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?

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.

Rebecca Joseph
Executive Director & Founder getmetocollege.org

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

The college essay should complement the rest of the application. It should not repeat what is clearly present in other parts. It should provide a great opportunity for the reader to see the applicant as a living, breathing student who will make a great contribution to the college if admitted. It should connect to who you really are and help the admissions officers see you in real life. That's why the best college essays help complete a great application.If necessary, this essay can truly help the admissions officer understand some deeply personal issues. I recommend that you think deeply about how this essay will strengthen your application without ever making anyone worry about you.

Heather Tomasello
Writing Coach The EssayLady, LLC

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

I tell the students I work with as a college essay writing coach (www.EssayLady.com) that it is very important to "connect the dots." Your essay and the other parts of your application must create one seamless picture for the admissions officer. For example, if you write an essay about your dream of becoming a doctor, does the rest of your application support this? Does your transcript reflect advanced math and science courses with high grades? Does your resume show that you've volunteered or had an internship at a hospital? All of the parts of your application should work in harmony- discrepancies will raise red flags for the admissions officers.

Susan Knoppow

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

The essay is a big part of your application, and you should plan on spending time on it. The essay is your opportunity to show the admissions committee something genuine about you that is not obvious anywhere in the rest of your application. Remember, colleges want to know who you are and how you got to this place. They want to know how you will fit in at their school. Follow a process of discovery to find your story. What do you want colleges to know about you? Find a story to illustrate that point, and make sure you tell them why it matters, why they should care. Many kids sound the same with good grades, test scores and leadership skills. The essay is the place to stand out. You can do that with a story about you that is focused, reflective and answers the prompt. Write it yourself; use your words and your voice.

Pam Ohriner

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

Think about the college essay as an interview in essay format. The essay should say, I am a good fit for this college. The essay is a student's chance to tell who they really are in their own voice. It should reveal something about the applicant that is not in the application. It can zero in on a single experience or moment in time that changed the applicant or be about something broader and the influence it has on the student. The essay should show self-reflection, critical thinking, and your ability to organize your thoughts. The first paragraph is the most important. It should grab the reader's attention and draw them in. Writing in a conversational tone is engaging. Spend time brainstorming topics and writing a number of drafts. You may even change your topic more than once as you figure out what works. Starting with an outline makes the writing process easier. Remember to proof read more than once and have at least one or two additional sets of eyes look it over.

Judy Oberlander

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

Your application should reflect who you are. The person who reads it should gain a good idea of what kind of person/student you are by the types of information you provide. Socioeconomic, geographic, demographic, and testing information form a picture of you. Your list of extracurricular activities and employment history tells how you spend your time. The essay is the icing on the cake. This is your chance to emphasize what is important to you and to provide examples that illustrate/validate the information you have given. The reader should be prepared for the essay by the information you have given. For example, if you indicate that you are interested in engineering, an essay about some project that you have undertaken would validate your interest and show a tangible example of what you have done. If you are from a low socioeconomic background/community,you might choose to write an essay about how you have worked to excel in spite of your challenges, giving concrete examples of what you have done.