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5 College Essay Writing Tips for First-Gen Students from Admission Experts

by Jocelyn Johnson, on Dec 11, 2014 7:04:00 PM


Im_First__for_blog2#TBT to last Thursday's #FirstGenOfficeHour Twitter chat hosted by I'm First!. I participated in the hour long Q & A forum, which focused on “What’s In A Personal Statement and College Essay?” essay writing tips for first-generation college students, on behalf of Story2. Other participants included Carlos O. Cano, WPUNJ Admissions Counselor, Eric R. Felix, USC Rossier PhD candidate, and Soka Admissions, to name a few. 

Below are my 5 favorite questions and their answers from the chat. Be sure to check out the official recap here.

Question 1:  Why are essays and personal statements a major part of the college application process?

A1: essays provide a chance for admission officers to get to know the real you--beyond your GPA, scores, etc #FirstGenOfficeHour

— Story2 (@_Story_2) December 5, 2014


Q1 Essays help you pop for the admissions office. #FirstGenOfficeHour @ImFirstGen @wowwriting @NACAC @ncte

— All College Essays (@allcollegeessay) December 5, 2014

Question 2: What are admissions officers looking for when reading my essay and personal statement?

A2: admissions officers want to know who you are as a person and what they can count on you for in the future #FirstGenOfficeHour

— Story2 (@_Story_2) December 5, 2014

A2. A story, one that describes you, your accomplishments, goals, and why you've worked so hard to get to this stage. #FirstGenOfficeHour

— Eric R. Felix (@EriqFelix) December 5, 2014


Question 5: What are the main steps students need to follow in creating a solid essay?

A5: Students can create stand out essays with these 4 simple steps: #FirstGenOfficeHour

— Story2 (@_Story_2) December 5, 2014


A5. Be authentic, be clear, show the reader who you are, and revise, revise, revise. #FirstGenOfficeHour

— Eric R. Felix (@EriqFelix) December 5, 2014


Question 6: If I’m a #firstgen student, do I have to say that in my essay? Will that help or hurt my chances of being accepted?

A6: How else can you say that? How can you say it that shows what it means to you? #FirstGenOfficeHour

— Story2 (@_Story_2) December 5, 2014


A6. Understanding what being a #FirstGen student means is important. If you mention it, do so in context to your essay. #FirstGenOfficeHour

— Soka Admissions (@SokaAdmissions) December 5, 2014


A6: That is unique to who you are! Let us know! #FirstGenOfficeHour

— Carlos O. Cano (@WPCarlosC) December 5, 2014


Question 11: What are the best 1-2 pieces of advice that students can use while writing their college essay?

A11: Tell the stories you can tell. Tell the stories only you can tell. Tell them as only you can tell them. #FirstGenOfficeHour

— Story2 (@_Story_2) December 5, 2014


A11: Don't over-stress. You'll write better when you are just relaxed and not worrying too much. #firstgenofficehour

— Gil Rogers (@gilrogers) December 5, 2014


Want more college application and essay advice for first-generation college students? Follow @_Story_2 and @ImFirstGen on Twitter!



Topics:college admission