A winning college admissions essay

This college admissions essay got me into my first-choice college

A winning college admissions essay

Example of a winning college essay

It took time and many drafts, but eventually my college application essay came together. The most challenging part of the essay was saying all that I could and getting my point across in one page. That’s the key to college essays: one page that makes you stand out from the rest.

What a frightening challenge!

College application essay writing requires a lot of thought and a lot of creativity. An easy way to capture the attention of the recruiter reviewing your essay is to open your essay with an intriguing sentence, and to reveal yourself and why you fit with the school you’re applying to. Use an anecdote or a metaphor to describe who you are and why you fit into the college.

I changed the name of the college in this essay to be generic, but you’ll get the point. Read on for an excerpt of the essay that helped me get into my first-choice college. This is an example of a winning college essay. May it be an inspiration to you as you start thinking about how you’ll portray yourself to colleges next year.


Example essay excerpt:

"I could lie to you and tell you that I’m surrounded by miraculous people who have changed and influenced my life. Or, I could tempt you with a story about a wonderful role model I’ve had. However, neither of those story lines would be true. I’m not influenced easily. I don’t have a wonderful role model, and people have definitely not changed my life. Experiences have changed my life and challenged me; however, that doesn’t make me unique. Everyone’s had to overcome adversity in her life. Only I’ve conquered mine with a hat.

There’s this hat I have. It’s a bucket hat, a creamy brown corduroy. It’s my shield from the world and the opening to my mind. The hat has no special history; it came from the shelves of Old Navy. But it’s my partner in thinking. Whenever I’ve surrendered to frustration over something, I find my hat, slip the smoothly lined corduroy over my head, and let it embrace my mind.

With the hat wrapping my head, I feel insightful, confident, and comfortable with myself. That’s the thing I tend to struggle with, feeling like I belong with the rest of the crowd. While I appear to be comfortable in groups, on the inside, I’m in a panic. When I wear my hat out, I feel invisible to criticisms and superior enough to think my own thoughts, untouched by others’ opinions. My hat allows my cool confidence.

…I’m glad that my hat is always there for me, to hide my insecurities and restore my confidence. But, as glad as I am, I realize that I cannot hide under my hat forever. There should be a time for me to step out of my shell, suck it up and dive into the world without armor on.

I’m looking to step out into the world without my corduroy armor on, to find the confidence and comfort in this world that I so crave. I believe that college will be the place for me to step into without armor. The goal of most colleges is to prepare you for the workplace and the real world, end of story. However, at State University, I began to feel that the school is personal and dedicated to holistic education.

The professors seem encouraging and stimulating; the students are all very outgoing and friendly. When I toured campus, I felt confident without a corduroy hat in sight. State University is a small college, with mountains of experiences waiting to challenge me. I feel your college would provide for me the comfort I need to find in myself within an educational community. Your university will provide me with the supportive family I need to face the world without armor."

I hope you have enjoyed my example of a winning college essay. Good luck writing your own!

For more essay writing tips check out NextStepU's database of articles at NextStepU.com/Essay


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