3 Reasons Why Your College Essay is Crucial to Your Application

More students than ever before are applying to colleges, flooding admissions staff with paperwork, test scores, and transcripts from high schools around the globe. While numbers abound in the college admissions process, applicants can often feel depersonalized and lost in the shuffle. Many students neglect the fact that they have one real opportunity to allow their personality and passions to shine – the college admissions essay.

The college essay is the ticket to allowing admissions staff to see the real person behind all of the test scores, for better or worse. According to an article published by Time Magazine, admissions officers do indeed take the time to read each essay that finds its way to the institution. The strength of your essay may not be enough to qualify you for the university on its own, but according to their sources, a bad essay can certainly disqualify you from one of the coveted spots at top schools.

Why is such a subjective item supposed to be so crucial to the application process? Here are three reasons why you may want to find an academic coach to help you polish that piece before submission.


Your essay helps to make sense of any lapses in your academics.

Did you have to repeat your sophomore year of high school due to illness, a significant death in the family, or some other struggle that isn’t reflected in your transcripts? Fortunately, many admissions officers are willing to dig into your personal essay to see if it explains the lapses in your academic record. They may even be willing to overlook some of these transgressions based on your honesty through the written word.

If you endured some kind of personal hardship throughout your high school career that kept you from reaching your potential, your essay may be just the place to share it. Be sure to consider taking an approach that focuses on how you learned and experienced personal growth through the process instead of bemoaning the tragedy. Admissions officers want to accept students who accept responsibility for learning from their mistakes instead of blame-shifting.


A well-rounded essay can demonstrate your potential contribution to the school.

For the most part, your high school courses are prescribed by state standards with the exception of a handful of electives. Even then, electives are subject to limited availability within each course and study area. Many students find that their true passions lie outside of the realm of what their high school course catalog is able to offer them.

A well-rounded essay can illustrate your true passions and the things already accomplished within this field. Is teaching art your true passion, but your school doesn’t offer many courses? Your college admissions essay is a great place to bring up all of the afternoons and weekends you spent teaching art to underprivileged kids at after-school programs. This allows admissions officers to see more clearly what you could contribute to their school so you can partner together for future success.


Your essay’s authenticity gives admissions officers a glimpse of who you really are.

College admissions officers truly want to know who you are, beyond transcripts, test scores, and all of the other numerical values assigned to you. A college essay should be written from a place of extreme authenticity: admit to your failures, show your personal growth, boast about your biggest personal achievements outside of the academic realm. This is an opportunity to allow your humanity to show and allow someone else to walk a mile in your shoes.

No matter what your background is, you have something that makes you uniquely the person that you are. A college admissions essay should reveal some of those characteristics in a way that demonstrates your positive attributes and personal development. Your essay is so important to your application because it allows admissions staff to view you as an individual and see growth as opposed to the static, unwavering number of a grade point average.


How do you start on your college admissions essay?

Knowing that a lot rides on your college essay, you need to make sure that you have the best possible start. College admissions counseling can provide the fresh set of eyes you need to polish your prose to a level worthy of an Ivy League school. A college admissions coach can help you to determine appropriate topics for your essay and streamline the creative writing process for your narrative.

A college admissions coach helps to integrate your academic struggles with your personal pursuits, the perfect goal for creating an ideal college essay. Let your college admissions coach guide you towards a better essay to impress even the most stringent admissions officers.

Find out why colleges love using essays to find out who you really are and how college admissions counseling with a college admission coach can help you write a better narrative. 

Sign up for a free consultation or contact us: 571-266-0850 to help you find the right coach.