College Admissions Expert Elizabeth Levine: Supplemental Essays


Elizabeth Levine

When do I submit my supplemental essays, which are school specific?
I recently worked with a student on her college essays but she decided to complete and submit her Common App applications on her own. She and her Mom thought that all supplemental essays were submitted separately from the college application. When submitting her application for a highly selective school, that included 2 supplemental essays, she assumed that only the application was being submitted and she would submit her 2 supplemental essays separately. Since the supplemental essays were a part of the main application for that college, the supplemental essays were submitted with it. Issue was, in this case, her essays were still in draft form and had typos! Her Mom panicked and called me to advise them on how to handle this situation.
This was unfortunate and avoidable. When I work with my students on their application process, which includes submitting their applications, I always work with them on their essays outside of the Common App, through Word or Google Docs. When we both decide that the essay is final it is then, and only then, that the student copies and pastes it into their Common App application. Even at that point, when the student goes to submit the application we review the essay, and all other information being submitted, via the PDF file prior to the final submission, to catch any final errors.
In this case I had advised my student to send an EMail to her admissions counselor at this particular college explaining the situation and attaching her final and corrected essay. The admissions counselor was very nice but made no guarantee that the essay she attached to her EMail would be considered. I'm not sure if this will affect her admissions response from this school but regardless this is a lesson learned to not enter any essay into a college application unless you have confirmed that it is the final version.
If you have any questions about the college admissions process or the above information please do not hesitate to contact me at info@signaturecollegecounseling.com or by phone, 845.551.6946.
Elizabeth Levine
Signature College Counseling is an Orange County, Hudson Valley based company
that works one on one with students and their families in navigating the admissions process so you attend the college that is right for you.
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