Writing college essays is one of the most challenging aspects of the college application process, and it is also one of the most important. For the most part, students looking for college admissions assistance have already earned the G.P.A.s and standardized test scores that colleges and universities will use to judge them. They have already participated in their extra-curricular activities and they have completed hours of community service. But if they still would like to gain a valuable advantage in the college applications process, smart students know that understanding how to write a college essay – especially a winning one – will give them an unmistakable advantage.

In the twenty-first century, in-person college interviews have gone the way of the VCR – that is, they are very commonly used. But how else can the Dean of Admissions learn valuable information about your personality, character, interests, and history? How can they tell if you will be a good fit with the student body at their school? What will help them judge whether you are prepared to work at the same level as most of their students? Your college application essay.

Unfortunately, there is no magic answer to “what college admissions officers want.” There are no “best” college admissions essay topics. Creating a topic is a challenging task, but one that each student must do on his or her own. Creating a unique topic that showcases who you are is one of the most important aspects of the college admissions process. Students should brainstorm for ideas that they find compelling and original. Using someone else’s topic (or their essay for that matter) is never a good idea.

With your college application essay, grammar, spelling, and structure are also key. They are the elements of what college admissions essay readers want to see most – good writing. Students will do best when they can enlist expert editing help, either from counselors, parents, friends, or private consultants. They must make sure their essay is interesting and concise while at the same time conveying complex concepts that demonstrate their ability to think critically. There are common mistakes that students should avoid in writing college essays – teachers, guidance counselors, and especially private college application consultants can help to point these out.

Although writing a winning college admissions essay can seem like a daunting task, what it really takes is some advance preparation, a bit of originality, and a lot of patience. Any student, no matter what his or her writing level, can use these tools to produce a college admissions essay that gets you in to the college of your dreams.

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