Writing a compelling college admissions essay
Even if it has been a few years since individuals applying to Christian colleges and universities graduated high school, chances are they will still have to write a college application essay. These documents are an important part of the college admissions process and can be used as a platform for students to highlight their academic and career goals. However, according to USA Today, there are a few topics individuals should stay away from if they want their essay to be looked upon favorably.
Do’s and don’ts
One essay topic individuals applying to Christian colleges should avoid discussing at length is the outcome of an important football game or sporting event. While such instances may indeed have been important, or even inspirational, college admissions officials are typically inundated with essays on this topic, making it difficult for prospective students to stand out from the crowd.
Similarly, writing about a profound volunteering experience is a common pitfall for prospective students. If individuals genuinely love the Lord and make volunteering a part of their everyday life, this should be reflected in their essay – but only if it adds to the authenticity and individuality of their application.
Prospective students at Christian colleges should also avoid the temptation to list their achievements in their essay. Most university applications feature a section for this very purpose, and doing so in an essay is a missed opportunity for students to reveal something genuine about themselves.
According to the Los Angeles Times, some colleges are experimenting with new essay prompts in an attempt to move past the self-congratulatory essays of the past.
“It’s a way to see students who can think differently and go beyond their academic, intellectual and extracurricular comfort zones,” Garrett Brinker, an admissions official at the University of Chicago, told the news source.
Notable questions appearing on application essay prompts include “Where is Waldo, really?”, “Please describe an unusual way in which you have fun,” and “A package arrives at your door. After seeing the contents you know it’s going to be the best day of your life. What’s inside and how do you spend your day?”
Students applying to Christian colleges and universities should see the admissions essay as an opportunity to highlight their individuality. By focusing on their real passions, interests and pastimes, college admissions officials can gain valuable insight into an applicant’s character, motivations and goals.