Essay | California College of the Arts
Photo provided by Pexels
College Application Essay Dos and Don'ts | The Art of Manliness
Colleges use essays to try and create a personal snapshot of you unobtainable from other parts of the application. Essays tell what you are passionate about, what motivates you, what challenges you have faced, or who you hope to become. At selective colleges, admission officers also use essays to make sure that you can reason through an argument competently, that you can connect a series of thoughts, and that you can arrive at an organized conclusion.
The Art of the Admissions Essay on Vimeo
Of course, there is an element of self-selectivity that may set the essays of some Ivy applicants apart from others. Thoughtful applicants focus on how particular schools fit with their social and intellectual aspirations, and good essays mirror such self-awareness. Elisha Anderson, an Associate Director of Admission at , notes that when he used to work in the admission office of a smaller, nonconformist liberal arts college in Massachusetts, he saw so many essays on protests, filmmaking and the Food not Bombs movement, that, “It wasn’t until I started working at Brown—where I almost never read essays on any of these topics—that I realized how different the self-selection of the two applicant pools must have been.”
Photo provided by Flickr
Stanford sociologist Mitchell Stevens spent 18 months embedded with admissions officers at an unnamed top-tier liberal arts college and found that, even in cases where students were within the admissible range in terms of scores and grades, officers rarely looked to the personal essays as a deciding factor. He wrote about his experience for , and here's the most interesting part:Your admission to a competitive fine arts school will be based, in part, upon review of traditional criteria such as your grade point average, level of coursework, test scores, essays, and interviews. However, for most professional colleges, whether it is a music school, dance school, or theater college, the evaluation of your portfolio or your audition will supersede the review of all other criteria for admission.