What Will Someone Learn About You From Reading Your College Application Essay?

College admissions officers are just like you.  They might be a little older (if you’re a student) or a little younger (if you’re a parent). But they think logically.  They ask themselves,

What have I learned from this student from reading this essay? Am I impressed? Will she contribute to our community? Does he seem like he has the skills to stay focused and graduate?


During the Essay Coaching Sept 20, 2018 workshop at Community High School in Ann Arbor, we read this sample essay and discussed it:


Sample “College Specific” Essay: “Why Yale” by David Roosth

Upon a recent Yale visit, I conversed with a Yale senior in the admissions office about his experiences. He had only two complaints about the university: there were too many student protesters, and the university sands the roads instead of salting them in the winter. I love that Yale is a place where the students are motivated to change the world, and the faculty encourages them to act. Sanding saves the environment. What annoyed this Yale student impresses me. (79 words)

–from Fiske: Real College Essays that Work

What Did You Learn From The College Application Essay Above?

Yale admissions officers needed to make some assumptions about David Roosth, based on this essay.  So Community High School students also made assumptions about David, based on this essay.  Here’s what Community High School students came up with after a brief discussion:

David is…

  • Interested in the environment
  • Showing his interest by showing up (at Yale)
  • Willing to reach out, friendly or curious
  • Interested in speaking up
  • Optimistic
  • A person with a good memory. (He remembered what he heard on the tour!)

That’s a good example of how an admissions officer might think.  Are those assumptions also characteristics of strong students? Yes!  Look how much information David was able to communicate about himself in only 79 words! He was specific. He told who he spoke to, where, what that person said, and what he, David thought.  Be specific, and you’ll help your reader learn more about you, too!

More News Sept/Oct 2018

New FAFSA Form Available on Oct 1, 2018

Read more about the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) here.

Read about the mobile app for FAFSA here.

Register to Vote on Nov. 6, 2018! Remember to vote!

Students in Michigan who are 18 by Nov. 6. can vote in the Nov. 6, 2018 election, but only if they register by Oct. 9.  For more information on how to register, go to turbovote.org. Your vote is needed!

Retirement Planning for Students in High School!

Are you a student with a job in high school? Learn how to save for your far, far future here.


Need more assistance with writing your college application essay?  Check out the free Essay Coaching quizzes here.  Would you like to work with an award-winning writer who helps businesses, authors and students tell their story in a compelling, meaningful way?  Write Debbie Merion:  Debbie@EssayCoaching.com