Most Common College Essay Mistakes

Most Common College Essay Mistakes


Every year admission counselors read hundreds and hundreds of college essays, and every year we are awed by both phenomenal essays, but we do still see essays that could use a little help. Today’s blog will cover some of the more common essay mistakes we see  when reviewing applications, so seniors – be sure to avoid these:

Not submitting the optional essay. This can really help you out with your admission decision. This is your chance to talk to your admission counselor right as they’re about to make an admission decision take advantage of the opportunity! It can be a personal statement, a short story, poetry, an excerpt from a high school paper, or whatever you like.

Not reading first. What is the question? How many words can you use? This is one of the biggest mistakes an applicant makes by submitting an essay that doesn’t answer the question or fails to stay within the guidelines (relatively speaking). While we don”t have a particular question or prompt you must adhere to, we do have a word limit!

Repeating the resume. You may be asked to submit a resume of activities as a part of your application. Do not use your essay to just reiterate your resume by listing all of your activities again. This is a new supporting document to your application, so tell us something we haven’t already read.

Not taking a risk. Some of the best essays I ever read started with an unusual statement. To this day, the essays I remember most are those who took risks and wrote about creative, unique, and unsuspecting topics; like my all-time favorite essay, which was about Skittles!

Forgetting the basics. Spell check. Read it out loud for grammar and transitions. Type it. Use a font size easy to read. If you used the same essay for a different school, take the name of that school off the top of the essay and/or check the body of the essay so it doesn’t appear there, either. If you e-mail the essay or upload it to your application account, put your name and address on it.

Uploading the wrong documents – Make sure you save essays and resumes clearly and that you submit the correct documents. We’ve received photos of celebrities instead of essays…. While entertaining, this will not help you out in terms of admission & scholarship awards. We’ll accept essays in most formats, but not via Google Docs.

If you have any questions about the application process don’t hesitate to reach out the Undergraduate Admission office at 1-800-262-2373 or via email at Best of luck to everyone with their essays!


Comments are closed.