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 ingredients make a college essay truly memorable?

Hello fellow students, I've been brainstorming for my college essays and honestly, I just want to write something that will stick in the admissions officers’ minds. What have you heard or experienced that takes a college essay from good to great?

8 months ago

To make your college essay stand out, you need to strike a balance between originality and sincere reflection. Admissions officers are looking for a glimpse into who you are, what sets you apart, and how you'll contribute to their campus. A common pitfall is trying too hard to impress with grandiose themes or vocabulary. Instead, focus on a slice-of-life story that exhibits personal growth or showcases character traits like resilience, empathy, or curiosity.

Be specific—use concrete details to bring your experiences to life. Look for an angle in your life that hasn’t been overly represented as well. For example, if you worked at a local coffee shop and you learned valuable lessons through interactions with regular customers, those insights might be more interesting than a generic recounting of a school-sponsored trip.

Moreover, ensure your voice is consistent and genuine; it should sound like you're having a conversation with the reader. Polished writing matters, but it’s your raw, authentic perspective that makes an essay truly memorable.

8 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.