I sure they won't count the words to make sure the essay is 500 instead of 517, but what happens if your essay is in the 600 word area? How mad do admissions officers get when they receive a 1200 word essay out of nowhere?
I have one for another application that's supposed to be 250 words long, but it's currently at 524 (I was planning to use it for a common app essay initially).
I think the best thing to do is start over with a fresh perspective, keeping concision in mind. Thoughts?