The All-Powerful Essay

“A lackluster essay can be extremely detrimental. Test scores and grades do show potential, but the essay is a real gauge of character… your essay must set you apart from a potentially homogenous group. Colleges want to accept a real person—not just a number.” — Admissions Dean of a mid-size private college

These kinds of statements can strike fear into the heart of high school seniors and their parents. After years of preparation and hard work, it may not seem fair that college acceptances or denials may hinge on your personal essay.

Yet 26% percent of admissions officers deemed the personal essay “of considerable importance” in admissions decisions according to a 2009 survey by the National Association of College Admissions Counseling. And the more selective the college, the more weight the essay is given. Why? Selective private and public universities, and even competitive state colleges, are flooded with qualified applicants. When so many students have 4.0 averages and test scores in the 98th percentile, college admissions offices have turned to the admission essay as a meaningful tie-breaker.

In addition, many colleges and universities no longer consider the writing component of the
SAT test in their admissions evaluation. As a result, a student’s essays carry even more weight.

Help is available for harried students and parents. I’m Sharon Mentyka, and my experience as a professional writer and educator can provide guidance and perspective to the dizzying demands and process of college application essays. With coaching, students learn to approach the writing process as a sane, step-by-step undertaking that results not only in a great essay but an enjoyable process to boot!

Please click on the links above to learn more about me, my approach, and how I can help.
* Sharon Mentyka * Seattle * College Essay Writing Class * Summer Essay Writing Workshops * Admissions Essay Tutor * Seattle *

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