FAQ

Can I go over the word limit on college essays?

Can I go over the word limit on college essays?

Being over the word limit on your college essay is a great problem to have. Your aim in cutting down an admission essay is to say as much as possible with as few words as possible. Whatever you do, don’t try to game the system by hyphenating a ton of words (“My-story-begins-in-2002…”) or using white underscores.

Is it bad to go over a word limit?

One rule of thumb that is frequently tossed around is 10\%, although it’s worth noting that admissions consultants tend to promote this rule more than any admissions officer does. However, if you can stay within 10\% of the word limit for an essay, you probably are okay.

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Does the Common App cut you off at 650 words?

If you’re submitting it via the Common Application, then no; it will cut you off and you won’t be able to submit it if the essay is longer than 650 words. But the majority of schools use the Common App and they will limit you.

Is it bad to go over word limit?

Can I Go Over the Word Limit? If you are attaching a document and you need one or two extra words, you can probably get away with exceeding the word limit a teeny tiny bitty amount. Some colleges will actually tell you that exceeding the word limit by 1-2 words is fine.

How strict is the word count on college essays?

Most college application portals specify a word count range for your essay, and you should stay within 10\% of the upper limit. If no word count is specified, we advise keeping your essay between 400 and 600 words. You should aim to stay under the specified limit to show you can follow directions and write concisely.

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Is it bad if your college essay is too long?

Writing too much will likely result in your essay being cut off, and writing too little may cause readers to think that you aren’t truly interested in their school. If no range is given, remember to stick to 400-600 words. This will give you enough space to demonstrate your interest and help readers learn about you!

Is it OK to go over the word limit on college essays?

You need to follow directions, but as long as the college’s online application doesn’t cut you off, it’s fine to go over the word limit by 10-20 words in a short essay, and maybe by a few sentences in a long essay. Colleges have better things to do than to check the word counts of your essays for minor infractions.

Can I go over the word limit for the personal statement?

On the Common App, you are not able to go over the word limit for the personal statement (the platform simply will not let you submit an application until it is at or under the word count). However, some essays may not have a hard word limit (meaning they have a suggested word limit, but will not cut you off so you can submit your essay .

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How many words can you write in a college essay?

Most college essays have a stated word-limit. But admissions officers will enforce the spirit, not the letter of the law here. You need to follow directions, but as long as the college’s online application doesn’t cut you off, it’s fine to go over the word limit by 10-20 words in a short essay,…

What happens if you go over the word count on an essay?

If your word count is several words over the limit, changing “It is” and “I would” to “It’s” and “I’d” could help a bit. If your essay is 750 words, you will need to rewrite it. If the topic states the size, like 100 words or 250 words, but the essay field doesn’t limit the word count, you can go over but a little bit.