FAQ About College Application Essays

Most likely, one of the mandatory aspects of your college applications are the essays. If you have a few questions, these commonly asked ones may help you out when it comes to writing.

What Do I Write  About?

This is probably the most commonly asked question when it comes to college applications. In most cases, the college will provide you with the actual topic you’ll be writing about, but even that may be too vague for you to narrow down the perfect subject matter.

In these cases, it’s best to brainstorm. Take the given topic and think about it over a few days or a few weeks. There’s no rush (unless you left it for last minute). Discuss your ideas with family, friends, or other people your trust. They may have other suggestions you didn’t think of previously.

What Tone Do I Go For?

In the same vein, many students aren’t quite sure what tone to use for their college essays. You definitely don’t want to be too informal, but you also don’t want to be too formal and impersonal. The question can generally help you find an answer to this question too.

Try to keep in mind that the essay should sound like you or reflect on you in some way.

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How Long Should the Essay Be?

This is another question that should be answered in your college application information. However, generally, many schools ask for about 500 words, but others may request up to 1,000. The Common Application asks for a minimum of 250, but no limit. Make sure you pay close attention to the required word count.

It’s important to note though: The admissions department has to read through thousands of essays every year. They can’t spend a ton of time on each one. Therefore, it’s best to make sure your essay can be read in a few minutes or less.

Can I Ask For Help?

While brainstorming, you definitely want to get input from others who can help suggest unique or interesting ideas for your essay. And after you’re done writing, you should have someone proofread and edit your finished product.

However, while you can definitely ask for assistance or suggestions, never have someone else write your essay. This is plagiarism and it could disqualify you from acceptance before they even fully look over your application if you’re caught. It’s also an inadequate representation of you as a student.

Can I Submit the Same Essay to Multiple Colleges?

If your colleges have the same general rules or questions for the essay, you may want to consider submitting the same essay to those colleges. Though you want to make sure it follows the rules for each specific college and you make any needed changes regarding the college’s name, major, or other details.

If it’s a stretch and your essay doesn’t quite fit the requirements of each college, it’s best to write another one that is actually on point for what the school is asking for.

These are just a few frequently asked questions when it comes to your college application. Your college’s essay requirements will have most of the answers, but if you have any other questions, make sure you ask the school.

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