100 Examples of Good College Essays

See 100 examples of good college essays, written by real people, not AI. These college essays were submitted to us by our readers, and there are some very good essays in our collection.

Last updated on July 17, 2024 by College Financial Aid Advice.

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One of the best ways to get ideas for writing your college essay is to see examples of good college essays. We have collected 100 good college admission and scholarship essays from our readers to share with you in our collection. These essays helped other students get admission to their college of choice, or helped them receive a scholarship for college.

For each essay we've included the beginning of the essay so you can see some good hooks for college essays. As you scan these essays, if it has a good hook, you will want to click on the essay to read more, just like the person who reviews your college admission essay or scholarship essay. 

For example, see how this good hooks for college essays makes you want to read the essays:

The tiny black eyes were unmistakably focused on me, intently following my every movement. This creature valued its life; I could feel its fear, and it became my own...

or this essay

I was shaking, not only from nerves but from the deep chill piercing my skin and rattling my bones. It clung to me like doom. More pressing still were the figures surrounding me...

Just click on the links below to view the full essay.


100 Examples of Good College Essays

A Chance at LIFE!

“What did you do this past summer vacation?” The typical first-day-of-school-question in almost every English class. It never fails! Most responses lack significance simply because many students fail to realize that in school, every question becomes…

A Change in Path

Everything changes when you lose what you know. You think you have your path planned out to the exact date and time it will all happen for you, and then in an instant…

A Guiding Light

The fall breeze swiped my face as I stood in front of the bleak building. Cautiously, I followed my cousin up the steps. Inside, the hustle and bustle was overwhelming. Kids, pushing and shoving, were going…

A Letter to My Best Friend

Dear Best Friend, Remember when you were in school, and they would teach you no drinking and driving? Remember how they would show you those videos of young teens getting killed in a car crash? Remember how you…

A Letter to My Siblings

Dear Siblings, This year you have seen all the processes I have gone through for college. You saw me writing essays last summer, submitting applications through the fall, and struggling to…

A Musical Experience

The hard work and practice is over, and now it is time for the curtains to open, the first note to be played, and the show to begin. No longer...

All That Jazz Personal Essay

With the steam of humid August still clinging to my shoulders, I walk into the Jazz Standard. The hostess leads me to a table for two, directly in front of the stage. As I sit and take in...

Apple-At-Cha

The word “amazing” is defined as “to overwhelm with surprise or sudden wonder; to astonish greatly, to bewilder,” and lastly, “to perplex”. In my opinion, however, the word is extremely overused. To me, something truly amazing…

Asian-Hispanic American: The Amerasian

Whenever I looked at myself in the mirror, questions formulated in my mind. I often wondered about my appearance. I compared my hair to the rest of my family and saw it was not the same. Everyone else had…

Aunt Martha Personal Essay

She arrived with my Uncle Mark from Charlotte tightly gripping her book, Very Easy Crossword Puzzles. Normally, Martha’s persona was larger than Elvis, and she was always ...

Bat Removal - Law School Essay

The tiny black eyes were unmistakably focused on me, intently following my every movement. This creature valued its life; I could feel its fear, and it became my own...

Buck and That is Not a Deer

Our world depends on impacts. Something or someone impacts someone in every situation in our life. Societal Norms tell us that. I, Jacob Weaver, am no different than…

Cheer - College Essay about Motivation

Cheer has impacted my life in many ways. I have met some of the most amazing people, learned responsibility, and most importantly discovered the significance of commitment. Participating on my high school’s varsity cheerleading squad…

Community Service Isn't Just Words

Community service isn’t just words, but an opportunity in life to contribute one’s time to helping others and making a difference in society; and thus a better place to live for all. Throughout my years of…

Defining Success

As anyone contemplating college or graduate school knows, the financial costs of education can be overwhelming. Outreach work, community service, volunteerism, whatever…

Demonstrating Leadership

“Pass the ball to Daisy! Ok now keep running; don’t let her take the ball keep going! You know you can run faster than her; move your legs and push harder!” These are…

Driven To Succeed As A Woman In The Automotive Field

My career goals are the same as anyone elses, to be successful. In this economy especially at the moment, that is a hard thing to do if you do not have a post high school education. I enrolled in school after graduating high school to not only better myself…

100 Examples of Good College Essays

Engineering Essay - College Essay Example About Yourself

It is eight o'clock on a bright Saturday morning. The smell of slightly burnt toast, eggs, and potatoes hang low in the air of my kitchen. In front of my plate is...

Failing Successfully

My day in the sun had arrived – my magnum opus would be revealed. I had just delivered a memorized speech that I had labored over for weeks, and I was about to learn how...

Family is Forever

I am a Hmong teenager hoping to succeed in life and am also living with traditionally protective parents who can’t speak nor understand English very well. I remember the days when…

Finding my X

Finding X, finding Y, solving for the standard equation of an ellipse. These have been the plagues of my mind ever since I made a discovery in the 5th grade- I hate math…

Finding Oneself by Becoming Lost in Service to Others – Law School Essay

A woman standing at the intersection stood almost motionless amidst a crowd of pedestrians scrambling to their offices during the morning rush hour. The only sign of movement was…

Framing My Future - Person Who Had Significant Influence on Me Essay

I did some soul searching and I felt my Dad has help to mold me and frame my future and the greatest influence on my life. My Dad has been there every step of the way for me. When you think of influence…

From Nowhere to Somewhere

Splat. I felt the spitball hit the back of my neck and I quickly used my hand to detach the slime. One would think that I would be used to the spitballs that greeted me when I walked to…

Frustration with Final Exams

During my sophomore year, I was part of a disappointing incident that put a small blemish on my overall high school career. But, I would later become extremely grateful for the incident…

Great Minds Don't Always Think Alike

Laughter and loud music pour from the upstairs of my house. As I walk closer, the noise gets louder and louder. Clothes are strewn across the floor…

Healthy Living

My name is Laura and I am 27 years old. I first would like to give you a little history about myself. All my life I have been interested in sports, fitness, nutrition and living a healthy life style. I try my best…

He Is My Hero

His name is Leo and he is my hero. When I was three years old, I realized I had a special needs brother. I always knew there was something different…

Hispanic Pride

When it comes to Hispanic/Latin pride, I can easily say that I am very proud of where I come from. The hard work that I have put forth to make not just my life better but that of my family. I was born in…

How My Experiences and Passions Effect Me as a Person

There are many experiences, interest, and situations that have impacted me as a person as well as made me the person that I am today. Some of these experiences have been…

How You Can Overcome Certain Obstacles

Life can be an ongoing war with many fierce battles; I have not won every battle however I am determined not to lose this war. My first major battle started when I was…

I Am A Survivor

“You have cancer.” From the moment those words left my oncologist’s mouth, I knew my life would change. I didn’t know how to feel; how to react; what to do. Most importantly, I didn’t know…

I Never Went to School in my Pajamas!

Bright lights, loud bells, long hallways lined with blue lockers, though you couldn’t see them most of the time through the hordes of people scattering in different directions because they only had one minute left to get to class on time. This is a new world. As I make my way…

I view life as a recipe

Many people view life as a movie, a calendar of events, a book, or even as a timeline. However, seeing as I was raised amongst a family where a favorite past time is baking, I view life as a recipe. Baking has always…

If You See a Problem Fix It

There are certain nights of your life that define you. For me, that night happened to be, ironically, just another by invitation only party. This night, however, was different than the others. Tonight I felt like…

Inspired

My name is Sonni; I am a freshman at Montana State University - Northern. I just registered for the spring semester. My major is Education. I am from the Chippewa - Cree Rocky Boy Reservation here in Montana. I lived on…

In Order To Run Fast, You Must Run Fast

I seize the run one stride at a time. My New Balance shoes are broken in and take what feels like a thousand hits a minute, as each foot greets the asphalt. My fingertips feel the…

In the Key of 'C'

Love: controlling, sacrificial, dangerous, necessary, denied and accepted. How could such a small word be so powerful? Love…

Kindness Is a Choice

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” Henry David Thoreau - This simple thought guides me each day: why be mean, when you can choose kindness? The virtue of kindness is often overlooked by my generation. Kindness might be as simple as…

100 Examples of Good College Essays

Leadership Essay - Tell Us About Your Leadership Experience

Ever since I could remember, I have lived in a crowded low-income community. I either wake up to police sirens or transients rummaging through my apartment trash almost every other day. Every time I walk to…

Leadership has Helped Me Come a Long Way

When I first started high school I was the kind of student who didn't do anything outside of class; I just attended, and because I didn't take advantage of…

Lessons Learned – College Personal Essay

Since I was a little girl, I dreamed of attending Powers. I watched the football games, went to Camp of Champions, and longed to be a part of the roaring student section. I considered Powers more than just a ...

Letter to My Future Roommate

Dear Future Roommate, I would first like to tell you how excited I am to meet you and get to know you. I have been looking forward to the college experience for most of my life and you have a lot to do with what makes going away to college so endearing. I love…

Little Demolition Man

A loud clash of thunder sounds BOOM BOOM!!! A woman screams, and then a baby sprouts from his mother’s womb shouting surprise!! That’s exactly my lifestyle; always happy and filled with surprises. Ever since…

Most Important Thing I've Learned

The most important thing I have learned in life is to take advantage of every opportunity you come across in life, so you won’t regret your decisions. Life is too short for regrets and you might not…

Music Made Me Who I Am

The flames burned with a scorching heat, bright and ghastly upon the look. Inside the burning barn wielded many great treasures. The owners of the barn were able to…

My Diverse Education

It’s amazing the impact an education can have on an individual, and as a foreigner in this country I’ve been exposed to many ways of…

My Experience of Growing Up With CMT

My name is Derek. I am a first year student at St. Petersburg College in Florida. Currently I am seeking an Associate Degree in Information Technology Security. I will then transfer to…

My Future Journey – College Essay

As I face my last few weeks of high school and my future journey to college, I look back on the events that have taken me to this point. I have always been Elizabeth, home schooled student…

My Greatest Influence

A couple of months before I turned five, I was at an airport terminal, running toward my dad, who had his arms outstretched, inviting me in for a hug, I had not seen him the whole summer because I was visiting family in Malaysia, and there my dad stood with a Buzz Lightyear …

My Inspiration

Smell the roses…or um roaches. Staying at my grandma’s house in Texas is the best part of my year. I get to do hair, go to the lake, fish, eat out, and kill roaches the size of my fist. The best part…

My Mom Influenced My Life

Family is an extraordinarily important aspect of my life. My mother, above everyone else in my life, has had a significant influence on me. My mom has said that if the whole world turns their back on you, your family will always be there for you. She has always…

My motivation to succeed!

Faced with many obstacles at an early age, I didn’t anticipate making it to this point in my life. I am currently seventeen years old and a senior at Maynard Jackson High school in Atlanta Georgia. Growing up, I didn’t have many…

My Nursing Dream

I was 13 years old when I first realized I wanted to become a nurse. I attended “bring your daughter to work day” and was sitting at the nurse’s station looking at nurses care for newborns…

My Passion for Educating the Autistic Children

Through life, many challenges have come my way. My life as an adolescent has been filled with a great number of challenges. Some of those challenges I have faced and others I have…

My Story Is Important

I am a fighter because I never give up no matter what, I know that in life there are obstacles, I have faced a few myself, but it was not about the obstacle, but more about overcoming it. Every since I was a little child I always wondered…

My Struggles

I heard sounds from the conversations between Ms. Chu and the students while sitting in the Chinese classroom as a teacher aide. It may be pains to learn a language, but no gain without pains. This proverb…

My Success

My mom was not allowed to finish her education, and knowing that ignorance would not create a future, she desperately wants me to go to college. My dad's accomplishment …

My Three Favorite Words

When presented with the typical “Where do you see yourself ten years from now?” question, three words come to mind, three of my favorite words; Writing, Inspiring, and Teaching. Not the typical all-American girl answer…

100 Examples of Good College Essays

Nursing: Not only a Career, but a Calling

I am determined to be the best nurse I can be, to be a person of assurance for the patient, to be confident in my skills and abilities to help the patient, and most importantly, to be the patient’s advocate and champion for…

One Step Closer To My Dream

As a first generation Hispanic student, I am committed to my education because I know in order to achieve my many personal goals, I have to earn a better education. Continuing my education after high school would show…

One Year Later

Someone told me that where your mind wanders is where you heart truly lies. And I hope that's true. When my mind wanders, which it does frequently, I think of them. Of their laughter. Of their faces. Of their …

Personal Statement

Every student experiences pressure in school, but I have faced two kinds of pressure in my life: peer pressure and…

Personal Statement Essay

My name is Jacquelyn and I am a senior at Perth Amboy High School. As my senior year comes to an end, I get excited for my future. I am excited to…

Rising Above Is My Only Option

Lance Armstrong once said, “Anything is possible. You can be told that you have a ninety-percent chance or a fifty-percent chance or a one-percent chance, but you have to believe, and you have to…

Rising Out of the Depths

My journey through the quagmire of financial aid was quite an ordeal. I became homeless when I was 18 and went on to be homeless until age 22. Throughout this period I had struggled to continue going to a community college in an effort to…

Self-Expression Essay

‘Seek the fashion which truly fits and befits you. You will always be in fashion if you are true to yourself, and only if you are true to yourself. You might, of course…

Significant Accomplishment Essay

Drugs, alcohol, fornication, pregnancy, and dropping out of high school. I have witnessed these items, actions, and results of certain behavior ruthlessly seize hold of…

Social Networking in Today’s Society

Each day more users join in search of new friends and experiences. Seventy-three percent of all teens in America have profiles on at least one social media site. Websites like Facebook and…

Someone Who had Significant Influence on Me

As I nervously sat in a dark corner of the emergency room awaiting the doctor’s decision, I heard my heart pounding uncontrollably. Fear began to take over my originally optimistic disposition, and I became despondent. The thought of losing…

Supporting Multicultural Environment

I can see myself supporting the multicultural environment within Wooster fully throughout my years there. I see myself as an open-minded student that welcomes and seeks cultural diversity everywhere and…

Taking the Dare

“I shall be telling this with a sigh / Somewhere ages and ages hence: / Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – / I took the one less traveled by, / And that has made all the difference”. These words of Robert Frost in his poem “The Road Not Taken” have been inspirational to me, daring me to…

The Best Job in the World – What Inspires You in Life Essay

It started one day in fourth grade when my class had moved our chairs into a circle and were reading aloud from The Cricket in Times Square. It was my turn to read so I focused my eyes on the page and opened my mouth to start speaking, but my voice came out as a siren. Dismayed and slightly worried…

The First of Many

As a vocalist and an individual who generally loves music, I must say that the weekend in March 2023, was my quintessential vision of heaven on earth. I took a ride to…

The Hermione In Me

The Harry Potter series has been a huge part of my life since I was just six years old. I grew up learning and exploring with those characters, and they have influenced me more than anything else in the world. Hermione…

The Little Things

I am cold and tired as I drag myself into the YMCA on a dreary Saturday morning to teach swim lessons. I have so much stress from homework, sports and school that I dread having to teach this one-on-one swim class. As I walk in feeling unmotivated and stressed…

The Messengers of the Soul

The most important part of the body is not the brain, or the powerful aorta, and it is not the arms and legs that give the body movement and control. Rather the…

Then I Will Build Them

If I Can’t Fly the Aircraft…Then I Will Build Them - If I could choose one person in the United States history to be my idol, it would be Jim Lovell, the commander of the Apollo 13 mission. You see all my life I wanted to…

The Quiet Cheerleader - Personal Growth Essay

Public speaking has never been my thing. I have always been on the quiet side when in class or around people I do not know and talking in front of a crowd terrified me. However, I have also loved to...

The Reward is in the Giving

For as long as I can remember service to others has been an integral part of my life and has resulted in some of my favorite adolescent memories. I do not think that there is anything more satisfying than what you get in return when you…

The Story of My Life

My story starts when I was twelve. On November 12, 2014 I underwent a craniotomy to remove the golf-ball sized brain tumor squashing my…

The Virtue of Hard Work

When I was only thirteen years old, I was nominated to be a student ambassador to France, Italy, and Malta. The tuition for said trip would put me back $6,000; an amount of money that scarcely any thirteen year old has seen, much less could produce. Upon my nomination, my parents informed me…

Time

If you want to know the value of a hundredth of a second, ask an Olympic Silver Medalist. If you want to know the value of a second, ask a person who just avoided an automobile accident. If you want to know the value of a minute, ask…

UC Admission Essay

Guitar is the extracurricular activity that has helped me grow the most as an individual. A lot of my other activities are easy for me, but not…

100 Examples of Good College Essays

Walking the Plank - Personal Growth Essay

I was shaking, not only from nerves but from the deep chill piercing my skin and rattling my bones. It clung to me like doom. More pressing still were the figures surrounding me...

What is the most pressing issue facing my community?

The most pressing issue in my community is the abuse of prescription pills among teens and adults. It seems to me that everywhere I go it is a problem whether I am at school, work, or just hanging out with my friends. They are very…

What To Be?

What to be? That is the question. Pursuing higher education at a liberal arts college like Birmingham-Southern will aid me in making a solid career choice. Currently, my interests lie in…

Who in your life has most influenced you?

In life there will always be people who will change your life around. It could be your family, teachers, friends, or even a stranger. Life will always…

Who Inspires You?

What is an inspiration? Literally, inspire means ‘to fill with breathe’. To me, inspiring someone is to provide them with motivation to do something positive. My inspiration is…

Why I Want To Go To College

For my career path I have chosen the pre-med track. What led me to this decision was my father. Every time I said I wanted to be something other than a doctor he would say…

Why is Earning a College Degree Important to Me

Stereotypically speaking I would never be successful. Being an African American woman from an unaccredited school district, I’m expected to fail. Well…

You are a Soul

You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.” C.S. Lewis - He was a three-year-old boy who had been bitten by a dog. I looked down and could see…

Young and Free

What would you do if you were a genius? That was the essay prompt given to my eighth grade class just one month before we hit high school. World domination, write with the greats, and cure cancer. Those were the answers Ashley gave, and – just four short days later – she…

Your Future Physician

“KaBOOM!” An uneasy rumble through the floor shakes bystanders’ hearts to the pits of their stomachs. After an eerie five seconds of silence and confusion, a woman screams…


Good Essays Written by Real People or AI?

We hope you enjoyed our 100 examples of good college essays. Use these to get inspired to write your own college essay.

Are you tempted to use AI to write your essay? See what happened when we tried to use AI to write a good college essay.

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