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Sure, the admissions folks might be glad to get through a short essay quickly, but a beautifully crafted 600-word essay is going to make a more meaningful and lasting impression than a good 300-word essay.The length limit on the Common Application went from 500 words to 650 words in 2013 for a reason: member colleges wanted their applicants to have more space to write about themselves.
You don’t know who will read your college application essay or what they believe.
To a degree, this mystery person holds your future in their hands, and you don’t want to risk offending them. For instance, if church was a major part of your upbringing and is very meaningful to you, you could mention this aspect of your identity in a college application essay.
If you are applying to a college that does allow you to go over the limit, or if you have a supplemental essay with a recommended word count that isn't enforced by the application software, you still should not go over the limit.
Here's why: The Common Application and other college applications ask for relatively short essays because college admissions officers don't want to waste time reading long, rambling, unfocused, poorly edited essays.
They’re also the only opportunity you get (unless the college offers interviews) to showcase your personality, values, and voice.
To avoid writing your essay on a topic that might earn you a rejection letter, check out the five topics you should never write about in your college essay below.
Many colleges who don't use the Common Application also have clearly defined length limits for the essays.
The University of California, for example, allows 350 words for each of an applicant's responses to four personal insight questions, for a total maximum of 1400 words.
You'll find supplemental essays with length limits ranging from 50 words and up. After all, 650 words is not a lot of space in which to convey your personality, passions, and writing ability to the folks in the admissions office. In previous years, applicants could attach their essays to the application, and this allowed them to attach essays that were too long.
And with holistic admissions, schools really do want to get to know the person behind your test scores and grades, and the essay is one of the best places for showcasing who you are. With CA4, the current Common Application, you'll need to enter your essay in a text box that counts words.