College Essay Word Limits

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Discus: College Admissions: 2002 - 2003 Archive: October 2003 Archive: College Essay Word Limits
By Haan (Haan) on Friday, October 24, 2003 - 10:13 pm: Edit

How strictly do admissions officers adhere to the 500 word limit. My essay is above the limit by 100 words but that only comes out to about 3-4 sentences. Its so hard knocking off words because everthing is so essential to my essay. Thanx for any responses.

By Afk (Afk) on Friday, October 24, 2003 - 11:47 pm: Edit

They don't really count word for word, but you have to think about the AO (admitions officers)- everyday they're reading hundreds and hundreds of essays. I don't think they really want to see someone write a huge 5 page essay when they requested 500 words.

So I guess my answer is that it would depend on the situation. If the essay doesn't seem too long and too wordy, and if it really really really needs the extra 100 words, then leave it in because they're not going to reject you based solely on that. But remember that under 500 words is always better than over.

By Shilpa1125 (Shilpa1125) on Saturday, October 25, 2003 - 01:51 am: Edit

How about if you're applying through the common app which says extra words will be truncated? I have 545 words, which is about two extra sentences. Not that big of a deal I'm thinking, but will they delete every extra word, or what does that whole truncating of extra words mean?

By Shilpa1125 (Shilpa1125) on Sunday, October 26, 2003 - 12:49 pm: Edit

hmmm, does anyone know because i just finished my second essay and it's 575, after cutting down 100 words so I don't know what else I could do...

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