Amy Haskell, M.A., M.Ed., Founder, Total Writing Enrichment Services
By the time your high school teen reaches the fall of senior year, chances are they most likely know at least some of the most essential components of good writing.
However, when it comes to writing winning college admission essays, many seniors lose confidence and begin to doubt everything they learned in English class; they feel frustrated and confused about essential essay writing elements from topics to tone and stare at their laptop screens as the pressure builds to finish their college applications.
Between the pressure to compete with thousands of other highly qualified students and changes to college admissions due to COVID-19, high school seniors know the college application essays remain more important than ever before; however, where do they start, and how do they submit impressive applications that get them into college?
Although the Common App essay, and/or the main personal statement remains of the utmost importance in conveying your teen’s best self to the colleges, by the time you are reading this, your senior has completed, for the most part, this milestone essay for college admission (and if not, that’s ok, remember to stay positive and offer these tips below for the Common App too).
The focus today centers on the supplemental essays. Please print this post out or send to your senior so that you can help ensure the best possible writing strategy and tips for completing the supplemental essays for their college application.
The goal of the supplemental essays:
– To highlight aspects of your teen’s personality that are not as visible in their grades or test scores.
Remember: start out analyzing the best characteristics of your teen’s personality and values and use these specific traits as a guiding light in even the shortest supplemental essay response.
– To dive deeper into an issue or topic.
Focus: explain and clarify a component of your teen’s background that ultimately creates a stronger or more positive impression to the colleges.
– To enhance the best qualities of your teen and give more evidence of how and why success is inevitable in college and therefore the colleges will say, “Yes! Admit this student!”
In my next article, I will give tips and advice on how to approach the “diversity essay,” as this topic, many times, seems to cause a block for many seniors who feel their high school experience neglected to expose them to the many layers of diversity found in our culture and society.
Please stay tuned and until then, stay positive, focus on what you can control, and share this strategic advice about the supplemental essays with your senior so that you can be their hero.
Amy Haskell is the CEO and founder of her educational consulting company, Total Writing Enrichment, where she helps parents of motivated teens write killer essays that earn “A” grades and wins college acceptance and scholarships – without the parents having to lift a pen!