May 16, 2017

3 Tips for Writing a Noteworthy Application Essay

By Jodi Groeteke Hockemeier, College of Graduate Studies Enrollment Director | Admissions Advice

When you’re applying to graduate programs, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that you’ll have to submit an essay. Don’t fret—this is your time to stand out to the admissions team and really show them why you belong at their university. Here are three tips that can help you along the way.

  1. Write like you. Regardless of what program you decide to study, you’ll be writing papers, responding to discussion boards (especially when you choose an online program), replying to emails…so you’ll want to have a strong, established voice. Sure, academic writing may change a bit from casual, but try to stay consistent with your tone. Make sure you know what you want to say and it comes across clear and concise; most essays are around 700 words maximum, so you don’t have room for fluff. Plus, you’re introducing yourself to the admissions team, and, hopefully, your future faculty, so just be you.
  2. Prove you’re passionate. There are many reasons to go grad school—career advancement, salary increase, lifelong learning. The list goes on and on. But one thing should be for sure: you want to go. It’s no secret you’ll be adding more hours and work to your daily schedule (all worth it, of course), so let it be known you want to join this specific master’s program since it will feed your inner passion.
  3. Get a second eye. This is grad school, so there’s no time for silly errors. Admissions teams are reading hundreds (if not thousands) of applications, and have little tolerance for sloppiness. Don’t give them any reason to turn you down. Ask a colleague or trustworthy friend or family member to give your essay a hard proofread. You’ve probably read, and re-read, your essay a dozen times. Let those fresh eyes take a look and catch any slip-ups you may have missed.

One final tip—don’t be afraid to ask the admissions team a question. If you’re unsure about something on the essay (or any part of the application), send them an email. There’s nothing wrong with clarifying something. Plus, your name will already be on their radar. At Concordia University, Nebraska, our admissions team is more than happy to answer any questions you might have about our application process. Feel free to check in with us at any point and learn more about our fully online master’s programs today.


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