Robin Mamlet, former dean of admission at Stanford, Swarthmore, and Sarah Lawrence, and journalist and parent Christine VanDeVelde provide expert, comprehensive and compassionate guidance for every student and parent at each step of the college application process. A best-seller now available in a completely revised and updated edition, this go-to guide for students and parents also features the advice and input of over 150 additional experts, including more than 70 deans of admission. Get your copy of our book now -- on paper or ebook .
A college essay is the time to explain more about you and your life. This can be done by writing about a favorite activity, telling a story that you experience, or make up a story to show your even more creative side. Whatever you decide to write about make sure you start by drawing the reader in right away. Then it’s up to you to continue building upon this momentum like your building a skyscraper one floor at a time. Then remember to express an overall positive message on your essay. This is a good way to leave the reader with having a positive light on you personally .
It may sound like a chore, and it will certainly take a substantial amount of work. But it's also a unique opportunity that can make a difference at decision time. Admissions committees put the most weight on your high school grades and your test scores . However, selective colleges receive applications from many worthy students with similar scores and grades—too many to admit. So they use your essay, along with your letters of recommendation and extracurricular activities , to find out what sets you apart from the other talented candidates.