Write a Winning CommonApp or Coalition Application Essay

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Why Does the CommonApp or Coalition Application Essay Matter?

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Many colleges use the CommonApp or Coalition Application essay prompts to evaluate student applications. These essays provide colleges with insights into several key aspects of a student’s profile, such as:

  • Writing ability: How effectively can you communicate your ideas?
  • Life experiences: What events or experiences have shaped you?
  • Personal insight: What would you like colleges to know about you beyond your activity list and transcript?

These essays are not just a formality. They offer a unique chance for colleges to understand the person behind the application beyond the resume, transcript, or test scores. A well-crafted essay can add context and depth to your application, setting you apart from other applicants.

Watch this video from Johns Hopkins University for valuable insights into what colleges look for in a personal statement.

Johns Hopkins University’s Tips on Writing a Personal Statement

1. Write in Your Own Voice: Your essay should reflect your unique perspective and personality. Avoid writing a generic autobiography that spans from childhood to high school or a cover letter rehashing your resume. Instead, focus on an unusual, interesting, personal, and authentic theme.

2. Explore Topics and Themes: Throughout this course, you’ll explore different stories and gain a better understanding of the prompts. Be patient and explore your ideas, following the writing process to help you tell your story vividly, succinctly, and purposefully.

3. Evaluate Your Essay: At the end of the writing process, you’ll evaluate your essay using several tests to ensure it’s effectively conveying your message:

  • Is it written in your voice?
  • Does it have a compelling story?
  • Does the theme convey what you want it to about yourself?
  • Does it make sense when read aloud?

In this course, you will work through a step-by-step process to brainstorm, draft, and revise your personal statement. Before starting this course, we recommend completing LifeLaunchr’s self-discovery course. That course will help you brainstorm better ideas and develop a more coherent theme for your essay.