Your entry into college hinges upon more than just your grades and test scores, generally speaking. Yeah, some kids get the shoe-in… they’re either super-geniuses or total legacies. But chances are you’re neither of these. It’s much more likely that you’re going to need to complete the college application process just like most everybody else.
College applications require a major investment of your time, and if you want to apply to more than one college, it will probably be necessary for you to apply to more than one. Sure, there are “common applications” for certain groups of schools, but there will never be one standard application for all schools. Colleges like to distinguish themselves from one another. Since your first formal contact with any school will be the admissions process, administrators are very particular and deliberate in the way that they present the school. Thus, most colleges have their own unique applications for admission.
Sure, you’ll get lots of forms to fill out with basic information. Some applications will ask you to complete a few short answer questions as well. But the kicker for nearly all college applications is the Admission essay. This is your opportunity, where you really get to set yourself apart from the overachieving pack, so make the most of it! These admissions people are reading literally thousands of applications, so they are definitely looking for something refreshing.
Just because it ought to be something different, however, doesn’t mean that you can turn in something completely unconventional. The admission essay, like any other kind of essay, has a standardized form. Admissions officers and their underlings expect full well that…