It may feel like your teen just entered high school and already they are advancing year after year. If they are interested in college, it is always best to start tackling those college admission essays sooner rather than later, as well as these pointers for a stellar college essay.

Make Sure Your Teen Has Time

It is recommended for teens to start writing their college essays during the summer before their senior year begins. This gives them the time and focus necessary to really nail the essay down before the craziness of their last year begins. It is also ideal that if your teen allows, to let you help in making sure there are no typos or grammatical errors, as these can be an easy denial even if their accomplishments are grand. 

On that same vein, make sure your teen has the right tone for the college essay. It can become too easy to sound arrogant, vain, or confused when they have not written an essay like this before. Your teen should be genuine in their tone and how they want to respond to the essay prompt. There is no harm in being a little humorous, down-to-Earth, or even a little sad if it fits within their parameters of what your teen is writing about. College admissions do not seek robotic essays, so make sure your teen is writing from the heart. 

Goals and Accomplishments

It is also far too easy to simply write out all the accomplishments and clubs your teen has participated in for their essay. This is not always ideal, as most colleges want more information from your teen than just what they have done during the school years. They want specific, life story-telling experiences in the essay to really get to know your teen and not just their awards. Your teen can highlight some of these accomplishments through their story-telling though, as opposed to just listing the items out. They can talk about a certain experience or event that changed them or made them think about something differently, and if it ended with an award, they can always mention that too! If their passion is farming, say, then listing some of their awards from 4-H or FAA while talking about how much they enjoy farming is a great segway as well. 

The most important information for a college essay is being their true self. Make sure to help your teen with their essay in a way that still allows them to show their true personality!

Katie Kyzivat