Will a Great Essay Get Me Into College?

If you’ve ever asked yourself this question, here’s a short and sweet answer from Ethan Sawyer, the College Essay Guy.

The short answer here is: No, an essay won’t get you into college on its own. Your acceptance at most universities is dictated primarily by your GPA, course-load (how hard your classes are) and, to varying degrees, your test scores, recommendations, and extracurriculars.


When it comes to deciding between you and another student with a similar GPA, ACT score and extracurricular profile, that’s when the answer becomes:

Yes, your essays can make the difference.

So should you even spend a lot of time working on your essays?

I say yes.

Here’s why:

Because, once everything else has mostly been determined–once you pretty much know what your GPA will be, you’ve taken your SAT for the second time, and you’ve logged (or not logged) your community service hours–your essays are the last thing you can control. They’re the last thing you can actually do something about.

In fact, if you’re reading this blog post as a junior or senior and you have a college essay to write, you can do something about that right now.

Click here to get started.

For more personal statement help, visit me at www.collegeessayguy.com.


Ethan Sawyer, the College Essay Guy, has been helping students tell their stories for more than ten years. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, received an MFA from UC Irvine, and received two counseling certifications, one from UC Irvine and another from the Interchange Counseling Institute. He’s also a certified Myers-Briggs® specialist and his type (ENFJ) will tell you that he will show up on time, he’ll be excited to meet you, and, more than anything, he’s committed to–and an expert in–helping you realize your potential.


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