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How to Make Your College Essay Stand Out From the Crowd

Submitted by on August 17, 2016 – 12:22 pmNo Comment

How to Make Your College Essay Stand Out

Top 5 Tips for a Successful Stand Out College Essay

It’s not too soon to start thinking about the college essay. With the SAT board announcing swift changes to the SAT’s and college essays earlier in the year, and the number of first-year college applicants steadily increasing, every aspect of a college applicant’s resume is subject to even more scrutiny by admissions officers then ever before. The all-important college essay is no exception.

Here’s what admissions officers might be looking for in the newly formatted college essay:

1.  Paint a picture- Start by literally drawing a picture of yourself using a stick figure and create clusters around the drawing listing all of your passions and biggest accomplishments. Ask yourself what you would most want the admissions officers to know about you as a person outside of academics such as your love of music, a volunteer experience or a personal experience that changed your life…then write about it.

2.  Show, don’t tell– Think of your college essay as a personal narrative. The essay should be descriptive and filled with figurative language.  Remember to use direct quotes if you’re writing about other people in your essay, instead of describing what they are saying.

3.  Don’t go big, go small– Start with a small, seemingly insignificant moment or event in your life and end with a greater moral lesson learned that pertains to the kind of person you want to be. Admissions officers care a great deal about the latter because if all goes well you’ll be living on their campus for the next four years

4.  Acadamia is the key– Interweave your academic interests into the essay as you simultaneously describe the event you are writing about. This will show the admissions officers a dedicated interest in a particular field and how it may relate or apply to your life.

5.  Less is more– Avoid listing your extra curricular activities or grades in the essay. You want every part of your admissions file to offer something new about yourself. Besides, the admissions officers can find your activities and grades in other part of your file.

Frances Kweller is an education and testing standards expert and the Founder and CEO of Kweller Prep.  Frances started out as a tutor and has been around the business for more than 15 years finding her passion in helping others to achieve their educational goals. She opened Kweller Prep five years ago, after she graduated law school, and serviced more than 400 families in its first year. Kweller Prep now serves more than 1500 families a year, in three locations, providing everything from in-person private instruction to online tutoring for students based overseas as well as coordinated college visits.

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