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Should You Rewrite Your College Essay if You Were Rejected by Your ED/EA School(s)?

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Each year, thousands of students funnel a ton of time and resources into their applications to their dream schools only to receive disappointing news in December. If you can relate to this, you’re not alone! In fact, you’re in the majority. Upon receiving a rejection or deferral, many students revisit their application materials in order to deduce what aspect of their submission came up short.  

The answer? It’s impossible to know. 

There are so many factors that go into an admissions decision, including where you live and which school you attend. Since so many of these components are out of your control, we recommend shifting your focus to what you can change as you look toward your Regular Decision submissions.

The most common question that fills our inboxes each year around this time is: “Should I rewrite my college essay since I was rejected from my dream school?” 

Although it’s difficult to offer guidance without seeing the draft in question, we recommend you try to revisit your personal statement with fresh eyes.

If you find it too difficult to distance yourself from the sweat, blood, and tears you infused into your essay, ask someone you trust to read it over and report their takeaway(s). Your goal with these essays is to reveal something new about yourself that can’t be found in the rest of your application. You’ll want to stay away from superficial or cliché topics and, instead, dig deep into who you are at your core. 

It’s worth revisiting your supplemental essays as well. Were your “why do you want to go here?” essays too vague? Were your community essays one-dimensional? 

In a perfect world, you’d sign up for an assessment, submit your drafts to us for feedback, and gain new insight into your submission. If that’s not feasible, however, try making a list of what you want admissions officers to know about you or, alternatively, your favorite things about yourself. Then, compare that list to your essay. Does your draft accurately reflect those traits and values? If not, it might be time to go back to the drawing board. Luckily for you, this list is the perfect launching pad for your new essay.

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