Does My Essay Really Make a Difference in Getting Admitted?

March 11, 2011.  Yes, it can.  Specifically, here are some ways in which college counselors have answered that question in College Essays that Made a Difference:

  • “An essay can have significant impact on the decision.” –Parke Muth, Senior Assistant Dean of Admissions at University of Virginia
  • “If an essay is poorly written, does not address the assigned topic, or includes inappropriate content, it is unlikely the applicant will be considered for admission.”   –Duncan Murdoch, Dean of Admission at Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
  • “There are essays that are compelling, that make a difference.  A great essay can carry the student.  A poor essay might do the opposite.”  –John Latting, Director of Admissions at Johns Hopkins University

In general, small schools weight the importance of the essay more heavily than a larger school.  The U.S. News and World Report Ultimate College Guide is the only college guide that lists the essay importance to a college:  very important, important, considered, not considered.For example, here is a listing of essay importance for Michigan colleges.

Here is another article on the topic: How Much Do College Admissions Essays Matter?