Tips for the College App by Victoria

Hey, y'all! My name is Victoria and I blog over at Memphis Made. You might remember me from a linkup Hunter & I did together at the beginning of August.

Today I want to talk to you about my tips for nailing the best college essay possible. I am a freshman in college now, and know that I wouldn't be here if it weren't for the essay I wrote my senior year of high school.

If you are applying to college, you are likely dealing with either the Common Application or a school-specific application. I personally had both, and I know lots of you do as well!

1. The word limit is not flexible at all.
On the Common App, if you go even one word over, it will be cut out of your essay, and although you may have submitted 651 words, the school only sees 650. Following the word limit also shows that you are capable of reading and following simple instructions, and if you can't do that, most colleges will wonder if you are capable of handling more complex guidelines.

2. Peer edit.
I'm sure you can see why it's so imperative that your grammar and punctuation be correct. A misuse of their/they're/there can make a school think that you didn't care enough about your essay to proofread it. This is where your friends/teachers/parents come in - they can read your essay for mechanics, and pick up on something you might have missed.

3. Choose your words carefully.
Chances are, you'll have less than 750 of them no matter which application you are working on. The purpose of the essay is for a college to get to know you more as a person while also canvasing your communication skills. The key is to be concise and be careful not to repeat yourself. Again, peer editing can help you make sure you aren't rambling by the end!

4. Relate to the prompt.
Interject a few personal anecdotes throughout your essay or use a personal story and then relate it to the prompt. It's important that you reflect a little bit of yourself in your essay. The school wants to get to know you on a more personal level than your activities resumé, so take the opportunity to show them.

5. Revise. And then revise again.
I started my essay for the Common Application towards the first of September. I wanted to make sure that I would have plenty of time to work on it, and as we all know, good writing takes time. Your first draft will not be your final product, and that's perfectly ok. You will go over that essay again and again until you are absolutely sick of it, but you'll know when it's finally perfect.

If you are a senior in high school, remember to relax and have fun. There's more to senior year than the giant storm of college looming on the horizon!

 xx, Victoria


  1. Great tips! The stress of applying for colleges should not out weigh the fun of it being your senior year!

  2. Perfect! I am in the middle of applying right now! Thanks for the tips!



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