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


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

What is a good word count for a college essay?

Hello! I just started putting my thoughts on paper and noticed that my essay is already looking quite lengthy. What is the ideal word count for a college essay? How long is too long or too short? Any advice would be great, thank you!

9 months ago

Hi there! It's great that you've started writing your college essay. Generally, most colleges have a word limit for their essays. For instance, the Common Application has a maximum word count of 650 words. Staying within this limit is essential, as the platform will cut off anything that goes beyond the set limit.

If your essay is looking lengthy, consider revisiting your content to see if there's anything that can be eliminated or condensed. If you're unsure, asking a teacher, counselor, or someone you trust to review your essay and provide feedback is always helpful. CollegeVine also offers expert essay guidance, which has helped students gain acceptance to top schools all across the country. You can connect with one of our advisors here: https://www.collegevine.com/experts/essay-review

If you do have to make cuts, it's important to make sure your essay is still engaging and easy to read, rather than feeling like an abridged version of a longer essay.

Best of luck with your essay!

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.