Write a Graduate School Essay that Will Knock Their Socks Off

In today’s increasingly competitive academic world, the graduate admissions essay is becoming more important than ever before. An increasing percentage of the population is graduating from college and going on to graduate school. Whether this is due to a sluggish economy which negatively impacts the number of jobs available right now for college graduates or increased demand for professionals with advanced degrees, many adults are now choosing to go to graduate school. Earn an advanced degree and qualify for a new job. Pursue a promotion by studying towards a graduate degree. Acquiring a master’s degree or a PhD will make you more competitive in the workplace.

Back to College: Admission Essays and Personal Statements
Photo provided by Flickr

Prestige of colleges correlates with age, such that the oldest east-coast schools tend to have accumulated the most prestige by virtue of their longevity. There is widespread consensus that the fit between a student and a school is an important factor. Several reports suggest that "fit should trump prestige every single time," and that it is better for a school to match a student in terms of social, cultural, and academic qualities and not be chosen simply because of a school's prestige. Others see college admissions as essentially a choice between "price and prestige". Elite colleges have been compared to designer labels, a valuable credential in the job market, and an entryway into top graduate schools. Some advisors specialize in helping students find a good fit—a suitable list of colleges—which helps students in the long run. They help students to explore their values and needs, and provide counseling to help both students and parents find a college or university program that helps students meet long-term goals. Questions include thinking about life goals, which activities a person likes best, and what style of learning works best for the student. Evaluating personal preferences is important and can take time. One advisor suggests it is important for a student to think through what is best, and choose on this basis, and "do not listen to your friends" since they have different needs and wants. "One of the worst ways to make a decision about where to go to college is to follow a friend because he or she is having a good time at that school," wrote one advisor. Since "barely half" of students entering college as first-year students ever graduate from college later in their lives, getting the right fit is important for parents and students to avoid wasting money. What is a good fit:


An admissions or application essay, sometimes also called a personal statement or a statement of purpose, is an essay or other written statement written by an applicant, often a prospective student applying to some college, university, or graduate school
Photo provided by Pexels

Having completed , you should now have a rough idea of the elements you wish to include in your graduate school essay, including your goals, important life experiences, research experience, diversifying features, spectacular nonacademic accomplishments, etc. You should also now have an idea of what impression you want to make on the admissions officers. We should remark that at this stage, undergraduate applicants have a large advantage over graduate school applicants. Whereas nobody questions a high school student’s motivation to attend college, graduate and professional school applicants must directly address in their essays their desire to study their selected field.