A report by US News stated that it was getting harder to be accepted into college. When you apply to a selective college, you will be required to complete an essay as part of the college application process.

It can be quite a challenge to summarize the last 17 years into 600 words as a high school senior. It is even more frightening than to be accepted. Your unique personality should stand out from thousands of other talented candidates.

The admissions board go through many college essays, below are helpful tips to create one that is unforgettable:

College application process

  • Start early.

There is no doubt that the hardest part is starting the essay.

However, starting early helps you avoid the last minute rush. It also provides adequate time to brainstorm about your personality traits and your strengths. Be sure to let your draft flow. You don’t have to worry about making it perfect. It is okay to have many drafts too. Later on, you will fix mistakes and organize the writing into neat paragraphs. According to Top Tier Admissions, you can plan a college tour at this point.

  • Select a topic that highlights you.

Take a creative approach as you share your personal story. You could voice areas that are not covered in other parts of the application.

  • Narrow down your focus.

Stick to one aspect of yourself. This will help the admission officers find your main idea and flow with it from beginning to the end.

  • Be yourself.

Write in your own voice. The essay provides perspective to how your mind works as well as your view of the world.

  • Go deeper.

Do not state a fact to get a point across but offer details. Describe the lessons you learned from an experience and how it shaped you.

College application essay

  • Do not contradict yourself.

Be honest and write your truth.

Do not be tempted to write what you think the admission board wants to hear.

  • Write about what matters most to you.

This helps your logic to flow naturally. When you write about what matters to them, you will fall into the risk of trying too hard to impress. All the admission officers are looking for is authenticity and quality thinking.

  • Put yourself in the school's shoes.

What these selective colleges want is a person who will graduate and become successful. Their success will then be associated with that university. It is therefore critical for you to show that you love to learn, think critically and that you are passionate about what you believe in.

  • Learn from the best.

Read essays that have worked for your desired college. We live in an age where information is at our disposal. Search essay samples from your college of choice.

  • Get feedback

Ask someone you trust to read your draft. It could be your teacher, parent or friend. Be sure to ask them if it sounds like you. Make the necessary changes but remember to maintain your own voice. Proofread your essay for any typos, spelling and grammatical errors. To be more effective, have someone else do this as well to get what you could have missed.