How important is the application essay?
Very important! In a national study of college admissions officers, the application essay was most important after grades and ACT/SAT 1 scores. In that same study, the most selective colleges put the most weight on essays. Think about it: at a school like Harvard, Princeton or Yale, the admissions committee can fill their freshman class three times over with students 2400 SATs. But they are building a community, and that takes a lot more than perfect test scores!
In this competitive college admissions environment, the application essay and interview are your best opportunities to take control of the process and show colleges what difference you will make as a member of their community.
College application essays and interviews are also opportunities to connect with college admission officers and alumni by revealing your character. At Story To College we teach you find the stories that are not present anywhere else in your application, revealing subtle differences between you and thousands of other students who are competing for a spot at the college of your dreams.
Is it true that colleges are on the lookout for plagiarized college essays? Why?
Yes, colleges are increasingly suspicious about essays that have been purchased online or written by someone other than the student. Colleges say that as many as 20% of personal statements are rejected immediately because they don’t seem real. Some colleges even run application essays through software that checks for plagiarism. If you let somebody else write your college admissions essay, you are losing out on the one opportunity in the college admission process to let admissions officers learn about you and hear about the world from your point of view. Even if English is not your first language, college admissions officers would rather read an essay in your authentic voice than one written or edited by someone else.
At Story To College we help YOU find your own stories, shape them into powerful college admissions essays, and perform them for college admissions committees in application essays and interviews.
Everyone says you should write your college essays in your personal voice, but how much of myself should I really expose?
When writing your college admissions essay, it is important to be personal, without sharing details that you wouldn’t share publicly. Your college application may be the only impression that you make on a college admissions officer, so think carefully about what information you want to share. Ask yourself these questions and decide for yourself:
- Is this story one that I want to share with strangers?
- How can I shape the story not only to reveal who I am, but also reflect on the experience and show a larger perspective?
Should I write my essays about my major activities and achievements?
There are thousands of students around the world who are president of their class or editor of the student newspaper. But there is only one person applying to college – only one person in the world – with your unique life experiences and point of view. As you start to write your college admissions essay, think about the stories that reveal your character, your hopes and dreams, and the difference you make in the world every single day.
In Story To College courses we teach you how to find your own story and turn it into a compelling essay that will make college admissions officers remember you for years – long after they have admitted you to their university with a great merit scholarship!
We connect to other people through storytelling; it’s how our brains work. Every year college admissions officers tell stories about their favorite application essays. Often, those essays were about something as small as a walk down a city block or the hidden meaning of your lucky subway token. Think about it, whenever a presidential candidate gives a campaign speech, he starts by telling his personal story. Stories allow us to connect with other people on a personal level. That’s why storytelling serves as the foundation of successful college applications and interviews. That’s why Story To College uses storytelling tools to help students reduce stress, conquer the college application process, and write meaningful college admissions essays.