“We have 22,000 applications, so it’s easy to blend into the crowd.”• Kathleen Kingsbury: The Best College Food• Kathleen Kingsbury: How to Choose a College Roommate This year that may mean students want to reconsider before giving their take on the recent financial meltdown or the national health-care debate.
At California’s Pomona College, the admissions staff anticipates an influx of essays on the economy, similar to what they saw post-September 11, 2001, when nearly half the applications essays dealt with the terrorist attacks.“But it’s a different story if you watched the towers collapse from science class at [New York City’s] Stuyvesant High School than if you live on a farm in Iowa,” Pomona’s admissions dean Bruce Poch says.
(Scroll down to read the essays, unedited and in full.)You'll need the help: Competition at these schools is fiercer than ever.
For every kid who’s hung prayer flags on a mountain summit in Tibet, there are a dozen others who’ve studied a Bantu language in Rwanda, worked with Guatemalan orphans, cooked with a celebrity chef, or been on reality TV.
I wrote a poem about poetry: how I see it and how it makes me feel.
Two counselors warned me that my idea may not be the best and it'd be better taking the safe route when it came to that question.
For example, on this question that asked me to talk about something that I do for the pleasure of it for my MIT application I wrote about poetry.
However, I didn't simply write about how much I love writing.
"To be honest," says Ponnusamy, "if you're thinking about the most selective of schools in the country and the most interesting thing in your life is your parents' divorce, you're not going to get in anyway.”But even if your life hasn't been filled with experiences worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster, you can salvage an essay about a ho-hum subject by having a novelist's eye for detail.
For Greg Roberts, the admissions dean at University of Virginia, one of the most memorable essays he read was about a single at-bat in a high-school baseball game.