Updated: Dec 14, 2021
With early application deadlines in the rearview mirror, it’s time for students who haven’t secured a spot for Fall 2022 to get serious about college applications. You’ll now be part of a larger pool of students, so it’s even more important to stand out from the crowd. One of the best ways to do that is through the application essay because it allows you to tell your story in your own words.
But the college application essay isn’t just about telling a nice story; you need to get strategic in your responses to ensure you’re highlighting your best qualities, future aspirations and – most importantly – what makes you a unique addition to their future alma mater.
If you’re among this group of seniors still looking to get into your dream school, consider the following tips to make sure nothing slips through the cracks.
Know your deadlines
For most schools, the next application deadline is January 1, but you’ll want to confirm with your schools of choice to make sure you don’t miss your chance to apply. Don’t assume you have until January 1 unless you’ve checked, or you may find yourself taking an unplanned gap year.
Start now to boost your chances
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you can wait until your December holiday break to start working on your college applications, but where you go to college will shape the rest of your life. With the January 1 deadline just around the corner, don’t leave such an important decision to chance or assume good grades or stellar extracurriculars alone will get you a spot at your dream school. The essay accounts for about 30% of your application score, although this will vary by school, so make it count.
When thinking about the story you want to tell, reflect on what makes you… you! MN College Essay Coach provides a number of self-guided options – like a key messages worksheet – that help you consider your experiences, academics, extracurriculars, work, volunteerism, and family and background to develop a compelling message that makes you stand out.
Ask for outside perspectives
Sometimes it’s hard to see the great qualities that others see in us. When developing your key messages, talk to friends, teachers, parents and others who know you well to find out what they think makes you special and incorporate these characteristics into your story.
Get help from a pro
If you’re not sure how to get started or want to make sure you’re well equipped to submit a stellar college application essay by January 1, MN College Essay Coach offers a variety of packages to support your needs – whether that’s self-paced support or comprehensive 1:1 coaching. Not sure what level of support you need? Reach out for a free consultation today, and we’ll figure it out together.