Best and worst college essays

What majors or classes do they offer?

Not proofreading your paper! You always want to have another pair of eyes read it—also for perspective. The essay is easy once you start looking at the big picture—and using your own perspective.

How to write the perfect college application essay

Kate is the Associate Editor of Her Campus. Before joining the staff full-time, Kate was the Campus Correspondent for the HC Skidmore College chapter as well as an editorial intern, Love editor, and national contributing writer for HC. In her spare time, Kate is usually spotted writing fiction, playing tennis, reading pop culture blogs until her eyes hurt, baking cookies, or dreaming up her next travel adventure.

Skip to main content. Writing a super general essay Word to the wise: if you want to apply to a school, you should probably know a little something about it location is a good place to start.


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Kate Moriarty Skidmore. The admissions team found the essay off-putting, and the student was rejected. Over-the-top humor can also be a risk, but a well-placed joke or two is okay if it reflects your personality.

College Admissions Essay Topics to Avoid | Fastweb

Often, students feel pressure to write about a completely unique, never-before-seen essay topic that will help them stand out. Remember that the purpose of a college admissions essay is to help admissions officers get to know you. Your essay should truly sound like you. Some of the best college application essays are written about small moments that are meaningful to the applicant. Make sure that your essay is more than a recitation of the accomplishments, activities, and experiences already hashed out in the application.

If you really want to make an impression, let your personality shine through.

5 College Essay Topics You Should Never, Ever Write About

Both students and parents tend to think that writing about overseas volunteering or charity trips is a sure-fire way to impress admissions officers. In fact, the opposite is true. Essays that focus on this type of topic usually conclude in one way: The student discusses how lucky she is to have her lifestyle; she now possesses a newfound appreciation for all the opportunities and things she has. She is thankful.

Choose Your Test

Additionally, these types of essays frequently present the student as some type of savior, who is privileged enough to spend the money to fly and participate in an activity overseas. Remember, you want to sound genuine, not sanctimonious.

Worst of the Worst

After that, she was put in foster homes and was constantly moving from home to home. She was able to get through college all by herself, receiving scholarships and working part-time. She now works as an editor for McGraw-Hill books and takes night classes toward an M.

She says, "Education is a lifelong process. One quality my mom possesses that I admire is her ability to persevere and overcome hardship. She has always taught me that my true dwelling place is in my mind, and that I have dominion over my thoughts. It is always important to monitor my thoughts and make sure they are positive. As a child, my mom thought a lot about the future, and she just knew it would be brighter.

She says, "I wrapped my will around the future and pulled myself through.


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She remembers how little love she got, and how embarrassed she was that she didn't have the right clothes and such things. Now my mom goes out of her way to make sure I have everything I need. She's a very loving, nurturing mother. I once asked my mom how old she was when her mother died. She whispered softly, "I was I can't imagine, and I'm glad I haven't had to experience that.

I must admit that my mom and I sometimes disagree because we're both so strong-willed.

The Charity Vacation Essay

Actually, my father affectionately calls my mom "just plain stubborn. I am thankful that she taught me to be determined and to focus on the positive. She says those two things can help everyone survive. Now after reading that, what are your opinions on it? Not badly written, but absolutely nothing about her right?

Now imagine that essay got her into Harvard, not only did it get her into Harvard, it was one of 6 essays chosen by their board to be published in a issue of Harvard Magazine as an exemplary essay. If you thought you didn't understand adcoms before, think again.