7 tips for writing the college application essay in 2018

Depending on the type of profession you want to build a career in, a chance is that the college you have chosen has certain application criteria that need to be met. Many US-based colleges require a formal essay to be submitted alongside the required paperwork and application form. What are some of the must-know tips when it comes to writing a proper college application essay in 2018?

1. Talk to professors and graduates

The fundamental error that most people make is that they assume too much. You can’t know what’s going on inside the minds of your future professors, so why not ask them for tips instead? You can even contact some of the graduates or current students for tips as to what the school board is looking for when reviewing college application essays. This is subjective and varies from college to college, so make sure that you properly vet the staff and students for any useful pointers.

2. Try changing perspectives

Once you get a better understanding of what a potential college student should look like in your school of choice, put yourself in the shoes of a professor. People who express an honest desire to work hard and have actual chances of graduating (and not dropping out) will always get accepted even if their college application essays aren’t up to snuff. You can fix a writing error through a college essay writing service, but you won’t be able to fix someone’s mindset.

3. Be true to yourself

Trying to please your future professors by stating untrue things about yourself won’t end well. The worst thing that can happen is to be accepted into a college you don’t feel like you belong to. Be honest about your intentions and write the essay based on your personal beliefs. Don’t try to woo people if you are genuinely not interested in working on a particular subject. “Fake it ‘till you make it” doesn’t work with college application essays.

4. Impress with the opening

While colleges are obligated to read every application essay without question, it doesn’t mean you should test your luck. The opening paragraphs of your essay are paramount, meaning that you should open the essay with a powerful argument that will hook the reader instantly. This can be anything from a famous quote (from your niche), an anecdote about a certain happening in your profession or a sincere and subtle “thank you” to the reader.

5. Don’t overcomplicate

Using sophisticated words and technical jargon should be limited to only a fraction of your essay. Your professors will understand any niche words you put in the paper but there is no need for it – you are writing an application essay, not a doctorate. Use your own words, a professional tone, and format your paper properly once you finish writing. It will be more than enough to get you on your way to formal college acceptance.

6. Keep it focused

Choose a narrow topic that you will tackle in your essay and don’t stray from it. You will often be given a very limited word count and you will have to abide by it. Choose a topic that you are fairly familiar with and give your honest opinion on the matter without generalizing anything. The less “fat” there is in your writing, the higher your chances of acceptance will become.

7. Proofread, edit and format

Writing the college application essay itself won’t be enough to get you a pass. You will have to professionally tailor the essay based on your college’s instructions. These instructions are often fairly straightforward and there to check if the future student actually read the entire instruction form. Proofread your essay for any grammar or spelling mistakes before finally submitting it.


All it is left is to wait for the results to come back. Even if you don’t get accepted on your first try, you should learn as much as you can from the experience. Many students successfully enroll into the college of their choosing on the second or third try. If you are sure of the school you want to attend because of what it can mean for your future, express your thoughts and ambitions to the best of your abilities and the staff will recognize your energy.