common app essay

When Should I Start The Common App?

It’s about that time of year when we start fielding questions about timelines, essay topics, and the Common App. It’s also the time of year when students find every excuse in the book not to keep things moving regarding the college process. The dreaded task of studying for finals might even seem more appealing than creating your Common App account, or perhaps you’ve deemed rewatching every season of Game of Thrones more important than opening up the Common App homepage.

College Admissions Essays about Anxiety

The rise of flickering cell phone screens, social media, and the insane competition of college admissions will define this era in history. Alongside the innovations and competition of the 21st Century is a rise of anxiety amongst all age groups, including, and perhaps especially, teenagers. Your anxiety is totally valid. It’s real and it is something that you should communicate to colleges, but you need to know where to send the message.

The Best College Essays about Art

The college application is holistic. What that means is each part of it should help to complete a picture of the applicant for the admissions committee. As such, no two parts should be the same. A lot of kids end up writing their essays about something that’s already represented elsewhere in the application, like an extra-curricular. While we typically advise against doing that, there is an exception.

College Admission Essays about Moving

The goal of the essay is to tell a story that illuminates something new about you to the admissions committee. Many students take this as an opportunity to try and get deep. Students frequently write about tragedy or major, life-altering obstacles they’ve faced. Some students choose to write about how they’ve grappled with something like addiction or disease. While those experiences are valid, there is a whole separate section just for them. This essay is not the appropriate platform. The trouble with writing about, well, trouble, is that one often falls short of connecting with the anonymous readers, and the whole point if the exercise is to connect with those very people.  

How to Write Your Common App Transfer Essay

The good thing about writing a common app transfer essay is that you’re already familiar with the process. You’ve already made a common app account, filled out all of the logistical sections, and hit submit. The even better news is that this time around you’re asked a much more direct question. You have 650 words to explain why you want to transfer and what you hope to achieve. The objective is incredibly clear and the question leaves a lot less room for interpretation.

10 Tips for Your College Application Essay

Write about something that doesn’t appear in your activities section or resume  

Every single component of your application, from essays to short answer supplements, should show the admissions committee a different part of you. Let your personality become three dimensional. Don’t just rattle of the same redundant information they’re going to see on your resume.  

Helpful Harvard College Essay Tips

The Harvard supplement is optional, which is one of the reasons for their very, very low acceptance rate. Plenty of unqualified kids think, “Hey. No essay? I’ll throw my hat in.” If you’re serious about applying and your scores and GPA fall into Harvard’s range, then write the essay.  

How to Write Your Common App Essay

There are a million different ways to write your common app essay, but in this post we’re going to share the process that we use with TKG students. We like this method because it helps us zero in on topics and ideas that students commonly overlook. It works with every personality type and any potential interest, from introverted interior designers to extroverted entrepreneurs.

Successful Common App Essays About Failure

Humility, self-awareness, and a sense of humor. These are all traits applicants should seek to convey in their college essays, and essays about failure are a great vehicle for doing so. Students are sometimes hesitant to highlight failures. After all, isn’t the objective to cultivate and showcase a cluster of assets on the application? In short, the answer is ‘yes.’ However, highlighting a weakness, if done properly, can also mean underscoring growth, as well as an ability to think critically and learn from past mistakes. Simply put, it’s humanizing.

Creative Ideas for Common App Essays 2018

High school college counselors often advise students away from creativity and into a box of ordinary, albeit palatable humble brags. Their method has worked for them before and they’re not about to go out on a limb if they’re not positive it will work. But college is getting increasingly more competitive and run of the mill essays are not going to put anyone over the edge.