Michigan State University delivered some good news last week for students applying to multiple schools for 2013 college admission. MSU, which does not accept the Common Application, released new essay prompts that could help streamline the daunting application process.
To be considered for admission to MSU, students must select one of two personal statement questions. Each question is clear, specific and similar in scope to many of the standard prompts on the Common Application. No matter what the question, you are being asked to write a story about something that happened in your life and explain why it matters, how it affected you, what you learned from it.
With a little bit of strategy, you can tweak your Common App essay (250 to 500 words) for MSU (400-word limit).
Take a look at a these prompts to help you find the best story you can use to answer both of these questions.
Common App: Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.
MSU: Describe an experience, passion, or characteristic that illustrates what you would contribute to the MSU community and how this will add to the overall richness of campus life.
The Common App prompt is asking you to evaluate an experience (what happened?) and discuss its influence on you (why does it matter?). The MSU prompt is asking you to describe an experience, passion or personality trait (what happened?) and discuss how it can help you fit in at MSU (why does it matter to you, and why should MSU’s admission committee care?).
Before you begin to answer either question, ask yourself, “What do I want the college to know about me when they finish reading the essay?”
You should be able to find one story that can be tweaked for both MSU and the Common App. If you need help, we still have a few spaces in the Wow them With Your College Essay workshop this Wednesday, Aug. 8, from 10 till noon at Orchard Lake Middle School in West Bloomfield. You can also sign up for a one-on-one brainstorming chat via phone or video chat, or hire a Wow writing coach for private coaching or for an essay review.