

Admissions essays must not be discounted. Every application has at least one, and some schools on the Common Application require five or more including short answers. These writing samples may have as much to say about whether a student enters the freshman class as almost any other factor.

Are they as important as a grade point average? No. As important as an SAT score? Probably not. But maybe.

The fact is, the admissions essay is the only personal glimpse an admissions director has into a potential student’s mind. Everything else on the application amounts to facts on paper. But the essay can be a view from another’s eye, an eavesdrop on someone’s heartbeat.

The admissions director has a few considerations: will this student drop out after one semester? Will she make friends and flourish or isolate and wilt? Will he try to transfer or does he really like our school? These are questions that, when one application is being weighed against another, can make all the difference. And these are questions an admissions essay should answer.

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