Out of all of the components of a college application, the essay portion is probably the most time-consuming. It is also one of the most powerful components of an application as you have the opportunity to show a side of yourself that might not otherwise be seen in the application. You may come across two different types of essays in the process: the personal essay and supplemental essays. No matter the prompt, the endgame is always the same; the essay should be about YOU!
The personal essay is the most universal essay. There may be a required prompt or you may get to choose from a prompt. Both the Common App and the Coalition App have personal essays embedded in their application and you are able to choose which prompt you will answer.
Be sure to follow the guidelines for word count in all essays you write.
Some colleges may not want a main personal essay and may ask you a different question related to your major or why you want to attend the institution. Other schools may have upwards of ten short supplemental essays. You can find what a college requires on their admissions website, but often times will not know all of the writing that is required until you start the application.