A good way to see if you've responded to the prompt well is to swap out the name of Oberlin College or whichever college you are applying to with the name of another college.
If the essay still makes sense once you do a global replace of the school name, you haven't written a good supplemental essay. The sample essay certainly succeeds on this front. If we were to substitute "Kenyon College" for "Oberlin College" in the essay, the essay would not make sense.
The details in the essay are unique to Oberlin. Demonstrated interest can play a meaningful role in the admissions process, and this applicant has clearly demonstrated that she knows Oberlin well and her interest in the school is sincere. Admissions officers can't help but feel that Oberlin is a great match for this applicant.
The Truth About College Admissions Essays
She knows the school well, and her interests and goals line up perfectly with Oberlin's strengths. This short essay will certainly be a positive piece of her application. The content of your supplemental essay is extremely important, and poor decisions on this front can lead to a weak supplemental essay.
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But content isn't everything. You also need to focus on the presentation of your ideas.
Make sure your essay is entirely free of any grammatical errors, and be sure to avoid common stylistic problems. The admissions officers need to conclude that you are sincerely interested in attending their school and that you are an excellent writer. Share Flipboard Email. Allen Grove is an Alfred University English professor and a college admissions expert with 20 years of experience helping students transition to college.
Updated September 29, I visited 18 colleges over the past year, yet Oberlin is the one place that most spoke to my interests. Early in my college search I learned that I prefer a liberal arts college to a larger university. The collaboration between the faculty and undergraduate students, the sense of community, and the flexible, interdisciplinary nature of the curriculum are all important to me.
I plan to major in Environmental Studies at Oberlin. Finally, as the rest of my application clearly demonstrates, music is an important part of my life. What better place than Oberlin to do so?
Attending College Essay Examples
With more performances than days in the year and a large group of talented musicians in the Conservatory of Music, Oberlin is an ideal place for exploring my love of both music and the environment. I could go on.
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To know what kinds of questions to ask yourself about what you do want in college, you might want to check out our article about the first steps in selecting a college that suits you. This means real research, not looking at pictures in pamphlets or online. Walk around campus; go into classes and dorms; talk to professors, admissions people, and students; and check out the library, cafeterias, and student union.
Take down names of people you talk to, note quotations from people, take down the names of buildings, and the names of classes you attend. All this will come in handy. Here you need to check out the various courses and note down the nitty-gritty things like numbers of credits needed and prerequisites. Look at departments and their faculty.
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Look at the activity calendars to get a feel for how busy the campus is and what it offers students. The best thing is to group your notes into three or four things that you like about the campus that you can describe and to which you can add why you like that from your list of what you want from a college experience.
Here are a few more tips about writing an admissions essay to help you breeze through.
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