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Writing Tip # 4
Why the College Application Essay
Is So Important…Especially Today!

By Dr. Thelma T. Reyna
The Writing Pros

Almost every college and university today requires that a student wishing admission submit a college application/admission essay. The importance of this essay cannot be overstated, since it can often make the difference between being admitted into the particular college of your choice, or being rejected.

Many college-bound seniors have similar qualities—strong GPA’s, impressive letters of recommendations, involvement in extra-curricular activities, participation in sports or other organized school groups, honors and awards, etc.—so the college essay is frequently what separates successful from unsuccessful applicants. College admissions officers oftentimes use the essay to separate the most desirable applicants from everybody else.

Today, due to economic hardships nationwide and many budget cuts at universities across the country, colleges are decreasing the numbers of students being admitted. In California, especially, the budget crisis is severe, and thousands of students are, or will be, turned away by even the largest, most prestigious universities in our state. Fewer spaces mean much stricter guidelines for admissions…and an increased emphasis on the importance of the college application, or college admission, essay.

Your essay must set you apart from the crowd, from your competition. For the one spot you seek in the entering class of students, you may be competing against hundreds or thousands of other top scholars. Your essay reveals:

  • your dreams, ambitions;
  • character, personality, temperament;
  • manner of thinking, philosophies about life and people; and
  • many other attributes that are not reflected in your application or résumé.

Your essay may even win you an entrance slot over hundreds or thousands of competitors who had a higher GPA than you, or who had earned more awards or been involved in more activities.

Your essay is highly crucial in your application packet.

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