You’ve written four drafts, you’ve had your mother, your counselor, your teacher and your sister look it over. You want to submit the best essay possible, but how do you really know when you’ve reached that point? Is it finally time to declare your application essay DONE?
Ask yourself these questions:
Does your voice shine through? The essay should not read like it was written by a 40-something counselor or teacher. If somewhere in the editing process, the essay began to sound like someone else wrote it, some revision is in order.
Will the reader root for you? If you haven’t told your story in a way that makes you likable, keep trying.
Have you reached the deadline? Sometimes a deadline is a blessing – you know you can’t make any additional changes. Even better is a deadline that you set yourself, after deciding just how much time the essay is worth, as opposed to the time you need to spend on the other elements of your application.
Ultimately, it pays to remember that the essay can almost always be improved. But the essay is intended as a snapshot of the applicant right now. That person is a 17- or 18-year-old high school student, with his or her unique story and interests. If you’ve checked the grammar and spelling, the story is coherent and the voice strong, it’s time to hit “submit.”
If your student needs help finishing – or starting! – a personal essay that will impress admissions officers, call me at 847-660-8625. Or fill out the “Contact Me” form at the bottom of the page.