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Columbia GS essay

lamullingalamullinga Registered User Posts: 44 Junior Member
Hello!!!
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I finished my essay, but it's about 445 words over the limit of 2,000... However, I did not include the optional essay. I was thinking about writing about my financial situation and how it relates to my work and education for the optional essay, but I think it "fits" more into the autobiographical, since it's all related.

I have read comments of people saying that their essays were over the limit and they got in.... And I think I am a decent writer, so the quality should be good... But, would the extra words hurt me??????

I am attaching what Columbia wants for the essays...

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!! :D


I. Autobiographical Essay (1,500 – 2,000 words):
Tell us about your educational history, work experience, present situation, and plans for the future. Please make sure to address why you consider
yourself a nontraditional student and have chosen to pursue your education at the School of General Studies of Columbia University. Successful
essays should not only identify and describe specific elements of the program, academic or otherwise, that meet your needs as a nontraditional
student, but should also explain why GS is the place for you.
II. Optional Essay: You may attach one additional page to tell us anything else you would like us to know about you.
Post edited by lamullinga on

Replies to: Columbia GS essay

  • InvictvsInvictvs Registered User Posts: 165 Junior Member
    I dont know if I will be of much help, but I can share what I did.
    I applied for ED Fall 2011. My essay was also over 2000 words (so much to say).
    As far as my thought processing...I wanted to get in CU so bad that I did not want to do absolutely nothing that can possibly tarnish the opportunity, so I abided by all their limits. (perhaps writing a bit more is not a bad thing, but I did not want to run the risk). I ended up trimming my essay to exactly 2000 words. I also wrote the Optional Essay, provided a pic, resume, etc. Now, I am just waiting for the decision, which I should receive this month.
    I wish you lots of luck and I hope you get in! :)
  • lamullingalamullinga Registered User Posts: 44 Junior Member
    Thank you Invi!!!

    I decided to transfer a section to the optional essay. Now the main work has 1998 words!!! :)

    Since you mentioned the picture, what kind of picture do you think they want? Does it have to be one of those professional photos??

    Thanks again!! :D
  • InvictvsInvictvs Registered User Posts: 165 Junior Member
    As far as my pic, it was pretty conventional (sort of like a license). Me sitting looking at the camera with a one color (yellow) background. However, that's just me. There was another forum where one of the applicants received a call last week and got accepted, he mentioned in the forum that he provided a picture of him holding a protest sign and just modified the info inside the sign to say Hello Columbia, and he got in. Whether the pic was appropriate or not, none of us will know, but he did get accepted for fall2011. So I guess it is up to the applicant, a pic that describes you. My best recommendation, is use a picture that represents YOU. I used a yellow background because yellow represents optimism, happiness, friendliness...all of which I consider myself to be and/or value highly. Will they notice the subliminal message of my color choice (maybe /maybe not) ...my 2 cents :)
  • lamullingalamullinga Registered User Posts: 44 Junior Member
    Thanks again Invi!!! :D I was reviewing the pictures from my FB and thinking about sending something that is more "me" (me holding a piece of paper that says "DREAM")... But I think I have taken enough of a risk (I wrote a 15 line poem for the first part of my essay)... So I will play it safe for the picture and go with one of me looking at the camera and smiling :D

    Thank you once again and good luck!!!!!! :D
  • InvictvsInvictvs Registered User Posts: 165 Junior Member
    You're welcome... ;)
    Be yourself, be honest, and dont be afraid to talk about your failures and success stories. Be yourself and everything will be fine :)
    I wish you the best of luck in your admissions process too!!
  • campaignercampaigner Registered User Posts: 342 Member
    Just got in after applying for early decision. My main essay was ~2900 words, with a second essay of ~225 that was about some of the non-professional, personal details that didn't fit into my autobiographical essay, which focused on school, work and Columbia.

    The photo was a professional headshot, although I was tempted to put in a more personal one. None of the personal ones conveyed quite the right tone I wanted and looked good (too many I had sunglasses on).

    EDIT: The advice I got when talking to some GS admissions folks was:
    1. Be honest and don't leave them with any questions
    2. Talk about why Columbia specifically
  • lamullingalamullinga Registered User Posts: 44 Junior Member
    Congrats!!!!!! That is great!! :D
  • PrinceAdexPrinceAdex Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    Hey did you get into Columbia GS?
  • momofmusician17momofmusician17 Registered User Posts: 644 Member
    You have to submit a picture?
  • dslau83dslau83 Registered User Posts: 36 Junior Member
    You don't have to, but it is recommended.
  • Sean8448Sean8448 Registered User Posts: 36 Junior Member
    I didn't even think to post a resume. I hope it doesn't hurt my chances.
  • mkbr4488mkbr4488 Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    It doesn't, Sean. When I spoke to the admissions manager on my visit to the campus she told me some people send a resume, but it's not necessary.
This discussion has been closed.