Common app. Essay too long

<p>OK, so I completed my common app early and sent it along. The problem is that after sending it to Villanova and Providence College (my 2 top choices) I found out that it may be too long. My essay which I think is very well written and on point is 800 words. I didn't realize that this year that they are imposing a 500 word limit. What should I do?</p>

<p>My HS transcript is good and SAT scores put me in the 60-70% of accepted freshman last year at both schools.</p>

<p>Am I screwed? Can I do anything to correct this? My parents told me that if the essay is a good read, the admissions officer will continue reading the entire thing and I had a teacher tell me that regardless of the 500 word limit most admissions officers read the first paragraph and scan the rest of it for writing ability so don't sweat it. </p>

<p>What do you think?</p>

<p>It could definitely hurt you, since that's considerably over the limit :( I would suggest trying to cut down your essay now to under 600 words, then contacting admissions and explain that you weren't aware of the word limit, though there's a chance that contacting them would call it to their attention more than you need to...I don't know if it makes the most sense to let it go and hope for the best, contact them to explain and apologize, or contact them with a new essay that meets the requirements. Anyone else have thoughts on this?</p>

<p>The consensus on these boards and the rest of the internet world is that 500 is definitely a "soft limit." If at all possible, keep it under 500 to be on the safe side. If you have to go over, make sure it's really good. I wouldn't sweat it, as 300 words is only 2 or 3 paragraphs, right? They're professionals that can take a few extra lines. </p>

<p>Don't sweat it, and I wouldn't call attention to the mistake. The limit is clearly marked, and I think that it would be better to risk a slightly long essay over clearly telling them that you didn't read the instructions. Just cut it down for future apps, if worst comes to worst and you have to send more.</p>

<p>If you really can't cut anything 800 words is ok. The limit isn't strictly enforced, but get out any fluff you can get out. If in 800 words your essay is in its most concise state and is engaging, you should be fine.
(for future apps)</p>

<p>As for now, don't worry. It's a soft limit, and 300 words over is NOT going to tank your application. If your essay is well written and powerful, it can still be a +ve factor on your apps you've sent in.</p>