The essay: better to be longer or shorter?

My common app essay is ~540 words. I can slash a paragraph and bring it to a little under 400 words and it will still work. I am rather fond of the paragraph in question, though. Is 540 too long? Is 400 too short?


<p>no, no one will care about 540 words if your essay is not boring and flows well</p>

<p>If it's a really good essay, the 40 words don't matter. If it's not that good of an essay, cut out the paragraph and spare the reader the time it takes to read those extra 140 words.</p>