A college essay is not an academic essay, it is not an essay that you would write in English class, and it’s not an essay that most English teachers have been trained to help write (trust us on that last part). College essays are a completely unique type of writing that somehow became one of the most important parts of a college application — despite the fact that almost no student is ever really taught how to write them in high school. Students that have never written successful college essays execute at least one of the three components of essays incorrectly: theme, concept, and style. These three components must have synergy; your theme informs the concept, which in turn requires a style that reflects the theme. Much of this is extremely subtle, but the psychological response by admissions officers to even small nuances can completely change the success of an essay. But perhaps the biggest mistake students make is clicking the “submit” button for an essay that was only reviewed by older friends.