Rubric for the best College Application Essays:


1.    Open with a snappy sentence. Admissions counselors read hundreds of essays this time of year. Make yours stand out from the first sentence. Then, carry that energy through to the bottom. When you proof read, eliminate any bits that go off topic or might allow the reader to doze!


2.    Show your good character. Write like you’re trying to tell a good story. After you write your essay, proof read for any negative words. Turn your weaknesses into strengths. Admissions counselors would love to know that they are admitting students who have good values, are honest, hardworking, and eager to help others.


3.    Show your passions. If there is something in your life that drives you to excel, talk about it. If you have a hobby, talk about it.  If there is something in society that angers you to want to change the world, tell the story. Admissions counselors are looking for students who care because those are the students who will use their college education to make our world better.


4.    Use specific examples full of colorful detail. Admissions counselors love to see your world. Show a scene from your garage, your dinner table, or a moment on the trail where you run every day. These examples are often what sway Admissions Counselor in your favor. If you show them your world, they feel that they know you.


5.    Write about something original. Write about what you love, not what you think your audience wants to read. It’s that simple. Be creative. Start with a bit of dialog or paint the scene. Make them laugh. Make them cry. Whatever your topic, make it one that you could talk about for hours. That’s what your readers will love!


6.    Your voice is important. Write the way you think and talk. Check for clarity and avoid clichés, but use this essay as a way of clearly communicating who you are. If you receive help on your essay, make sure it is only editing help.


7. Show your intellectual curiosity. This is your chance to show that you’re the kind of person who wants to attend college because you want to learn more. If you study anything on your own, tell about it. If you are proud of the work you’ve done, show us.


8.    Read your essay aloud. When we work with students, we always have them read aloud because that’s the best way to hear the pacing of the essay and catch the errors. Our students are often told by colleges that they were accepted because of their essay. Reading it aloud is how you get that kind of excellent response.


9.    Show your depth. This is your chance to tell the part of the story that is emotional. Don’t hold back. Show your depth so that the reader will feel what you have felt.


10.  Follow all the rules of grammar. Of course!  Check for commas, spelling, word choice, and run-on sentences. Once again, reading aloud will help you find your grammatical mistakes and will help you be a wonderful college student next year!