The Earth is ‘my home.’ ”To Monica Inzer, Hamilton’s dean of admission and financial aid, bold declarations like this one are a strong sign of authenticity if nothing else. “But what I loved about this piece is that there is no attempt to smooth out anything.”As for Ms.“Lots of essays have been doctored or written by other people,” she said. Kumar, the 18-year-old Princeton applicant, her essay wasn’t so much smooth as it was slick, gliding effortlessly from her breakfast table to the manicured campus of Princeton to the “occidental bubble” of her school classroom.One of the first rules of the college admissions process is that you don’t write about the college admissions process. Cranberg thumbed his nose at that convention, taking on the tremendous cost of the piles of mail schools send to potential students, and the waste that results from the effort.
I was not the upper-middle-class kid on Park Avenue. Instead of diplomas and accolades, my parents’ room emits a smell from the restaurant uniforms they wear seven days a week, all year round.”Mr. And her essay for Hamilton College, which she will attend in the fall, centers on her desire to serve in the Peace Corps.
It opens with a joke about her hating clowns and leeches and tells a sad story of a visit to the Dominican Republic, where her father refused to let her play with the destitute boy next door.
You already know how to write an academic essay: you start with an introduction, throw in a thesis statement, find about three paragraphs’ worth of evidence, and wrap it all up with a tidy conclusion…Now forget all that, because a successful college application essay is totally different.
Here's the thing: your college application essay needs to breathe life into your application.
Over the years, students who tell me they absolutely love to write have said they struggle with the application essay.
So if you’ve been biting your nails or tearing your hair out even a little, you’re not alone. I’ve been in the admission business long enough to have gleaned a few tips that I think are worth passing along.“I don’t believe that any one writing sample should trump what they did over four years.” Still, he acknowledged that his staff had been taken with the story told by Lyle Li, a 19-year-old Brooklyn resident who applied this year.He wrote about his family’s restaurant and his mother, an immigrant from China who once wanted to be a doctor and now works behind a cash register. “His essay brought his family’s circumstance and background into Technicolor,” Mr. “He paints a very vivid picture of what life is really like in his home.It should capture your genuine personality, explaining who you are beyond a series of grades, test scores, and after-school activities.But that’s not nearly as scary as it seems, because you get to choose what to share and how to share it.There’s a detour onto the city bus and then a quick trip to India before coming back to the “towering turrets” of New Jersey again.Nevertheless, Princeton rejected her, and when I approached the university to find out if it had anything to do with her essay, it cited its policy of not commenting on any applicants or admissions decisions.I also want to recommend you take a look at our Essays that Worked: real essays submitted by real students who have since matriculated at Connecticut College.These essays are terrific, and you can find them listed on the right side of this page. For anyone looking to inspire their own children or grandchildren who are seeking to go to college in the fall of 2014, these four essays would be a good place to start.Perhaps the most daring essay of all came from Julian Cranberg, a 17-year-old from Brookline, Mass.