5 Ways ESL Students Can Leverage Their Life Story in College Applications

If you teach high school ELLs, give this post a read.

Peterson's Blog

College admissions essays succeed when they tell the student’s unique story. Unlike the much more technically oriented academic paper, the admissions essay is more along the lines of the personal-essay genre than the five paragraph essay.

Rather than an introduction, thesis, supporting paragraphs, evidence citations, and a summation, the college essay relies on the expression of a personal experience that relates to the student’s desire to attend the school. Through the expression of these personal experiences, students convey their dreams, interests, and characters. They show why they will succeed at the school.

ESL students have a built-in story. Because they came to the United States from another country and put in the extra work needed to learn English while also mastering history, science, math, and elective subjects, the story of their journey through life so far has a natural relation to academic success in college. It shows they are driven…

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