College admissions can be very much a numbers game, with quantitative data like grades and test scores carrying a lot of influence. However, more subjective and personal aspects of an application matter too. Am amazing college essay can make an application, while a bland one can break it.
If you find yourself uninspired by the 2017-18 Common App essay prompts, consider the Coalition application. The Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success was developed to improve the college application process for all students as they search for and apply to their perfect college. This free, centralized toolkit is a lot like the Common App and serves a diverse group of mostly Eastern U.S. public and private universities, including many of the most competitive. Be advised, however, that the Coalition essay is a bit shorter than the one on the Common App, which isn’t necessarily a good thing.
Instructions. In general, we have found that concise, straightforward writing is often the best for college essays, and that good essays are often 300 to 400 words in length. While there is no perfect length for an essay, most application readers find college essays are rarely improved when they are longer than 500 to 550 words, and we strongly recommend you stay within that limit. For more information on specific application requirements, please consult the website for each institution to which you are applying, as requirements often vary.
- Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.
- Describe a time when you made a meaningful contribution to others in which the greater good was your focus. Discuss the challenges and rewards of making your contribution.
- Has there been a time when you’ve had a long-cherished or accepted belief challenged? How did you respond? How did the challenge affect your beliefs?
- What is the hardest part of being a teenager now? What’s the best part? What advice would you give a younger sibling or friend (assuming they would listen to you)?
- Submit an essay on a topic of your choice.
An amazing college essay sets you apart from other applicants, so choose your prompt wisely and devote enough time to craft your best work; we find the summer between junior and senior year to be the perfect time to tackle this essential task. If you are looking for help conceiving and crafting your best possible admissions essays, we have some outstanding resources to recommend.