College Admission Essay Outline Tips
Finding ideas for a good college admission essay outline can be challenging. Not only that, but add in the fact that this is your opportunity to impress a college with more than grades, and it can also become very stressful! I’ve seen students write NUMEROUS essays due to the simple fact that they just don’t know what to say or explain to the college. It really shouldn’t be that difficult. Let’s take a quick look at a few things to consider when thinking about your college admission essay outline.
College Admission Essay Outline Tips
First, colleges are not interested in random facts that don’t have anything to do with who you are or why you are choosing they’re school, and you will just be wasting space on your personal statement/essay. Writing about how many friends you have and what you like to do on weekends will not help you unless it pertains to the school, your chosen area of study, or displays meaningful involvement.
Schools want to know about you, yes…but try and put a spin on your personal information so that it relates to them or you looking like a model student and citizen! For instance, if you choose to tell them about activities and things you enjoy doing on weekends, make sure those activities help you look good. Telling them you volunteer at an animal shelter or a retirment home is much more “mature” of you rather than saying you enjoy movies and going to the mall. Get the idea?
Short, But Sweet!
Next, keep it somewhat simple. College admission representatives don’t have time to read a small novel, so when thinking about a good college admission essay outline keep in mind that you should stay pretty close to the 500 word rule. In in online application, some colleges will keep you to a 500 word limit…or even a 250 word limit! So every word and the way it is presented is valuable to you and you don’t want to waste the space with nonsense. If you chose to go over this limit, you run the risk of the college not reading the entire essay and missing some vital information about you! So keep it simple, but packed with QUALITY information.
The 3 “Hooks”!
The last thing to think about with regard to your college admission essay outline is what to write about. Unless a school gives the applicant a SPECIFIC subject to write about, I generally tell my students to go with these three factors:
- Tell them about you (be brief, but make sure it’s quality)
- Tell them about your chosen major
- Tell them about why you want to attend their school and major in XXXX
It is never bad practice to do your research about a specific college, and then tell them about how great their school it and how much it has to offer. It also won’t hurt to explain to them how much of an asset you would be and what kind of involvement on campus you would be interested in if admitted. Schools like to know what they’re getting, hence the essays, so if you can offer them something in return for gaining admission…then all the better!
We don’t believe in “college admission tricks“, but one tip with regard to your college essay is to tell the school that if admitted, you would be happy to accept and enroll there. Some schools like to know they have somewhat of a “sure thing”, but simply writing this in a personal statement/essay does not BIND you to enrolling. You are simply stating that you are very interested in their school and would more than likely enroll if they admit you. It doesn’t hold weight at certain schools, but at others it does.
Don’t view your college essay outline as such a daunting task! If you are a well-rounded student who is involved, it shouldn’t be hard to write about yourself. Use the 3 factors listed above as a starting point and remember not to get too long winded!
If you would like us to take a look at what you have before submitting it to colleges, we’d be happy to do that…
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