5 Essential Problems in Writing a College Application Essay

Writing an excellent college application essay will go a long way in securing a place at your preferred university. However, most students encounter various problems when writing these essays that end up making them not get admitted into college, regardless of how good their transcripts are.

Without further ado, the following are 5 of these problems:

1. Failure to Proofread

More often than not, most people rarely check their work for any errors. This is why it’s advisable that you give your work to someone else for proofreading purposes. This person must be well conversant with grammar and punctuation and have a keen eye for spotting mistakes.

If you don’t proofread, you will end up looking like you don’t know writing rules or like you’re not keen on presenting yourself well enough. This will create doubts in the admissions officials’ minds about admitting you into their college.

Some of the errors that occur include:

Grammatical mistakes, typos and font/paragraph spacing issues. Even though most of the time these are unintentional errors, caring about getting it right through proofreading and grammar check is a way to display your work ethic and dedication.

Exceeding the word limit. You should be able to work within subjective rules and limitations. Use an essay Word Counter to check the number of words and paragraphs in your admission essay.

Exceeding the required word count demonstrates a lack of self-control, something which is not appealing to admissions officers.

2. Execution Problems

The way that you’ve structured your application essay is crucial for the officials. This is because the admissions essay is an avenue for showing the admissions officials the clarity and maturity of your writing technique.

One way of executing wrongly is to display flawed writing mechanics, for example, ambiguous syntax or incorrect punctuation. This might pose a problem since college-ready writing is one of the key things that’s expected of a high school graduate.

Secondly, wrong execution can be portrayed through ignoring appropriate instructions. It doesn’t matter whether this was an oversight on your part or you were just trying to be creative. This will show admissions officials that you’re either someone who blows off instructions or someone who can’t comprehend how to follow them.

3. Poor Choice of Topic

One major way of messing up with a college essay is to bungle what the essay is all about or how you’ve decided to talk about a certain experience.

The college application essay is the most important piece of writing that lets the admissions office of your preferred college get to know your character, personality and skill set, some of which aren’t on your academic transcripts. Therefore, if you begin with an awful topic, not only will you eventually end up with a pretty bad essay, but you might also destroy the good impression that the rest of your application creates.

Moreover, bad topics tend to demonstrate to admissions officials that you lack a good sense of judgment. This might be problematic to you since the college is keen on having a group of college students who are going to handle independent life on campus well. Bad topics might also portray you as a boring or a not so lively person. This might also be a problem at one point since colleges want to mold individuals who are vibrant and to create a dynamic and always engaged.

Awful topics are a sign that you’re unaware of the outside world and you only concentrate on yourself. This will also pose a problem because the college life is all about engaging with new people and sharing new ideas.

4. Revealing Past Bad Judgment

It is advisable that you do not include past offensive actions in your application essay. It’s not a good idea to provide admissions officials with ammunition to detest you from the word go.

However, some cases may be acceptable depending on whether the deed was done in a completely different mindset as compared to the one you’re currently in. For example, while under coercion or when you were very young and naïve, or if your essay revolves around explaining how you’ve changed your life and you possess the evidence to support you. Examples of instances of revealing bad judgment include:

Describing the experience of being drunk or high – You should keep in mind that you were in high school;

Exposing your personality flaws;

Writing about committing a crime as being exciting.

5. Being Too Offensive

Being too offensive in your essay will portray your lack of self-awareness. You should remember that no one wants to be lectured when reading your essay. Eventually, you won’t be communicating successfully.

Moreover, you should keep in mind that no college is willing to enroll someone who is too narrow-minded to benefit from others. Examples of instances of an essay being offensive include:

Writing a one-sided criticism about things like abortion, guns, and immigration, or any other controversial topic

Stating anything negative about the college that you’re applying to


In summary, the above are just but some of the problems that most students encounter while writing a college application essay. For college application essay help, you can go to your friends who wrote excellent essays that enabled them to be admitted to a college or your teachers.

Are there other problems that you are aware of? Feel free to add them.


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