The college essay is far more important today than it was three or four years ago, Jim Cotter, MSU's dean of admissions, told reporter Georgea Kovanis for a Detroit Free Press story published Sunday, June 10.
The story featured the college essay's rise in importance in the admissions process. The piece also discussed today's tough competition to get into America's most recognizable schools.
Cotter also MSU is more selective today than it would have been a decade ago.
Because of the tough competition to get into many of the nation's most visible schools, Cranbrook Schools' Associate Dean of Counseling Bill Hancock, also president of the Michigan Association for College Admissions Counseling, told the Free Press the essay is the only opportunity on an application for the student to speak in his or her own voice in the first person.
Two Wow students - Adam Rosen and Danny Cohen - were interviewed for the article. Rosen, who just completed his freshman year at the University of Michigan, wrote about his father's cancer; it wasn't until he told a friend about it that he realized he wasn't the only kid with an ill parent. His friend's mother had had cancer, too. Rosen remembers being surprised when an admissions counselor told him during orientation that he remembered that essay.
The Free Press published Cohen's essay with the story.
I spoke with Kovanis several times while she researched this story; she checked her facts and wrote an accurate piece explaining the essay's role in the admissions game. As the essay keeps moving up in importance, parents, teachers and students are beginning to realize that the essay may very well be the only place a student can stand out on the application.
Need help standing out? It's not too late to register for Wow's summer Wow Them With Your College Essay workshops. Check Wow's website to see our summer line-up. Additional courses will be posted soon; stay tuned for news about our upcoming 24-7 college essay workshop that will allow students to write their essays when they want, on their own schedules.
Kim Lifton is co-founder of Wow Writing Workshop. You can reach her at Kim@wowwritingworkshop.com.