The version of the Common Application has an essay length limit of words and a minimum length of words. This limit has remained unchanged for the past several years. Learn how important this word limit is and how to make the most of your words. Many wonder whether they can go over the limit, even if only by a few words.
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Students applying to colleges that use the Common Application will typically need to respond to one of seven essay prompts. For the application cycle, the length limit for the essay is words. That limit includes the essay title, notes, and any other text that you include in the essay text box. For years the Common Application had no length limit, and applicants and counselors frequently debated whether a tight word essay was a wiser approach than a detailed word piece.
If I am writing an essay that has a max word count of words but my ideal finished essay is words long do I need to cut words or is there a window of tolerance? I think it depends on the essay receiver. Some may accept it since it's a few words above the word count, others may not process it. But, since the max word is , I think you have to abide by it.
My colleagues have previously written blog posts encouraging students to draft essays in their everyday voice , and to avoid replacing normal words with cousins from the thesaurus. The bigger picture here is to tell your own story as clearly and concisely as you can. The same goes for the length of your personal statement—hone in on the specific message you want to convey and deliver it as succinctly as you can. Admission officers prioritize content over quantity. I never met an admission officer who literally counted the words in a college essay.