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College Essay Myth #5: Only the Best Students Impress Admissions with College Essays!


This is the last, but not the least in importance, in this series of myths and facts surrounding the ever so daunting college essay. Remember, there is a lot of misinformation out there in books and on the web that will take you off track. Your job is to get the right information so you succeed in dazzling admissions. It’s hard, but you need to separate the myths from the facts, and be careful of where you get your information.

Myth 5: Only superstar students will impress admissions officers with their essays.

Fact: Anyone can stand out with a great story!

You don’t have to rescue a child from a house fire, get a million downloads for an app you developed, or teach an autistic boy how to swim to impress admissions officers.

“Life is truly lived in the in the smaller moments, and that can be a powerful essay,” said Jan Deike, Assistant Director of Admissions, Vanderbilt University.

One Wow student wrote a fabulous college entrance essay about memorizing the general intestinal track to ace his anatomy final. A girl wrote a gorgeous story about finding her passion for nature while pulling weeds in a community garden. Another boy focused on the moment he forgot his cello for an orchestra concert and improvised his performance with a bass guitar. His problem-solving skills impressed admissions officers, and one college sent him an offer of admission that praised his essay.

Be personal. Be insightful. Your story is just as powerful as any other student. Even if the topic is an intellectual one, the reader is looking for a personal response. It’s your application, your experience, your thoughts, interests and personality. You have a great story to share, and colleges want to hear it.


About the author: Kim Lifton is President of Wow Writing Workshop, a strategic communications and content marketing company. Wow students get into their top-choice colleges year after year.  Let the national experts on the college essay guide you to your best story, and improve your chances of getting into the college of your dreams. Want to find out how to find a great topic and make your essay good? Watch this video, College Essay Crash Course, The Common App.

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