Fluff in college essays is one of the biggest mistakes students make in the college application process. Yes, you read that right — fluff. The funny thing is that most students we work with don’t even realize when they’re writing fluff. We suppose it just comes naturally to them. They’re used to writing fluff in high school English and history papers. But in college essays, fluff is an absolute no-go. It will severely hinder your chances for admission to highly selective colleges as college admissions officers at these schools can see right through fluff. After all, they sure do read a lot of fluffy nonsense, as you can imagine.
So how can you identify fluff in your college essays? Well, let’s give you a couple of samples:
1.) I want to attend your university because of the gorgeous campus, filled with green trees and a picturesque lawn right at the center. It is, quite simply, stunning. It’s my dream school
2.) I really enjoy sports and have since an early age. Sports are an opportunity for people to show their true selves, to put forward their best effort, and see what happens.
3.) The book gave me a window into another world, one that has shaped my life tremendously. It has made me a better person, someone who is more accepting of people, and someone who always seeks to do right.
Yes, that is all transparent fluff. A beautiful campus? Fluff. The importance of sports in shaping lives? Fluff. Saying rather than showing how a book has shaped your life? Total and complete fluff. Don’t just write random words on a page in your college essays. Make every single word count. After all, you’ve got a tight word limit. If the word doesn’t need to be there, get rid of it. If you read a sentence over and you’re not sure it makes a point that is important, delete it. It’s that simple.
So comb through your college essays if you’ve already written them. And delete all fluff. Delete anything superfluous. Delete anything that doesn’t say exactly what you want to say in the concise way that you want to say it. It is that simple. And if you haven’t yet written your college essays, we urge you to take our advice to heart. No fluff. Let that ring inside your head over and over again. Stuff it. Don’t fluff it.