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Reddit’s Role in Shaping the Common App Essay

If you’re a high school student in the United States, chances are you’ve heard of the Common App. The Common Application is an undergraduate college admission application that allows students to apply to multiple colleges and universities simultaneously. A crucial part of the Common App is the personal essay, which provides students with an opportunity to showcase their personality, interests, and writing skills. Given the importance of this essay, it’s no surprise that applicants often look for ways to maximize its impact.

In recent years, Reddit has emerged as a popular resource for students looking to improve their Common App essay. In this article, we will explore how Reddit is shaping the Common App essay, its pros and cons, and some key takeaways for students using Reddit as a resource.

How Reddit Helps Shape Common App Essay

Here are some of the ways in which Reddit is being used to shape the Common App essay:


This is a subreddit where high school students can seek and give advice on college admissions. One popular feature of r/ApplyingToCollege is its essay review thread. Here, students can ask for feedback on their Common App essays and receive critiques from other subreddit members. Users from this subthread have been known to give helpful and practical tips on how to improve the structure and content of one’s essaysof any kind, including the Common App essay.

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This subreddit is dedicated to offering personalized feedback on drafts submitted by high school students for college application essays. Students can get access to professional editing services, reviews by certified English writers, and advice from a community of peers.


ReverseChanceMe is a subreddit that allows students to list their stats, extracurriculars, and interests to get personalized recommendations for colleges that fit their profile. Reviewers on this subthread can help the student gauge which schools would be the best fit for their applications.

Pros and Cons of Using Reddit As a Resource for Common App Essay Writing

While Reddit offers a wealth of information on the Common App essay, it’s important to weigh the potential pros and cons.


  • Access to a Large and Diverse Community – Reddit has a massive user base consisting of people from all walks of life. This means that you’ll have a wide pool of reviewers and feedback that can give different perspectives on your Common App essay.

  • Feedback from Experienced Reviewers – Reddit has an active community, including users who specialize in the college application process, and even professional admissions counselors. This guarantees you a chance to receive feedback from individuals who have gone through the same experience with excellent results.

  • Real-time Responses – On Reddit, you can get live feedback within hours of posting your essay on subreddits like r/ApplyingToCollege.


  • Quality Control – Although the feedback on Reddit can be helpful, it may also be unreliable. Non-experts may give well-meaning but unqualified feedback.

  • Risk of Plagiarism – There is always a risk of plagiarizing when using websites such as Reddit, as essays can be shared and reviewed by thousands of people, and copying is not unheard of.

  • Unhelpful Feedback – Reddit is also known to have trolls who derail useful conversation on threads. Negative comments can be demotivating to a student who’s already under a lot of stress to produce an essay.

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Key Takeaways

  1. Reddit is a valuable resource for students looking to improve their Common App essay.
  2. Engage in a subreddit like r/ApplyingToCollege or r/CollegeEssayReview early on in the essay writing process.
  3. Reviewers offer feedback from professional or experienced backgrounds that can help students improve their writing.
  4. Be cautious when accepting feedback from anonymous reviewers.
  5. Use Reddit reviews to supplement the feedback given by teachers and advisors.


For better or worse, Reddit is now firmly entrenched in the college application process. The benefits and drawbacks of using Reddit as a resource for a student’s Common App essay are clear. While Reddit offers unparalleled access to a vast pool of diverse feedback without the constraints of location, it is of utmost importance to be cautious when accepting feedback from anonymous reviewers. Redditors should use these online resources as a supplement to their advisors, teacher’s feedback, peers, and multiple self-edits to refine their essay.

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