How Long Should A College Essay Be?


Nowadays the use of essays in high schools and colleges has come so far that each student needs to possess at least decent writing skills. In order to write it, they must learn appropriate techniques and little tricks about how to write an essay in the best way. Something that often stands out on their road is college essay length. That is one of the first parameters that students must pay attention to while writing their college essays. It is often the case where colleges would require a specific word limit that must be strictly respected. And that leads to the question: “How long should a college essay be?” We are here to provide you with some useful tips about essay length, so if you want to find it out, read until the very end.

Word Limit

As we mentioned a little bit earlier, the word limit is a common thing that colleges demand from their students to meet. Of course, it has its purpose and meaning because these educational institutions don’t do it blindly. The word limit gives students a proper boundary and forces them to write their ideas in a limited amount of words. It boosts their creativity and way of thinking. Also, one of the reasons why such a limit exists is because too-long texts can be quite ineffective and can’t show their full potential. Many phrases and words mean a higher chance of the reader getting confused or losing track of the point of the essay. That’s why readable college essays have particular limits that shouldn’t be crossed. If you are a first-year student who never encountered this, you don’t need to worry about it at all. Colleges will make sure to provide you with all unnecessary information about the number of words or pages that you can use for your text. They are aware of how college essays are important for the students themselves as for their studies. A typical number of words that college will ask you to meet is 200 to 650. 

Modify The Number Of Paragraphs According To Word Limit

Questions like: “How long should a college essay be” often implies another one. It is not a big secret that the use of paragraphs is usual when essay writing comes into consideration. For mid-length and longer pieces of text, paragraphs are perfect for dividing ideas and key points into a few parts. And that is the biggest reason why questions on how long should a paragraph be in a college essay frequently appears. A beneficial piece of advice we can provide you with is just to modify the quantity of your paragraph according to a word limit. What does it mean? Well, almost every college essay needs some paragraphs to be included. So, you must be looking at the word limit and try to conclude how many of them you can imbed. The most common case is to implement from 3-5 sentences into each paragraph separately. When it comes to pages, up to 3 paragraphs per page is the best way of writing an essay, or at least the most efficient one. It gives enough space and transparency to the text and besides, it provides readers with enough information too. 

Look For Some Guidelines Online

It is needless to say how big the Internet plays in the modern world. Younger populations are oftentimes not aware of its potential and how it can help them in their education. Students run into different kinds of issues daily. Whether it is a preparation for some exam, obligations related to their apartment or sometimes work, family ones, or any other, it is fair to say how they have lack of awareness about possibilities of the Internet. They use it just to communicate with others through social media or watching live streams of sports events, in the majority of cases. But what you must realize is that the question of how long should a college essay be can be solved easily. The only thing you should do is to search for some guidelines related to the length of an essay online. Usually, multiple forums or communities can provide you with appropriate answers. Try to use the full capacity of your Internet connection and not just waste it on video games, chatting, watching something of your interests, or else. 

What About Scholarship Essays?

It is well-known how scholarship can be significant for the continuity of the students’ studies. Sometimes, it can even determine their entire future, without exaggeration. Limitations of budgets and resources that they can use are oftentimes insufficient for young people like them. Even going for a single drink can be a problem. That’s where scholarship comes to the scene. Whenever students want to apply for a scholarship program, there is an essay required. And of course, its length also matters. That’s why many students will ask: “How long should a college application essay be?” We will try to help with that. A highly readable college essay for a scholarship will be shorter than the primary one. However, it all depends on the colleges’ requirements. But, a useful tip that we will provide you with comes right away. Namely, the smaller the word limit is, the closest you should be to it. So, for example, if a word limit is only 250 words, try to stick close to that limit. Shorter pieces of text are harder to showcase your full potential, so try to utilize the maximum space that has been given to you. 

Can I Break The Limit?

Naturally, student life often implies breaking the rules. Although college students are more mature than high school ones, it is not a rare case when pieces of puberty still appear. That’s why something like breaking rules comes to their mind. When it comes to breaking the word limit, it is something that students often would like to know. Well, unfortunately, that is not allowed. College rules are rigorous and mustn’t be avoided. You must bear in mind that going above the upper limit or under the lower one will only make your essay get declined. It would be best if you manage to keep your text about 5-10% from the upper limit. Some studies showed that this is the most efficient way to write your essay. Additionally, there is often a college essay checklist that students use to create their path of writing. It usually includes directions and key points they should be following. Here are some of them:

  • Don’t Use Plagiarism
  • Choose The Most Suitable Topic
  • Use Multiple Sources For The Data
  • Provide Evidence
  • Show Your Personality


The length of college essays is an important part of it. It indicates the space that students have at their disposal to display who they are and what their goal is. But the most significant is to stay within the rules that college has provided you with. As long as you meet their demands, the higher the chance of meeting their expectations will grow.