Can I change my 650 word Common Application Essay After Submitting It Once? Take Two

Yes, students can edit/update/revise/rewrite the 650 word Common Application essay after submitting an application to one (or more) colleges, as was discussed last Fall 2020. 

Yet, once a 650 word Common Application essay is submitted, the copy is final for that college. A revised 650 word Common Application essay will only be reviewed by college admissions officers who receive the updated version in subsequent college applications.  

Before rushing to edit the 650 word Common Application essay, students should carefully consider any revisions, including discussing their potential edits with an objective editorWithout such collaboration, students can unwittingly create more work for themselves, or in a worst case scenario, diminish their autobiographical story, thus their opportunity to be understood by the admissions officer. 

In an already edited essay, every word, every sentence, every paragraph is interlinked. Thus, changing a single word may unintentionally change (or even break) the narrative of the essay, necessitating successive revisions throughout the entire essay. 

To add complexity, after spending hours over several weeks or, at least. successive days of writing and rewriting, students will likely not be an unbiased judge of their own work. And, students may compound their bias with the presumptive comparison of “What I need to do to be accepted to X College”

So, a student’s revisions of the 650 word Common Application essay, without collaboration, may be a misguided attempt to pander to “what the admissions officer wants to hear”. Thus, under the sway of emotion, a desire for acceptance, students may do more harm to their 650 word Common Application statement than improvement

And, since the 650 word Common Application essay “anchors” their application, as a broad autobiographical statement, providing context for the transcripts and extracurricular experiences, where campus specific supplemental essays add dimension to the student’s experiences, any revisions to the 650 word Common Application essay should be carefully considered.

For more information about how Creative Marbles experts help families navigate the complex college admissions process to increase youth’s prospects for prosperity, contact us at Creative Marbles Consultancy

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About Jill Yoshikawa, Ed M, Partner of Creative Marbles Consultancy

Jill Yoshikawa, EdM, Harvard ’99, a seasoned, 25 year educator and consultant, is meticulous in helping clients navigate all aspects of the educational experience, no matter the level of complexity. She combines educational theory with experience to advise families, schools and educators. A UCSD and Harvard graduate, as well as a former high school teacher, Jill works tirelessly to help her clients succeed.
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