The process of getting accepted to college is complicated. IN addition to submitting high school transcripts, in-person interviews, and standardized test scores, prospective students interested in reaching the pinnacle of their education careers must also write a compelling college admissions essay.
Unlike other types of essays that strive to inform, argue, or explain, college admissions essays are built to convince. However, while the intentions of the writing may be different from the many essays assigned to students during their high school careers, the structure of creating a compelling college admissions essay that will show how deserving a student is to receive admittance remains the same.
Is Writing a College Admissions Essay Hard?
Even with extensive essay writing practice throughout four years of high school education, college admission essay writing can still be difficult for many students. The primary challenge for many prospective college students is figuring out a topic to write about. Unlike research-oriented essays, a college admissions essay is a personal narrative whose subject matter is deeply personal to the writer and relevant to the admissions board.
Additionally, the vocabulary used in college admissions essay writing requires students to speak in an active voice that better captures an individual’s personality and passion for a topic. In other words, instead of passive sentences that begin with “There was…”, prospective college students should utilize more compelling openings such as “It all began when…”
Fortunately, students struggling with creating a motivating college admissions essay that will ensure acceptance to their school of choice can use this handy guide to get started.
How to Write a College Admissions Essay?
No matter which college a student applies to, the goal of the admissions essay is the same: motivate the admissions board to believe that the writer in question is worthy of acceptance. To achieve this goal, students should craft an essay on a topic that they can write with ease and passion.
The best topics will pertain to the student’s life experiences, demonstrate an understanding of self-awareness, and convey a willingness to learn. Whether this is about hardship, a challenge, or a personal epiphany that the student has faced, an admissions essay should embody experiences that have shaped the writer’s life.
It is recommended to avoid silly topics that don’t showcase the student’s ability to solve a problem, show compassion, or reflect on an experience that has inspired them to grow as a person.
Since the goal of the admissions essay is to convince the admission board that an individual holds certain qualities, it is important to demonstrate how these traits can be utilized in college. For example, if a student wants to go into medicine or science, their essay should describe how the student handled a difficult situation, showcased compassion to their peers, or solved a problem.
The best college admissions essays should also contain anecdotes that clearly explain what the writer is passionate about and why they want to pursue it at the university level. Using this kind of approach to writing an essay for college admission, students can take full advantage of the opportunity to showcase themselves in the best possible light.
Useful Tips for College Admission Essay Writing
Choosing a topic can be difficult, especially when students could write about so many life-changing experiences. To help students narrow down this list, start with recent events freshest in the mind. This way, students can guarantee they are writing about an experience they can explain with ease and enthusiasm.
Furthermore, it is highly recommended that students perform the following tasks at various stages during the writing process to ensure their college admissions essay meets the goal of getting an acceptance into the school of their choice:
- Write a few drafts to ensure that the essay is as concise as possible.
- Share the essay with others for feedback.
- Run the final draft through a grammar-checking program to catch any errors.
- Use a plagiarism detector to ensure the essay is uniquely original.
- Avoid using clichés, which are overused phrases that fail to impact the reader.
- Make sure each sentence drives home a point or contains an interesting detail.
- Keep it relevant to the topic – don’t stray between different unrelated thoughts.
By keeping these writing tips in mind as students craft their college admissions essay, they can be more confident that their efforts will bear fruit in the form of a letter of acceptance from the school of their choice.
How to Structure a College Admissions Essay
When it comes to structuring a college admissions essay, students should ensure that they have a clear introduction, set of body paragraphs, and a conclusion that wraps the whole thing together.
Be sure to open the introduction with a catchy hook statement that raises an interesting point, offers a unique perspective, or presents a startling fact. This will entice readers to keep going until they get to the end of the essay.
Remember that it’s not about what you are writing but rather how you are writing it. Make sure that for each point made in your essay, there is a reason why this detail is important. To do this, students should consider adding anecdotes or bringing in outside sources to defend their position.
Finally, wrap things up by offering an insight into what the student has learned from this experience and how it’s impacted them as a person. It should be clear that the experiences showcased in the essay have changed or inspired the writer in some way.
All in all, when students follow these simple rules for writing college admission essays, they can rest assured that any application they submit will be as impressive as possible.
25 College Admission Essay Topics
If you are struggling to choose an inspiring college admissions essay topic, consider using any of these prompts to get your creative juices flowing.
College Admissions Essay Topics About Hardship
- The worst day of my life: Adversity and coping skills
- How I found out who I was: Coping with a crisis in high school
- The turning point when everything changed: An event that had a lasting impact
- Breaking free from my past: Overcoming obstacles
- What it feels like to be homeless: Surviving tragedy
College Admissions Essay Topics About Fear
- The scariest thing that ever happened to me: Overcoming fear
- What I’ve learned from being afraid of _____: Learning the importance of not giving up on your dreams
- My greatest fears, written in third person: Exploring personal demons
- A time when I was so scared I couldn’t breathe: A frightening experience
- An encounter with something you can’t explain: Explaining your perspective on fear.
College Admissions Essay Topics About Friendship
- A childhood friend who meant the world to me: Remembering those who shaped who you are as a person today.
- What having good friends has done for my self-esteem: Kindness and friendship.
- How I realized that best friends aren’t always ideal: Realizing you don’t need to be perfect to make someone happy.
- What it’s like to lose a friend before losing one’s self: Mourning the death of a dear friend.
College Admissions Essay Topics About Sacrifice
- A time when I had to choose between two impossible options: The importance of making a decision.
- An experience that taught me about making the most of my time here on Earth: A lesson in taking risks.
- A choice I had to make with no guarantee of success: Facing an uncertain future head-on.
- When you have nothing left but love for someone: The bond between family members.
College Admissions Essay Topics About Character Building
- What I’ve done to make the most of my experiences: Making the most out of every situation.
- A time when I was faced with a new challenge that required me to rise to the occasion: Being true to yourself no matter what happens around you.
- My experience taking part in a program that helped others better themselves: Getting the most out of the people around you.
- What is one thing I can do to make myself a better person? Making the most out of every day.
College Admissions Essay Topics About Resilience
- An event that made me realize hope is never lost: A moment of clarity.
- A time when I felt completely drained of energy but then found the strength to keep going anyways: Overcoming adversity.
- What it’s like to find the light in a place where everything seems dark: The importance of not giving up.
With any of these thought-provoking and moving college admission essay topics, students will be able to create a strong and moving piece of writing that will speak highly of their character and their strength of will.