Writing the admissions essay to get into the colleges you’ve chosen to apply to is a lot of work. In fact, the essay is one of the most difficult—and stressful—parts of the admissions process. And of course, no one has ever said, “I really want to fail at getting into the college of my dreams!”
But you’re stressed, you don’t know how to write a college admissions essay, and you just want some college application help, some guidance, on what you should do — or not do — to get in.
You’re in luck! As a leader in helping students create a winning essay, here are some of our top 8 things NOT TO DO when writing a college essay:
Try to Be Someone You’re Not
One of the primary purposes of the college admissions essay is to give the readers a good idea of what kind of person you are. Make sure that the snapshot of yourself that you give the school is accurate. That means don’t blatantly lie about your achievements. Being as vague as possible when describing your high school career is also a big no-no.
Go Over the Word Count
Believe it or not, the word limit that schools give to applicants is there for a reason. Essay readers only have so much time to devote to your paper. If you go over the word count, they may not be able to finish reading your work. Some might even reject your essay outright without even reading it.
College Application Help Pro Tip: Another proven way to get your application rejected is to write an essay that falls well under the word count allowed. Doing so shows a lack of ambition or ability.
Don’t Pay Attention to Tone
If you want to ignore the college application help you’ve been given because you suddenly decide the school is just not right for you, try playing with the tone of your essay. You’ll be sure to get thrown into the NO pile if you write from the perspective of an entitled underachiever.
Nothing says you don’t care like submitting an essay riddled with spelling and grammar mistakes. If you don’t proofread (or have someone else do it for you), you could end up missing out on the college of your choice because of one letter (and not the rejection letter)!
Use Words You Don’t Know
Write like you speak, but better. Don’t overuse words that aren’t part of your vernacular. You don’t want an essay riddled with words you pulled from the thesaurus or words that don’t fit the context of your essay. Unless of course the goal is to NOT GET IN.
Rewrite Your Resume
Admissions readers want to learn more about you than your academic, personal, and professional accomplishments. So make sure your essay is fresh and focused on your story and not your accomplishments. Restating in your essay the information you include in your resume is a sure way to weaken your application.
Forget to Research the School
Don’t use cookie cutter essays. The worse thing you can do is demonstrate your lack of knowledge about the history and culture of each university you’re applying to. Colleges want to know you chose them for a reason, and didn’t just pin the tail on the college.