Good to Great: Last Minute Checks to Make Your College Essay Stand Out

college essay tips


The mere mention of writing a college essay strikes fear into even the bravest student’s heart. The college essay can seem like a daunting task, and students often find themselves second guessing their work. College Foundation of North Carolina has five tips to help you beat the fear and make sure that your college essay is a winner.

  1. Be yourself

Let your personality shine through. If you’re funny, don’t be afraid to make your essay funny! Admissions officers read tons of essays, and humor can help you stand out from the crowd. On the flip side, if you’re a more serious person, use that tone when writing your college essay. Help admissions officers get a sense of who you are through your writing.

  1. Focus on one topic

Your essay shouldn’t read like a resume. Pick one aspect of your personality or one experience that you think is particularly remarkable and focus on that. Be sure that you are neither contradicting nor repeating information you have already given in the application. This is your chance to talk about something that you are passionate about-take it!

  1. Proofread

Though it may seem like common sense, one of the most essential parts of a good essay is proofreading. There is an important difference between “let’s eat mom” and “let’s eat, mom” and spell check will not catch this type of mistake! Read through your essay at least three times to ensure that you catch any and all mistakes. It is also a good idea to read your essay aloud to get a better idea of what your words will sound like to a stranger.

  1. Have an editor

Whether it’s your mom, your best friend, your teacher, or a neighbor, make sure that someone edits your essay. Sometimes things that we write make sense to us but not to someone else. Your editor can catch mistakes and add clarity to your essay. While it is vital to have at least one editor, don’t make the mistake of having too many! If too many people make changes to your essay, your own voice may get lost in the writing.

  1. Add details

Go through your essay and find sentences that can be improved with a few details. For example, don’t just say “It was a beautiful night”. Describe how it was beautiful or what made it beautiful to you. Add details to paint a picture that will get the admissions official interested.

The college essay is a crucial part of the college application process at many schools. Make sure that yours tells your personal story and helps the admissions staff get to know you better. For more tips on how to plan, apply, and pay for college visit College Foundation of North Carolina.