5 tips to Writing an Honest and Passionate Admissions Essay

An essay is the one chance you have to set yourself apart from other applicants. Colleges get stacks of applications daily, meaning they’re all reading many excellent essays. The problem? Most of them aren’t very memorable. An honest college admissions essay is what makes you stand out as an applicant; it doesn’t need to be jaw-dropping but exciting and authentic. After all, dull writing isn’t going to convince anyone that you are a fascinating human being who will thrive at their school. You need to show off your personality in your application, and the best way to do that is with an honest essay about why you want to attend that college and why you feel like it’s the right fit for you. Here are 5 tips for writing a passionate and honest admission essay:

Tip #1 Be authentic

The best essays are the ones that make it sound like the author is sitting right there with you in the room. Colleges don’t want to read a piece that sounds like it was written by a computer program or an essay that was simply regurgitating the same talking points that every other student used in their application. What makes you unique is your personal story and personality. An admission essay is a great way to use your creative side and show off your personality and interests. You can also use it to talk about things you’ve struggled with or share your unique family history or cultural identity. Avoid the urge to use a cookie-cutter essay that you’ve copied and pasted from one application to another. Remember, colleges want to know about you and why you are a good fit.

Tip #2 Talk about what's important to you

Colleges want to know what you value the most when making a career decision and why you want to attend their school. They also want to know your thought process when considering your options and that you’ve spent time researching the campus and the programs. Show how important it is for you the program you want to study and how it connects with your dream career/ goals. Put the same amount of thought into your essay as you have into researching them.

Tip #3 Discuss what you want to learn

Not only are you writing an essay that explains why you want to attend a particular college, but you’re also writing an essay that explains why you want to major in a specific subject.

You should mention both, and you should tie them together. For example, suppose you are applying to a school that offers marine biology degrees. In that case, you should write an essay about how excited you are to be studying marine biology, how you’ve always been fascinated by the ocean and marine life, and how this degree will give you the perfect opportunity to pursue that interest. When colleges read your essay, they want to know that you really want and need this education. They want to know that you’re not applying for admission to any and every school just because you have to and that you’ve thought carefully about which schools and degrees are right for you.

college student

Tip #4 Write about what you have done to pursue your interests

Again, you’re writing an honest admission essay that explains why you want to be accepted to this particular school. You have to show that you are a good fit for this school, and you have to show that you will thrive there, which means that you need to show that you’ve been proactive in pursuing your interests. Extracurricular activities, part-time jobs, and volunteering are great ways to demonstrate your interest in the career you seek. Of course, you don’t have to have all the answers or lots of activities. You’re still in high school and have plenty of time to figure it out. However, remember to clearly state that you’re actively and passionately pursuing your interests and doing everything in your power to make those interests a reality.

Tip #5 Write about how you've overcome personal challenges

Writing about personal challenges is an optional tip, and you certainly don’t have to share anything particularly personal or challenging if it makes you uncomfortable. Still, by writing an honest admission essay showing how you overcome challenges you have the opportunity to stand out from the crowd if you want to. Most colleges ask for two or three paragraphs to write about something academically relevant to your application. Many students write about something that’s challenging or interesting that they’ve done in the past. But some students write about something really personal and really difficult.

Your essay adds depth, personality, and context to your application package. Overall, admission officers are searching for proof that you are a good fit and ready for the commitment that college demands.


We hope you’ve found this article helpful in your college application process. Remember, you have one chance to make a great first impression. Make sure your essay is honest and passionate, so your application is sure to stand out from the rest. Download the 14 Do’s and Don’ts When Writing Your College Essay for a smooth start.

Do you have more questions? We have answers! Book a FREE consultation with one of our certified college admissions consultants and get clarity in your college application.

Open chat
Scan the code
Can we help you?