Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Kwasi Enin's Common App Essay--Draft #4

You have no doubt read or heard about Kwasi Enin, the Long Island high school senior who was admitted to 8 Ivy League schools.

Somehow the cagey New York Post got a hold of draft #4 of his Common Application essay, which you can read here. The Post bills the essay as one of the elements, along with top grades and good scores, "it takes to get into all eight Ivy League colleges," but a word of caution for anyone who is looking backwards at his/her own essay, or looking forward, anticipating applying to college soon: Nearly all top schools require a good number of additional essays and short answers to questions for their applications, beyond the Common Application essay. And schools look at the totality of a student's profile, once they get beyond their grades, scores, and the kinds of courses (AP, IB, etc.) they have taken.

As far as essays, among Stanford's 3 or 4 assignments is to write a letter to your prospective roommate. Princeton often asks applicants to reflect on a quotation, and some schools ask for a list of the books you've read, in and out of school, for the past year. And many schools, far beyond the Ivies, ask for additional essays and answers as well. Colorado College asks students to design a course for the 3-week winter semester. And the University of Chicago is famous for its off-beat questions.

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