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Your application tells a story.


Your application tells a story.

What is the story of your application  not including your personal statement and supplemental essays? First, review the following categories from a college's perspective.

Assignment #6

Academic Record

includes the level of courses completed; grades in academic courses; GPA; class rank

Test Scores




employment; clubs; community service; commitments; projects

Letters of Recommendation teacher; counselor; employer; mentor


Supporting Material

portfolio; audition; personal website; video presentation

Ask yourself: What story emerges from my application so far? 

Consider all the categories above, and imagine the story your application reveals. If possible, talk to your college counselor to get feedback on this process. 

Ask yourself: How can my personal statement "fill out" my story?

A personal statement expands on the the story of your application as a whole. Remember, you're a person and a high school student.

Ask yourself: What do I want a reader to know about me by the end of my essay?


Take a moment and finish this statement: "By the end of my essay, I want a reader to know _________."


Example: "By the end of my essay, I want a reader to know that I'm a creative thinker who is radical about giving back to my community."

Ask yourself: What's my WHY?

"Your WHY is the purpose, cause or belief that inspires you." - Simon Sinek

Your application package shows what you do, but it doesn't shed light on WHY you do it. The essay is an opportunity to explore your WHY. Remember, you are multi-dimensional with a unique past, present and future. Your WHY is like the fuel in your engine. What makes you go? The best way to explore your WHY is to consider the areas of your life that capture your attention, and motivate you to act.

Review. Now that you've done the creative groundwork it’s time to choose the Common App Prompt that supports the story you want to tell.

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