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How to Write a College Application Essay


Feb 12, 2022
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How to Write a College Application Essay


You may feel a great weight of responsibility when writing a college application essay. There’s nothing strange, as you should focus on so many things to deliver an excellent text. After all, your admission depends on the quality of your writing. Probably, you have just finished school, and writing an essay for college may seem something extremely challenging for you. Even if you are graduating from college, taking a new step in your educational career is also quite chilling.

If you start feeling strong anxiety every time someone reminds you of writing an admission letter, read our material to know how to make this process much less stressful. We will outline the essentials of writing a perfect text that will make the best colleges interested in you as their student.

Focus on the structure

A clear structure is a must when it comes to any writing, and application essays are not an exception. Clearly outline the main points you want to mention in your text. Regardless of the content of your text, you should distribute all arguments, facts, and personal statements properly.

Like with most academic essays, begin with brainstorming and structuring your ideas into a clear outline. Later, you will always have an opportunity to deviate from such an outline. However, it will remain the fundamental part around which you build your essay.

Also, remember some specific logical aspects of structuring an excellent admission essay. If you tell the admission officer about some skills, the following sentence or paragraph will be a perfect place for some interesting facts, school achievements, or credentials. These will serve as proof of your competency.

Tell a story

Most people dealing with scholarship essay samples say that they are often boring and challenging to read. The point is that such texts are almost all of the same. A student tells about his or her school, academic and professional experience and describes one’s dreams of studying in a particular educational facility. Quite often, a learner just hesitates to write something really interesting in one’s essay. He or she may try to be as formal as it is possible to prevent any mistakes or misunderstandings.

If you want to stand out, make sure to make your essay unique. Writing an interesting story would be a good idea. Tell an interesting narrative about your source of motivation. This may be your childhood experience or some interesting things that have happened to you at school.

The most important point is to be genuine and sincere in what you tell. This paragraph, sentence, or chapter should express some of your valuable personality traits. Also, organize this short anecdote or tale properly. It goes primarily about using it in the right part of the essay and describing your argument in detail.

Beware of transforming your application essay into a memoir. It is a scholarship essay, not your diary. You should know the value of significant facts and credentials, so mention them instead of focusing only on your emotions and experiences. A decent balance is your key to success in this case.

Mention the most valid facts

Never underestimate the value of objective details. College representatives will, most probably, focus on the facts proving your proficiency. That’s why it is so important to mention your most valuable achievements. You should present your credentials and tell about your successful projects or initiatives.

Mind that it is essential to emphasize only those successful moments that are relevant to your application to college. You should focus on your school achievements or initiatives in which you have shown something like your leadership traits.

Probably, there’s no need to mention something similar to the victory on the knitting competition in your essay. At least, if you apply for a sociology scholarship. Instead, try to determine what achievements are the most relevant for your college. The table below illustrates suitable and non-suitable achievements for such an essay.

Suitable Non-suitable
Excellent grades Early childhood achievements
Participation in public initiatives Sports achievements (if you apply for a scholarship that is not related to any sports)
Credentials from education-related competitions Locations you’ve visited
Leadership experience Meals you can cook (if your discipline is not related to cooking)


Never try to deceive an admissions officer

Many students that start working on their application messages to educational facilities apply deception. They merely want to seem better than they really are. They lie about their experience and personality traits to fit the requirements of a particular college or university. Sometimes, it goes to completely bizarre cases. For example, learners may tell stories about their participation in international initiatives or even UN missions. At least, some such cases were detected in recent years.

Well, deception is definitely not the best thing for those who want to learn in a good college. The representatives of the educational facility may have access to many databases, including the ones with your detailed characteristics. Even the slightest lie can be detected. And, believe me, this info may be quickly shared among officers from different universities. As a result, you will have significant problems with the application process in the future.

Don’t pay such a high cost for attempting to seem better than you actually are. Be genuine and sincere. After all, this is the only way to get to your favorite university, college, or even a dream school.

Choose the right vocabulary

Most essay prompts require college essays to be written in an academically-proper language. When it comes to text written by the applicants, you may be less formal. It would be nice to write a text in simple words. However, pay much attention to the vocabulary you choose. Don’t use sophisticated professionalisms, obscene language, or slang in your essay.

Try to write in a sympathetic and sincere style mixed with some formal features. Many high school students find it rather problematic, but you should do your best. Reading similar essays and letters may really help you understand the requirements and write an excellent message.

Don’t write too much

Usually, there’s no fixed word count for a college application or student statement. As a result, many students consider this as an opportunity to tell everything they think. That’s where they fail. They simply overload their texts with information. Instead of creating a long-read that will be extremely challenging to follow, deliver logical and concise writing.

Present only the most important arguments that really matter. Try to avoid common “water” arguments. Once you have written a text, check each section for such unnecessary information that makes it more challenging for the reader.

A tried and trusted solution is starting paragraphs with topic sentences. Later, you will review all your arguments for conformity with these sentences. If something seems irrelevant to it, delete these parts from your work.

Remember that a successful application is not about how long your essay is but about quality. A significant number of pages or characters will not grant you success. The most important aspect is to create a concise text that perfectly describes your:

  • Goals;
  • Experience;
  • Intentions;
  • Motivation.

Ask for help

If you have real problems with essay writing, don’t hesitate to ask for help. You may rely on your friends or colleagues. Sometimes, they can provide truly meaningful and fresh insight. After all, they will review your text from an objective perspective. Probably, they may be more attentive to some details than you.

You may also use the Internet to get some useful examples. They give you an opportunity to see how everything should be done. Sometimes, the quality work of other people may become an excellent source of inspiration. What is even more important is that such texts will show you how to keep the essay organized. After all, that’s the issue where many learners fail.

If you think that finding such texts is very problematic, mind that you are not the only one who wants to enter the college or any other educational facility. Probably, the Internet is filled with similar college application texts. Perhaps, you will even get a list of essay texts written by other people who want to study in your desired college.

You can also contact experienced writing professionals for help. Try searching for someone who will transform your text into something much more creative. Also, don’t hesitate to ask someone to proofread your letter just before it’s finally time to send it.

Focus on editing and proofreading

You’ll be surprised to know how many times poor grammar and spelling have made college essay tasks fail. You may write a marvelous introduction, interesting body paragraphs, and a logical conclusion, but silly mistakes will spoil everything. To avoid such problems, thoroughly examine each page of your essay for mistakes.

A tried and trusted solution is to use services that review essays for grammar and spelling. There are also many online apps that help you get a rather high quality of spelling. However, never forget about the value of your own effort. Even after a comprehensive grammar tool analysis, there still may be a lot of mistakes in your text.

Try as hard as you can to find out all issues about your essay. This may take some effort, as you will need to re-read the text more than once or even twice. For sure, the effort is justified. In the end, you will know that your essay is of excellent quality. A well-polished text will be a significant argument when it comes to applying. After all, the best education facilities will question your competencies if they receive a badly-written essay. It will seem that you have missed some grammar classes at school. Most college facilities hesitate to take such learners because they care for the student’s proficiency.

Final thoughts

So, these were some tips on how to deliver an excellent essay for a college applicant. If you follow these suggestions, you’ll be able to plan your educational career even when being a school student. Review our material while preparing your application-oriented essay. This will ensure that no critical tip or suggestion is missed. Also, never quit thinking about your worth and never underestimate yourself. These traits will help you during the in-person interview with the college representatives. With the right approach and self-confidence, you will enter your favorite college or any other educational facility without any problems.

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