Description: Watch an Informational Video on Avoiding Negativity in College Essays. College Admissions Essays Assistance from Ivy Coach.

Transcription: Becky: Ugh. I have to write my personal statement this weekend. My parents have been hounding me for weeks about college essays.

Megan: Oh, I know, me too. What are you going to write about?

Becky: I’m going to write about how bad our math teacher has been. His lessons make, like, no sense and the tests have nothing to do with what we do in class. Math is my best subject, but I am not doing well in the class.

Megan: Maybe it will explain to college admissions counselors why you are not doing so well this year in your best subject. I think it is a good idea. I was thinking of writing about how my AP Chemistry teacher did not challenge me. I love science. His class was too easy, and he often made fun of my purple hair. I did not like him.

Becky: That will make you sound smart. AP Chemistry was a tough class. Writing about how the teacher did not teach you all that you wanted to learn seems like it would paint you as someone who loves to learn as much as she can.


Megan: Everything we just said is absolutely wrong. Students often criticize their teachers and courses on college applications, and that is not a good idea.

Becky: Even if you had a bad teacher and it is the reason you did not do well in a course, don’t write about them in your college essays. It is too negative. It paints you poorly. It makes you unlikable.

Megan: Avoiding negativity is important in crafting a successful application. Know your audience. College admissions counselors are often aspiring leaders in education. Many go on to get Ph.D.s in education. Many want to change education policy or run a school one day. To insult your educators may very well not sit well with them and it is not worth the risk. To learn more pitfalls of the college admissions process, visit Ivy Coach at

Becky: That’s