Admissions

Will My College Think I Didn't Write My Essay?

Question: A few days ago when I was submitting the Common app to the last two colleges on my list, I realized that I had forgotten to list a volunteer activity for the colleges that I had already applied to. I understand that colleges are busy with processing many apps, so I will not send an email to all the colleges I applied to just to inform them of this mistake. However, on the Rice Writing Supplement, I specifically wrote about my experience of volunteering at a hospital in one of the essays. Now I am worried that this will make the admission officers think that I did not write the essays myself when I really did. I have already read the other Ask the Dean thread on a similar mistake (putting in a wrong number of hours), but I still cannot decide for my situation. Should I contact the admission office?

Don’t worry! Admission officers realize that the Common Application doesn’t provide enough spaces for most students to include all of their activities. So, sometimes, when a college’s supplement requires an essay about an extracurricular activity, the applicant will write about an additional endeavor … one that wasn’t on the Common App … which provides a way to add an extra activity to the list.

Granted, when college officials read application essays, they do sometimes spot red flags that suggest the essay was not the student’s work. But this is not one of those times. The admission committee at Rice is not going to think that your essay was written by someone else simply because it discusses volunteering that wasn’t mentioned elsewhere. And I assure you that, if you’re not admitted to Rice, it will have NOTHING to do with your overlooked extracurricular.


Applying to college is very stressful, but hopefully this gives you one less thing to be stressed about!