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5 months ago
Admissions Advice

How important is an admissions essay?
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I'm currently a junior in highschool and I think I'm planning on going to college in either Colorado or Florida. Are admission essays usually required? How much weight do they hold regarding admission to a college. I haven't started nor have any clue how to start. Am I behind pace?

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Accepted Answer
5 months ago

I wrote a post about college essays you may find helpful:collegevine.com/c/junior/49537/make-your-essay-stand-out College essays ARE important and no, you are not behind. However, starting early will give you an advantage and the chance to rewrite if necessary. I would start working on it this summer so it's ready for application and you won't have to pull away to work on it during the semester.

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5 months ago

Hi there,

I'm currently a senior applying to college right now (I think that gives me some credibility to answer your question). Admission essays depend on what kind of school you are applying to (if it's a public or private school). Most private schools will have you submit an application through the CommonApp. For the CommonApp you are required to write one essay that is up to 650 (max) words choosing one of the prompts that they give you. This essay will be read by all the colleges that you apply to on the CommonApp. Then, for the specific college that you are applying to, they may have extra supplemental essays that are specific to only that school which are usually about 250-500 words (maximum). These essays are pretty important since they give the admission readers an insight as to who you are as a person (your personality, your likes and dislikes, etc.) instead of only seeing you as who you are for your stats (grades, gpa, SAT score, etc.). Depending on the state (I only applied to UC and CalState schools so I'm not sure about Colorado and Florida) and the schools, they may or may not have you write essays. For me, the CalStates didn't have any essays that were required at all whereas the UC schools had 4 PIQs that were required. It really depends on the school and state on if they require any essays or not. Since you're still a junior I think it's ok that you haven't started yet. Maybe start planning and coming up with ideas over the summer and look over the prompts since they usually remain the same from year to year. If you start writing over the summer , that's great! It will be less stress for you in the long run and one less thing to worry about. But don't feel bad that you haven't started, I have some friends that have applications due tomorrow and they haven't even written any of the essays yet, you'll be fine. Good luck!

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