College Application Essays

March 26, 2001 -- This is the time of year high school seniors eagerly anticipate, or dread. The thick-or-thin envelope in the mailbox may tell them right away whether they've been accepted to a given college.

Read the Essays:

Richard Van Ornum

Ambar Espinoza

Leo Stoscheck

Clayton Kennedy

Leah Knobler

Last month, we asked listeners to send in essays written for college applications. Students sent them. So did their parents, guidance counselors, even friends. We received more than 150 essays from all over the country. A few adults sent us their old essays, too.

We've picked five exceptional essays and invited their authors to deliver them as we do commentaries. The students will read excerpts from their essays on Morning Edition during the week of March 26-30.

It was difficult to choose. Many of the essays are remarkably thoughtful, revealing and well-written. We used the same criteria in choosing the five essays that we apply to selecting our regular commentaries. Beyond being well-written and personal, the submissions tell a compelling story that resonate beyond the student's own life.

Three of the students live in Los Angeles, upstate New York, Missouri, and two live in Cincinnati. They attend public and private schools; one was home-schooled.

In a few weeks, we'll let you know how well their essays worked for them. We'll give an on-air update on where the students will attend college in the fall. (Listen to the May 7 update on Morning Edition).