Third Essay - Optional

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by LLJ, Sep 23, 2017.

  1. LLJ

    LLJ Member

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    I am not sure what my DS is going to do - he hasn't decided but I'd love some input from someone in the know. He has covered a lot of ground on the first two essays.

    I am wondering if not doing the third (optional) essay looks lazy/disinterested. On the other hand, it just might be a bit of fluff or even a little repetition from the other two. The prompt is basically "Is there any thing else you need to tell us"? He has considered pulling some material out from one of the other essays and "saving" it for this third essay.

    You just kinda have to wonder why they have such a vague prompt. Is it for the truly unique situation? I realize its another place to "flaunt it" but that was well covered in the first two essays.

    thoughts? advice?

    Thank you.
     
  2. Cerberi

    Cerberi Member

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    It is not lazy/disinterested. As a matter of fact - they would prefer you not provide it unless you have something truly worthwhile to tell.

    Just assuming that 2500 - 3000 applicants are 3Q - if everyone wrote the optional essay - that is 2500-3000 extra reading cycles for the Admissions Board. If I am on the Board (I am not) and I was simply re-reading something that was already part of the application - I would consider the making me read it a negative as I reviewed the candidate.

    Plus - I doubt the essays are even weighted all that heavily.

    If you have a truly unique story - tell it. Otherwise, it's just fluff.

    USAFA had a graduate in the past few years that was essentially homeless growing up. That's a compelling story that wouldn't be known from the rest of the application. USAFA offered a deferred appointment to a young man because his meager after school income was important to the family finances and by him attending in the original class - it would hurt his family's situation - pretty compelling.
     
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  3. LLJ

    LLJ Member

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    Thanks. That's what we were both thinking. Why blather on....

    On the other hand, I'd love to hear if anyone has opposing views/reasons.
     
  4. Hoodlum15

    Hoodlum15 Member

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    Alright, I'll give it a go and say I think you should do the 3rd essay, a caveat being it better be a darn good essay. When I applied 2 years ago I didn't have any really unique or special circumstance surrounding my life or application (like homelessness, family trauma, etc). I wrote an essay talking about my interest in engineering and I felt it tied up a lot of loose ends in my resume and made my application stronger. I was able to talk about my experience with science fair, which was a huge part of my high school life, and I think it highlighted it a lot more than in the rest of the application. Branching off from that, I mentioned volunteering to teach a middle school robotics class and my interest in continuing to volunteer.
    I also said that my passion for engineering matched well with the current needs of the Air Force (Was I sucking up? Maybe a tad. But it did show commitment and research).

    Mine was a slightly tweaked essay that I used for a lot of applications so it had been edited a ton and was overall (in my super humble opinion lol) well written. Whether it ultimately helped or hurt my application I can't tell you, but I'm here so it obviously didn't hurt too much. I just felt it allowed me to expand on the biggest parts of my resume and gave them better justice than a bullet point could. Additionally, it was my best writing by far of the 3 essays and I wanted them to know I wasn't illiterate, haha. Definitely don't reiterate, but if there is a story or a passion or whatnot behind something written in the resume, consider writing about it and showing more of your personality.
     
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  5. Sam2018

    Sam2018 5-Year Member

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    Neither of my two cadets wrote the third essay fwiw.
     
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  6. falconchic88

    falconchic88 10-Year Member

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    If you feel your DS truly has more to tell about himself that is not highlighted in his app, essays, or resume, then do it. If he is just repeating info found elsewhere, don't.
     
  7. In-the-Know

    In-the-Know 5-Year Member

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    See my post in the unique situation thread.