By the time admissions officers start reading your college essay, they already know all about your grades and test scores, your extracurriculars and your family background. What they don’t know is what you’re like in person. What are your outstanding personality traits? What is it like to spend a day with you? What motivates you to take action? What are the events that have had a meaningful impact on your life? When trapped within the confines of a generic college application, so many students look the same. You would not believe how many good students and club leaders there are, or the number of students who achieve perfect scores on the SATs. The only way to make yourself stand out is to show admissions what makes you an individual. The essay is your one true chance to show it, and it can make all the difference between rejection and admission.