Most students know that they will need to write one big college essay for their applications. But, sometimes the additional essays can come as a surprise. One option on the Common Application and Coalition Application is for students to write an “Additional Information Essay.” It’s worded as such on the Common Application: “Do you wish to provide details of circumstances or qualifications not reflected in the application?”
So, does everyone need to write this essay? And what should it be about?
It’s true that, as colleges are focusing less on standardized tests (ACT and SAT) to influence admission decisions, they are focusing more on subjective things like the activity resume, recommendations and essays. You can find more information about the resume here, and more information about recommendations here.
However, the importance of the college essay can lead some students to become nearly paralyzed when trying to write it. They often feel like they have to get in front of a computer and, in one sitting, write the best essay they have ever written. Talk about pressure! That would be nearly impossible for anyone to do.
As part of our Advice From Inside series, where I ask our amazing staff of college counselors and former college admission counselors to share their knowledge with student and parents, this time I asked…
“What can rising seniors do over the summer to make their fall less stressful?”
If it seems as though college applicants are having more and more essays to write as part of the college process, you would be right. It’s not uncommon for students to have four, six, or maybe even ten additional essays to write. The all-time high for a student I have personally worked with was 18! While some are shorter and some are longer, it’s still 18 different pieces of writing, and, sometimes the shorter essays are actually more difficult to write.
With that being said, in this blog we give some practical advice about how to manage all the possible essays you will have to write, and explain why getting an early start is essential.