Writing a College Application Essay

There are different ways to employment, and one of the usual paths taken is going to college. While your acceptance into a college or university is dependent on several factors like your academic grades, extra-curricular activities, recommendations from mentors, any entrance exam scores, some colleges may ask you to write a college admission application essay as one of their requirements. 

This essay is often seen as an important part of a college application. This is an essay that is a response to a prompt that allows admissions committees to get to know you most personally. Also, this essay is proof that you are competent at writing and thinking. Here, you can showcase your best qualities. This essay is used by committees to assess how you can contribute to their school’s community. Applications to universities can be competitive so a well-written essay is a golden opportunity to show how you stand out from other applicants. In short, it is a chance for you to share a unique story about yourself and show the committee how you think.

According to The College Board (2015), here are the most common types of essay questions:

  1. The “You” Question. This question asks a student to tell them about himself or herself.
    • Example: The Filipino University puts a premium on diversity among its students. What contributions do you think you can give to our community, based on your extracurricular interests?
    • Make sure to focus on a few related things that show your strengths to maintain coherence in your essay. Make a story out of a specific event, person, place, or feeling that will reveal your personality. 
  2. The “Why Us” Question. This question inquires about your plans and probes deeper into your choice of a course or college.
    • Example: Why did you choose the University of the Filipinos to pursue your degree? 
    • Be clear on how that particular college fits into your plans. Do your research on the school and share what your future plans will be, and how going to this school can help you achieve that. 
  3. The “Creative” Question. This question seeks to assess your competency at thinking and writing creatively by expressing your views and showing your personality.
    • Example: “Imagine that you are writing your autobiography. What would you want the last paraglaph to say?”
    • Make sure to balance the creative side of the question. Be realistic with your answers and try to avoid being pretentious or exaggerating.

Regardless of the question asked, it would be good to do the following:

  • apply the steps in the writing process in making your essay: pre-writing, writing, and post-writing;
  • research on the university you are applying to; and 
  • follow the guidelines given to you, which may include formatting and word count. 

Let us study an excerpt from an application essay.