Personal Essay Tips: Thinking About The Committee

While the ultimate goal of the personal essay you write to go with a college application is to get accepted, it can be very helpful to think about what the committee goes through, what they are looking for, and what their motivation is.

What the committee goes through during the process of reviewing these application essays may surprise you. Depending on the college and the particular program students apply for, these committee members could be going through thousands of papers each semester. That is a lot to read and chances are many of the essays sound very, very similar. From the vantage point of the committee team members, this can be a very tedious and boring job. So if you can take the assigned topic and make it interesting, new, unique, and exciting, you are likely to grab their attention, make them interested in your paper, and therefore make them more interested you as a potential new student.

What these people are looking for in your application paper can vary depending on what program you are trying to get into. A college that focuses on medicine or tech will not be as impressed with application essays that deal with political themes. Likewise, if the college is known for generating an interest in forestry, agriculture, and the like then the committee will likely want to see essays that address and focus on topics related to these areas. When you write your personal essay with the committee in mind and think about what they are looking for as you write, you have a better chance of standing out from the crowd and getting noticed- which is exactly what you want to do.

What motivates the committee can play into your benefit when you are writing your application essay. They are looking for someone who will help grow and improve the student body and the reputation of the college and the program. Their motivation is to find those students without sending a lot of time wading through fluff and boring essays. If you can make your essay stand out right from the get go, you make their job a lot easier and you can also be one step closer to getting that coveted spot in your dream college. Motivation for the selection committee is to help continue the tradition and reputation of the college so make sure your essays shows how you can help with that.

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