Common App: Why the College Essay Is More Important Than Ever

common app essay college admissions

Common App: Why the College Essay Is More Important Than Ever

You know how important the college essay is

…for college admissions.  But, do you know what sets it apart? Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education recently released a Coronavirus statement that over 300 college admissions deans have endorsed. This statement acknowledges traditional methods of boosting college résumés are less available, but they will judge admissions accordingly.

“No student will be disadvantaged because of a change in commitments or a change in plans because of this outbreak, their school’s decisions about transcripts, the absence of AP or IB tests, their lack of access to standardized tests (although many of the colleges represented here don’t require these tests), or their inability to visit campus.”
     The statement encourages students to be gentle with themselves during this time. But, the question still remains: how, exactly, will students be considered?
     At a time when the standardized options are carrying much less weight in the admissions process, the Common App and other college essays are…

Reliable

    Because of Coronavirus, many schools are going test-optional. The GPA scale is infamously inflated. An essay has the power to make a strong and lasting impression. Thousands of students may have the same GPA, but only your student has their story.  Regardless of time, place, or circumstance, effective writing will make a strong impression.  

Personalized

    Personal connections earn jobs; in the same way, your student’s essay gives admissions a personal sense of who they are and what they have to offer. The Harvard statement reads,
“Our interest is not in whether students created a new project or demonstrated leadership during this period We, emphatically, do not seek to create a competitive public service ‘Olympics’ in response to this pandemic. What matters to us is whether students’ contribution or service is authentic and meaningful to them and to others. … We will assess these contributions and service in the context of the obstacles students are facing.”
    Context is the key to good writing.  Any student who has taken prep classes for the ACT or the SAT should know this.  The Common App is exactly that: common.  It’s up to each individual student to effectively communicate what is authentic and meaningful to them. To give admissions a proper sense of the context surrounding their application.

Introspective

     Students rarely have the time or resources to self-reflect. What drives their passions? What defines them? A good tutors asks personal questions and listens carefully to the answers. Now, more and more families are desperate for help. Now is the time for students to focus on bright possibilities for their future.  A written expression of who they are does not only help admissions during this time of crisis. It also helps students to develop a clear sense of what they want moving forward.

Timeless

     Personal expression, self-advocacy, and powerful communication of goals are skills. They will continue to benefit your student for the rest of their life, far beyond the reach of this pandemic. If your student goes it alone, their essay may lack focus and get lost in the pile. With an expert, your student will produce an essay that is concise, unique, and personal.

Now that you know what sets the essay apart

    Capitalize on the compassion more than 300 admissions deans have displayed. Not all students have days of volunteer hours or a sky-scraping GPA. The Common App or another admissions essay is their fighting chance: a chance to be authentic, personal, and noticeable.

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