There’s a very good chance that your college essays are probably not so good. There’s a good chance that with less than a week left before the Regular Decision deadline, your college essays need to be scrapped entirely. This is true for the vast majority of college applicants. In fact, in all of our years in this business, it is the rare exception when we read a compelling, well-crafted admissions essay that we didn’t help the student shape. So when parents and students tell us that they’re just about done with their essays or they’re all done, we think it’s ridiculous. Because submitting bad college essays — or even essays that aren’t so good — will hurt one’s candidacy. Essays put applicants over the edge. And bad essays won’t only not help…they’ll hurt.
So what are some examples of bad college essay topics, you ask? Well, if your essay focuses on your major activities, there’s a good chance that your essay is bad. College essays should not focus on your activities — unless it’s an activity essay in which you’re asked to write about a significant activity in your life. If your essay is about your grandfather, sharing his story of coming to America and all that he’s taught you, that’s really sweet. You should give it to your grandfather if he’s alive. But don’t submit this as your college essay because college admissions officers don’t care to learn about grandpa. Rather, they want to learn about you.
And how about that essay about sports? Avoid it. So many students write about sports and these essays read as so cliche! Or how about an essay on volunteering? Every admissions officer wants to see that a student volunteers his or her time after school each day, right? Wrong. College admissions officers at highly selective colleges aren’t looking to fill an incoming class with a bunch of students who volunteer a few hours each week with Key Club. That isn’t impress and it reads as though you’re trying to impress admissions officers with how good of a person you are. Anyhow, the list on bad college essay topics goes on and on. We just wanted to point out a few…the tip of the iceberg if you will.
If you need last-minute college essay assistance, we can read and critique your essays and offer you our feedback. We can then brainstorm new topics, direction, and structure for these essays. There’s no reason to stress. Major, great changes can still be made. But, yes, time is of the essence so we suggest you not wait further to get in touch with us.
You are permitted to use www.ivycoach.com (including the content of the Blog) for your personal, non-commercial use only. You must not copy, download, print, or otherwise distribute the content on our site without the prior written consent of The Ivy Coach, Inc.