How many essays??

<p>My son is applying to a state university that has it's own online application. There is space at the end of the app for one, optional personal statement... fine.</p>

<p>We are also encouraging him to apply to Tufts. Their supplement includes 1 short answer, 2 short essays, and one 250 - 400 word essay.(optional, but not really optional is it?) They also require the common app personal statement, (250 - 500 words) and aren't there short answer essay type questions in the common app? That seems like an awful lot of essays! Is this typical? It is going to be hard to convince him to apply to a college that he likes but is not just yet madly in love with.</p>

<p>Yes. It is typical. Some schools have 5 essays. Some accept the common app but "prefer" you write on their own essay topics. </p>

<p>However, you can tweak a lot of the essays. Many schools use the "topic of choice." So, whatever he's written for the common app or state U personal statement will work. Many have the "my most important EC" short answer, which works over and over again. </p>

<p>The more selective schools tend to have their own "unique" essay topics for short or long answers. Makes me crazy, but it does serve to weed out those not motivated to jump through the specific hoops for that specific school.</p>

<p>Even the "why this school" essay is somewhat tweakable - if his chosen schools have strengths in common and other similar attributes, he can repeat them. However, having something specific to say about why school A really fits him and what he can bring to their table will pay dividends - at least at the most selective schools and (importantly) the ones who suspect a kid just tossed them in as an off-hand safety and won't really attend.</p>

<p>Lots of applications are long and require several essays and short responses - Michigan (on the common app this year?) and Tufts come to mind. No doubt, it's a lot of work to apply, but it's also a lot of work when one attends that caliber of school. Chalk it up to the price of doing business.</p>