6 days ago
Admissions Advice

Should I extend my Common/Coalition App essay for the sake of extending it?

My Common App essay is 261 words, which might appear to be the bare minimum, but it's very concise and wrapped up nicely. I don't think there's anything significant to add, but will this hurt my chances?

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3 answers

5 days ago[edited]

I don't know what you have written so I can't weigh in on whether your 261 essay is the best ever or something that you think is the best ever.

The main college app essay is like a commercial you write you inform your admissions officers on what makes you tick, what defines you, and what kind of human being you are. If the instructions were that you had should try to make your commercial 65 seconds or less, how many people would be editing and re-editing down their commercial to 65 seconds versus submitting a 26.1 second commercial?

It is entirely possible that a 26.1 second commercial can be "wrapped up nicely" but if the instructions are that you have 65 seconds to work with, isn't the expectation of the college admissions officers reading your file to review a 65 second commercial because for the most part 99% of applicants are submitting 65 second commercials plus or minus 5 seconds?

Again, since I don't know what you wrote, I can't make an informed decision on the content you wrote already. But I feel I can comment on following instructions. And in my opinion unless your 261 word essay is the very best essay you have every written and it can not be improved upon with additional context, content, and insight, I would question why you have decided to take this position. For example let's say it's a POEM. Well it's true some short poems are better than long poems.

But none of the prompts on the common or coalition app are poem prompts. There are specific prompts with ask for you to elaborate and explain for them. If you feel that your answer is complete and perfect, then you have your answer already.

No one can adequately answer if this will hurt or help you because no one know what you have written. I think you have to take a step back, re-read the instructions and decide for yourself if you have done your best work in 261 words.

Good luck.

6 days ago

No, you should add more. I think you may have done a great job of writing a powerful, concise essay for a supplemental prompt with a word limit of 250 or 300 words. The Common App essay is the only real space you have to deeply share a side of your self that the rest of your application doesn't display. It should never really be shorter than 500 words. Even if you write super concise, there's no way you can get as much across in 261 words as you can is 500-600 words. Because the word count is so big, the AO expects that you take the time to tell a story, with an engaging hook and a satisfying conclusion. You should definitely use more words.

6 days ago

If your essay is like you said, wrapped up nicely and concise.Then theres no need to add anything extra.If you but something in just to have a bigger word count the admission counselors will notice.I would recommend you keep it as is.


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