Getting accepted to the best college for your needs involves many factors. But one of the critical factors for many students is the application essay. At the most competitive colleges, most of the students applying have top grades and top test scores. The college essay is one way for admissions officers to distinguish between applicants.
The Choice Blog of the New York Times has a posting about writing the college admissions essay by the dean of admissions at Connecticut College. This posting has some good general advice that students should consider before starting the process of writing the college admission essay.
One of the best pieces of advice in the post is the recommendation to get started on the process of writing the essay during the summer before senior year. I strongly encourage the students with whom I work to get as much of the essay writing out of the way during the summer. This includes the process of deciding the essay topic, the drafting of the essay and the editing of the essay.
I have previously provided other suggestions for writing the college essay. If you are looking for some actual examples, here are examples of college essays written by college presidents. And if you are still lost, you might consider a book on writing the college application essay.
If you are having trouble getting started with your college essay, this posting should help you understand the process a little better. And a strong essay may make the difference in whether you gain admission to your top choice college.