12 Best Samples for the Best College Admission Essays

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Sample the Best Essays

Sometimes we just need someone to show us how it’s done. You’ll find access to more than 25 killer essays, but here’s the caution: these are samples. They’re famous—don’t even think about a copy-and-paste strategy. Drink deep of the creativity, the excellence, and the fun of doing things right, then sit down at the laptop and show the world that you’ve got the goods, too!

1. If You’re Going For Humor, Do It Right

“Rarely—and we mean rarely—have we seen students with this kind of writing ability. Did we say rarely yet? Because we do mean rarely. And it’s quite funny.” (ivycoach.com)

2. How To Break The Rules

The admissions officer at Cornell call this “Most compelling essay ever submitted . . . I was confused, disoriented, and a little disturbed by what I had just read, but I just had to keep reading to learn what the heck was going on in this scene.” (mentorverse.us)

3. It’s About My Mom (or is it?)

Look at the high praise this essay received from the admissions team: “She manages to impress the reader with her travel experience, volunteer and community experience, and commitment to learning without ever sounding boastful or full of herself.” (quintcareers.com)

4. You Be the Judge, Part One

Sure, this is an example of a great essay, but better than simply reading an excellent sample essay, you can read expert commentary just below it. (bigfuture.collegeboard.com)

5. You Be the Judge, Part Two

That last entry was helpful, wasn’t it? Here’s another killer essay, along with a critique that tells you why is so good. Class is in session—watch and learn. (bigfuture.collegeboard.com)

6. Three-Play: Gathered at a Single Site, 3 Winners

Sure, like all the other samples we’re sharing, these three are great, but with a difference: check out the unique points of view offered by international students, who must undergo the same process as domestic students. (internationalstudent.com)

7. An Essay Worth Sharing:

When an experienced admissions counselor asks your permission to share your essay with 20 other schools, you know it’s a winner. (businessinsider.com)

8. Ten-pack of Brilliant Essays

Scan down the list of ten great opening lines, and when you find an essay that matches your style, click through to read it all. (admissionsessays.com)

9. What’s Your Passion?

Discover college admission essays listed by category. What’s your pleasure? Politics? Business? Health? Or you can view 18 essays all on one page. [NOTE: the samples are great, but we DO NOTE recommend purchasing an essay. Why throw away your future?] (custom-essays.org)

10. Pure Inspiration From Someone Who’s Been There

A college students lands acceptance at his dream school and then shares how he did it, and unlike the previous website, we love the fact that this one signs off with, “Good luck writing your own!” (nextstepu.com)

11. Samples That Teach

You’ll find links to winning essays for Harvard, Princeton, Cornell, and Stanford, along with tips on the how-to side of the ledger. (quintcareers.com)

12. What Does It All Mean?

Don’t be like the guy who saw the double-rainbow a few years back. Dr. Kat Cohen explains the significance of great essays: the why, the how, and the samples. (noodle.com)

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