Counseling » College Essays and Personal Statements

College Essays and Personal Statements

Collegeboard.com has a great section on college essays. It gives sample
essays and then evaluates each essay:

This site has 5 sample essays:
 
More sample essays.

Please keep in mind: College admissions representatives have MANY ways to
detect plagarism. Use these essays as examples to get started...but write
your OWN. They want to hear about YOU!
 
Tips on essays:
 
Some colleges will ask you to send in a previously graded paper. Some
colleges will ask you to answer a specific question. READ the application
carefully to see what the college wants.
 
General essay:
 
This is a personal statement. It is a chance for the admissions committee to
see you as a person and not just an ACT score.
 
Ideas:
 
What will you add to this campus? For example, talk about some personal experiences, goals, or passions. This is not a time to list your extra-curricular activities. This is a place to talk about YOU and what makes you tick. This is also a good essay to talk about how you would be a good addition to the campus.
 
Why did you pick this school? This is a related question. Research this school before answering the question. Talk about what is special about the school and how it relates to your goals and dreams.
 
Help admissions understand your grades. Don’t gripe about a difficult teacher or losing your homework. If you had outstanding circumstances that affected your grades, this is the time to tell the admissions committee.
 
This is NOT a time to focus on the negative. Instead, talk about how you learned from the situation and how you grew. Then tell the colleges about how this growth will make you successful at their school.
 
 
Tips:
 
1) Use a thesaurus SPARINGLY. This essay is meant to represent YOU.
 
2) SHOW don’t TELL. Don’t write “I made him happy”. Write, “I saw him grin
from ear to ear”.
 
3) Be interesting!
 
4) Be concise. Essays don’t get points for being long and vague!
 
5) Don’t use slang.
 
6) Have multiple people read your essay for content.
 
7) Use active verbs
 
8) PROOF, PROOF, PROOF… common mistakes: it’s/its, their/they’re,
you’re/your.
 

DOUBLE CHECK YOUR ESSAY FOR CORRECT COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY NAME!