The college admissions essay is a milestone for many high school students. And though people generally tend to enjoy writing about themselves, the admissions essay is usually viewed a little differently. Its often surrounded by a lot of anxiety and uncertainty as it relates to being accepted to a particular college or university-which can definitely be justified.
So what is the purpose of the admissions essay?
In many cases, the main idea of the admissions essay is for students demonstrate to the admissions department or review committee that they are a good match for the school and worthy of being admitted (based on the many things that they have to offer).
The second major aim of the college admissions essay doesn't have much to do with 'selling' or 'proving' anything-it simply involves letting the school know who you are and what makes you unique and different from everyone else. This can be considered the 'lighter side' of the admissions essay that is sometimes forgotten. Overall, the main goal or purpose of the admissions essay can be explained with three main objectives.
The Three Main Objectives
Though descriptions given about admissions essays may vary from school to school, in a nutshell the basic objectives of an admissions essay are as follows;
- To provide the review committee with information that can't be found elsewhere on the student's application
- To identify what makes them special, unique, and sets them apart from others (this may also include specific hobbies and interest)
- To share the student's life goals and aspirations, to get a better idea of what they would like to achieve and how the particular college or university can help them achieve that
These goals and objectives are generally made quite clear in the various questions asked within most college applications. Along with knowing the main goals of the essay, it may also help to simplify it into five general sections
Five Parts to the Admissions Essay
1. Who are you?
This section may likely come at the beginning of your essay in the introduction or early on in the writing; it provides the reader with some basic background information on you. What you supply should be useful and appropriate, and just enough to provide the reviewer with a context for your essay. For example, if you plan to talk about your struggle with learning English as a second language, you should obviously first explain to the reader what your first language is, where you are from, how long you've been living where you are and so on.
2. What major things have impacted your life?
College questions will usually ask about a specific influence or impact from your life experience. In helping to paint a picture of who you are its very important to know what helped to make you the person you are today. Many things influence our development and major life choices, they generally include; environment, close relationships, social status/class, and special happenings or events.
3. Why are you applying here? Why this program?
These questions may appear a little blunt, but essentially the admissions committee does want to know, why them? why here? Even though many students may just select schools for very simple or superficial reasons, reviewers generally don't want to hear that you've chosen their school because your best friend is also applying or because its close to home. They obviously require more thought-out, planned, and in-depth responses. So instead of making up an answer (which will likely be pretty transparent) take the opportunity to actual investigate the school you are applying to-it may turn out that its not the best school for you! And in doing so you can provide real, genuine answers in your essay to demonstrate that you've actually done your homework and you know what the school can offer you and why it would be a good choice for you at this time.
4. What are your plans for the future?
In this section students can focus on specific educational plans as well as general life goals. In many ways this section is connected to the previous question as schools are usually concerned as to how their school or program in particular will work into a student's long term life goals and aspirations. Though non-educational goals may be included, such as raising a family, moving to another country, or other than that, they should be restricted to appropriate topics that are in some way connected to educational and career-related objectives. This may not always be the case, but generally speaking it's best to keep the tone of the essay friendly and professional without being too personal, and career and education aims are easy ways of achieving that.
5. Would you like to explain anything specific about your record?
This last section may actually be more suited for the admission essay objectives list. Because in many cases one of the goals of the essay is to address unclear or ambiguous concerns not apparent in the application. So for example, if there is a gap in education (for instance with transfer students) or a poor academic report, low test scores, or something of this nature, the admissions essay is a chance to clarify and explain these issues. Though a specific question may not be asked regarding this, if there is a real pressing concern that you'd like to explain, there should be a way to work it into your essay one way or the other (or simply add an additional note or section to the essay).
Sample essay questions
In addition to the general objectives mentioned earlier, as well as the above section guidelines, some students may also benefit from practice essay questions. Practice is great for many things and with the admissions essay it can lessen some of the stress and anxiety connected to applying for and being admitted into college.
Below are a few sample questions/request;
- Provide one example of how your socioeconomic background influenced your decision to apply to this college.
- How will your attending this school help you achieve your educational goals?
- In what ways do you think that you will contribute to our institution?
You may have noticed that in some way the above questions touch on issues covered in the main objectives (though they may be presented slightly differently and demand concrete examples or a brief elaboration on some points). With that being said, in general, if you are able to fulfill the three main admissions essay objectives clearly and precisely in your writing, you should be able to easily address most questions posed in any college admissions application.
Some tips on getting your answers right
Its worth mentioning that even if you've already explored some of the issues mentioned in an essay question or prepared some portion of your essay ahead of time, its important to write a unique answer for each application. This will help to ensure that you directly and accurately answer the question that was requested of you.
So for example, a few generic paragraphs describing your educational goals is not sufficient to answer question number #2 above; because you must also research what the school offers and incorporate specific attributes of the school into your essay to properly answer this question (by stating how the school can help you attain your educational goals).
In some cases students do actually get so involved in their writing that they may forget to answer the question! So be mindful of that when preparing answers; constantly check the question to make sure you are on track and strive to create a unique and personalized essay for each school. Generic essays usually appear as so and may be looked at unfavorably by your admissions reviewer.
Educational and Career Goals
Education is the acquisition of skills, beliefs, habits, values, and knowledge or the process of promoting learning. Educational system comprises discussion, training, teaching, storytelling, and instructed research. Education is occasionally taking place under the direction of educators. But learners may also be educating themselves. Education can be taking place in informal and formal setting and any experience that is having a formative result on the way one is feeling, thinking, or acting, may be considered educated. Pedagogy is the methodology of teaching. Education is normally divided officially into such steps as, kindergarten or preschool, primary academy, secondary academy and then Institute, or University. United States and some governments have been recognizing the right to education. Education is compulsory in most regions up to a certain age. career is defined as a company or an individual who is undertaking the professional conveyance of people and goods. career may include professional fields such as science and technology, military, commerce, ethnography and geography, entertainment, and others. Education and career usually go hand in hand since most individuals around the world acquire certain knowledge and skills that will propel them towards a certain carrier. In order for to undertake a career like medicine, one should acquire the knowledge of sciences and necessary training skills in order to do medicine later in life. For anyone to have a successful career goal in life, one must set educational goals in life. This paper seeks to describe educational and career goals and their significance in one’s life.
History of Education
Education started in prehistory, as grownups and elderly people educated the young in the knowledge and skills that was considered mandatory in the society. In pre literate civilization, this was attained through imitation and speech. Story telling was passing knowledge, skills, and values from one age to the next. As culture started extending one’s knowledge past skills that could be easily acquired through emulation, formal education evolved. At the time of the Middle Kingdom in Egypt, schools existed. In Athens, Plato founded the School which was the first institution in Europe for higher education. In 330 BCE, the establishment of the city of Alexandria in Egypt became the next in line to Athens as the academic fountain of early Greece. In third century BCE, the great library of Alexandria was built there. Following the falling of Rome CE 476, the European culture suffered a collapse of organization and literacy. In Western Europe following the falling of Rome, the Catholic Church became the sole protector of literate scholarship. In the middle ages, the church founded the cathedral academies as centers of developed education. Some of these developments eventually advanced into medieval colleges and ancestor of many Europe’s present day universities. The Chartres Cathedral was operating the influential and famous Chartres Cathedral Academy during the High middles ages. Full time education is necessary and compulsory for all children up to a certain age whether at school or otherwise in most nations today.
Educational goals are statements that are describing the skills, competence, and attributes, that students should be possessing upon the completion of a program or course. They are usually operating within the connecting domains of attributes, skills, and knowledge. According to John Dewey, “Education is not preparing for life; education is life itself” (Littky & Grabelle, 2017). One is making an impact on their future when starting one’s academic journey on the first day. One should develop educational goals from the kickoff of one’s educational adventure. One should be determining which degrees and institutions will help in opening up opportunities for one’s professional establishment, but it is not commonly transparent how to be making those goals in becoming a reality. It is acknowledged that, one should set themselves for success by confirming that one’s previous professional training and college credits can be transferring in as educational credits and this will help in putting one step closer to achieve one’s educational goals (Scalzo, 2017). By pursuing the following educational goals, students should be progressing towards the path of fulfilling one’s potentials. Being passionate, lifelong learners, creative, having moral courage, speaking well, writing, and reading well, working well with numbers, being able in using the world around them, being able in looking at things differently, being able in working independently with others, being ready in taking risks, persevering, having integrity and self respect, being able to solve problems and thinking critically, and finally caring and giving back to one’s society.
Career goals are those goals that one is setting for their career path and they can be anything from one’s career option to where one desires to be in their career in a specific time or period. Career goal is something that everyone should be setting no matter what career everyone is choosing. Finding the career that is right for anyone is the initial step of career planning when one does not already have the career they want. One’s career should be suiting the purpose of one’s life and passion besides relying on one’s best skills. One should be thinking about the career they want and getting out of their career in setting good career goals. Some individuals may be thinking that seniority and money are their most essential career goals, so they may be choosing a career that is well paying where one can proceed into management. Others may be defining flexible work and hours one can be doing from home as one’s most essential career goals. One should remember that, career goals do not stop when one has landed on a job that fits in their dream or desired carrier. One will probably find out that, they need to keep in setting new career goals in order for them to keep their career goals on course. For instance, is the next path of one’s career is managerial position; one will need to be setting new goals for reaching that goal. To know one’s best goal will be allowing one to define their short spell goals and when clarifying one’s short and long spell goals, these goals ought to be specific, smart, action oriented, and measurable. One’s goals need to be taking into account where one is now, where one desires to be, and what one requires to be doing move from area A to area B (Maldonado, 2017).
In conclusion, education is the acquisition of skills, beliefs, habits, values, and knowledge or the process of promoting learning. Educational system comprises discussion, training, teaching, storytelling, and instructed research. . career is defined as a company or an individual who is undertaking the professional conveyance of people and goods. Educational goals are statements that are describing the skills, competence, and attributes, that students should be possessing upon the completion of a program or course. They are usually operating within the connecting domains of attributes, skills, and knowledge and career goals are those goals that one is setting for their career path and they can be anything from one’s career option to where one desires to be in their career in a specific time or period. One should develop educational goals from the kickoff of one’s educational adventure and also set career goals from the kick off of one’s career adventure.
- Maldonado C. (2017). How to Define Your career Goals This Year. TopResume. Retrieved from https://www.topresume.com/career-advice/defining-job-goals
- Littky D. Grabelle S. (2017). Chapter 1. The Real Goals of Education. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/104438/chapters/The-Real-Goals-of-Education.aspx
- Scalzo B. 2017. WHAT ARE YOUR EDUCATIONAL GOALS? Retrieved from http://blog.online.norwich.edu/what-are-your-educational-goals