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Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
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UCLA
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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)

Why do colleges typically require essays in applications?

Hey all. I’m just wondering — what’s the real point of college essays in the admissions process? Is it just to assess our writing skills, or is there something more they're looking at?

8 months ago

The college essay serves several purposes in the admissions process. Beyond just assessing writing skills, which is important for success in college, the essay gives the admissions committee a glimpse into who you are as an individual. It's your opportunity to speak directly to the committee and share your voice, experiences, and perspective. Admissions officers use the essay to see how you think and what matters to you. They also evaluate how you could contribute to their campus community.

For example, if two applicants had similar grades and test scores, the essay could be a deciding factor, offering insight into the applicant’s character or how they’ve overcome challenges. It's also a chance for you to explain any irregularities in your academic record, like a dip in grades, and to showcase growth or passion for a particular area. Make sure your essay is well-written, reflective, and personal to make the strongest impression.

8 months ago

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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.