For high school senior Brittany Stinson, her admissions essay gained her acceptance into five Ivy League schools and Stanford. In her essay (I urge you to read, here), Ms. Stinson contemplates her curious nature and evolving interests, with trips to Costco as the backdrop in which her musings and self-discovery take place. Although it is important to note that admissions essays do not lead to acceptance alone – there are many other criteria which are considered including ACT/SAT performance, GPA, extracurriculars etc. – the essay offers admissions officers a glimpse at what the other application materials do not: the applicant’s personality. Essays that project a certain likeability, humor, and that effectively convey who the student truly is are more likely to stand out. If a student can craft an honest, compelling essay, and keeps his or her grammar, spelling, and sentence structure in order, 90% of the work is done. An effective essay is unique, tells a story, and keeps the reader intrigued throughout.