College Parents – Top 5 Things When Writing an Application Essay


The top 5 things a Senior parent must encourage their teen to do when writing an application essay

Writing a college application essay is one of the most challenging yet valuable parts of the application process. A well-crafted essay could decide whether a student will be admitted to the top colleges on their list. Many applicants have good GPAs, great SAT or ACT scores, impressive extracurricular activities, and solid educational summer experiences; however, universities cannot accept every qualified student who applies–they just don’t have the room. So, as the competition gets more heated, the quality of the essays can determine the winners.

The admissions officers want to know an applicant’s passions, interests, experiences, strengths, weaknesses, values, goals, and feelings. A student’s GPA, course load, and standardized test scores are not enough for the selection committee to thoroughly decide why they should accept that student. Each admissions team is looking for talented students who are uniquely qualified to add value to their university family. An ideal candidate will hit the ground running when they arrive on campus, contribute positively and effectively to the university community, leave a glowing legacy, and be a productive member of society who reflects well on their university. 

With memorable and compelling essays showcasing a student’s distinct natural abilities, an applicant has an excellent opportunity to convince the admissions team to choose them. The essay is the applicant’s chance to shine!

We advise parents of college-bound seniors to encourage their teens to take the following five steps to craft compelling college application essays that will capture the attention of admissions officers:

  1. Reflect on their experiences: Encourage your teen to take the time to reflect on their experiences, both inside and outside of the classroom. This reflection will help them identify key moments, challenges, and achievements that have shaped their journey and contributed to their personal growth.
  2. Identify their unique qualities: Help your teen identify their unique qualities, talents, and perspectives. What sets them apart from other applicants? Encourage them to dig deep and discover the aspects of their personality and character that make them truly unique.
  3. Connect experiences to values and passions: Guide your teen in connecting their experiences to their core values and passions. How have their experiences shaped their values and influenced their passions? This connection will give their essay a strong sense of purpose and authenticity.
  4. Craft a compelling narrative: Assist your teen in crafting a compelling narrative that tells their story. Encourage them to use vivid language, engaging anecdotes, and personal insights to bring their experiences to life. This narrative should showcase their growth, resilience, and determination.
  5. Seek feedback and revise: Emphasize the importance of seeking feedback from trusted mentors, teachers, and essay editing coaches. Encourage your teen to revise their essay based on this feedback, ensuring that their message is clear, their writing is concise, and their voice shines through.

By following these steps, your teen will be well on their way to crafting and completing compelling college application essays that will leave a lasting impression on admissions officers.

If you need more help with the admissions process, please view this article on the Top 5 College Admission Consultants of 2023.


Key Application Deadlines:


  1. Early Decision/Early Action Deadline: If you are applying for Early Decision or Early Action, be sure to check the specific deadline for each college. Typically, these deadlines fall in November or early December of the senior year.
  2. Regular Decision Deadline: The deadline is usually in January or February for colleges with a regular decision application option. Make sure to check the exact deadline for each college.
  3. Scholarship and Financial Aid Deadlines: Many colleges have separate deadlines for scholarship and financial aid applications. These deadlines may differ from the general application deadline, so staying informed and submitting all necessary documents on time is essential.
  4. FAFSA Deadline: The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a critical form to determine eligibility for financial aid. The deadline for submitting the FAFSA varies by state and college, but it is typically in the early spring. Be sure to check the specific deadline for your state and the colleges you are considering.
  5. College-specific Supplemental Material Deadlines: Some colleges require additional materials such as recommendation letters, portfolios, or audition tapes. These materials often have separate deadlines, so check each college's requirements and submit them by the specified dates.

It is essential to stay organized and keep track of these deadlines to ensure you have enough time to complete your applications and submit them on time. Consider creating a calendar or checklist to stay on top of these important dates and avoid any last-minute stress or missed opportunities.

If you need more help with the admissions process, please view this article on the Top 5 College Admission Consultants of 2023.

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