If the Common App Essay Is Optional, Should You Do It?

Posted by IPFW Admissions Team on 6/1/17 4:30 PM

You made it through the Common Application’s personal profile section. You survived telling them about your family and your education. You slogged through your test scores and labored over your activities list. 

Then you see it: The Common App essay. The optional one. And it’s standing between you, your college future, and your plans for binging on Netflix tonight.

Hmm … if the essay is optional and many colleges don’t require it (including IPFW), could you just call it a night without writing one? Even if none of the schools on your list require an essay, can you really skip it without any concerns? Will an essay-free application make you look like a weak admissions candidate? Or will including an optional essay seem like overkill to your admissions officer?

Those make great questions, but let’s start with simpler one: Why do they ask for an essay at all?

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Topics: Applying to College, Common App, Essay Advice





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