What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
Loading…
UCLA
Loading…
+ add school
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
1.0
4.0
SAT: 720 math
200
800
| 800 verbal
200
800

Extracurriculars

Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

What are colleges looking for in an applicant's essay?

Hello, I'm currently a junior and have started thinking about my college essays. I know they're a crucial part of the application, but I'm unsure about what colleges are specifically looking for. Are there any key elements or topics I should focus on to make my essay stand out? Thanks for your help!

9 months ago

Hi there! It's great that you're thinking ahead and preparing for your college essays. I went through the process with my own child not too long ago, and I understand how important these essays are.

Colleges are generally looking to learn more about you as a person - your character, your values, and your unique perspective. They want to see how well you can express yourself and if you're able to tell a compelling story.

To make your essay stand out, focus on choosing a topic that is personal and meaningful to you. It's important to be genuine and authentic in your writing, so don't be afraid to dig deep and share something that has had a significant impact on your life. For example, my child wrote about a volunteer experience at a local community center and how it changed their perspective on the importance of giving back.

Remember to show, not tell, in your essay. Use vivid descriptions and anecdotes to illustrate your points. And, of course, make sure your essay is well-structured, error-free, and engaging.

Best of luck with your college applications! I'm sure you'll do great.

9 months ago

About CollegeVine’s Expert FAQ

CollegeVine’s Q&A seeks to offer informed perspectives on commonly asked admissions questions. Every answer is refined and validated by our team of admissions experts to ensure it resonates with trusted knowledge in the field.