Writing Ivy League College Essays

For the increasing numbers of UK students applying to top Ivy League universities like Yale, Harvard and Princeton, there is often little support available during the demanding admissions process.

UK schools are simply not always well-informed about the requirements and procedures students will have to go through to enter top US universities.

Someone with whom you would feel relaxed enough to be yourself.

Don’t be afraid to use rhetorical questions and direct address as you would in a conversation – the aim is to grab the admissions tutor’s attention.

So The Daily Beast tracked down seven college admissions essays that did work—seven essays that helped get the kids who wrote them into one of the country's top schools.

The essays were slipped to us by college professors, high-school guidance counselors, independent admissions consultants, and even staffers at student newspapers.Making the vital goal in a football game is not going to stand out as an original and exciting experience to describe; nor is discussing a stereotypical ‘important issue’ like abortion or the influence of Nelson Mandela likely to gain you any attention.Try to think carefully about something very specific that genuinely had a huge impact on your life.Remember that the questions are open to wide interpretation – it doesn’t specify, for example, that the person who influenced you had to do so for good!The more original and thoughtful your topic, the more attention the admission tutors will pay, so spend some time just working out what you can write about to make you stand out from the crowd.For confidentiality reasons, admissions officers can't talk about these essays expressly, so we chose essays that demonstrate the most salient principles to abide by when writing them.(Scroll down to read the essays, unedited and in full.)You'll need the help: Competition at these schools is fiercer than ever.This doesn’t mean using lots of slang and colloquial language, but you don’t need to stick to a strictly academic and formal tone either.Try to write as if you were talking to a close confidante who you respect, like a parent or close teacher.Try to think of something uniquely important to you.It doesn’t have to be a crazy or unusual experience, but it should be something that affected you in an interesting or different way.


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