College Application Essay Examples

Six college admission essay examples; including Boston College.
Six college admission essay examples; including Boston College.

How do I write an admissions essay?

Knowing where to start is often times the hardest part when writing. That paired with the extreme anxiety that comes with anything related to college admissions means that the college admissions essay is a breeding ground for trouble.

To help combat that, here are six example essays to get you started. DO NOT simply copy any one of them. Take your personal experiences, and write from the heart.

Boston College Admissions Essay Example

Growing up, I’ve always been a lover of history. My teacher’s held high expectations for me, and I dutifully memorized historical facts and figures, in order categorical. However, I later learned that I never took the human factor in to consideration when studying, and therefore never truly understood my history lessons. Human suffering, and human right’s issues are subjects that I’ve regularly known all of the facts, but only recently discovered the meaning.

Everywhere since the fifth grade my teachers have touched on the Holocaust. With every year, they would add more to the lessons and the knowledge. I could state the facts about World War one and two, which countries involved themselves in the wars and how, the names of the internment camps, and I could repeat with a numbness what happened within the camps.

In the beginning of my high school career,I was introduced to the struggles in Rwanda, Bosnia, Cambodia, and the USSR. Once again I diligently learned all of the facts and figures, but never took the time to stop and think about how each and every one of those numbers was a person with a mother, father, siblings and friends. These people had voices; they laughed, and cried during their lives, and then suddenly everything was taken from them-the very last being their dignity. I simply stayed in the history class mindset of learning because I had to learn the information to do well on my tests, and I had to do well on my tests because I needed the good grades, and I needed the good grades to get into a good college.

It took a serious of events to make me step back away from the details, see the big picture, and then focus on the human element of history. The first incident occurred when I asked my grandmother about our family history, and found out how my family had originally come from Europe to the United States in the middle of the 1900s. I had never thought to ask why they immigrated.

My family are ethnic Jews, though we no longer practice the Jewish faith. They were kept safe from the Nazi internment camps during World War II, but only because the regularly moved and eventually found themselves in England before countries quit taking in Jewish refugees.

Later I had the opportunity to visit the United States Holocaust memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. Here I saw how everything from the shoes to the lives of six million European Jews, as well as millions of others who insulted the Nazis by their ethnicity, disability, or life style choice. These people, some of which could have been my people, had been stripped of their dignity through internment camps, and gas chambers within their own countries.

These are not just numbers and details. Facts do not wear shoes; numbers do not own dolls or a set of jacks. These are people. Each one of these numbers are the big picture, and they are more significant than any grade on any quiz.

They say wisdom comes with age, and I have to agree. Although, I have yet to become wise, I do know that I have much more to learn, and learning in an academic vacuum is not a viable option for my future. I need to learn through personal experiences. Learning through experiences of my own, or experiences through the lens of another human being, will allow me to never forget why I learn about history, or skim over human suffering as if it were a footnote in a text.

Georgetown University Admissions Essay Example

I want to explore the many different areas of Georgetown University’s broad liberal arts environment, and their focus on developing the intellect of their students. What truly excites me about Georgetown is that the university goes out of its way to balance the academics, the social life and an all-encompassing college experience based on the ‘care of the whole person.”

One of the things that attracts me to Georgetown University, is the amazing First-Year Options Program for freshmen. I am interested in the Economics and Mathematics majors, but I would like the chance to evaluate my options for my education. This program would allow me to find my passion, and allow me to broaden my knowledge base of related areas that I may not be exposed to otherwise. I would benefit from this program not only academically, but it would help me decide a career path as well.

I want to be challenged, to learn everything, to explore my future, and make new connections with people. All of these things are my immediate goals. Lifelong learning is an important aspect of my life, and I am passionate about soaking up as much knowledge as possible. The prestigious campus of Georgetown is the perfect place for me to meet the influential people of tomorrow, and challenge myself so I can become one of those prominent persons of the future.

College is not just about what students learn from textbooks, but what they learn from their experiences, and the life skills that are more than memorizing formulas. I am positive that I can be successful at Georgetown University, and add to its already impressive reputation with my accomplishments.

Healy Hall at Georgetown University houses classrooms and the university's executive body.
Healy Hall at Georgetown University houses classrooms and the university's executive body. | Source

Georgetown College Essay

A number of reasons make Georgetown, not only my first choice, but a first choice some distance ahead of all other possible universities. Perhaps the most compelling factor is how the university is so linked to Washington, D.C, and so effectively brings the city into its ideology of learning and experience. At Columbia, education is a part of living, and enhanced by what the D.C. has to offer in the arts, sciences, and culture. I am powerfully attracted by the school's prestige and unique standing among US institutions. Here, I believe, the ambition to excel is all the more fueled by the healthy imperative to do the best at the best. My academic career is of the utmost importance to me, and I am motivated to further it where both expectations and rewards are at their highest levels. That, in a word, is Georgetown.

The cosmopolitan and exciting environment adds dimension to the liberal arts curriculum. Few others in the nation are as esteemed. I appreciate how the school's electives allow for individual focus, while the platform of essential disciplines ensures the necessary grounding. To my mind, Georgetown’s traditions and evolving ideologies serve the school through serving the student. This environment would allow for me to become a productive part of the community, and for me to become a part of many different activities, including volleyball and volunteering with organizations that work with the school. The university's diversity in sports, liberal arts programs, and clubs combine to create a rich environment which, again, renders Georgetown a school unlike any other.

I am interested in studying law, but I would like the chance to evaluate my options for my education. Georgetown’s first year would allow me to find my passion, and allow me to broaden my knowledge base of related areas that I may not be exposed to otherwise. An education earned through this university will allow me to be prepared to enter law school, or any other path that I may decide on. I want to be challenged, to learn everything, to explore my future, and make new connections with people. Georgetown is an arena of intellectual and cultural standing that shines like a beacon to me, urging me forward to become a part of everything this remarkable university has to offer.

College Essay about the Difficulty of Living up to Siblings' Accopmlishments

If you think about the feeling of being second best, it is possibly one of the worst feelings in the world. The idea of being so close to winning, but falling short by just one can be devastating. I grew up in a family with three boys, so there is always going to be some competition, whether it’s who is the best at a sport, or something as stupid as who can hold their breath under water the longest. What is at stake in these competitions when they only involve my brothers is nothing more than ego and bragging rights, but when the individual comparing and judging is no longer a sibling, but instead by my mother, everything changes. That brotherly competition isn’t just for bragging rights anymore. I am the middle child in my family and my older brother is the type of person that seems to exceed at everything he touches, and after constantly being compared with something that is out of my league, it makes it hard to get some recognition of my accomplishments.

Having to live up to my brother isn’t easy. Not everyone can be the All Conference soccer player and manage to get nearly perfect grades simultaneously throughout high school. His position as the oldest child paired with his effortless success, secured his spot as “the perfect one” in our family dynamics. I began to notice the disadvantage that I would be struggling with starting in the 6th grade.

I was in an honors program offered by my school called Math Olympiads. This program was for the more intellectual students who tended to understand math with minimal fuss, and who were inclined to be ahead of the learning curve. After the sixth grade during the transition from elementary to junior high school, I was informed that due to limited space in the program I would no longer be in the honor math class that I previously had been assigned. Instead, I was to be placed in a less advanced class. I was faced with a predicament that forced me to fight to get back my position in the honors class that challenged me, and allowed me to become more prepared for my future. It was not until the eighth grade, after missing an entire year of material, that my persistence paid off, and I was placed back into the honors class. After missing a year at the advanced pace, I was at a significant disadvantage not just in my math class, but also in the educational competition of the Catarino house.

In 9th grade, I found myself in all Regents classes. Whenever I earned a respectable test grade that I was proud about, and would proudly inform my mother about the accomplishment I had made in class, I would hear the infamous line, “it’s just a Regents course. Your brother was in all Advance placements when he was your age.” Every time I heard a comment like this, it felt like I’d just got hit by a soccer ball in the middle of a cold November. I began to realize that after fall behind academically, it’s hard to catch up.

As I matured throughout high school, the importance of education hit me. I knew that if I wanted finally to dethrone my older brother from that top spot in the house I had to make my move. That move came during my sophomore year. Because of the change of pace in my math academics, I learned how to pick myself up and push myself to work harder so that I can master a subject. History had actually been my poorest subject, but it had also been my older brother’s kryptonite. At the end of sophomore year, I had mastered my history class, and jumped from a regents level program straight into advanced placement class. Earning a place in the AP United States History course was something that my brother was never achieved. I finally accomplished a feat that my brother had never reached, and, oh, the sweet feeling of victory. Thankfully, the thirst continued I didn’t just want to beat him at one thing but at everything.

I could never beat my brother at athletics, but in the end due to all my hard work and determination I had finally dethroned the academic king in our house. My mother may believe that my brother is still better than me but I know who the actual winner is, because through this friendly competition I have learned many skills, and I now know that I am equipped to handle any academic pressure that I may face in the future.

How to Write a Great College Application Essay

Statue of Lawrence Sullivan "Sul" Ross located in front of the Academic Building at Texas A&M.
Statue of Lawrence Sullivan "Sul" Ross located in front of the Academic Building at Texas A&M. | Source

Texas A&M College Essay

Considering your lifetime goals, discuss how your current and future academic and extra- curricular activities might help you achieve your goals.

One day I aspire to become an aeronautical engineer. Since I was a child I always had a love for creation. As a child, I could always be found sitting on the floor designing planes and tanks with my pile of Lego. The fact that my father is an aeronautical engineer helped bring about my interest in the field. Whenever I visited my father at work, it would amaze me how intricate parts of an aircraft can really be. My love for Legos has continued, as has my adoration for the engineering field.

As I began to learn more about how the design process works, my admiration for engineering grew into aspiration. It did not take long for me to know this was the career path destined for me. After I had decided that engineering was something that I wanted for my future, I began to take classes specific for the engineering field. I also began to keep up with the great new designs and technological breakthroughs in the engineering fields. I soon felt that my education was focusing well on engineering, but I also realized that I required particular skills that are essential for engineers, such as the ability to use good judgment, to communicating with my fellow engineers, etc. Unless I developed these qualities I knew that no matter what educational strengths I might have gained, I would never be able to unlock my raw potential to become an engineer.

An essential quality for any engineer is the ability to communicate with fellow engineers. Design programs consist of a team, all working to perfect the end result, be it a design, or a modification. Without proper communication business would come to a standstill, because of misguided information or from no communication. The ability to communicate with everyone in the work place is of high importance.

I have learnt this skill from participating in the Student Council. This skill can easily be implemented within an engineering environment. By becoming part of the school council, not only did my communication skills improve, I can now use these skills to help cooperate with my fellow engineers in future working environments. By using strong communication skills with my future design teams, I can help to maintain a high level of cooperation within the team.

With cooperation inside a work place, comes the problem of too many new ideas that are brought to the table. Which is where another essential quality for an engineer comes in: good judgment. Where I as an engineer should have the best decision on what designs to use, or what options to meld together to create something reasonable that performs its job at its best ability. The question lies on how can I choose the right one? In several previous class environments, I believe I have been faced with the very same type of choice. While all my fellow classmates are blurting out concepts, I wait and listen, and instead of being selfish and choosing my own concept as well; I collect all their ideas and form them into something workable. In doing so, I can immediately halt the bickering, because everyone feels like they have attributed, and move towards actually completing the project. By taking charge and using good judgment I not only increased productivity by speeding up the process of argument, but also the morale, because all contributed. In doing so, I strategically planned out the process before even speaking that good judgment will definitely play a role when in the work environment in the future.

There is are an endless number of possible characteristics that are essential to becoming a quality engineer, but all of these qualities can be designated under a single section, leadership. Without leadership, highly trained individuals would not be able to run at perfection.

I see myself as one of these leaders. Whenever a chance to lead occurs, I always go for it. In one of my schools, I was asked to become a Master of Ceremony because of my skill in public speaking. Although this was challenging, I proved myself to the school. From then on I became involved in any role where the school presented itself to the public. If there were a speech to be given, I would be the first in line to accept that duty. I will use this knowledge gained to take charge in an engineering environment if the opportunity presents itself. With leadership comes a great sense of responsibility. In the work place, one must take responsibility for one's actions. This helps to keep moral standards high, and others will see one's integrity and the respect that comes with leadership and accountability. That is priceless. I was once a camp counselor, so I know what it means to have a responsibility. I was in charge of keeping my campers safe, taken care of, and on task. A working environment is similar, albeit at higher risks if something goes wrong. No matter the situation, everything I do will always be at the standard I expect them it to be, and I hold those that I am in charge of to a similar standard. My leadership strength continues to grow, and because of this, others can see that I will lead whatever project with a firm yet respectable manner.

These skills are a great strength in the engineering field, however, even though they are key to becoming a good engineer; the educational background is just as necessary. I continue expecting high standards from myself while studying as I do when working. There is no line that divides these two parts of my life. Whatever aspect I’m faced either at my job, or with general aspects in my life, I can incorporate everything from life experiences in to my skill set. This molding of techniques and academic standards is what will give me that edge when I begin my life as an aeronautical engineer. I believe that these qualities and academic standards still need guidance. Texas A&M will give me the upper hand, and nourish my already developing talents.

After earning my degree in engineering from Texas A&M, I plan on entering the Army’s Officer Training program. All of the skills and talents that are so important in the engineering field are equally, if not more, important in a career as an Army officer. Here, my skills in leadership, cooperation, judgment, and communication would be tested with the lives of my men on the line. Therefore, I must be as prepared as possible to handle this profession.

Texas A&M will give me an education that I can use to master any future situation in my field. Through my education, I will strengthen my current skills, and gain new ones that will allow me to become the best officer possible for our country’s military. These past years have slowly become a growth of love for the industry, I am now ready to transform that love into a passion for helping to form tomorrow.

Regardless what college you attend, you will be where you belong. Make the best of it.

show route and directions
A markerBoston College -
Chestnut Hill, Newton, MA, USA
[get directions]

B markerGeorgetown University -
3700 O Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20057, USA
[get directions]

C markerTexas A&M -
Rudder Complex, Texas A&M University, 401 Joe Routt Boulevard, College Station, TX 77843, USA
[get directions]

D markerHarvey Mudd College -
301 Platt Boulevard, Claremont, CA 91711, USA
[get directions]

Generic College Essay Example

Throughout my life, I have had the privilege of traveling to and living in many different places because of my father’s work. However, this great opportunity to see the world had a downside. I had to change schools with a regular frequency. This feat of embracing the many lifestyle changes that accompanied each move is itself a great accomplishment, however,some of the changes were more challenging than others. Perhaps one of the greatest challenges, and one of the most memorable was the fact that not all of the schools I attended offered classes in English.

Although my family had traveled to many different countries across the world, I had always been home-schooled when we lived in areas that had cultures that are severely different from our own. There were many times that I remained home-schooled, even though we were in an English speaking community, simply because it allowed my studies to progress consistently. Even though I had lived in different communities, my family has thrived with a limited working knowledge of the culture and language. This brought on a fatal arrogance in my own language ability.

When we moved to South Africa, I decided to challenge myself, and instead of continuing on with Homeschooling as I did the previous year I opted to enroll in a native South African school. The principal dilemma that I faced was the fact that I had no background in the native language Afrikaans. I was sure that I could overcome my inability to read or write the main language. So with only a rudimentary grasp of the basics of speaking Afrikaans, I hoped for the best and entered the school grounds with a great sense of optimism. Even though my choice for education was the road less traveled, I felt that it was necessary, otherwise the possibility that I might miss something life changing was too great a chance to risk.

My fate, possibly sealed, I walked into the classroom, now not only facing the peer pressure that occurred due to being the new kid on the block, but with the added stress of not even being able to read the texts books, paired with my ideas that I knew enough to make it through a grocery store encounter, so obviously I would do fine in a classroom setting. My attitude was quickly changed as I learned humility through my own inability to communicate. There was no respite as I moved from class to class, and each teacher looked at me like I must be a fool to think that I might make it in their classrooms. I left at the end of the first day of school with many doubts, including whether I would ever be able to make it in a curriculum where everything seems almost alien. The classes notwithstanding, I also had the daily battle of making it through the day through in a society that I was neither understood linguistically nor culturally.

Every day became a bit tougher as I sat in my classes completely dumbfounded, and ignorant of what the teacher would be explaining. My lack of communication also inhibited me from seeking out much support from other students or the teachers. It felt as if everyone I came in to contact with had already assumed that I would falter, give up, and return to the safety of homeschooling where I understood the language, the subject matter, and the context of daily events. Nonetheless, I kept telling myself that this was my choice, I am a man that doesn’t quit when the going gets tough, so instead of running from my problems I welcomed the challenge with open arms.

I began to see every waking moment as a chance to increase my literacy and fluency in this foreign language and culture. I would dedicate myself every evening to learn how to read and write as well, if not better, than my fellow students. I began paying extra attention in my classes, and always putting in the extra effort to make sure before I left the class that I understood the lesson.

Slowly, my language skills finally grew to a level that I could ask for help, and understand the explanations that my teachers and classmates would give me. In doing so, I gradually grew from not only understanding the work, but defining myself as a strong student in my classes. My grades once again rose to the standard that I had become accustomed to, and classes were no longer a blur of unknown words. After these changes, I began to earn the respect of my teachers as well as my fellow classmates.

Due to my increased proficiency in the native language, I also began to experience the community in a way that I had never experienced a foreign language community before. When I would travel to restaurants, grocery stores, or shopping in general, the prices that I paid became discounted from the price I had been charged when I was seen as simply a foreigner. People began to open up to me, and through conversations with individuals in my neighborhood, shopping trips, and community involvement I learned not only more vocabulary but also more about the culture and generous, hospitable people of South Africa.

I became so skilled with Afrikaans that I was handpicked with a group of very accomplished students skilled in the native language. This group and I took place in an Afrikaans literature contest. The moment that I was asked to become a part of this highly intelligent team signified the epitome of my victory over this once elusive tongue that I so struggled to perfect. I finally proved not only to myself, but also to the teachers, students, and competition coordinators that I had beat this challenge, and regardless of how I placed in the competition, I was proud simply to be picked for the team.

This experience in South Africa completely altered the way I handle situations. I learned that with taking the harder road and taking challenges, I gain the knowledge that will completely surpass the risk that I have to take. I proved to myself that no feat is too difficult for me to accomplish, and instead all it takes is a time and complete dedication to achieve my goals. With the mindset that I worked with, I pushed myself to achieve, and I gained an invaluable new skill set. Plus, the success from this challenge has given me the encouragement to always try new things from now on, and to never be afraid of failing.

Whenever I am faced with a decision I now have the ability to see not just the easy path, but rather I can now choose from the choices that are less stressful and do not have as great a reward and the more challenging paths that allow me to obtain the most useful skills and experiences. I have learned to balance the pros and cons from each situation. Rather than concentrating on the negatives about any given situation, I looked at the positives and find ways to fix or tolerate any negatives. I have used my strengths of dedication and my drive to achieve to banish my fear of defeat, to learn through my mistakes, work well with groups, and I gained the confidence to accomplish anything single handed if needed.

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