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Common College Application Essay Myths

Last updated July 8, 2024

As you begin to work on your college applications, you may learn some myths or half-truths about writing your college application essay. In this article, we share (and debunk) three of the most common college application essay myths!

A young black man wearing a blue and green flannel sits in a cafe and types on his computer - Common College Application Essay Myths

Myth #1: Your Essay Needs to be a Masterpiece

College admissions officers understand that you have a certain prompt and word limit when writing your essay. There is no expectation for you to write a groundbreaking, masterpiece of an essay. What truly matters the most when writing your college application essay is to share your authentic story and the things you've learned about yourself and the world through your experiences. As a student, athlete, community member, family member, and employee, you bring lots of great qualities and experiences to the table. Your essay is a great place to share those things and reflect on how they've prepared and motivated you to apply to college. 

Myth #2: You Need an Incredible Story to Write an Interesting Essay

You don’t need a life-changing or dramatic story to write a compelling college essay. Focus on an event or subject that genuinely reflects your perspectives and demonstrates your personal growth. Write with sincerity and detail about something meaningful to you.

Myth #3: You Have to Talk About Everything You’ve Ever Accomplished in Your Essay

Your resume is the best place to list your achievements, extracurricular activities, and academic honors. Your college essay should instead introduce new aspects of who you are, or add more context to an experience listed on your resume. Your college essay is a great place to really go deeper and share an important story that clealy shows how you've grown. Don't be afraid to get personal!

Free College Application Essay Resources from Get Schooled

Have any questions about writing a great college application essay? Text #College to 33-55-77 to chat with one of our advisors. If you're using a mobile device, click here to have the text message set up for you!

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