The college admissions essay. It’s the most time-consuming, challenging part of your application. So why do we ask you to do this? Because it’s the one thing that allows us to get to know you as an individual. And at St. Edward’s, who you are really matters to us.

But our goal really isn’t to make you suffer, so here are our top tips to writing an essay that both stands out and reveals something about you.

Student writes her college essay

1. Grandparents are awesome ... to everyone.

When choosing a topic (for example, the person who has had the most influence on you) think about if it’s something that’s unique to you. That’s the thing about grandparents. Lots of students choose to write about their impact, so it’s hard for an essay about them to stand out. Expert tip: Separate yourself by choosing a topic.

2. Get really, really specific.

Instead of saying, “Hey, I’m really passionate about social justice issues!” Dive into a specific example about the first protest you attended or how you started an organization at your high school. Expert tip: Focus on one event, person or activity. 

Students participate in service at a Community Garden

3. Answer the prompt.

College admissions officers are like detectives. They can tell if you adapted a high-school essay that only loosely addresses the question. Expert tip: Take the time to write an original essay.

4. Channel your inner English teacher.

At its best, the essay gives us a sense of who you are and how you’ll contribute to St. Edward’s. It also demonstrates writing ability, and we are a writing-intensive university. We want to make sure that you’ll be successful here. Expert tip: Proofread, proofread and proofread again.

5. Let your voice be heard.

Ask yourself: If your parents combed through a stack of 1,000 nameless essays, would they be able to pick out yours? Admissions officers read between 20 to 40 applications per day, and you can stand out by writing in your own voice that’s true to you. Expert tip: Rise to the top by writing something distinctive.

Let your voice be heard

Want More Essay Tips?

We've prepared a whole guide for college application essays! View our best resources to help you feel confident writing a unique and polished essay.