How to Write a College Admissions Essay

You’ve finally embarked on your journey toward college, and now it’s time to tackle the admissions essay. It’s important to leave a lasting impression and set yourself apart from the competition, but don’t worry if you’re feeling a bit lost or overwhelmed! We’ve compiled essential tips to help you craft a great essay that showcases your unique qualities and captures the attention of admissions officers.

To get started, we spoke to Ben Richburg, senior admissions counselor at Bethel University to gather expert advice on where and how to begin writing your perfect essay.

Focus on your genuine answer to the prompt.

The first step is to carefully consider the essay prompt and reflect on your genuine answer. Take some time to think about your experiences. “Jot down some bullet points that you’d like to talk about, don’t worry too early about the structure, and just focus on what you really want to say. The most important thing about a college essay is that it says what you want it to say,” Richburg explains.

Tell your own story.

The college admissions counselors reading your essay want to get to know you as an individual. They’re eager to hear your unique story. So, be personal, tell your own story, and the more specific to you, the better. Use specific examples and vivid language to bring your experiences to life. This will make your essay more memorable and impactful.

Prioritize your personality.

While it’s important to demonstrate your academic achievements and extracurricular involvement, it’s equally crucial to showcase your personality. Writing in an engaging way and showcasing your personality is more important than how long your essay is. Your essay will stand out if colleges can get a snapshot of who you are as a person. Authenticity is key, and remember to be true to your own voice and values throughout your essay.

Connect your essay to the college.

Research the university you’re applying to and find ways to connect your essay to its values, missions, or programs. Show the admissions counselors you’ve done your homework and that you genuinely want to be a part of their community. This demonstrates your interest and commitment to that institution.

Quality is more important than quantity.

You might be wondering about the ideal length of your essay. “Bethel’s requirements are 150-1000 words. Yes, that is broad!” Richburg says. “With a range like that, you don’t need to shoot for 1000 words. An essay should be comfortable with just a couple of paragraphs, but make sure to review the required length before writing.”

By following these initial steps, you’ll be well on your way to crafting a compelling college admissions essay. Remember, this is your opportunity to bring your application to life with your unique voice, experiences, and aspirations. Good luck!

Take the next step toward success and discover who you’re called to be at Bethel. Apply here and join a vibrant community that fosters personal and transformative growth, academic excellence, and endless opportunities.