The Ivy Coach Daily

October 15, 2010

Truncated Essays

Don’t exceed word/character counts in college essays (photo credit: Gavin Huang).

Attention Seniors: Before clicking submit on your applications, make sure that you don’t go over the character or word count when you insert an essay or a short answer into a box on the Common Application, a university’s supplement, or on any other online application for that matter. If you do, your essay or answer will be truncated. You might even notice truncating when your answers are at or below the character limit. It’s stated on The Common Application: “Not all answers that ‘fit’ on the online application will ‘fit’ on the PDF of the Common Application.” So if you don’t see your essays, short answers, or the information that you filled in on the Activity Section in its entirety, neither will the admissions counselor who will be reading your application.

The only way that you’re going to know if the college receives your entire admissions essays or short answers is to open the Print Preview and read what you’ve written. This is precisely how admissions officers will be able to see your words. If you see that some of your text is missing, then shorten your response to fit within the space provided and then check Print Preview again. This, of course, doesn’t apply to essays that you’ve uploaded. It’s unlikely that essays you’ve uploaded will be truncated, though be sure to adhere to the word or character counts even in uploaded essays. You don’t want to come across to college admissions officers as a student who doesn’t pay attention to directions, do you? We think not!

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