What are your chances of acceptance?

Your chance of acceptance
Colorado College
Colorado College
Duke University
Duke University
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

A Strong Colorado College Essay Example


Colorado College is a private liberal arts college in Colorado Springs. Since it’s a small school, you will have to be an impressive applicant to gain a spot here. In addition to strong academics and extracurriculars, you will also need persuasive and engaging essays to put you over the top.


In this post, we will share an essay a real student submitted to Colorado College. We will also go over what the essay did well and where it could improve to give you a better idea of how to approach your Colorado College essays.


Please note: Looking at examples of real essays students have submitted to colleges can be very beneficial to get inspiration for your essays. You should never copy or plagiarize from these examples when writing your own essays. Colleges can tell when an essay isn’t genuine and will not view students favorably if they plagiarized. 


Read our Colorado College essay breakdown to get a comprehensive overview of this year’s supplemental prompts. 


Colorado College Essay Example


Prompt: The Block Plan at Colorado College has a  tradition of innovation and flexibility. Please design your own three-and- a-half- week course and describe what you would do. (Recommended length: 2-3 paragraphs)


I love country music. I am moved by its sad, sultry lyrics, like “Take your records, take your freedom” in Keith Urban’s You’ll Think of Me; I smile over its hopeful, trusting words, like “Something about your hand in mine, just feels right” in James Barker Band’s Good Together; and I laugh when Garth Brooks sings, “Blame it all on my roots, I showed up in boots, and ruined your black-tie affair,” in Friends in Low Places.


Still, as a genre, country is far from perfect. Whether it’s objectifying women or promoting alcohol as the solution to all problems, the music can be wildly unprogressive, yet still quickly accepted by listeners. I also have questions regarding certain motifs: Why are trucks seen as more fitting for songs than cars? Why does everyone wear bluejeans? 


If I were to design a course for Colorado College’s block plan, I would call it  “Country Music in the 21st Century.” Week One would study the history. Reaching as far back as the Civil War, the course would survey the various influences, instruments, and personalities that shaped the genre. It would also look at artists like Brooks & Dunn and Johhny Cash; key regional centers for country music, such as Nashville, Kentucky, and even California; and how various forces shaped the music into what is now popular country. This week would also include lyrical analysis of some of country’s biggest hits — from “Jolene” to “You’re Still the One” — and begin comparing themes from the 20th century to those that are popular today. 


Week Two would focus on the underrepresentation and the objectification of women in country music. The domination of the genre by men results in the music talking about women, yet rarely allows them to form their own opinions. The first half of the second week would expose this prejudice, looking at sexism found in lyrics (for example, Billy Curington’s “Hey, Girl”), showing the numbers in male success vs female success, and look at the hurdles women must jump over to gain stardom in country music. The second half would celebrate female country stars and their progressive hits, like Danielle Bradberry’s “Worth it” and Kelsi Ballerini’s “I Miss Me More.” 


Week Three would identify and analyze the subgenres of new country – from sad country, to “in love” country, to good times country, to political country, and everything in between. The final for the class (worked on and and presented in the last half-week of the block) would not be a traditional exam, but rather a final project in which students compose their own country song which incorporates elements from old country, women in country, and other themes that have emerged. Additionally, throughout the course, students would attend a local modern country concert every week.


I am extremely enticed by the block plan at Colorado College. Diving into just one topic, rather than splitting my focus between a number of classes, sounds like my cup of tea, especially when that course could be all about country music.


What the Essay Did Well


This essay is so strong because the student picked a topic they are deeply passionate and knowledgable about, which is evident through their level of detail. Including the names of various singers, lyrics from songs, and different types of country music (whether by region or message), reveals to the reader just how much this student knows about country music. Especially in an essay where you are teaching a class about something you are deeply passionate about, it’s so important that you include a high level of detail about your topic to quickly convey your expertise on the subject.


Right from the beginning, their passion is well-established. The introductory paragraph is a good example of how to expand on an idea in a productive and descriptive way. “I love country music” is a punchy hook that tells us exactly what their passion is quite plainly. But they don’t stop there. They go through and explain each aspect of country music they appreciate, the emotional response it stirs from the student, and a specific lyric from a song that exemplifies their point for the reader. By the end of the paragraph you already feel like you’ve learned so much about country music, simply because this student took the time to explain it to us.


Another positive of this essay is how it dives deeper than just the topic of country music. This student clearly loves this genre of music, but their class isn’t just teaching students about the music—they are applying issues of social justice and female empowerment to their course. Acknowledging social issues and how your interests interact with the world at large shows a level of maturity that admissions officers are sure to appreciate.


What Could Be Improved


One thing this essay should be aware of is that it has a bit of an agenda. The applicant makes it explicit that her course will commend certain female singers for their “progressive” songwriting. While this phrasing shows her passion, we wouldn’t recommend that you set up your class as a way to prove something or change minds. Rather, you should emphasize creating discussion and facilitating inquiry. For example, a more nuanced stance than “modern female country singers should be praised for their progressivism” might be “what demographic or music-industry changes have enabled these female singers to find receptive female audiences?” This ensures that it’s about the discussion, not the applicant’s belief. 


Another thing to be conscious of is the length of the essay. Although the length is recommend, it is only supposed to be two or three paragraphs and this essay is six. So blatantly ignoring the length can signal to admissions officers you either aren’t good art following rules or you don’t respect their time.


To get closer to three or four paragraphs, this essay could remove the conclusion as it doesn’t add anything of substance that hasn’t already been said. They could also combine the first and second paragraphs with a sentence like this: “I love country music, but I hate the embedded misogyny in it. My blood boils over lines like ‘Shake it for the young bucks sittin’ in the honky-tonks’ in Luke Bryan’s Country Girl. Why shouldn’t we expect more from country music in this day and age?” By mirroring the structure of the first paragraph, this sentence conveys the key ideas of the second, without requiring a whole new paragraph.


Where to Get Your Colorado College Essays Edited


Do you want feedback on your Colorado College essays? After rereading your essays countless times, it can be difficult to evaluate your writing objectively. That’s why we created our free Peer Essay Review tool, where you can get a free review of your essay from another student. You can also improve your own writing skills by reviewing other students’ essays. 


If you want a college admissions expert to review your essay, advisors on CollegeVine have helped students refine their writing and submit successful applications to top schools. Find the right advisor for you to improve your chances of getting into your dream school!

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Our college essay experts go through a rigorous selection process that evaluates their writing skills and knowledge of college admissions. We also train them on how to interpret prompts, facilitate the brainstorming process, and provide inspiration for great essays, with curriculum culled from our years of experience helping students write essays that work.