I've always encouraged students to write an essay draft and then re-write it until it is a work of art that represents their essence. That is a process that takes time. Students who ignore such advice and dash off a quick admission application essay this year might be surprised at what I heard an admission officer say this week.
"If an admission essay does not reveal something about a student in the first paragraph, I stop reading".
Yikes! If that does not make a student take an essay seriously, I don't know what will. The admission officer explained that she can tell in the first paragraph if she is going to learn anything about a student from an essay. She said she does not like to waste any time during her seven minute application review. Yes, that's right, seven minutes.That is how much time that admission officer can devote to each of the thousands of applications she reviews.
News flash, college applications need to be AWESOME, including the essay. Rising seniors need to work hard this summer to write their story and edit it to insure that they take full advantage of the one part of the college application over which they have control and with which they can make the case for their admission.