3 years ago
Admissions Advice

How can you make your essay stand out from other students in more competitive colleges?

I am currently a senior in high school and I am trying to get into the University of Oregon, WSU Pullman, or ASU which are heavily competitive schools. If you have any tips to make my essay stand out it would be very much appreciated. Thank you :)

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2 answers

Accepted Answer
3 years ago[edited]

When all applicants reach this certain threshold of grades, GPA, test score, and even competitiveness of ECS, the thing that admission counselors will be keen on is your essay. Your personal statement is considered to be the one that will 'make' or 'break' your application.

But the question is, how will you stand out? Here are my personal tips:

1. Never reiterate or repeat your ECs and accomplishments on this part. It's okay to talk about one or two ECs or awards, but as much as possible do not repeat the whole content of your application no matter how strong your accomplishments are.

2. Avoid cliche topics! You can find cliche topics here: https://blog.collegevine.com/cliche-college-essay-topics/ (thanks, CollegeVine!)

3. Show, don't tell. Instead of saying, "I really hold extreme devotion about (topic here)", why not narrate a story on how you demonstrated strong interest about it? Anecdote is your friend.

Lastly...I cannot emphasize this enough...

4. Don't just make it smart. I know each one of you in this platform is smart in your own way, and I know how much you want to prove your proficiency in certain academic areas in order to be remembered by an admission officer. However, your stats will be the one to speak about that. This essay portion is where you can show who you are as a person.

Smart essays are good, but you know the secret to stand-out? Put warmth in it. Colleges want students who aren't just achievers in the academe, they also want to see you as an individual with a heart. What brings you joy? What drives you to do more? What are your personal values and where did you acquire them? Therefore, to complete the 4th tip, don't just make it smart; make it personal and let the admission officers feel the warmth of your personality and character from your essay. You can be vulnerable, and expose a bit of your personal life to the admission officers, because that's what they want. They want you to know YOU.

Well, yea, that's pretty much it and I hope it does help. Good luck!

3 years ago

Hey I think you may misunderstand something as UO has a 81% WSU has a 76% and AZSt has a 86% admit rate.

However various tips on essays are don’t restate stuff on your application instead talk about personal growth how you learned something about your self as an essay is meant to show you off not talk about how your mom is the best person ever or how great movies are.

Hope this helps and feel free to comment if you’s like clarification as I’d be more than happy to help!

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


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

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