Why the college essay is more important than ever

Written by Mark Ionescu

College application essays have often been touted as an important way to showcase who you are and make yourself stand out from the crowd. Now that pandemic-related upheaval has disrupted many of the other factors that colleges typically use to evaluate prospective applicants, the college essay is more important than ever before.

Typically a college admission process evaluates numerous facets of a student’s history. However, the effects of the current pandemic have radically altered or eliminated many of these standard metrics.

Sports seasons and extracurriculars have been cancelled or eliminated. Grades and in-class performance standards have been fundamentally changed by the move to online classrooms and distance learning: does an A in an online class mean the same as an A in a traditional classroom? Colleges will spend a lot of time trying to figure that out, but the answer will likely differ from one school system to the next.

Standardized testing has been waived as a requirement for many colleges this year, and as a result many students will opt not to take these tests (although there are compelling reasons that you should consider taking a test, even if you’re not strictly required to), which further reduces a college’s options for assessing applicants.

All of these pandemic-related shifts give the college application essay an outsized importance as one of the few remaining traditional metrics colleges can still reference in their acceptance decisions. Now, more than ever, application essays deserve careful consideration and editing to make sure that you are showcasing your personality and value in the best ways possible.

That’s why i2i will be posting a series on college essay tips over the next few weeks in an effort to help students polish and perfect this essential part of their application.

If you’re not sure that you’re crafting the best possible essay and making yourself stand out from the crowd of other applicants, contact us for a free consultation. i2i will happily review options with you to assist in improving existing essay drafts or to help you generate ideas if you don’t know where to begin.

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