WRITING YOUR APPLICATION ESSAY/PERSONAL STATEMENT
HOW TO WRITE YOUR COLLEGE APPLICATION ESSAY
Your application essay can be a crucial factor in your admission to the college of your choice,
especially if you are marginally admissible. Above all, your essay needs to be a well-organized,
clearly presented, and carefully proofread piece of your best writing.
Important points to keep in mind as you are writing your college admissions essay:
•Give yourself plenty of time to think about your topic, to outline your main ideas, and to write
and rewrite rough drafts. Don’t procrastinate and throw something together at the last minute!
Always have a good writer (like your English teacher, not your best friend) look over your essay
for spelling and grammar mistakes.
•Use your own voice and a natural writing style. Don’t try to impress admissions officers with
how many words you can pull from your thesaurus or how you can affect an artificial tone that
you think makes you sound like someone they want to admit.
•Be honest. Don’t enhance your essay with false accomplishments or life experiences that you
really didn’t have. Admissions officers want to admit a diverse student body with an interesting
mix of students. Who you really are is more important to them than someone you “invented”.
•Be careful what you write about. Expounding on your political or religious beliefs can put
readers off, especially if they are “on the other side” of your issue. If you are writing about an
extremely personal issue, come from the angle of how you grew as a person from that experience.
Don’t reveal things that will embarrass you or make your readers feel uncomfortable. Don’t
imply that they should admit you because you’ve had a miserable life and they should feel sorry
for you. Don’t whine.
•Do not rehash information that is listed elsewhere on your application. The essay should not be a
“grocery list” of your awards, grades, and activities. Those are usually listed on another part of
the college applic