Creative College Essays

Shyu says that the content and structure of the story must make a larger point about the applicant, otherwise it does not serve a purpose.And it goes without saying that the essay must be well-written, with careful attention paid to flow and style.

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Also, if you need more examples (24 to be specific), you can check a book like College Essay Essentials.

Getting into an elite college has never been more cutthroat.

Admit See has a team that analyzes all of these materials, gathering both qualitative and quantitative findings.

And they’ve found some juicy insights about what different elite colleges are looking for in essays.

Some of them were submitted by the people who wrote them; others by people who knew the writers in question; and still others have the “a friend of a friend who dated my cousin's best friend” level of remove that can sometimes bring their veracity into question. While we're on the subject, the University of Chicago seems like they've mastered the art of making college applications not boring for the people who actually have to read them.

Either way, though, they're all good for a laugh — and a few of them might even teach you something. Check out some of essay prompts from this year's app: You may already be familiar with this one, but for the curious, here's the story behind it: Humorist, writer, and musician Hugh Gallagher penned the glorious satiric creation excerpted here for Scholastic Press' national writing contest when he was in high school. For some years, there was confusion surrounding whether or not he actually used it as his college essay; in 1998, though, Gallagher emailed University of York comp sci professor Susan Stepney, who had posted the essay on her website, noting that he did in fact send it along with his applications. Here's the permalink for the full comment — it's worth just for the final line. I was unable to discern whether or not this one actually happened or whether it's just an urban legend — but I'm willing to bet it's the latter. I feel like maybe the right person might have been able to make this idea work, but the execution of the idea this time around just wasn't up to par.But in this article, I’ll share some specific examples of great college essays.While compiling the list, I chose the ones which actually worked (meaning – they got the students into colleges and universities).On the contrary: I think memorable college admissions essays are to be applauded. Because anyone who can make theirs interesting, thus bringing a modicum of relief to those who have to actually sit there and plow through them all, definitely deserves some acknowledgment for their work. That's the subject of today's Ask Reddit thread: “College admissions counselors of Reddit, what's the weirdest/worst/most memorable essay you've read?”As is wont to happen in an Ask Reddit thread, many — possibly even the majority, although I haven't actually counted them, so do with that what you will — of the responses did not come from their intended source; in this case, we're talking about college admissions officers.Last year, Harvard’s admissions rate dipped to a record low, with only 5.3% of applicants getting an acceptance letter. These days, it takes more than impressive grades, a full roster of extracurriculars, and a deep commitment to community service to get into a well-ranked school.Experts say that a stellar essay is the linchpin that will win the admissions department over.“It can provide insight into whether or not the school is a good fit for that student.”A final tip?It's been a long time since I penned my college application essays, but that doesn't mean I don't still appreciate them.One of the most striking differences was between successful Harvard and Stanford essays.(Admit See had 539 essays from Stanford and 393 from Harvard at the time of this interview, but more trickle in every day.) High-achieving high schoolers frequently apply to both schools—often with the very same essay—but there are stark differences between what their respective admissions departments seem to want.

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