College Essay About Yourself

If you will be using the Common App, you’ll be able to choose, and write about, one of these prompts.If you don't plan on using the Common App, these prompts can still offer insight into a topic you'll likely be writing on for your school of choice.

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Consider the cultural identity of your prospective school as you formulate your topic. According to Business Insider, Tufts University and the University of Chicago have both earned reputations for their out-of-left-field essay questions.

Have you ever walked through the aisles of a warehouse store like Costco or Sam’s Club and wondered who would buy a jar of mustard a foot and a half tall?

Consider this a good set of references as you hammer out your ideas, and work through your essay drafts. Then — unless your heart has perfect grammar and diction — seek support from a trusted source. Many selective colleges and universities have their own essay prompts.

If you fall into the terrified category, don’t panic! That probably didn’t help.) Anyway, there’s no need to freak out. Other colleges may simply offer you free writing space to provide a personal statement.

This should help you to organize a clear rough draft.

If you begin taking these steps well ahead of your deadline, you should have plenty of time to read through your own work, make revisions, share your essay with others, and incorporate feedback into future drafts.

The story will, in turn, provide context for your accomplishments.

Be warned that some college essays demand more creativity than others. In some instances, you can actually see this cultural identity reflected in an essay prompt. Some colleges and universities are actually notorious for their unusual — and in some cases, genuinely strange — college application essay prompts.

Meredith Lombardi, Associate Director of Outreach and Education at the Common Application, offers a few tips on exactly what admissions officers are seeking from a great application essay.

Depending on your comfort level with the written word, crafting a college application essay is either an exciting opportunity to share something meaningful about yourself with the college of your choice, or it’s a terrifying exercise in academic purgatory.

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