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College Beat: Tips for Writing Your College Essay Application
Written by Christi Given | May 1, 2016
Typically, college applicant essays are about 600 words and are part of the admissions enrollment process for many colleges and universities. According to USA Today, you want to present the most professional stories revealing who you are as a student and, of course, your goals, character and personality.
You also want to think of clever ways to catch the admission officer’s eye, because many other people will be applying, so you want to set yourself apart from other students. Think of your personal goals and what makes YOU unique. Each person has a different background, story and mission. Share what makes you excited and passionate and how you would like to change the world for the better.
Next, you want to be detailed, truthful, distinct and controversial in a good way. According to U.S. News & World Report, “Colleges are places for the discussion of ideas, and admissions officers look for diversity of mind.” Bring new and innovative ideas to your essay that will intrigue the admissions advisors to want to select you as a potential student. Use wisdom on how you write your essay, and do not joke or make light of the essay if you want to be an intelligent candidate. Of course, you can write and be yourself, but avoid being too extreme or intense unless it comes to a justice mission you are passionate about. It is okay to be opinionated, because universities want a mix of diversity on campus. The bottom line is to be true to who you are and the values you believe in.
In all honesty, be yourself, be genuine, honor God’s word and follow what He put in your heart to do on this earth, and your passion will shine through. No one is you, and that is why God has us on this planet with different assignments, gifts and talents. Follow your strengths and be open to learn and be better in your weak areas.
Another tip from U.S. News & World Report is to be concise. I agree with this, as the admissions department may be wanting to skim through the thousands of applications, so grip them with an intriguing, unique and/or important story about your life that will tie into why you want to attend that school or why you feel led to apply.
Pray, ask God for guidance and wisdom, and also make sure to have your parents and mentors review your essay before finally submitting it! Remember, if you commit your plans and ways to the Lord, then you shall succeed. Even if God closes a door, He can open another, so trust in His timing and His bigger plan. Keep applying and doing your best unto the Lord and not man, and God shall show you where to attend college!
10 Tips for Writing Your College Application Essay
- Tell your unique story: No one is you, and God has made you as a special and unique individual (Psalm 139).
- Bring new ideas to the table: Universities and colleges are seeking a mixture of different types of thinkers and innovators.
- Use wisdom and discretion: While being yourself and holding true to your values, don’t be overly intense about a subject unless you feel there is a justifiable reason or cause you are fighting for. If you decide to be opinionated, use discretion on the language you choose, and be a likable applicant, not a negative one.
- Follow your mission: What has God called YOU to do? Stick to your strengths and follow what the Holy Spirit is telling you to do.
- Be genuine: When you are yourself, it shines through and people will be drawn to your application or story.
- Use your gifts and talents: Apply to a school that will complement and enhance your gifting for God’s glory. Think about what you love to do, and choose this or speak about that in your college application essay.
- Be concise: Be clear, to the point and yet descriptive in your story. Don’t ramble on and repeat the same thing. Share your testimony or reasons why you feel called to the school and make it crystal clear to the reader.
- Commit your plans to the Lord: God’s Word says when we give our plans to God, then we will succeed.
- Pray and trust God: His ways are higher; His plans are bigger than we can imagine (Isaiah 55, Ephesians 3:20). Apply, and trust that God will open doors no man can shut, and the doors He shuts no man can open (Isaiah 22:22).
- Have your mentor review the essay: Have a parent, peer, mentor or youth leader review your essay. Be open for constructive criticism and be open to making it even better. You can do it!
[Sources: college.usatoday.com/2014/10/23/9-essay-writing-tips-to-wow-college-admissions-officers; usnews.com/education/blogs/professors-guide/2010/09/15/10-tips-for-writing-the-college-application-essay]
PI Girls, do YOU have any college essay advice? Comment below!
Find Christi on social media: @christigiven.