Updated: Jan 9
Diverse Students and the College Essay Conundrum
Fall is here again, and with it, another season of millions of students tackling their college essay. Whether you are using the Common Application for your college essay, the Coalition Application for your college essay, the Common Black College Application (for HBCUs) for your college essay, the University of California application for your college essay, the SUNY application for your college essay, or simply writing a college essay for an individual college application, it can be a challenging time. And while this is true for all students writing their college essay, it is often especially true for diverse students writing their college essay. Regardless of the application platform, writing a strong college essay requires a level of introspection that frequently results in students delving into the hairy, complex issues of life. It is important to speak about your individual experience when writing your college essay. For that reason, many students concentrate on the ways in which certain diversity factors have shaped their lives. Writing their college essay on these topics enables them to speak authentically about their personal journey, while also offering college admissions officers a glimpse into how the student would contribute to each school’s campus community.
College Essay Coaching from a Diverse College Counselor
At Wisdem USA, we take pride in the diverse backgrounds of our college counselor team. When you are looking for a college counselor near me or college essay help near me or college essay coaching near me, think of us. We have been intentional in building a college counselor team that hails from different parts of the United States—and has broadly differing life experience. This enables us to connect with clients better than the average college counselor service. And that powerful connection enables us to guide students toward writing a better college essay. Because they find us more relatable, students are willing to let down walls that they ordinarily would keep up with other college counselor services. Our shared experiences speak to them on personal level. But the benefits we provide a diverse college counselor go beyond college essay coaching. Through the strong connects that we build, we are able to more fully understand students’ preferences for colleges, so that we can provide more meaningful guidance, which ultimately results in happier students, parents, and families. Simply put, our clients see themselves in our diverse college counselor team, and we see our own likeness in many of our clients.
A Pitfall to Avoid When Writing your College Essay on Diversity Topics
One common trap to avoid when writing your college essay—even when writing your college essay about diversity topics—is framing your diversity as a problem which you have had to overcome. Society undoubtedly has faced many historic and contemporary challenges related to diversity dimensions. Few people in college admissions would deny that. Nor would we at Wisdem USA, as a diverse college counselor. That said, some students take the unfortunate approach of using their college essay to lean on their diversity dimension(s) as a crutch, rather than wielding it as a cudgel. In other words, they approach the college essay exercise as an opportunity to concentrate exclusively on how their diversity dimension encumbered their journey, rather than focus on the unique ways in which it empowered them and made their experience richer and their story more compelling. Thus, the college essay becomes less about individualized storytelling about how a student will contribute to a college’s community through their unique experience, and more about the institutions—societal or otherwise—that failed the student on the path to college admissions. As such, college admissions committees are unable to learn much about the student through the student’s college essay. For sure, an unwanted outcome. While this distinction may be difficult to appreciate without further explanation from a college counselor, it is important to grasp. At Wisdem USA, our diverse college counselor team is equipped with knowledgeable, experienced advisors who have navigated elite environments like Harvard and Yale. But we also feature robust life experience, including being first-generation college students. We’ll help you write a strong, thoughtful college essay that captures your unique story, while also avoiding pitfalls like using your diversity as a crutch and not a cudgel. Want more information? Contact us today.