Last Minute College Application Essay Tips

Writing a last minute college application essay?

There are still colleges accepting applications.

High School Senior:  “When should I start writing my college application essay?”

Debbie Merion, College Essay Coach:  “Now.”

High School Senior:  “How?”

Trying to write fast? Read these seven steps to write your last minute college application essay.

1.  Forget writing.  Take a few minutes just to get organized.

  • Look at the college website to see if it takes the common application and /or requires supplementary questions.
  • Copy and paste all of the information for that school into one computer file. Decide which major interests you,  and research the major. Research the college and the major through reading its website, other websites, talks with friends, family, students, faculty, alumni or college counselors.
  • Add 30 minutes a day to your calendar to write a last minute college application essay. Assign a time for the 30 minutes each day. Perhaps right before or after dinner?

2. It helps to read about successful essays.

There are many excellent books with essay examples. I have examples in my book, Solving the College Admissions Puzzle and on my site here and here.

3.  Start to brainstorm lists.

Here is how to brainstorm a list.  [This process will take approximately 15 minutes.]

4.  Pick a topic that attracts you.

It’s best to involve an adult in this process.  [This process might take 15 minutes to an hour.]   Here are the characteristics of a great essay topic:

  • You tell a true story about something that you have experienced.  The point of the story is something positive about you; the story reveals a quality that will help you be successful in college, such as being organized, taking initiative, etc.
  • You feel good sharing your essay with a person who might be a checking you out, such as a future employer or date.
  • The essay has some vivid and positive imagery.
  • The essay includes details and self insight.
  • Take this quiz to try out your options, “Which is Your Best College Application Essay Topic?”  Make sure you read the document that appears at the end, with your score.

Start writing your last minute college application essay like you are telling a true story about yourself to an adult who doesn’t know you.

[Read more about how to write fast here.]

[Writing about diversity? Read more about that here and here.]

6.  Get feedback, edit and repeat.

Here is some background on how to edit your college essay.

7.  Reward yourself.

Perhaps buy yourself a gift, or share this list for “Ten Holiday Gift Ideas for Teens, College Students, and their Parents” with a loved one?

Ten gifts for teens

[Need more assistance with writing your story or your college application essay?  Would you like to work with an award-winning writer who helps businesses, authors and students tell their story in the most meaningful way?  Write Debbie]