Save $600 on Unlimited Prep for the PSAT, ACT & SAT*. Ends Monday, May 21. Learn More.
Promo ends in
days, hours, minutes, seconds.Learn More.
Write an Amazing College Application Essay
The essay is not as scary as it seems. In fact, it’s one portion of the application that the student controls completely. This is your chance to provide the admissions board a side of your personality beyond test scores, GPA, teacher recommendations, or activities.
Find your prep
* Please enter your ZIP code
College Application Essay Topics
Typically colleges offer a number of topics on which students may write. These topics usually give a focus to the essay and almost always encourage introspection. Even when you write about a current event, the approach should be personal.
Each year certain social and political themes are common to a large percentage of the essays. It's fine to choose one of these so long as your perspective is distinctive. Admissions people don't care about what you believe but why you believe it. Again, it’s a glimpse into who you are as a person and how you think.
5 College Application Essay Do's and Don'ts
Be concise, specific, personal, and honest. Surprise the reader, and take chances that go beyond the obvious.
Use wit and imagination, but don't try to be funny if that's not your personality. Forcing humor can backfire and comes across as just plain silly.
Proofread and then ask someone else to proofread for you. Careless mistakes will drive the admissions board crazy.
Be cynical, trite, pretentious, or maudlin.
Repeat what is included in other parts of the application by essentially writing out your resume. Go behind the details they already know.
Lastly, review your essay with several people you trust—your counselor, family or your English teacher—and have them provide detailed feedback.
Get your free college planner and stay ahead of the curve.
Sign up to download our Kaplan College Planner, a month-by-month guide for your entire college journey!
Kaplan Prep and Achieve is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training or ACCET, a US Department of Education nationally recognized agency. ACCET promotes quality-oriented education and training through establishment of standards for its members and an accreditation process focused on integrity. Kaplan's programs are accredited by ACCET ensuring reliable and quality training at all locations. For more information about ACCET, visit www.accet.org.