Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action et al. College board college essay Involved in Community Schools v. The National Association for College Admission Counseling’s 2011 State of College Admission report found that while grades, strength of curriculum and admission test scores are the top factors in the college admission decision, a majority of colleges and universities believe the essay to be of considerable or moderate importance in determining which academically qualified students they would choose.
In other words, when all else is equal between competing applicants, a compelling essay can make the difference. A powerful, well-written essay can also tip the balance for a marginal applicant. What are colleges looking for in an essay? College admission officers look to the essay for evidence that a student can write well and support ideas with logical arguments.