However, for any application essay you write, follow the directions. If a college wants a long essay, the directions will ask for it. While the maximum length for the Common Application essay is words, the minimum length is words.

Allen Grove is an Alfred University English how long do college application essays have to be and a college admissions expert with 20 years of experience helping students transition to college.

how long do college application essays have to be

Don't sweat this part of the process, but do be prepared with a good topic and concise writing. Don't sweat this part of the process, but do be prepared with a good topic and concise writing. Author: Lynn F. Jacobs, Jeremy S. Hyman. May 04,  · College application essays don't typically have a required length; however, there are a few things to keep in mind when determining how long your application essays should be. Generally speaking, colleges might suggest that essays be about words long. Admission officers prioritize content over quantity. Nov 15,  · “We definitely read the essays,” says Joie Jager-Hyman, president of College Prep and former admissions officer at Dartmouth College. “You don’t do that job unless you enjoy reading.

In andthe Common Application had a word limit, but many colleges that use the application thought that constraint was a little too short. Prior tothe length of the essay was set by the judgment of the applicant and some applicants who wrote 1,word essays showed bad judgment.

how long do college application essays have to be


Everything else can go. And these 9 style tips can help you tighten up your language. The Common Application and other college applications ask for relatively short essays because college admissions officers don't want to waste time reading long, how long do college application essays have to be, rambling, unfocused, how long do college application essays have to be, poorly edited essays. Not all colleges, however, are fans of the shorter length. Some colleges like a longer essay because they can get to know their applicants better, and they get to see how well applicants can sustain focus in a longer piece of writing a valuable college skill.


With CA4, the current Common Application, you'll need to enter your essay in a text box that counts words. You won't be allowed to enter anything over words. Note that there is also a minimum length—CA4 won't accept any essay under words. Also realize that the word limit includes your essay title and any explanatory notes you might include. Why You Shouldn't Go Over the Essay Length Limit If you are applying to a college that does allow you to go over the limit, or if you have a supplemental essay with a recommended word count that isn't enforced by the application software, you still should not go over the limit.

Sure, the admissions folks might be glad to get through a short essay quickly, but a beautifully crafted word essay is going to make a more meaningful and lasting impression than a good word essay. The length limit on the Common Application went from words to words in for a reason: member colleges wanted their applicants to have more space to write about themselves. That said, if you've said all you have to say in words, don't try to pad out your essay to words with filler and redundancy.

Instead, ask yourself why you hit a wall at words. Was your focus too narrow? Did you fail to dig into your topic deeply enough? A Final Word on Essays The length of your essay isn't as important as the content. To make a good impression, be sure to check out these five tips for a winning essayand if you're writing a Common Application essay, take a look at the tips and sample essays for each of the seven options.

Many colleges who don't use the Common Application also have clearly defined length limits for the essays. You'll find supplemental essays with length limits ranging from 50 words and up.

Here's why: Good college students know how to follow directions: If a professor assigns a five-page paper, she doesn't want how long do college application essays have to be page paper. If you have 50 minutes to take a college exam, you can't have 55 minutes. If you need to use black ink, you shouldn't use orange ink. Think about the message you're sending a college if you don't follow the directions on the application. Will a college want to admit a student who thinks directions are optional?

And with holistic admissionsschools really do want to get to know the person behind your test scores and gradesand the essay is one of the best places for showcasing who you are. That said, you should never go over the limit. The new Common Application won't let you, how long do college application essays have to be. In previous years, applicants could attach their essays to the application, and this allowed them to attach essays that were too long.

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If a college requires an essay, it is because it has holistic admissions and wants to get to know its applicants as more than a list of grades and standardized test scores. The essay is typically the most powerful tool you have for conveying who you are and what you care about. If you've chosen the right focus for your essay—one that reveals something meaningful about you—you're going to need far more than words to provide the type of detail and self-reflection that makes an essay effective.

How Long Should a College Admissions Essay Be? | Synonym



How Long Should Your College Application Essay Be?


I've heard counselors advise students to keep their essays on the shorter end of the spectrum because college admissions offices are very busy, and they will appreciate short essays. While this advice may be true for some colleges, for many others it will not be.

The shortest word limits for college essays are usually around words (less than half a single-spaced page). Rarely will you see a word limit higher than around words (over one single-spaced page). College essays are usually pretty short: between and words. Sep 08,  · As a former college admissions officer who read over 3, essays every admissions cycle, I can’t stress enough that students should consider quality over quantity when drafting college essays. My colleagues have previously written blog posts encouraging students to draft essays in their everyday voice, and to avoid replacing normal words with cousins from the thesaurus. How do you avoid writing a bad admissions essay? Read on to find out what makes an essay bad and to learn which college essay topics to avoid. I'll also explain how to recognize bad college essays – and what to do to if you end up creating one by accident. What Makes Bad College Essays Bad. What exactly happens to turn a college essay terrible?

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Good writers know how to edit and cut: Ask any college writing professor, and he or she will probably tell you that most five-page papers could be cut to a four-page paper and become stronger in the process. There are almost always words, phrases, sentences, and even entire paragraphs that aren't contributing to the essay in any meaningful way. As you revise your own essay, keep asking yourself what ideas are truly essential.

Can you go over the limit? If so, by how much? What if you need words to convey your ideas? What if your essay is just a few words over? These are all good questions. After all, words is not a lot of space in which to convey your personality, passions, and writing ability to the folks in the admissions office.