by Brent Benner Director of Enrollment Management University of Tampa People often ask me about the value of the application essay. ” I assure you, at my university and in admissions offices across the country, we do.
I can tell a lot about a person from his or her application essay; it’s the most current snapshot of who you are as a person. I’m going to be completely honest with you: Your application essay cannot overshadow years of poor grades and test scores, and in this case, your essay may never find itself in front of the admissions committee. That’s exactly who your essay should be about: you. Now, keep in mind that creativity and a bit of humor are nice.
Don’t tell us how much you want to attend XYZ University when you are submitting the essay to The College of ABC.
Remember, in the grand scheme of the college admissions process, the application essay is a unique opportunity — and an opportunity to be unique.
The best essays focus on self-analysis, rather than spending a disproportionate amount of time merely describing a place or event.
Analysis, not description, will reveal the critical thinking skills that are the hallmark of a promising college student.Don’t rely on spell check alone to catch all of your mistakes, either.We had one applicant that said, “I speak tree languages.” (Really? ) As you can see, sometimes things are spelled correctly but just don’t make sense in the context of your application essay.This way, we are able to fully grasp why these particular characteristics, out of the many you could have selected, are so important to you and who you are as an individual.Besides, that other essay would go on forever, and, as I mentioned, we read thousands of these things each year.Your clubs, organizations, sports, community service, and other accomplishments reflect years of participation and dedication to fields outside the classroom. Let’s get started It’s time to pick your essay topic. But, after reading these enthralling stories about other people, I still know absolutely nothing about the student who wrote the essay. For example, “Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you ...” is the essay topic where I hear an awful lot about Grandma, and the “topic of your choice” prompt can go from interesting to ridiculous pretty quickly.Even your good old SAT or ACT scores reflect the accumulation of vocabulary, mathematics, and reading comprehension talents acquired throughout your life. That being said, remember to choose an essay topic that helps keep the focus on you but is still flexible enough for you to incorporate your personality, your history, your individuality, and your impact on those around you.On copious occurrences, pupils will endeavor to parade their current acquaintance with the English vernacular in an attempt to affect an air of knowledge. Remember, the admissions committee wants to focus on you, and sometimes it is hard to do so when all they are thinking is, “What is this person talking about?!Let’s face it, that sounded a little silly, and this is exactly what we go through each time students attempt to replace every other word in their essays with longer words and more complex terms from a thesaurus. When a student attempts to stuff the essay with large words — words we both know are not a part of his or her everyday vocabulary — it often actually detracts from the piece. ” In my experience, students love to write about how they have learned from their mistakes.For the 2019-20 application cycle, the Common Application essay prompts remain unchanged from the 2018-19 cycle.With the inclusion of the popular "Topic of Your Choice" option, you have the opportunity to write about anything you want to share with the folks in the admissions office.