This is another message for seniors, specifically for those of you applying to schools using the common application.
Do you know how many essays you need to write? You better take a
To be sure.
Each school using the common application has its own individual requirements for essays. Most schools require that you answer the common app essay prompt. And MANY require additional short- or medium- length essays as well. The thing that is tricky is that there are two places those essays may be listed. They might fall under the Common Application Member Questions tab. When you are on the page for the school specific application, you will see a link on the left side bar labeled “questions”. This section may list essays and other requirements the school desires in addition to the “questions” school specific essays may also be decribed as “writing supplements”. So you have to check for member questions and writing supplements for each school where you plan to apply.
I know that sounds confusing, but here is a page from the common app website that provides a pretty reasonable explanation. It also includes a link to a pdf called “First-Year Writing Requirements Overview ” that will let you know if a school requires answers to questions, or writing supplements, or both.
Before you write another essay make sure you have a complete list of all the essays you will need to write for all your colleges. Why? Because it will help you budget your time. And more importantly, having all the questions laid out in front of you at once will help you figure out how you can recycle essays. There’s nothing wrong with that. If you find questions that overlap you could probably use a similar core essay to respond to both (with some tweaking to make sure you respond to the question). Here are some more tips for recycling well.
If you are applying for scholarships offered through the college, you should also look at the school’s web page to see if their scholarships have special essay requirements. If you can’t be sure, send an inquiry to the admissions office.
Need help writing essays? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, we’ve got some great guidelines for writing unique and memorable statements. We’ve also got tips for writing those “why are you right for this college?” essays. And you can alway check the free resources offered by The College Essay Guy, he’s the best.