How to overwrite your college application essay

Experts recommend that students have their essays reviewed by a trusted adult before submitting them.

After years of study, hours of mind-boggling standardized testing, and a mountain of paperwork for seniors in college, the last hurdle awaits them – the application trial.

But, college admissions counselors say have no fear, the essays aren’t as scary as you might think.

The most important piece of the puzzle is the originality and uniqueness of the writer, said Libby Reigh, associate director of undergraduate admissions at Oklahoma State University.

Reigh has read countless applications over his 13 years of OSU admissions work. She said the essays allow students to explain who they are, what they’ve been through, and the challenges they’ve overcome.

This is an opportunity to express the person behind the ACT or SAT score, someone who is more than a high school GPA.

“This is your chance to tell us your story,” said Reigh. “There are people on the other side of this submission reading these essays. Don’t be afraid to discuss any struggles or difficulties that have brought you to this point. Every student has a story, and essays are your opportunity to tell us your story.

According to experts, the most important piece of the essay writing puzzle is originality and uniqueness of the writer.

According to experts, the most important piece of the essay writing puzzle is originality and uniqueness of the writer.

University of Oklahoma admissions counselors have said they want to assess a student’s writing ability, but beyond that, OU wants to know how the candidate might contribute to the campus community. .

“Students who are involved in other activities or who are passionate about a subject will add to the fabric we seek to create at OU, so expressing this well will help a student in the admissions process,” the advisers wrote. admission of the OU in an email to Oklahoman.

What mistakes to avoid

Candidates may wonder which essay prompt to choose, what to write, and how to accommodate the number of words required.

Reigh suggested taking the time to organize your thoughts. Do not rush.

And you’d be surprised how many people don’t proofread their writing, said Tasha Casey-Loveless, senior director of admissions at the University of Oklahoma City.

Some write their essays as if they were writing a text message, Casey-Loveless said. The writing should be more formal than this kind of conversational tone.

OR recommends that you have your essays reviewed by a trusted adult before submitting them. Another pair of eyes might spot any spelling and grammar mistakes you’ve missed.

Students study at Henderson Hills Baptist Church in Edmond on August 26, 2020. The church has opened its doors to virtual learning students for homework help, Wi-Fi, lunch free and other activities.

Students study at Henderson Hills Baptist Church in Edmond on August 26, 2020. The church has opened its doors to virtual learning students for homework help, Wi-Fi, lunch free and other activities.

“Sometimes students will accidentally submit the essay intended for another school, so we recommend that you check that as well,” OU admissions counselors said.

While she advises having the essay reviewed by an adult, Casey-Loveless said the student should be responsible for completing the application. Admissions counselors can usually tell if it’s mom or dad who is behind the keyboard.

“You can often read the content of it and tell if it’s the voice of a much older person than a 17-18 year old,” she said.

How Essays Lead to Scholarships

At OSU, students who meet certain GPA and test score criteria are guaranteed admission, so it is not always necessary to read their essays.

However, the university reviews all essays from students whose test scores and high school grades do not guarantee them a place at OSU. The essay gives these candidates a chance to explain why their GPA or ACT score might have been less than ideal.

“The essays could really help fill in the gaps or unknowns in their academic profile,” Reigh said.

But, there is an incentive for all students to kill their essay.

The same application for admission to OSU is the same that is used to decide which scholarships a student is eligible for. So even the highest scoring applicants should strive for a quality written submission, Reigh said.

University of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma City

University of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma City

OCU applicants who want competitive scholarships are required to answer short-answer questions in addition to their essays. This is another chance for students to show off their writing skills.

“If they had difficulty with their studies, we’ll look at this essay,” Casey-Loveless said. “This is when the essay will speak more or their scholarship short answer questions will speak more about who they are and how they can write.”

Journalist Nuria Martinez-Keel covers Kindergarten to Grade 12 and higher education throughout the state of Oklahoma. Do you have a story idea for Nuria? She can be reached at nmartinez-keel@oklahoman.com or on Twitter at @NuriaMKeel. Support the work of Nuria and that of fellow Oklahoman journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today at Subscribe.oklahoman.com.

This article originally appeared on Oklahoma: How to Crush Your Oklahoma College Application Essay

About William G. Patrick

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