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Given these constraints, most students end up providing middling, nonspecific descriptions of their clubs—perhaps believing that (a) activity descriptions are an unimportant piece of the Common App, and/or (b) 150 characters isn’t enough room to creatively capture one’s commitment to a club. When reading applications for Bennington, Barnard, and Connecticut College, I always appreciated the student who took the time to write pithy, detailed, or entertaining descriptions. While this rationale seems logical, I admit it’s a tad unfair that some colleges call these essays “optional” if they actually place a significant amount of weight on those responses.Tell me—which summary for “Hospital Volunteer” below impresses you more? College Supplements: Optional Essays Let me be direct about this: “optional essays” should not be considered optional. But from the college perspective, it would be unfortunate if a terrific student chose not to apply simply because they didn’t have the desire/time/energy to complete the optional essay.If you’re looking for individualized help with your college essay or another area of your application, contact us today to work with one of our college admissions experts. Check out Elyse’s other 2017-2018 Common App articles: Elyse Krantz is a member of College Coach’s team of college admissions experts.
Do students technically have the ability to leave these essays blank and still submit their applications? Colleges don’t want to discourage students from applying, but they can (and do) value those who take the extra step to answer those additional prompts. College Supplements: Required Essays As an admissions officer who has evaluated thousands of applications, I can’t tell you the number of times I felt wildly impressed after reading a main Common Application essay, only to be let down after reviewing a bland and generic supplemental response.
Students often place so much emphasis on the main personal statement, they can lose steam when it’s time to tackle supplemental essay questions.
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Given the students, faculty, staff and resources that have been available to you as a student, how have you collaborated with others, in or out of the classroom?
Or, what lessons have you learned from working with others in the past, that might shape your experience in the future? What do you personally want to emphasize about your application for the admission committee’s consideration?
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Will it require more effort from students to enhance these sections of their applications? But when thousands upon thousands of students are vying for a limited number of seats, it’s worth it. Activities Page: Club Descriptions For every club listed on the Activities page of the Common App, students are required to write an overall description of their involvement. to complete these optional questions are essentially telling colleges: I’m really not that into you.
This commonly includes leadership positions/titles, one’s role within the organization, and/or a brief overview of the club’s purpose. You only have 150 characters (approximately 20 words) to accomplish this task. Admissions officers often reason that students with a genuine desire to attend their college will want show their sincerity and excitement for that school by taking the time to draft a thoughtful essay.