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Nearly all colleges rate application essays as either important or very important in their admissions process.
A poorly executed essay can cause a stellar student to get rejected.
On the flip side, exceptional application essays can help students with marginal scores get into the schools of their dreams.
The tips below will help you win big with your essay.
Remember, colleges aren’t looking solely for straight "A"s and high SAT scores.
They are looking for good citizens for their campus communities.Also be sure to check out these tips for the 7 personal essay options on the Common Application, this advice for improving your essay's style, and the sample essays.Many college applicants make the mistake of trying to include all of their accomplishments and activities in their application essays.Not just humor, but the overall tone of your application essay is remarkably important. When you are asked to write about your accomplishments, those 750 words on how great you are can make you sound like a braggart.Be careful to balance your pride in your achievements with humility and generosity towards others.Your character shows up in three places on the application: the interview (if you have one), your involvement in extracurricular activities, and your essay.Of the three, the essay is the most immediate and illuminating to the admissions folks as they read through thousands of applications.A thoughtful and detailed narration of a difficult time in your life tells far more about you than a list of competitions won and honors achieved. Use your essay to show that you’re thoughtful and mature, that your personality has depth.While it's important to be thoughtful and mature, you don't want your college application essay to be too heavy.Such essays read like what they are: tedious lists.Other parts of the application provide plenty of space for you to list extracurricular activities, so save your lists for the places where they belong.