The Importance of Your College Essay: You are More Than Your GPA!

By Marty McGreevy

One of the best parts of life is that we get to be unique and let our interests and passions drive us. This starts from an early age, perhaps influences from parents, siblings, or that silly neighbor down the street had a profound impact on you. Whatever it is that sets you apart should be celebrated. Throughout the many stages of life, we all grow and change as we strive to achieve our goals, both personal and professional. One day you look in the mirror and you see a fresh-faced senior in high school staring back at you. You’ve made it this far and are now on the precipice of your first major change into young adulthood, independence, and your next great adventure: college! After all, commencement means the end of one journey and the beginning of another. What a concept right?

So, what does all this mean for the college admissions process? We know that standardized test scores, overall cumulative GPA, taking rigorous courses, and being active in clubs and your community are all integral parts of student’s college applications. What else is there? The answer is your college essay. An opportunity to showcase your creative side, stand out, be more than just scores and grades, and most importantly tell your story. So how do we go about crafting this masterpiece? Great question. As a Post-Secondary Counselor, I walk my students through the writing process from brainstorming, drafting, and editing their words, their story and ultimately support them in the process of crafting a piece they are proud of. This is the part of the application that allows you to stand apart and be unique, no one has had your specific journey or possesses your unique perspective on the world, let it out!

The landscape of college admissions has always been competitive and that will not change. Students need to start as early as possible in their high school careers to set themselves apart. This starts with having a plan, a vision, and proper supports in place. Having a well-rounded application also includes your essay. This may not be as easy to write for some students, and that is okay. At Fusion, we will support you in our 1:1 writing sessions to think creatively, find a theme and stick to it, use your voice to make you stand out. Admissions officers who read your essay want to see your whole profile as a student and as a young person navigating the world. The academic criteria listed above are of course paramount to your overall application; however, it is not all that colleges want to see.

Now is the time to start thinking about your sense of purpose as you progress through high school. Continue to challenge yourself as you think of all the amazing possibilities out there for college. Potential majors and career paths, places you would like to visit, and even live. All of these thoughts can in time turn into reality with hard work and dedication. Your story isn’t completely written yet; stay focused on all that awaits you in college and beyond. Be proud of where you are and start to think about what chapter of your story you want to share in your college essay. Yes, it’s that important!

This summer we’re offering a College Essay Writing Bootcamp. You can learn more about this and our other College Admissions Camps here.

About the Author

Marty McGreevy is a Post-Secondary Counselor at Fusion Academy. He is excited to support our students and families in this work. This can include the college/Gap Year, technical and vocational program application process, admissions testing prep, supporting detailed college searches, planning campus visits, interview skills, and college essay writing to name a few areas. PSC sessions can include a full college readiness curriculum designed to meet each student’s college and post-secondary goals. Marty also teaches English Literature and Language Arts. He graduated from Providence College with a degree in Business/Liberal Arts studies, and also has his Master’s degree in Special Education from The University of Vermont.


Prior to Fusion Marty worked in the mental health/education field for ten years teaching and coaching at the high school and post-secondary levels. He has worked with high school and college students on executive functioning development, stress management and mindfulness strategies as well as academics; with a concentration in English literature and the writing process. His passion for creating a sense of belonging and independence with his students is a main focus to his teaching. He looks forward to inspiring his Fusion students to think for themselves and be creative!


Outside of Fusion Marty loves to spend time with his family. He enjoys skiing, the outdoors, and is a big music fan, as well as a percussion drummer. He also loves watching The New York Football Giants and his Providence Friars basketball team!


Connect with him here.