With college admissions season in full swing, students nationwide are beginning to prepare their applications. While many of the academic elements like GPA, class rank and SAT score are set, one part of the application that students still exercise control over are the essays. To help students write competitive essays that will help get them noticed by admissions officers, Veritas Prep, the largest global provider of test prep and admissions consulting services, teamed up with Application Boot Camp®, America’s top college consulting firm, to offer ten tips students should follow as they draft their college application essays:
1) DO think of your essays as a collection – use each to explore a different layer of who you are and how you would enhance the student body.
2) DON’T discuss politics or religion, unless you’re coming from an academic perspective – the essays are not the place to take a stand on a personal issue.
3) DO show, DON’T tell – think hard before you overuse adjectives and adverbs; clearly communicate your strengths without using extraneous language.
4) DON’T focus on what you want to do, but rather on what you have already done – how have you gone above and beyond? What is your scholarly niche?
5) DO use an opening hook – start your college essay with something that will capture the admission officer’s attention and show why you stand out.
6) DON’T be a generalist, be a specialist – colleges and universities aren’t looking for well rounded students, they are looking for a well rounded student body. Show them where you stand out and how you complement the mix they are going for.
7) DO use details – unsubstantiated statements are quickly dismissed, so be sure to use supporting details to illustrate and elaborate on what you are saying.
8) DON’T use “SAT words” – admissions officers are unimpressed by those trying to show off their vocabulary, they much prefer clear, concise essays.
9) DO write “Why Paragraphs” – while they are not required, they are an excellent opportunity to show what you’ll bring and why you belong at a given school.
10) DON’T use clichés – clichés are the quickest way to come across as inauthentic and unexceptional.
About Veritas Prep
Veritas Prep is the world’s largest provider of test prep and admissions consulting services. It offers industry-leading programs to help applicants improve standardized test scores and gain admission to the world’s most selective universities. Founded in 2002 by graduates of the Yale School of Management, Veritas Prep offers its live classroom GMAT prep course in more than 90 cities worldwide and as an interactive online course available to students everywhere. Its Veritas Prep SAT 2400 course is available as a classroom course, live online, on demand or in private tutoring sessions and features the only zero risk, money back guarantee in the industry. In addition, Veritas Prep offers admissions consulting services for applicants seeking entry into competitive business schools, law schools, medical schools and other graduate programs. For more information, visit veritasprep.com.
About Ellen Richards
Ellen Richards founded Ellen Richards Educational Services, Inc. in 2004. She attended Dartmouth College and ultimately graduated with a degree from Wellesley College. After assimilating into the corporate world, Ellen resolved to follow a passion for college admissions she developed when she went through the process. She subsequently completed graduate coursework for Masters degrees in both College Counseling and Child and Adolescent Literacy at Loyola Marymount University.
For almost twenty years Ellen worked with the Wellesley College admissions office. While on campus she dedicated herself to recruiting students who would find their niche at the college. After graduation she served as the Wellesley College Los Angeles Admissions Liaison. Interviewing countless students and reviewing a myriad of college applications provided Ellen with the expertise to support students on the complicated journey to admission to college. Her deliberate approach yields excellent results.
Her experience, combined with her constant research on changing trends, keeps Ellen well acquainted with the intricacies of most colleges and universities in the United States. Her experience with every facet of college admissions has enabled her to successfully guide hundreds of families through the college admissions process. Ellen’s tireless commitment to excellence and maintaining the highest standards of integrity is proven by the number of satisfied students who gain entry into the college of their choice.
Ellen is a member of the National Association for College Admissions Counselors (NACAC), Western Association of College Admissions (WACAC), the California Association of School Counselors (CASC), the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), the Overseas Association of College Admissions Counselors (OACAC) and the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA).