Creativity proven to increase college admission rates

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For many high school students who are planning to go to college, one of the most stressful goals is to write an admission essay for submission. With the recent changes in today’s education systems, students are often faced with numerous topics. Many students often feel compelled to think beyond the requirements from college admissions.

According to the Princeton Review, nearly 700 colleges accept The Common Application, which makes it easy to apply to multiple schools with just one form. By that, students are expected to write anywhere between 250 – 650 words and will need to respond on one of the questions given on the application. One of the benefits of using The Common Application is reducing the stress from having to submit multiple essays to different colleges. You’ll only require one piece to apply. Sometimes, colleges will ask for additional supplements from the prospective students to be added in their applications.

However, students may favor another method of submitting their admission essays through the Coalition Application. Recently launched in 2016, students can create a private locker where they can provide their materials throughout their years in high school. In essence, it gives students a chance to showcase their portfolio to colleges of their choice that goes beyond the intended application process. Compared to the Common Application, there is a list of few colleges that do accept this form of submission. The essay prompts are much different from the Moreover, as the name suggests, the Coalition Application helps underrepresented students from lower-income families to give them a chance in showcasing their talent on their college applications.

The argument behind these methods is that it would not allow students a chance to express their creativity on their admission essays. In practice, students are often advised by their counselors to follow the requirements and put a focus on the academic perspective on their articles, rather than writing from a personal standpoint. For most colleges, they’ve seen many applications from students where it was deemed boring or typical. Students are encouraged to write on a topic that they care about when applying for their college of choice. If the subject doesn’t interest the student, chances are the reader who is viewing the essay may feel the same way. Having demonstrated an interest in the topic is considered to be a significant factor, based on a study from the National Association For College Admission Counseling. According to the report, about 21 percent of colleges favor the student’s shown interest than class rank and interview.

It’s important to note that when applying for college applications, the students must take into consideration on striking a balance between creativity and following the requirements. As such, having a good understanding of proper grammar and syntax when writing a compelling admissions essay can make or break a college’s choice of accepting the student’s application for the upcoming term. Students must have a grasp of their vocabulary when succinctly expressing their thoughts. Ideally, students should be able to show their interests by providing enough examples that would help the admissions officers have a greater sense of clarity. In doing so, students will be able to give enough personality without lacking any of the necessary grammatical requirements when writing an admissions essay. 

We often read stories from the news about students who have written quirky admission essays to the colleges of their choice and ended up being accepted due to their creativity and their insight into going beyond the requirements. As an example, a student who wrote an essay about her love for a supermarket ended up as a winner to six top-rated schools in the country. However, some students who choose to go the creative route in writing their admission essays may lose focus in understanding the demographics of the reader. In a New York Times article, Jacques Steinberg shares his thoughts on some pieces that worked (and a few that didn’t) by providing examples from students college applications.

Because of the competitive nature of elite colleges, many high school students often opt-in utilizing desperation methods by writing controversial admission essays. On the topic of ethics, many of the students who went this route ended up sacrificing their integrity and their academic professions due to the high standards for college admissions.  Wesleyan University President Michael Roth noted that part of the process in applying to elite colleges is not so much about receiving a high-quality education, but more on the fact that it’s tough to get in.

As high school students are increasingly aware of the college application requirements (whether from elite or standard colleges), writing an admission essay can be a pivotal moment for applicants who want to showcase their creativity while following the guidelines before submitting their applications. Many educational resources (whether from the local high school or other institutions) can provide help to students when writing the best admissions essay. Students are encouraged to talk with their mentors and teachers who can provide guidance during the application process.


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