How Should You Present Yourself In Your College Essay?

Young student writting an essay in a classroom

Your college admissions essay is an important factor in determining whether you get accepted into a school. It’s what many high school students around the nation struggle with, not because they can’t write, but because they don’t know what to write. Your grades and exam scores hold weight, but won’t outweigh the importance of your essay. Admissions readers take this into heavy consideration when going over student applications.

There are hundreds of students with high GPAs and test scores, so what will set you apart? This is the sole purpose of admissions essays. They’re looking to see who the student is behind their grades. The essay topics you’ll find will normally revolve around humanity, philosophy and other subjects that allow you to showcase your personality, characteristics and interests.

Some essays are one page and others as long as three pages. If there are any free-response sections on your college application, take advantage of these areas to make a good impression.

According to the NACAC (National Association for College Admission Counseling), college admission deans admitted that they overlook students with top test scores and grades when their essays are poorly written. They are more likely to accept a student who writes a great essay and less-than-perfect grades.

So what should you portray of yourself inside the essays you deliver to these colleges and universities? If you’re serious about taking Northeastern’s online MBA program, then pay attention to the following tips.

Be Concise and Revealing

The purpose of the essays you send in are meant to reveal things about yourself, giving admissions deans a peek into who you are. Be revealing as possible, as well as informative or even amusing. Show your personality as much as possible. They want to know the real you, so refrain from answering questions that you think they will like and be honest.

Be Genuine, Modest and Humble

It’s good to show characteristics that showcase humanity. Someone who toots their own horn or feels entitled will rub admissions deans the wrong way. You are no more entitled to a higher education than the next person. Instead, show that you are modest or even self-effacing.

Just Be Yourself

Again, you want to answer essay questions open and honestly. Admissions deans are reading these to get a better understanding of what you represent, what you find interesting and what you believe in.

Be Mature and Intelligent

Your essay should portray you as an individual who is intelligent, mature and reflective. Show positive emotion, even if the topic is negative. Colleges like people who are down-to-earth, hardworking and thoughtful. Show your creativity and originality in any way you can to help make your essay stand out.

Write About a Little Known Fact About Yourself

This falls into the tip on being revealing. Colleges want to read things about you that are deep and compelling. Maybe you’re a ballet dancer who’s also into rebuilding car engines or a wrestler who enjoys old English literature.

The essay you submit will be the first representation of yourself colleges see, so make it count!