It may sound like a chore, and it will certainly take a substantial amount of work. But it's also a unique opportunity that can make a difference at decision time. Admissions committees put the most weight on your high school grades and your test scores . However, selective colleges receive applications from many worthy students with similar scores and grades—too many to admit. So they use your essay, along with your letters of recommendation and extracurricular activities , to find out what sets you apart from the other talented candidates.
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This essay is relatively straightforward, so don’t fall into a very common trap of picking a volunteer activity and writing about how you love helping others. Please, please, please… do not write, “I love helping people” or any variation of this phrase in this essay (or any other college essay, for that matter). Why? Well, I can ask almost anyone off the street why they donate to charity or like to volunteer, and every person will say that they love helping others. So, “helping others” is not a unique trait that you have. What IS unique is your motivation behind why you like to help others. To delve deeper into the motivation behind anything, keep asking yourself “why.”