How should the college essay tie into the rest of the application?

Application Process

Our counselors answered:

How should the college essay tie into the rest of the application?

Eric Furda
Dean of Admissions University of Pennsylvania

How should the college essay tie into the rest of the application?

Here is my video response to the question.

Roby Blust
Dean of Admissions & Enrollment Planning Marquette University

How should the college essay tie into the rest of the application?

Here is my video response to the question.

Suzan Reznick
Independent Educational Consultant The College Connection

Who Are You??

Your entire application should present a cohesive sense of who you are. There is the activities chart- which needs to be carefully thought out and filled in. Then you have the two essays - the 150 word extra-curricular essay and the personal statement. The longer essay should NOT be laundry list of your accomplishments, but present new information, that is not already on your application. Your topic should support “who” you are- the accomplished actor/artist/ or pre-med hopeful. It is your chance to give your application that ‘third” dimension and allow your “voice” and personality to come through.

Corey Fischer
President CollegeClarity

How should the college essay tie into the rest of the application?

It can tie in very closely or somewhat loosely, but it should make sense with the rest of your application. If you write about something that is contradictory to other parts of your application, that will raise concerns as to the veracity of your essay. That said, you do not want to reiterate what has already been said in other parts of your application because you are then wasting an opportunity to tell the admission committee something new and interesting about yourself.

Mary Mariani

How should the college essay tie into the rest of the application?

The essay should not be a repeat of anything that is already in the rest of the application. You don't want to bore the reader with information that is already there. Plus you are wasting a valuable opportunity to be creative and really say something about yourself that the rest of the application does not address. Usually the college will give you some guidance with the essay, presenting you with some questions or a quote to inspire you. Think about the essay, write down some ideas, talk to your parents, teachers and friends about the topic, and sleep on it before you start. Give yourself some time to organize and be creative. Make sure you have some one read the essay before it is turned in. You might miss some errors. Another thing you might try is reading the essay out loud to yourself and then to friends or family. See how they react to what you have written. Ask for honest critique of what you have presented. Then go back and build on the information they gave you.

Sarah Contomichalos
Manager Educational Advisory Services, LLC

How should the college essay tie into the rest of the application?

The college essay should not be a complete surprise in terms of the rest of the application. It should tie into the student's academic and or extra curricular interests and also show his or her thought process.

Zahir Robb
College Counselor The Right Fit College

How should the college essay tie into the rest of the application?

The essay can tie into the rest of the application by explaining some of the "data" present in the rest of the application. For example, why you changed schools, or the reason your grades dropped. However, only do so if the reason is compelling. Also, in some ways you can go into more detail about your extracurricular activities or other accomplishments. Remember that the essay also provides you with a chance to include information not present in the rest of the application, so don't just repeat the same information over again.

Benjamin Caldarelli
Partner Princeton College Consulting, LLC

How should the college essay tie into the rest of the application?

Essays should not reiterate a lot of information that can be found elsewhere in the application. They should add to the complexity of the stereotype of the applicant by illustrating a genuine and unique voice that is thoughtful and engaging.

Kristina Dooley
Independent Educational Consultant Estrela Consulting

How should the college essay tie into the rest of the application?

The college essay doesn't necessarily need to "tie in" to the rest of your application. That being said, you should be cognizant that what you write in your essay doesn't conflict with other information you've provided in your application. For example, if you write your essay about how much you enjoy community service work but you have no community service involvement on your list of extracurricular activities, the person reading your application may wonder why. One piece of advice would be to use the essay as a place to further elaborate on any part of your application that you feel needs to be explained, such as a really cool travel experience or a drop in your grades.

Reecy Aresty
College Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & Author Payless For College, Inc.

How should the college essay tie into the rest of the application?

Depending on what the essay's about, it could, but doesn't necessarily have to.