For example, on this question that asked me to talk about something that I do for the pleasure of it for my MIT application I wrote about poetry.
However, I didn't simply write about how much I love writing.
(Scroll down to read the essays, unedited and in full.)You'll need the help: Competition at these schools is fiercer than ever.
For every kid who’s hung prayer flags on a mountain summit in Tibet, there are a dozen others who’ve studied a Bantu language in Rwanda, worked with Guatemalan orphans, cooked with a celebrity chef, or been on reality TV.
The essays were slipped to us by college professors, high-school guidance counselors, independent admissions consultants, and even staffers at student newspapers.
For confidentiality reasons, admissions officers can't talk about these essays expressly, so we chose essays that demonstrate the most salient principles to abide by when writing them."I once heard one [essay-writing] professional brag about slipping in mistakes to throw off admissions officers," he says."That's just disgusting."Rule #1: When Tackling a Global Issue, Make it Personal Brown Freshman Nawal Traish could have chosen to write about U. relations with Libya or general unrest in the Muslim world.“We have 22,000 applications, so it’s easy to blend into the crowd.”• Kathleen Kingsbury: The Best College Food• Kathleen Kingsbury: How to Choose a College Roommate This year that may mean students want to reconsider before giving their take on the recent financial meltdown or the national health-care debate.At California’s Pomona College, the admissions staff anticipates an influx of essays on the economy, similar to what they saw post-September 11, 2001, when nearly half the applications essays dealt with the terrorist attacks.“But it’s a different story if you watched the towers collapse from science class at [New York City’s] Stuyvesant High School than if you live on a farm in Iowa,” Pomona’s admissions dean Bruce Poch says.I said I disagree with the quote, and that having to "translate" yourself is the most isolating experience of all. Not sure how Amherst will respond to me ripping on their admissions process, lol. “Families are going through hell right now, and it’s the very personal experiences that will resonate the most.” Then again, Poch adds, “Sympathy isn’t the only reason we let kids in.”Despite what admissions guidebooks tell you, there's no surefire formula to the college essay.Poch confesses even a small error or two will not necessarily kill your chances of getting in—as long as it's not on purpose.(A few more: Don't write about mom and dad's divorce, and no general philosophizing—you're 17, get over yourself.) Admissions season is under way, and with early applications deadlines starting November 1, you've only got a few more days to polish your make-or-break essay.Straight As and stellar SAT scores won't be enough.