A fundamental piece of the application process is the college essay, also known as the personal statement. Sure — students are well-accustomed to writing papers and essays for their high school classes, but the college essay is an entirely different animal that requires a different type of writing than what is generally called for in the classroom.
The essay is the one piece of the application that most allows and encourages the student’s individuality and can truly help set an applicant apart at the time of evaluation. Admissions regards the essay as an important piece of the application that helps provide a view into the student and what they may bring to the freshman class.
I work with my students to brainstorm effective ideas that help set them apart and create impact. Essay work goes way beyond paper and pencil editing because the ultimate path to an excellent college essay allows authentic, personal writing that helps the student come alive while maintaining the natural voice of a teenager.
Why can’t an english teacher help my child edit her essays? For me, the college essay is part of a student’s “story” — and that story comes through by looking at each piece of the student’s application and high school experience in context. My approach is to help students to see how their story fits with the rest of their application and how it may be viewed by an admissions reader.
We work steadily to make progress on shaping the message so what often starts off as an intimidating unknown ends up becoming a piece of writing to be proud of!
Students may find that they need to prepare supplemental essays for individual colleges, and these call for succinct and well-crafted writing that communicates a student’s interest in a specific college or university.