Should You Write The Optional Essay?

Posted by Sandy Lashin-Curewitz | January 06, 2015

If you’ve done your research on Becker College, you probably know that to be considered for admission, you must submit the following:

  • A completed application, online or via hard copy
  • Official high school transcripts
  • SAT I or ACT scores
  • A counselor or advisor’s letter of recommendation
  • An optional essay on any topic, approximately 250 to 500 words in length
rsz_optional_essay

Once you’ve reached the bottom of the checklist above, it’s easy to read the word optional and interpret it as useless. But an admissions essay, required or not, can be the thing that makes you stand out among hundreds of other applicants. To help you decide whether or not you’re up for writing the optional essay, we’ve come up with a few reasons why you may want to: 

To give us background and/or an explanation. Maybe you didn’t do well one semester because you were overwhelmed with schoolwork and extra-curricular activities. Or maybe you didn’t get a high score on the SAT because you were feeling sick that day. Whatever the case may be, use the optional essay to explain this sort of situation to the Admissions committee. But rather than just telling us why it happened, think about what you learned from the experience or how you’ve grown as a student.

To talk about something that matters to you. If you’re passionate about a cause, we want to hear about it! We hope that all of our graduates will lead in the global society after they leave our campus, so telling us about all the good you’ve already done before you get here will really catch our attention. (Hey, you might even tell us why the B.A. in Global Citizenship is a perfect program for you.) 

To show us why you love Becker. Notice we said show, and not tell. Taking the time to write an optional essay demonstrates that you’re willing to put in extra work and that you’re serious about Becker. Plus, your writing can often give the Admissions committee a glimpse into your personality to better project your potential fit within the Becker community. If you can’t think of a particular topic, why not use this opportunity to tell us why you love Becker, and why you think it’s the perfect school for you?

Think your application is stellar without the optional essay? It’s completely up to you if you’d rather forgo the essay and let your transcript speak for itself. But if after reading this, you already have a thesis statement in mind…get typing! The optional essay is a great way to help us get to know you better during the application process—and it may end up being more of a selling point for your acceptance than your grades or letter of recommendation.

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Topics: About Becker, Advice

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