I know from experience (SO much experience!) how much time, effort and soul students put into writing their college essays. And my favorite part of running Paved With Verbs is watching the way students' essays evolve over weeks of work.
Which is why I'm warning you now:
There is a terrible bug in the common app that could make all your hard work... be for nothing.
Most students do not write their essays on the Common App website (I've never seen someone do it that way). They write them in Google Docs, Word, or even Pages. And then they copy-paste their essays into the correct boxes on CommonApp.org.
And, if they're not careful, they might not realize that, much of the time, the last paragraph isn't getting copied over.
So you've crafted this amazing essay that tells admissions officers something important about you... but then there's no conclusion. The essay just kind of ends.
I've emailed and tweeted The Common Application about this, but I never heard any response -- and, as of this week, the bug still hasn't been fixed.
So please, PLEASE make sure your essays are getting pasted in correctly. Check that your last paragraph is there. Check that the word count in the form matches the one you had in the Doc.
If it doesn't, simply go back to the Doc, re-copy the last paragraph, and paste it where it goes in the essay.
Because you've worked WAY too hard to let one stupid bug mess up your essay.
Want to know more? Check out The Two Biggest Mistakes Seniors Make on their College Apps; APs Make You Look Complacent, Not Curious; How to Write Your USC Short Answers; and How to Write Successful Stanford Supplemental Essays.
Eva Glasrud completed her B.A. and M.A. at Stanford. She is now a college counselor and life coach for gifted youth.