Write An Essay About Your Family

If a college asks you to write about why you're excited to go there, admissions officers want to see evidence that you're genuinely interested.Reusing an essay about another school and swapping out the names is the fastest way to prove you aren't.In order to make sure you have plenty of time to brainstorm, write, and edit your essay (or essays), I recommend starting at least two months before your first deadline.The last thing you want is to end up with a low-quality essay you aren't proud of because you ran out of time and had to submit something unfinished.That way you'll be able to see exactly what you need to do and when you need to do it by.If you have one essay that's due earlier than the others, start there.As I touched on above, each college has its own essay requirements, so you'll need to go through and determine what exactly you need to submit for each school.This process is simple if you're only using the Common App, since you can easily view the requirements for each school under the "My Colleges" tab.

It gets trickier if you're applying to any schools that aren't on the Common App.The brainstorming you do for the long essay may help you come up with ideas you like for the shorter ones as well.Also consider whether some of the prompts are similar enough that you could submit the same essay to multiple schools.Having this information allows you to plan the best approach to each essay and helps you cut down on work by determining whether you can use an essay for more than one prompt.Writing good college essays involves a lot of work: you need dozens of hours to get just one personal statement properly polished, and that's before you even start to consider any supplemental essays.Doing so can save you some time and let you focus on a few really great essays rather than a lot of mediocre ones.However, don't reuse essays for dissimilar or very school-specific prompts, especially "why us" essays.You'll need to look up the essay requirements for each college—what's required should be clear on the application itself, or you can look under the "how to apply" section of the school's website.Once you've determined the requirements for each school, I recommend making yourself a chart with the school name, word limit, and application deadline on one side and the prompt or prompts you need to respond to on the other.Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve.It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma-anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale.

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