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.
” rarely results in a boring application essay and can go in numerous directions. Go out on a limb and take a stab at the question that helps you paint a unique and compelling self-portrait. “In 10th grade, I became a hooker.” Yes, this is the actual first line of an application essay we received a few years ago and something I never imagined I would see while reading an admissions essay. Immediately I was stunned trying to think of the events that must have lead up to this moment and how this student was going to swing this into a positive light. What I didn’t know at the time was that a “hooker” was actually the name of a position on a rugby team.
In fact, many schools have cool, offbeat essay questions that really provide you with the opportunity to present the admissions committee with new insight as to who you are. And if your dream school presents you with some of the old standards, remember to approach the subject from the most unique angle you can. The student went on about how he developed the strength and technique needed to be successful in the position and how that experience shaped him into the man he had become.
Be sure you are using the correct form of words too (they’re, their, there, your, you’re, etc.).
Few things will throw off an application evaluator more than misspellings and typos in the college essay — except when you mention the wrong college!
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.