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Time for college-bound seniors to think about admissions essays




Many high school seniors will be required to write college admissions essays, especially if they’re applying to a private college. Admissions officers use the essays to learn more about prospective students and their writing skills.

Some colleges provide a specific topic, such as how attending their school will help students achieve their goals. Others may ask students to choose from several topics, while some will let students pick the topic themselves. Students who select a topic should pick one that will give the admissions officer who reads the essay some insight into their thoughts and abilities — and that will make the officer say, “We want this student on our c ampus.”

“Keep the reader in mind — be original,” said an admissions officer at one private school. “The admissions staff member reads hundreds of essays. What will make yours stand out? Avoid topics that everyone else w ill wr ite about .”

After writing a creative essay, students should spend some time polishing it. Students will do a lot of writing while in college, and colleges want students who already have a good grasp of writing mechanics.

As one admissions officer said, “We look for grammar and complete sentences, the ability to put cohesive thoughts on paper.” That means proofread essays and have others proofread it, too. Ask English teachers or counselors to look it over for errors.

Above all, follow the directions. Too many students don’t pay attention to the guidelines on length and format. Not following the directions may cost acceptance to the school a student really wants to attend.

For more information about student financial aid, visit: www.kheaa.com; or write: KHEAA, P.O. Box 798, Frankfort, KY 40602-0798; or call (800) 928-8926.


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