What are your chances of acceptance?
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)

How much do college essays impact admissions decisions?

Hey everyone! As a junior starting to think about applications, I'm wondering about the REAL impact of college essays. Like, do they actually tip the scales for an applicant, or are they just a formality?

8 months ago

College essays can have a significant impact on admissions decisions, especially at schools with holistic admissions processes. It’s not just a formality. Think of your essay as an interview on paper—it's your chance to speak directly to the admissions committee and show them who you are beyond your grades and test scores. A compelling and well-written essay can indeed tip the scales in your favor if you're a borderline applicant or if you're competing for a spot with students who have similar academic profiles. For example, I've seen instances where two candidates had nearly identical academic credentials, but the student with the more powerful essay got the acceptance letter. The essay can also be particularly crucial for schools that are highly selective where distinguishing yourself from a pool of equally qualified candidates is key. It's worth investing time to craft a thoughtful and personal response to the prompts. That said, while a strong essay can enhance your application, it typically can't fully compensate for academic performance that falls below a college's expectations. So, make sure you continue to prioritize your coursework while you work on your essays.

8 months ago

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