Sure, the admissions folks might be glad to get through a short essay quickly, but a beautifully crafted 600-word essay is going to make a more meaningful and lasting impression than a good 300-word essay.The length limit on the Common Application went from 500 words to 650 words in 2013 for a reason: member colleges wanted their applicants to have more space to write about themselves.Not all colleges, however, are fans of the shorter length.
The 2018-19 version of the Common Application has an essay length limit of 650 words.
Even though the essay prompts change regularly, this length limit has now been in place for four years.
In 20, the Common Application had a 500-word limit, but many colleges that use the application thought that constraint was a little too short.
Prior to 2011, the length of the essay was set by the judgment of the applicant (and some applicants who wrote 1,200-word essays showed bad judgment).
If you are applying to a college that does allow you to go over the limit, or if you have a supplemental essay with a recommended word count that isn't enforced by the application software, you still should not go over the limit.
Here's why: The Common Application and other college applications ask for relatively short essays because college admissions officers don't want to waste time reading long, rambling, unfocused, poorly edited essays.
So dedicate less than a quarter of the day to making some new text and then take a break and return later to clean it up.
This sounds counter intuitive, but trust me – it works.
However, for any application essay you write, follow the directions.
If a college wants a long essay, the directions will ask for it.