Common App Essays 7 Strong Examples with Commentary

The most effective college essay examples mention major-specific electives or particular clubs. Most importantly, they’ll explain why these programs matter to the writer. You will notice that college application essay examples often describe how college will be an extension of existing passions, interests, and activities. Each college essay example addresses a unique prompt within a specific word count. So, our Common App essay examples may be more helpful to reference when writing your personal statement.

  • You’re going to face a lot of setbacks in college, so admissions officers want to make you’re you have the resilience and resolve to overcome them.
  • She brought out the old silver bowl and poured out the cabbages, smothering them with garlic and salt and pepper.
  • We lived on soup and rice for what seemed an interminable time.
  • It made me, and the people around me, vulnerable, which was frightening.
  • In many cases, the exploration of your thought processes and decision-making is more important than the actual outcome or concept in question.

The Common App essay is the best way for admissions committees to get to know you. While SAT scores, your past course load, and your grades provide a quantitative picture of you as a student, the Common App essay offers adcoms a refreshing glimpse into your identity and personality.

Use your inner voice

Most importantly, ensure that you stick to the word count. Because you’re limited in length, make sure that you write concisely. Say everything that you need to express to get your point across, but don’t use more words than necessary, and don’t repeat yourself. All of these essays rely on connecting with the reader through a heartfelt, highly descriptive scene from the author’s life. It can either be very dramatic (did you survive a plane crash?) or it can be completely mundane (did you finally beat your dad at Scrabble?).

  • Discuss your experiences in college essays that worked for you to become a better person3.
  • By sharing my story, I hoped to inspire admissions committees to see the value in embracing one’s true self and the potential for growth and positive change that lies within each of us.
  • I mumbled the words at first, but I got caught up in the middle of the laughter and began singing along.
  • If you choose the final prompt and yet your answer could work with another available prompt, this will not put you in your best light.

You have your ironed briefs for your businessmen, your soft cottons for the average, and hemp-based underwear for your environmental romantics. But underwear do not only tell us about who we are, they also influence our daily interactions in ways most of us don’t even understand.

How to write a winning scholarship essay

I will also have the opportunity to stimulate my academic intrigue through an intensive research project. Over the years, I have devoted my time towards learning Swedish, building computers, and swimming. Although my college application essay sample accent is horrid, some computers almost broke, and even a starfish would outswim me, I continue to enjoy activities I once criticized. Nobody I know is a kazoo-playing, boogie-board loving, boba connoisseur like me.

In time, I figured out how to redirect some of my frustration, anger, and pent-up energy toward my studies. I had never not liked school, but I had never really liked it either.

Keep the Focus on You

When the student describes their first published poem, however, their writing gets a little more stilted. This is a common error students make when writing about their achievements. This would make the essay feel more cohesive, centering entirely around concepts of voice and style.

While timelines will vary for each student, aim to spend at least 1–3 weeks brainstorming and writing your first draft and at least 2–4 weeks revising across multiple drafts. Remember to leave enough time for breaks in between each writing and editing stage. To achieve this, it’s crucial to give yourself enough time for brainstorming, writing, revision, and feedback.

Final Thoughts—Examples of College Essays & College Essays That Worked

I still eagerly explored new worlds, but through poems and prose rather than pastures and puddles. I’d grown to prefer the boom of a bass over that of a bullfrog, learned to coax a different kind of fire from wood, having developed a burn for writing rhymes and scrawling hypotheses. I can adapt a complex narrative to be deliverable, each component telling a story. Appreciating these nuances — the light, dark, smooth, and rough — has cultivated my growth mindset. It is ever-expanding, absorbing the novel textures and colors I encounter daily. What started as merely a hobby has become a community, a passion, a part of my identity.

The CEG mission is to bring more ease, purpose, and joy to the college application process via our library of free resources (much like this blog post). Leaving home in the beginning of my adolescence, I was sent out on a path of my own. While for some, high school is the best time of their lives, for me, high school has represented some of the best and, hopefully, worst times. Even with the struggles I’ve faced with my family, I am grateful for this path. It has brought me to a place that I only thought was fictional. In this new place I feel like a real person, with real emotions.

Create an essay tracker sheet

Besides being well-crafted, what makes a sample college essay stand out is personality. In this college essay examples guide, we’ve included a range of Common App essay examples and short essay examples that embody different voices, tones, and styles. When looking at college essays that worked, whether personal essay examples or short essay examples, it may be challenging to discern exactly what makes a great sample college essay great. In our college essay examples guide, our examples of college essays (in addition to being correctly formatted) have succeeded across a few criteria. The most common type of essay you’ll encounter is a personal statement for college.

The second of our Common App essay examples uses a different strategy to the first. However, it is still one of the top examples of personal essays. The next author of our college essay examples, Arham, starts with a very specific moment from his fifth grade class. As you will see from our Harvard essay examples and Stanford essay examples, the best college essays give applicants a chance to teach a school about the writer. Good college essays give schools a more complete idea of the person they will be inviting to join their student body—and they are the only chance a school has to learn who you are in your own words.

Good College Application Essay Examples

I could have easily chosen to spend my summer lazing about; in fact, my parents tried to persuade me into taking a break. Instead, I chose to do advanced molecular biology research at Stanford University. I wanted to immerse myself in my passion for biology and dip into the infinitely rich possibilities of my mind. This challenge was so rewarding to me, while at the same time I had the most fun of my life, because I was able to live with people who shared the same kind of drive and passion as I did. I started to make new friends with more people at my school and was surprised to find out that 90% of their parents were divorced.

college application essay sample

I investigated more about City Impact and eventually signed up to volunteer. At holiday outreach events, I prepared and delivered food to homeless people. While sharing my coffee, I listened to a story from an older Chinese man who told me, in Mandarin, how he had been abandoned by his children and felt lonely.

Writing a strong college admissions essay

In the short life of our little community, we did what we thought was impossible. By feeding on each other’s infectious tenacity, we cultivated an atmosphere that deepened our commitment to our values and empowered us to speak out on behalf of the environment.

I was fervently dedicated to learning, seeing knowledge as the key to liberating myself from ignorance. During classes on cancer, I vowed that I would retain every detail and information, not only in textbooks but also in medical journals online. As my future came into clearer focus, it became apparent that what I absorbed at school could help me defeat what had taken away my grandmother. Nevertheless, I shifted my focus to attaining good grades and high test scores rather than understanding the material. It dawned on me that if I could attain academic perfection, then maybe it would make up for what I had neglected to do as a granddaughter in her eyes. Restate your thesis statement and link the closing sentence to the introduction 2.

Engineering College Application Essay Example

This allows the reader to focus on the narrative and appreciate the student’s unique insight. The key to answering this prompt is clearly defining what it is that sparked your growth, and then describing in detail the nature of this growth and how it related to your perception of yourself and others.

I discovered the profound impact that literature can have on shaping perspectives and driving social change. I discovered my passion for community service and social activism, channeling my energy into projects that aimed to make a positive impact. Whether it was organizing fundraisers for local charities or volunteering at homeless shelters, I found purpose in advocating for the voiceless and working towards a more equitable society. It’s a question I’ve grappled with for years, searching for a sense of identity and purpose.

It’s Not Cliché

In conclusion, my college application essay encapsulated my journey of embracing diversity and promoting empathy across borders. It showcased my experiences, achievements, and the personal growth that stemmed from cultural exchange and educational initiatives. Ultimately, my goal was to demonstrate my commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of others and to highlight the unique perspective I would bring to a college campus.

college application essay sample

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