How important is the college essay in the selection process?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 16,418
    College counseling director Jerome Cole discusses the basics of a college essay including how important the college essay is in the selection process.

    Jerome A. Cole, MA

    Jerome A. Cole, M.A., is the Director of College Counseling for the Edmund Burke school in Washington, D.C. and the founder of Cole Educational Consulting Services (Cole ECS.) He has worked with students and families for over seven years to help them plan and strategize for college. As a college counselor at Burke, an independent college preparatory high school founded in 1968, Mr. Cole oversees a program that is designed to support students and families as they go through the selection and admission process for college. Mr. Cole advises over 100 students each year in a small academically challenging environment where every senior is expected to apply to and enroll in college. Prior to Burke, he was a school counselor at Bethesda-Chevy Chase high school in Montgomery County, Maryland. He has successfully counseled hundreds of students and helped them prepare for admission to a variety of schools such as: American University, Clark-Atlanta University, Davidson College, George Washington University, Harvard University, Pitzer College, Stanford University, Temple University, and the University of Maryland at College Park, to highlight just a few. He established the consulting firm Cole ECS to provide students and families with the necessary information and support to make the best choice for college. Cole ECS defines the best choice as the optimal learning and social environment to ensure a student’s holistic success, culminating in on-time or early graduation and desirable post-graduate options. Mr. Cole earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Catholic University, and then went on to obtain a Master of Arts in Education and Human Development from George Washington University. He is certified as a school counselor and is a member of the National Association of College Admissions Counselors (NACAC).

    Question: How important is the college easy in the selection process?

    Jerome Cole: I think the college essay is very important. I think that when Deans sit down, when College Counselors sit down and they are looking at folders I think they go over that transcript fairly quickly, because it s obvious. The student took these courses and earned these grades, okay, I got that. Review the test scores, those are just numbers, got it. So, now I have a sense of from an academic standpoint, who this kid is? Now, when I want to know who he is as a person? What's he is going to bring in my University? Why do I want him on campus? What kind of roommate his is going to be? That s going to come through in two places, your recommendations and your college essay.

    I think the college essay is critical. I think it s very important, it demonstrates writing ability and it tells me something about who you are as a person? So, I think it s very, very important.