And yet she chose to write her essay about giving up on ballet, rather than persevering once she'd tired of it."It's OK to let down your guard, not be safe and sanitized," says Poch.
(Scroll down to read the essays, unedited and in full.)You'll need the help: Competition at these schools is fiercer than ever.
For every kid who’s hung prayer flags on a mountain summit in Tibet, there are a dozen others who’ve studied a Bantu language in Rwanda, worked with Guatemalan orphans, cooked with a celebrity chef, or been on reality TV.
With early application deadlines upon us, guidance counselors, professors, and admissions consultants slipped Kathleen Kingsbury seven essays that helped get kids into top schools last year—and she examines exactly what they did right. These are a few topics on independent consultant Arun Ponnusamy’s list of what not to write about in your college application essay.
What you learned about poverty on your $9,000 trip to Africa.
I don't care who it is, they all have 750 words of something compelling to say to an admissions officer." He adds, "They need to relax, think about what means a lot to them or gets them fired up, and then write about it." ( Click here to read Hallie's essay.)Rule #3: Essays Succeed or Fail in the Details The "hand-cranked" ice cream. "If the essay mentions you going to dinner, I want to know what you were eating," says Ponnusamy.
Blood Essay Honest Sport
Adds UVA's Roberts: "A standout essay starts with good writing."We purposely have a diverse staff with a variety of interests and backgrounds." That said, had Morgan been applying to, say, a school in the Deep South, she might have chosen her words more carefully.( Click here to read Morgan's essay.)Rule #7: Don't Be Afraid to Show You're Not Perfect Abigail Hook was applying to Harvard—the one school you don't want to tilt your hand near.Instead, she speaks to her personal relationship with Libya, her father's homeland, and her own understanding of her Islamic faith."It's a mistake for students to think that they have to come up with any deep or life-altering topic," says University of Virginia's Greg Roberts, who expects to read essays this year on Afghanistan, health care, and other hot political issues.The essays were slipped to us by college professors, high-school guidance counselors, independent admissions consultants, and even staffers at student newspapers.For confidentiality reasons, admissions officers can't talk about these essays expressly, so we chose essays that demonstrate the most salient principles to abide by when writing them."I once heard one [essay-writing] professional brag about slipping in mistakes to throw off admissions officers," he says."That's just disgusting."Rule #1: When Tackling a Global Issue, Make it Personal Brown Freshman Nawal Traish could have chosen to write about U. relations with Libya or general unrest in the Muslim world.“I just felt like I knew him.”Roberts worries that students tend to be too conservative with essays and are afraid to take risks.“There are no wrong answers here, and the last thing you want is a dry or boring essay,” he says.