But the essay does not have to center around a major event.“It can be small moments told in an interesting or novel way — something that tells about their character,” said Deborah Shames, a college counselor in Upper Saddle River.
“Sometimes the smallest moments make the best essays.”Experts advise students to steer clear of overused themes, like winning a big game with seconds on the clock.
North and the USA TODAY Network New Jersey asked experts to provide tips on how to write a great college essay, from brainstorming ideas to proofreading the final product.
Some colleges ask for a personal statement, and others provide a choice of topics, or prompts, for a student to write about.
But they should not attempt to change the student's voice.
“Admissions officers can spot from a mile away if your parent wrote that essay,” said Mary Sue Youn, a Ridgewood-based college admissions consultant for the company College Coach.
Colleges are not looking for an ego boost here; they did not ask you this question for you to simply tell them how great they are. Instead, you should think of this question as “Why are we a perfect match for each other?
” In doing so, you should be conveying who you are and why they have what you want.
What’s one way to stand out in a crowd of qualified students?
Experts say well-crafted application essays can get an admissions officer to take notice and propel an applicant to the top of the heap.