Good writers know how to edit and cut: Ask any college writing professor, and he or she will probably tell you that most five-page papers could be cut to a four-page paper and become stronger in the process. There are almost always words, phrases, sentences, and even entire paragraphs that aren't contributing to the essay in any meaningful way.

 

While this advice may be true for some colleges, for many others it will not be. If a college requires an essay, it is because it has holistic admissions and wants college common app essay length get college common app essay length know its applicants as more than a list of grades and standardized test scores. The essay is typically the most powerful tool you have for conveying who you are and what you care about.

The Length Limit for the Common Application Essay

 

college common app essay length

 

Prior tothe length of the essay was set by the judgment of the applicant and some applicants who wrote 1,word essays showed bad judgment. Many colleges who don't use the Common Application also have clearly defined length limits for the essays. You'll find supplemental essays with length limits ranging from 50 words and up. Can you go over the limit? If so, by how much? What if you need words to convey your ideas? What if your essay is just a few words over? These are all good questions.

Why You Shouldn't Go Over the Essay Length Limit If you are applying to a college that does allow you to go over the limit, college common app essay length, or if you have a supplemental essay with a recommended word count that isn't enforced by the application software, you still college common app essay length not go over the limit. Here's why: Good college students know how to follow directions: If a professor assigns a five-page paper, she doesn't want a page paper.


Not all colleges, however, college common app essay length, are fans of the shorter length. Some colleges like a longer essay because they can get to know their applicants better, and they get to see how well applicants can sustain focus in a longer piece of writing a valuable college skill.

That said, you should never go over the limit. The new Common Application won't let you. In previous years, applicants could attach their essays to the application, and this allowed them to attach essays that were too long.

Students applying to colleges that use the Common Application will typically need to respond to one of seven essay prompts. For the application cycle, the length limit for the essay is words. So, I've written a few drafts of my common app essay. And its around 1, words at this point. Obviously this a lot, but is there something I should be aiming for. The version of the Common Application has an essay length limit of words. Even though the essay prompts change regularly, this length limit has now been in place for four years. In and , the Common Application had a word limit, but many colleges that use the application thought that constraint was a little too short.

The length limit on the Common Application went from words to words in for a reason: member colleges wanted their applicants to have more space to write about themselves. That said, if you've said all you have to say in words, don't try to pad out your essay to words with filler and redundancy. Instead, ask yourself why you hit a wall at words. Was your focus too narrow? Did you fail to dig into your topic deeply enough? A Final Word on Essays The length of your essay isn't as important as the content.


As you revise your own essay, keep asking yourself what ideas are truly essential. Everything else can go. And these 9 style tips can help you tighten up your language. The Common Application and other college applications ask for relatively short essays because college admissions officers don't want to waste time reading long, rambling, unfocused, poorly edited essays, college common app essay length.

 

college common app essay length

If you have 50 minutes to take a college exam, you can't have 55 minutes. If you need to use black ink, you shouldn't use orange ink. Think about the message you're sending a college if you don't follow the directions on the application. Will a college want to admit a student who thinks directions are optional?

However, for any application essay you write, follow the directions. If a college wants a long essay, the directions will ask for it. While the maximum length for the Common Application essay is words, the minimum length is words. I've heard counselors advise students to keep their essays on the shorter end of the spectrum because college admissions college common app essay length are very busy, and they will appreciate short essays.

The Common App Essay Prompts Are Here

So, I've written a few drafts of my common app essay. And its around 1, words at this point. Obviously this a lot, but is there something I should be aiming for. The Common Application essay prompts are out for In the coming weeks, I'll be sharing insights to help students understand, think about, and write outstanding college application essays. In the meantime, here are the Common App essay prompts for Students applying to colleges that use the Common Application will typically need to respond to one of seven essay prompts. For the application cycle, the length limit for the essay is words.

Allen Grove is an Alfred University English professor and a college admissions expert with 20 years of experience helping students transition to college. In andthe Common Application had a word limit, but many colleges that use the application thought that constraint was a little too short.

After all, words is not a lot of space in which to convey your personality, passions, and writing ability to the folks in the admissions office. And with holistic admissionsschools really do want to get to know the person behind your test scores and gradesand the essay is one of the best places for showcasing who you are.

How Long Should Your College Application Essay Be?

With CA4, the current Common Application, you'll need to enter your essay in a text box that counts words. You won't be allowed to enter anything over words. Note that there is also a minimum length—CA4 won't accept any essay under words. Also realize that the word limit includes your essay title and any explanatory notes you might include.

To make a good impression, be sure to check out these five tips for a winning essayand if you're writing a Common Application essay, take a look at the tips and sample essays for each of the seven options.

Continue Reading.

If you've chosen the right focus for your essay—one that reveals something meaningful about you—you're going to need far more than words to provide the type of detail and college common app essay length that makes an essay effective. Sure, the admissions folks might be glad to get through a short essay quickly, but a beautifully crafted word essay is going to make a more meaningful and lasting impression than a good word essay.