What Makes A Good College App Essay

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Perhaps counterintuitive, these qualities often come through in students’ most mundane, everyday experiences.They often come across essays written about life-changing volunteer trips, major artistic accomplishments, and significant leadership moments.In other words, they are rarely surprised by essay topics.In fact, many of America’s college insiders estimate that college essays account for 10-30% of admissions decisions!Whereas a great college essay won’t help your child overcome low-to-average grades or standardized test scores, a poorly-written or average college essay could sink an otherwise strong application.During college admissions season, there is nothing your child will be able to affect more than what goes into his or her college essays to wow admissions committees.That’s a tall order, but the good news is that your child doesn’t have to go through the college essay writing process alone.At half time, the local soccer team needed a break from beating us 6-0 during the 95-degree, 100% humidity afternoon, and we needed a break from losing–and from the Zambian sun.Our team, composed of volunteers from my school, huddled up to create strategies to lose by less, but I was not listening because I frankly could not care less who won.The essay prompts are purposefully made very general, so this approach is not at all a problem.Another benefit to focusing on specific moments where your child exhibited his or her defining qualities is that the essay, and by extension, your child, will be more memorable.

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