The college essay is your opportunity to communicate directly with the people reviewing your application. The admissions committees at the schools you apply to want to learn something about you, hopefully something that shows reflection and growth. When they are reading your essay, they are also trying to get a sense of how you see the world and how you operate in it. The essay is your space on the application in which you can highlight your writing style, your communication and critical thinking skills and your "voice."
3 tips to creating the college essay:
- Give yourself enough time to work. You should brainstorm your essay idea and figure out how you want your essay to contribute to admissions committees' understanding of your application. You also want to work on a draft or two and get feedback on your drafts from a trusted source. It is very hard to do this work in a short amount of time.
- Write what you think you should write, not what you think the admission committee wants to hear. Writing and reading essays are subjective experiences. You want to make sure that you create an essay that you are proud of and that you feel expresses your point. Remember - the more passionate you are about your subject, the more engaging it is for the reader.
- Make sure the essay gives the reader a greater understanding of you – not about someone or something else. Oftentimes, when we try to describe what we value or what we care about, we do so by talking about someone or something that is a great example of those values and priorities. Be careful not to center the example in your essay and instead, explain why the example resonates with you.
This is a chance for you to share your voice. Review CU Boulder's essay prompts and the short answer question in the Application Checklist.
Written by CU Boulder Office of Admissions