I submitted a 676 word essay...

<p>Hello, I submitted my CommonApp to Penn a few days ago. I had reviewed my essay and made sure it was perfect. What I really didn't keep in mind, however, was the 500 word 'limit' the CommonApp specifies. When I went back to my essay, I realized mine was 676 words. Now, today, someone told me that this year the CommonApp has really cracked down on the limit and schools won't read past 500 words. </p>

<p>My problem is that I already submitted my application. Will my essay seriously hinder my chances because it's 176 words over the limit? It still fits on a single page, but I'm worried. How screwed am I?</p>

<p>Mine was 640, If i cut out anymore than I would have started hacking away key elements. Contrary to what everyone says, use of generalities over specific diction just for the sake of cutting away words is a poor choice. If Hawthorne could have written The Scarlet Letter with less words than why didn't he? Granted he wasn't applying to college, as long as your word choice is not just useless and verbose you should be fine.</p>

<p>It's doubtful they are going to take the time to do a word count. It might be a little more than they want, but if it's a good, concise essay, as Finaleyes said above, you should be OK.</p>

<p>Look at the print preview of the application. Is the essay cut off? Probably not. The admission officers don't count the words specifically I think, but they can definitely realize when it's over 500 words, especially by 167. They'll read the essay, but the stakes will most likely be higher for you since you didn't exactly follow instructions. I'm not saying you can't get in, if everything else is fine you definitely have a chance, but...reading is key.</p>

<p>So if my essay was outstanding, it won't matter?</p>

<p>Just make sure the essay wasn't cut off in the print preview. </p>

<p>Admissions officers don't count and, apparently, as long as it's one page single-spaced it is fine.</p>

<p>single vs. double does not matter. In fact, double is often seen as a preference because it is easier to read. Admissions officers will thank you if it easy to read. Just saw a link on tht somewhere. If it is double and about 500 words, it would be about 1.5 pages.</p>

<p>You're completely fine! No school is going to reject you just because you were a bit over the word limit. Mine was 700 something words. My guidance counselor told me that as long as what you write is meaningful, you should be fine. Oh, and it should fit on to one page (single spaced).</p>

<p>Good luck!</p>

<p>forever who told you it should be single-spaced and 1 page. There is absolutely nothing like that on the common app for directions - unlike the 500 word limit/guideline which should be followed as closely as possible - there's a reason it was put there; like there is a reason that single-spaced 1 page was not.</p>

<p>Single or Double spaced doesn't really matter as the essays are going to be read on line, not printed. Half of all websites have tiny print so all the reader has to do is enlarge it if it is hard to read.</p>

<p>It would be nice if he common app would spend another sentence to clarify exactly what the student should do.</p>

<p>even if they are printed - all the more reason to double-space. It would be easier to read double-spaced. The only problem with double is there is a chance that they would lose a page if it went over onto 2 pages. That said, if the the entire application is printed any number of pages could be lost, not just the essay so in the end that 'disadvantage' negates itself.</p>

<p>double spaced isn't very professional...</p>

<p>Yeah I find double-spacing difficult to read. I'd stick with 1.5 (which I used) or regular single-spacing.</p>

<p>JEM how and why would you say double-spacing is not professional - what is that based on -- personal opinion? and Jake how on earth is double-spacing more difficult to read than single-I'll give you 1.5 but single I simply don't agree with and I saw a link somewhere else on these boards that says both are fine but double has a slight edge.</p>

<p>I actually saw a post by an admissions officer that said they preferred single-spaced...
But it's really up to you.</p>

<p>(link to the post if you are interested: <a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/11756567-post6.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/11756567-post6.html&lt;/a>
and the thread it was from: <a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-essays/1061795-what-font.html?highlight=space%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-essays/1061795-what-font.html?highlight=space&lt;/a> )</p>

<p>and here's a link that disagrees with the college rep.</p>

<p>Should</a> an Application Essay Be Single-Spaced or Double-Spaced?</p>

<p>@concerned123,
I'm not trying to discredit your view. I was just showing a contrasting opinion.
I have seen this link and have used many resources on that website throughout my ongoing college application process.
At the end of the day, it's really up to preference.
I was actually planning on double-spacing my essay after reading that article a few weeks ago...</p>

<p>Ok, but what I was trying to point out was that there is no standard. But the way you and others portray it, by using words like 'should be' or 'as long as it is single-spaced' implies that there is. If there was a standard, it would be on the common app don't you think like the 250-500 word limit. </p>

<p>One admissions counselor does not equal 'they' nor does one guidance counselor. In fact, our guidance counselor says it doesn't matter either way. So, in ending this conversation the point is that things should not be portrayed as 'should be' or as long as, as if to say this is the way it should be done. It isn't. This kind of wording only serves to upset a lot of seniors who are extremely stressed right now and don't need to be told that what they have submitted is wrong.</p>

<p>I submitted my ED app to Penn just recently as well. It was about 603 words. It's a good read, fits in one page, and it's unique so i don't care if it's above the word limit. Considering that it used to be 747 words, i'm surprised i cut it down to as low at 600. Trust me, you're not alone, lots of other people do it. They can't penalize everyone, so don't sweat it :) And good luck!</p>