Q&A: How Long Should My College Application Essay Be?

 

Q: How Long Should My College Application Essay Be?

A: A college admissions essays, commonly referred to as a personal statement or statement of purpose, can range in length from 350 words to several pages which means, for some applications, you have limited space to describe your experiences, achievements, and goals.

If the college essay is for an undergraduate program, I recommend keeping it between 500 and 750 words, which is what most colleges require and is also the approximate word limit for the personal essays the Common App and Coalition App require. Over 1000 colleges use one or both of these app systems to accept undergraduate applications, so their standards are pretty widely accepted.

Photo by  Hannah Olinger  on  Unsplash

Photo by Hannah Olinger on Unsplash

If you’re writing an application essay for graduate school, your main essay should and can be anywhere from 1000 words to 2000 words. Grad school essays provide more space to describe your experiences, achievements, and goals than undergrad application essays because you should have more of these things than the average student entering freshman year.