10 College Essay Examples From Top 10 Universities

A college essay is defined as a piece of writing which gives an apt response to either the coalition application, common application or the application of a school individual. These college essays span over 50 words to 800 words. These vary into two distinct categories. A personal essay includes examples of the personal essay, coalition essay or common essay. And the supplemental essay includes examples of short essays. Several practices are utilised to enhance the quality of the essay –

  • Addressing the questions directly if asked by the prompt – Most essays ask the individuals to draft their experiences of extracurricular activities or to note their interests like favourite music or movie. It is essential to answer the question to the point and stay focused while answering by giving extra information about yourself.
  • Using detailed information – It is important to ensure that the individual has mentioned the volunteer program specifically, where he has worked, or the instructor’s name who made you learn things in your camp. It is significant to add specific points in the essay and not overburden it with every small detail. Specific points will highlight the essential points that must be put in the essay, personally and academically.
  • Develop a narration – To start writing your essay with a good point, it is crucial to include your experiences involving anecdotes or carrying the element of the topic throughout the essay, and this will also help in keeping the interest of the reader and will show the creativity of the individual writer.
  • Reusing material – Writing new essays every time you apply to a new college is optional. Many colleges ask similar questions only by changing the words or rephrasing them, such as in a diversity essay. This will determine the contribution of the individual and the advantages of diversity. Little editing in an essay can answer different prompts and reduce stress.
  • Putting yourself in the reader’s shoes – Putting yourself in the shoes of the reader will help you strengthen your writing. It also helps stand out in the essays, as the readers will probably encounter everything youve written. It is not important to check what you say, but it is important to check how you say it. If the essay you read sounds typical, then there is a need for improvement. Going through various drafts – Ensure that the individual starts writing as early as possible to get time for revision. Writing or drafting any idea is a thought process that includes the individual’s experiences and converts these experiences into words.
  • Showing emotions – Showing some emotions or vulnerability in your writing will make the story or the essay interesting and alive for the audience or the reader.

Examples of College Essays

College Essay 1

A student at Oxford University writes this personal college essay. As the patients room door opened, I encountered the worst smell that directly hit my face. It smelled like rotting flesh. Then, I saw an elderly, small woman sitting in her wheelchair and wearing the gown provided by the hospital and covered with a blanket down from her neck, and only her right leg wrapped with gauze was visible from the covered material. Then, I saw the doctor was unwrapping her right leg. As the legs got unwrapped, I encountered dead toes that were blackened and smelled like gangrene-rotted tissue. I had never experienced anything like this before in my two years of education in medicine. But these years have also helped me solidify the important commitment to study medicine. Yet, these situations in the operating room didnt give an accurate and complete position of the occupation of a surgeon. Doctors operating as surgeons in the operating room are cool and calm and collect textbook incisions through detached precision. Being a surgeon is a profession that depends mainly on techniques or skills. This dreadful experience showed a different phase of this field that I wish to pursue. Feeling nauseous, I forced myself to watch the terrific wound of the lady who had hope on her face that her doctor would analyse and manage her condition seeing the doctor struggling with the operation. Slowly, the doctor explained that there was an infection called Above Knee Amputation (AKA). This made me understand the importance of a doctor as it shows how a person’s life rests in the hands of a doctor who spends his whole life making complex decisions. I was amazed by the compassion of Dr Q and his promise that this difficult approach would save a woman’s life. With a long sad smile, the lady patient said to the doctor that she trusted him while wiping her tears and shaking the doctors hand. After leaving the operating room, Dr Q and I went to his office. The doctor started addressing my observation and said that this is the toughest part done by surgeons. Surgeons hurt patients to make them heal from their illnesses or wounds, and most patients or individuals do not understand this. Still, being a doctor, Im saving the lives of the patients I operate makes the stress worth it. After listening to him, I completely understood a different viewpoint which enhanced my understanding of the medical field and changed my point of view towards the surgeon. Being in medicine, I also want to help individuals with illnesses and injuries and take responsibility for complex situations that entail this occupation. Finding out that surgery is an important function beyond the general implementation of the trained set of skills motivated me as well. After experiencing this situation, I now think that surgeons are even more difficult practitioners of this medical field, and I can excel.

College Essay 2

A student at Duke University writes this supplemental essay. Students are taught to learn the materials in most of the traditional or regular classrooms. We study the materials and pieces of information to recapitulate it on the exam and fail to remember it the next day. This was the learning process, but I found out that I was wrong about the process of learning the last summer. I took part in a five-week enrichment event (SPK event) with the best and bright students of New Jersey. I was studying and living with 200 students on their campus. I took Physical Science as a subject. And on the first day of the class, the teacher placed a box on the top of the table and poured water. We saw no result after pouring water, but more water was poured onto the box, and slowly and gradually, everything started coming out. All were asked to find out what had happened without checking on textbooks or mobile phones and only by using their brains. We all worked and figured out that the box consists of a siphon identical to what is utilised in pumping gas. In the coming weeks, we were taught to build solar ovens, dive into the content of vacuums of space and the speed of light, and study the working of paper planes and more. We were taught all these without using textbooks, information or flashcards. We were not given lessons or classes on how to master the exam of physics or regarding the impressive terminology during the overall period of the event. We were given classes for enhancing and improving our thought processes. We were especially given lessons for thinking together. We understand that learning is not a competition but a process of working together to resolve issues and help develop a better society. Learning is a way to a better future ahead.

College Essay 3

This is a personal college essay by a student at Yale University. I saw my stepfather violent with my mother when I was only twelve. He transformed into an entirely different person in just a night, often fighting with my mother. I could not deal with this and kept crying over my mother’s disappointment and was frightened of ending my life at a point in time. One can say that I was brought up by parents who indulged in fights, and I was always trying to transform into a perfect family that could not fall apart. This point in my life is not a sad story, but my love for writing originates here. While fighting once, my stepfather went to the truck to retrieve the baseball bat. He did not use the baseball bat but frightened us about what he could do. And, at that very moment, I was not crying and sobbing as I used to do earlier but took out a book and started experiencing an extreme disappearance, which linked me with the reading healing and escapism. Soon, I started writing and filling the blank white paper with words in the dark as, at that time, we did not have money to pay electricity bills. As I got older, I thought there must be people suffering the way I used to. I tried finding them by creating a blog that mainly focused on the happiness of a teenager even suffering from a lot. I started writing what I learned from the situation and updated my readers with the blog. I informed them that nightly yoga could help in releasing tension and making affirmations could help in encountering the shame which was going up because of the fights. Then, I felt I needed to be more determined as I was different at home rather than online or at my institution, where I was made the editor of literary journals. Gradually, I realised a change in myself and found out that I was not the same person who tried hiding in the corner after every fight, but now I was the person who tried connecting with those who were suffering from the same condition at their home as she was suffering with the thinking of coming together being quarantined. I was earning enough money to take care of my house, pay the bills and give courage to my mother to kick my stepfather out of the house. When he left our house, I felt like breathing freely and easily. I understand that most students do not have this type of background, but sharing a short chapter of my life with the teens like me aided me in understanding what I require to write, like my point of view and inflexible confidence to deal with the problem. As I have seen the worst side of what people can do, I also have witnessed the love and joy of people through my blogs. I have not experienced this period for a long, but I understand this is only a small part of my life.

College Essay 4

This is an essay by a student at Harvard University. I am exactly one year one day younger than my brother. But, we look as similar as identical twins. People get confused, but we must get the same now. When we were children, we wore the same types of clothes and had similar haircuts as well. But, when we were in school, my brother preferred to remain silent and indulge in indoor activities, whereas I was the opposite of my brother. I loved dancing and preferred performing theatrical activities on and off the stage. His nature of being silent made us feel that he was not interested. And, due to the annoyance of my parents, we did not manage to be with each other. I was not interested in a relationship full of tension with my brother as I was often busy with school events. Particularly, I was indulged in musical theatre, and additionally, I used to perform solo more often at the choir concerts organised by our school. I gave time for practice even after school, and after reaching home, I again started practising, which kept me engaged and made me think that I needed to be in the best place and be competitive with others. My parents bedroom maintained enough distance from my bedroom, and thus, they were not disturbed by my practice. But we two share the same bedroom. This is where the conflict arises, as my brother wants to live in peace and remain silent, but I keep practising with high notes. The problem of space created a conflict between us. According to my viewpoint, he can meditate somewhere else or when I am not practising and from his viewpoint, the school has to make arrangements for the students to practise.
When the semester started, I prepared for an audition for a concert. While practising the song in its original form, I had to sing it with the music. This is because of the changes; I could not sing that high pitch. This was the time when I struggled to sing a song. As the audition was just after a week, I was getting irritated and stopped my practice. When I reached home, my brother asked me to join him in meditation. He said it would let me control my anger and focus on my work. I tried doing meditation. It was difficult to do the first time, but as time passed, it made me feel good in the audition; I could sing, but still, there were changes. This made me understand that continual efforts can help a person to achieve their goals, and this also made me understand why my brother prefers to be quiet.

College Essay 5

This college essay is written by a student at the University of Pennsylvania.
On the morning of every Saturday, my cousins and I woke up with the hard smell of spicy pepper and crushed garlic. We moved into the kitchen slowly and found that our grandmother was squatting spices and leaves of cabbage over a silver bowl. This is how she made a delicious Korean dish called kimchi. She made this dish every weekend when she lived with us.
My grandmother always ensured everyones plate was filled with kimchi at the dinner table. And my grandmother, who is always living with us in this home and our lives, the smell of garlic also never left this house. As my grandmother was suffering from Alzheimers disease, she still did not forget the recipe for kimchi. The disease slowly faded her memories, and this made the mornings of Saturday come to a pause of that smell of making kimchi. I looked at my grandmother and asked her what my name was, and she looked at me without any expression. Before getting diagnosed, she started living with us as a stranger.
One fine day, my mother bought fresh cabbage, an old silver bowl and red pepper sauce. Mixing them with salt, pepper and garlic. The smell entered my nose, and as soon as Grandmother smelled this, she stood up from the couch, went to the kitchen, and started mixing the cabbage leaves with the spices. While mixing this, there was a determination on her face to make kimchi like a professional. The smell of spices and garlic again filled a happy environment in the house. We had kimchi for our dinner; it was not perfect, but although Grandmother made it, was tasting better than ever. Watching our grandmother like this again was a short period, but her clueless face and damaged hair expressed the development of the disease.
When we looked at her while holding her fingers, we smelled garlic. At that very moment, I again lived the moment in my mind. Our grandmother was a person who made kimchi with a sweet taste, and I wish to relive and capture those memories of ours.

College Essay 6

This is an essay written by a student at Washington University.
I loved playing video games when I was a little kid. One of my favourite parts of the game was moving to different places and collecting animals. At that very moment, I got into the Scouts of Boys and got involved in the notion of blue ribbon. These ribbons can be achieved by understanding and learning about a challenge or a topic and doing projects related to the learned challenge or topic afterwards. I realised I loved learning new things, especially the tasks they assigned to make us learn, whether fishing or doing first-aid. When I was in the first year of Boys Scouts, I achieved the blue ribbons in double numbers as required, and at that time, it took my interest in collecting trophies and badges and ribbons.
My love and enthusiasm for collecting animals in video games were now moved to Boy Scouts. At this point, Id decided to achieve every ribbon of merit, so I had to speak to my parents and group. My parents were immediately convinced, but my group members were not convinced and needed some time to be convinced. Many group members asserted that travelling to other states to achieve ribbons for games like snow sports would take long hours. Else, I have to gather the courage to continue riding a bike for around 50 miles to achieve a ribbon for bicycling. I also informed them that I wanted their assistance in knowing where these ribbons were taught and were also impatient to learn this. They all laughed after listening to me and allowed me to check out the city. For the coming six years, I trek on mountains and valleys, swam across lakes and rivers and camped outside only with a long jacket and nothing else. As I was motivated and my passion for earning ribbons, my group members also turned their attitude and started encouraging me in my journey. All the community members began splitting up to teach the learners about some abstruse ribbons of merit, such as bugling and atomic energy. What I was doing with my group got spread over, and different scouts also started joining our mission whenever they were offered any uncommon ribbons or badges. One little boy was with me in the group who achieved around 80 pounds just by taking the merit ribbon for computers, and the last time when we talked, I learned that he had got an offer from Google. Before getting to the age of 18, a scout has to achieve all the ribbons. I finally got selected for my final round of interviews with Eagle Scout Badge, just a month before my 18th birthday and my communitys strength. When the interview was going on, one of the leaders of the Scouts asked me whether I had achieved all the ribbons of merit. I answered him by saying Yes, and the next moment, he appraised me by saying that I had a new world record for being the first Boy Scout to achieve every ribbon of merit before achieving the Eagle. The leader stood up from his place and shook hands. I was shocked and happy knowing this and felt gratitude towards everyone who supported me in this journey. I felt thankful to my parents, every counsellor of ribbon merit, every fellow scout, teacher and the leaders of scouts who aided in gaining this achievement. Gaining this position was not only about one scout but was much more than that. This achievement was for the community of the scouts that came together to create history. Today, I am working as a counsellor for merit badges to make new learners understand this and feel proud of being in this profession and the world of scouting.

College Essay 7

A student at Yale University writes this college essay.
I always had an interest in History. I loved reading and learning how the evolution of politics, innovation, humanity and other things took place. I also loved learning about the rise and fall of the kingdoms and battles and many more. What makes me so interested in history is the time that explains how everything changed suddenly and differently just because of one decision – What would have happened if Abraham Lincoln was not elected President? Or What would have happened if the French Revolution never arose? Or What would have happened if Magna Carta was not signed ever?
My interest in History started when I attended high school with my History teacher Mr Thomas. He appeared to be a tall, thin man with a small moustache, always wearing a jacket. Whenever he came to take our class, he claimed that the contents of the books were only sometimes right. He always asks us to figure out and investigate the written content and research it. He made us feel encouraged and motivated, which is why we students find interest in History and keep researching our topic of interest. There was also a rule in his class that if any of the students got any information from any reviewed source different from the content written in the textbook would get five extra points in the exam.
I remember his enthusiastic behaviour and excitement whenever he recalls the battles of history while teaching us. While making his paper more interesting, he often changes his tone and pitch for general people and females. He uses a rough or hoarse voice for general and skillfully switches to a high pitch for a womanly voice. His love and interest in history also impacted the students who they taught, and at the end of the session, the students were performing an act in history wearing costumes and with the help of our teacher. From that time, History has occupied a special corner of my heart.
Whenever I am free or exercising, most of my podcasts are related to history. Once, I remember that I was so indulged in a podcast that I kept researching in the Gym for around three hours, and it was related to Chengis Khan, which made me understand that although he was a brutal warrior and a dictator yet, he also had a soft side in his heart which made him a loyal leader as well as an innovator. He also permitted females to hold positions and become a member of the leadership. He also encouraged his state to be free from religion. Also, so many stories detail how Chengis Khan used to sit on the ground and eat or how he ate from the wooden bowl of an old lady while making his guests sit at the table and have dinner in silver cutleries.
History can make us understand and learn many more things regarding the difficulties and evolution of humanity. The past has made us understand how people of that time dealt with the problems and what the consequences were. This is how history helps in spotting light on the present as well as the future generation.

College Essay 8

This college essay is written by a student at Stanford University.
In high school, I was the captain of my basketball team and achieved many trophies and rewards with my team, along with some losses. But, one of the most complex phases of my career in football took place out of the field. My classmate Tyler approached me once for a favour just after finishing the last game. He told me that he was a member of the group Hands-On organisation. This organisation was organising a new event which needed my support by being the captain of their football team. This was entirely a new experience for me as this was an event to appeal to a different school symbol. The school I was admitted to was known as the Lincoln Indians, and the symbol represented stereotypical Indians. As a citizen of a small city in Montana, other individuals have never recognised this as a problem, and I also do not see this as an issue. My classmate, Tyler, took his time and made me understand how he felt whenever his identity was posed as a costume. It made me realise his traumatised feelings after every match. This realisation made me think of many things again and again that I took for granted. Listening to him and having this realisation made me humbled and illuminated. Their efforts of Tyler only made it possible to have a new symbol for the team, and I am thankful to him for making this effort. Now, I belong to the group of Hands-On Organization and continue to be a member of this group to raise my voice to make people aware of the problems that affect minorities.

College Essay 9

This college essay is by a student at Princeton University.
Fitting in the shoebox was one of my biggest influences on my friends and peers. When I was in the 8th grade, a friend forgot to bring her lunch. So, we all friends decided to collect money and buy her food for lunch. Following the day, she came to return the money that we spent on her lunch, but we informed her that we had just collected a few amounts in case any of our friends forgot to bring their lunch or money for their lunch in the coming days. Saving this little amount for a few weeks made us see a spare modification; we saved enough money to store it in the small shoebox, which was then our bank of the school friends group. This became quite popular among the students, and from the 9th grade, the students of our class started maintaining a shoebox bank available for the students who forgot to bring their money for lunch or needed money for any other work.
When we were just about to finish our schooling, our idea of collecting money into a shoebox grew more formal and helped donate around $400 to the city’s food bank by the last month of the year. My friends and I started doing this, and the success of collecting money for someone who needs it made us all understand that it is important for a good idea to get support from the community to achieve success.

College Essay 10

This college essay is by a student at Columbia University.
When I was young, I often kept listening and sang along with the radio. It does not affect me if it was a different masterpiece or any catchy song. I go with the flow of the song, moving along with the rhythm and music of the song. When I was 11, I picked up the guitar for the first time, and to everyone`s surprise, I did not put it down. As my keen interest was in music, I loved learning the rhythms and tunes I listened to. Learning music in person and practising it repeatedly made me understand and appreciate music in another way. When I understood it wholly, I succeeded in forming my band and preparing for the concert. And after 6 months, I and my band played our very first concert. I was not very satisfied with our concert performance, but we all enjoyed playing music and singing in front of the audience who enjoyed listening to them. This was the reason why I wanted to choose music as my career.
From that time, I keep performing at any program where I can. I understand that one can learn anything by doing that work, and my attitude towards music is the same. And I am sure I will achieve my passion for singing and performing and become active in music. I am also interested in getting involved with musicians and their programs in the local area. As a music lover, I started by listening to other singers and musicians, but as time passed, my interest in music increased daily, and now I love listening to Jazz music. It is my daily routine after getting up from bed to go and practice music. For me, playing musical instruments is not the only thing to do, but I always keep thinking about music somehow. When admitted to Berklee Music School, I coped with the demands of listening and singing on track while learning. And, if I have to perform anywhere, I need to practice for at least 8 hours. I still remember when I kept practising for a long time and learnt to play an advanced tune. And I am prepared to learn more advanced tunes and perform affluently.
Other than the work at school, I have always wanted to learn different musical instruments and have been given lessons to play the guitar for the last two years. Practising it frequently made me more confident about my understanding of music. It also helped me teach other students the concept of major scales, minor scales, blues, and pentatonic scales. Learning music and teaching struggling students has also helped me a lot in improving their scales and aided me in reducing their worries. I love teaching others while learning myself.

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