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09/04/2019

Is 784 words too long for a college admission essay?

QUESTION
Is 784 words too long for a college admission essay?
Is 784 words too long for a College essay? The topic that I chose is:

Elaborate on one or more experiences and/or your participation in organizations, whether affiliated with or outside of school that will help the committee to know you better. This could include sports, the arts, social services, work, or other activities. A description of your experiences and how they have affected you is more helpful to the committee than a list. Include years of involvement, nature of position, any leadership roles, and/or title, if applicable.

ANSWER
Check if there is a word limit. If that’s the Common Application, there was a 500-word limit last year, so I would assume they still enforce that. If there is no word limit, 784 words is not too long at all!

That being said, make sure that you didn’t write 784 words because you were trying to make it long. If you actually needed to use that space to say what you wanted to say, then you should be fine. But if you tried to make it longer so that you look smarter or more educated, definitely cut it down. College admissions officers read hundreds of essays; they don’t want to read more than they really have to. The essay is supposed to show off who you are firstly, and how good you are of a writer secondly. Not how good you are at elaborating.

My essay was like 500 words exactly and I got into Harvard. My friend applied the year before (when there was no limit) and his essay was about 800-1000 words I think. He got into Yale, Harvard, and Stanford. Keep in mind that these are all universities where the essay is either the most important part or close to the most important part of your application.