Inside Higher Ed reported last week that Massachusetts Institute of Technology has decided to replace its 500-word application essay with several shorter questions, while the University of Pennsylvania has combined two essay questions into one, “saving students maybe 200 words.” Admissions officers say they’re trying to extract just the right amount — and type — of information from applicants without putting undue pressure on applicants’ time. Shorter questions seem to elicit more direct, less “filtered” responses that officials say help them understand what makes a particular applicant tick.
Announcements like this seem to imply that these institutions have somehow relaxed their admissions requirements. But nothing could be further from the truth. It may take an admissions officer less time to read and process a shorter essay, but writing an outstanding one still takes thought, time, and effort. In fact, writing concisely is perhaps every great writer’s biggest challenge!
Total word count is just a number. But essays are about words… choice, flow, and impact. Scholar’s Secret can help your college applicant prepare and perfect the type of essay that will simplify the decision to admit your student to the best college — whether that essay is 200 or 2000 words! Contact us today to get started.