Essential College Essay and Personal Statement Tips and Tricks

Tips and tricks to turn your college specific essays or Common App personal statements into letters of acceptance and extra scholarship funding.

College Essay and Personal Statement

I'm convinced that essays are the most important part of college and scholarship applications because they give the reader a little more in depth knowledge about you than a transcript, letter of recommendation, or application can. 

Common App requires you to choose one of these essay prompts for 2021-2022 school year:


Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. 


The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?


Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?


Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?


Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.


Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more


Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

The great thing about #7 is you can write about literally anything, so if nothing above inspires you, this is a great choice to really show the reader who you are, what you are interested in, or what makes you whole.

Here are a few personal critiques that I find myself giving over and over that maybe you could benefit from hearing as well.

  • Get as close to the required word count as possible.
  • Start with an outline so your thoughts/paragraphs flow freely from one to another.  
  • Make sure you talk about YOU. Don't go on and on about your parents or a friend. They are not trying to get accepted, you are.  
  • Do not use valuable words from your word count to thank the reader for reading your essay. It's a waste, and a boring end to an essay.  

If your essay is complete, and you need someone to give you one last review before you submit it along with your applications, then the 24 hour essay editing service is just what you need.

If you still need help choosing a topic to write about and outlining your essay, then download the FREE essay outline here.

 If you downloaded the outline and your brain is still saying what the heck am I supposed to be doing here, then set up an Admissions in an Hour call, where I'll assist you in choosing a topic that you can passionately write about, we will outline your essay together, and includes a full essay review when you're finished writing.  

Have a question about an essay, a prompt, or wanting to know which service would best suit your needs? Send an email to and let's talk about it. 

Categories: : common app

About the Author

Christen is the founder of Hive Education. She is passionate about helping families navigate the college application and admissions processes. She helps students set goals to work towards their own debt-free degrees with her personalized scholarship searches, scholarship courses, and by sharing her scholarship strategies that won her over $900,000 in for her own college education. With four years of experience in higher education, two years working with teens in inner city high schools in New Orleans, and starting her first college consulting company during a pandemic in 2020 she strives to make college accessible for everyone, especially for first generation, low income, and minority students. In her spare time she loves to share her love for books with her daughters. You can find her on Facebook.

And don't forget to follow us on socials for latest updates.

As Seen On