Children's Cancer Research Fund

Children's Cancer Research Fund

  • Get Involved Overview
  • Ways to Donate
  • Be A Fundraiser
  • Planned Giving
  • Partner with Us
  • Volunteer Opportunities
  • About Us Overview
  • What We Fund
  • Staff & Board
  • Education & Research Overview
  • Research Grants
  • Research Updates
  • Brain & Neural Tumors
  • Survivorship
  • Other Cancers
  • For Families Overview
  • Big Dreams Tour
  • Camp Norden
  • Share Your Story

Holes – A Survivor’s College Essay

college essays about having cancer

One year ago, Matthew Buff, a leukemia survivor, was fine-tuning his college applications. Today, he is a busy freshman at Emory University majoring in biology on a pre-med track. Matthew's personal goal is to become a pediatric oncologist focused on genetic research. The following is his college admissions essay. 

A round piece of silicone wrapped in a metal ring about the size of a quarter. If you tip it slightly, at just the right angle, where it catches the light, you would see hundreds of tiny holes covering the entirety of its surface. A miniature vacated battlefield of a war once won. It may not look like much to most people, but this tiny piece of plastic riddled with needle holes called a port or port-a-cath, helped to save my life and is now my visual inspiration to help others.

In the beginning, each hole could have easily represented another round of chemotherapy, spinal tap, blood transfusion, hospitalization, surgery or enrollment into a new study to treat my leukemia. They could also represent another day unable to attend school, each time being isolated from friends, and too many middle-of-the-night trips to the emergency room that would ultimately lead to another round of pokes, tests and abruptly waking to the beeping alarm of my IV pole early the next morning.

However, as my body has recuperated over the past five years since completing cancer treatment, the meaning of each hole has also transformed. Each hole now represents a lesson learned, a person met through my experience and the opportunity to make impactful change or people affected by catastrophic illness.

My parents and doctors have always encouraged me to not let my experience with cancer define me. I believe I have done a good job of incorporating that into my daily life, relationships and pursued interests. However, as I have matured and started to gain new experiences in life, I have chosen to reconnect with my past and allow it to acutely influence my perspective. I can’t help but to see the world from a slightly different angle than my peers after experiencing the delicateness and resiliency of life by age 12. I no longer view those years in and out of the hospital as negative, but a gift to help shape my abilities and sharpen my purpose.

From a very young age, I’ve learned to be an advocate for myself, to be an effective communicator, how to endure and thrive through challenges, become a capable and independent learner and find joy in contributing back to the community that surrounded me during my time of need. I want to now expand on those experiences and create new and meaningful relationships within the college environment that will continue to mold how I see the world and my future contributions within it.

I want to bravely explore other “holes” people have endured within their own lives, sit with them, and begin to find ways to alleviate their struggles through the commonalities of the human experience. If we can appreciate our differences, yet focus on what connects us, I believe there would be more peace in the world and fewer opportunities for any kind of pain and suffering. Empathy and compassion, in combination with technology and research, has the potential to redefine health and care. I intend for my experience and knowledge to be part of this progress.

My current objective is to build my college education with a concentration in biology and life sciences with the goal to become a research oncologist. Beyond my academic interest in those areas, I believe shifting my experiences from patient or receiver of care, to student of science with the intent to deliver care, will provide me the knowledge and holistic perspective to begin to develop the passion and endurance necessary to make a life-long commitment to healing through medicine.

We can’t always choose the experiences that shape us into who we are meant to be, but we can utilize them to empower ourselves, inspire each other and help others. Holes don’t have to be permanent; they can be the necessary foundation to begin to build something important and meaningful. We must be willing to excavate our own comfort, take risk, overcome challenges, plant new footings and create solutions to fill the gaps that are exposed in both our own lives, and in the lives of the people around us. Sometimes, if we look at things from a slightly different angle, like when the light reflects off my port, we can find new solutions to effectively and completely fill each new hole.

Written by Matthew Buff   Matthew was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in March 2009. Now six years beyond treatment, he is a college student working towards his goal of becoming a pediatric oncologist focused on genetic research. 

Support Research for Survivors like Matthew

Many childhood cancer survivors rely on survivorship clinics in order to make sure their cancer stays away and address the late-effects of their cancer treatment. Your donation supports the researchers who make these clinics possible for survivors like Matthew.

Related Posts:

college essays about having cancer

Harper’s Story – Little Teacher

These were the heart-wrenching words Sarah and Kyle heard from their 6-year-old daughter Harper in the midst of her treatment for leukemia....

Griffin with his dog

Research in Sarcomas Gets Help from Man’s Best Friend

Butterfly logo

New grant helps connect moms of children with cancer

college essays about having cancer

How Much To Share About Cancer In An Admissions Essay

  • August 6, 2018

college library

Michele Rosenthal has worked at colleges and universities throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic in administrative leadership, student affairs and currently as an academic dean. In addition to acting as an educational consultant, she has also supported AYAs affected by cancer, as a Cancer to College Transition Coach.  Lacuna Loft is super excited to offer her expertise to you today!

Michele has helped AYAs seek the accommodations (e.g. academic services, residential living, disability services) they need to make their college experience a success!

Here she offers AYAs, preparing to take the next step in their academic careers, insights from university insiders regarding how much to share in an admissions essay:

When I help young adults navigate the College and Cancer process, I am always inspired by their motivation and strong will. Diagnosis, treatment and survivorship can be all consuming and it is often hard to separate cancer identity from the rest of one’s identity. I thought it best to pose the question of how much to share, to experienced admissions administrators. Once I asked the question the responses were immediate.

In preparation for writing an admissions application:

“When meeting a prospective student, through either personal essay or interview, I am most convinced by those students who can talk about personal issues—health, poverty, abuse—in ways that recognize the difficulties in dealing with hardship without defining themselves as victims. They tend to acknowledge the past and perhaps the present as part of their history and, within that, describe their plans for the future. For me, that acceptance often seems to spawn a resilience that returns or carries the student forward on a successful path to college life and beyond.” Former Director of Admissions, 4-year Liberal Arts college

“They should not feel that telling their story would be viewed negatively in the college process. How they frame the statement is important. It’s a significant part of their life’s journey to this point. I’m sure none of them would want to define themselves or all future opportunities by their cancer, but we’d all be foolish to think that having cancer won’t be with them forever. Telling their story through their lessons learned, obstacles overcome, or even continued challenges on an on-going basis will help us to better know them as individuals, which I have always argued is the entire point of a college essay.” Vice President Admissions and Enrollment, 4-year Business college

“By and large, this is not about asking anyone to feel sorry for an applicant, but about demonstrating that the student has shown perseverance. No university is going to admit a student because he or she has or had cancer. The grades and scores still need to be there, but nearly all institutions weigh the challenges a student faces in order to reach those achievements. If a student has a period where grades suffer, it is often important to explain these in the context of life events. This is most effective where the applicant is able to demonstrate improvement.” Senior Vice President of Students and Enrollment, 4-year Research university

For me and hopefully for you, the responses help to put the young adult cancer journey in a helpful context. It is important to frame challenges in a way that will help an admissions officer learn about who you are and to understand and appreciate your aspirations and future goals and dreams.

With that said, if you have been wondering if you should apply, please stop wondering!

Commit your pen to paper or your fingers to a keyboard and begin to draft your story. Your story is uniquely yours and your identity is composed of a myriad of experiences that have made you who you are. Your cancer journey is real, but it is not your whole story.

We thank Michele for the incredible support she provides AYAs! If you feel you could benefit from Michele’s coaching services, she can be reached at [email protected]!

Originally published by TUFTS AYA Program Blog.

Latest Articles

college essays about having cancer

Christina’s Corner: September 29, 2023

college essays about having cancer

Join Us For Our Next Book Club Pick, Mom’s Marijuana!

college essays about having cancer

It’s Our Research Round Up!

college essays about having cancer

Join Us to Make a BOOtiful Halloween Garland!

college essays about having cancer

Christina’s Corner: September 22, 2023

college essays about having cancer

Cancer Unwrapped Winning Essays

2023 winning essays.

View the 2023 edition :

A collection of heartfelt stories written by teens facing cancer

Browse the database below to read all of this year’s winning essays or click on the image to the right.

Click here to read previous years!

college essays about having cancer

2022 Essays


  • All Project Categories
  • Loss of a Parent(s)
  • Sibling with Cancer
  • Living with Cancer
  • Loss of a Sibling
  • Loved One with Cancer
  • Parent with Cancer
  • Loss of a Loved One

Why I Fight

Pairs of two, one in a million, my mother’s eyes, internal monologue of writing a eulogy, every day after, enough is enough, chemo: from the perspective of a daughter, on a scale of 1 to 10, previous years.

AACR Cancer Centers Alliance: New Initiative Will Foster Collaboration and Innovation

Select "Patients / Caregivers / Public" or "Researchers / Professionals" to filter your results. To further refine your search, toggle appropriate sections on or off.

Cancer Research Catalyst The Official Blog of the American Association for Cancer Research

college essays about having cancer

Home > Cancer Research Catalyst > Cancer Survivors: In Their Words

Cancer Survivors: In Their Words

This year alone, an estimated 1.8 million people will hear their doctor say they have cancer. The individual impact of each person can be clouded in the vast statistics. In honor of National Cancer Survivor Month,  Cancer Today would like to highlight several personal essays we’ve published from cancer survivors at different stages of their treatment. 

college essays about having cancer

In  this essay , psychiatrist Adam P. Stern’s cerebral processing of his metastatic kidney cancer diagnosis gives rise to piercing questions. When he drops off his 3-year-old son to daycare, he ponders a simple exchange: his son’s request for a routine morning hug before he turns to leave. “Will he remember me, only a little, just enough to mythologize me as a giant who used to carry him up the stairs? As my health declines, will he have to learn to adjust to a dad who used to be like all the other dads but then wasn’t?” he questions. 

college essays about having cancer

In  another essay from a parent with a young child, Amanda Rose Ferraro describes the abrupt change from healthy to not healthy after being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in May 2017. After a 33-day hospital stay, followed by weeklong chemotherapy treatments, Ferraro’s cancer went into remission, but a recurrence required more chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant. Ferraro describes harrowing guilt over being separated from her 3-year-old son, who at one point wanted nothing to do with her. “Giving up control is hard, but not living up to what I thought a mother should be was harder. I had to put myself first, and it was the hardest thing I had ever done,” she writes.

In January 1995, 37-year-old Melvin Mann was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia, which would eventually mean he would  need to take a chance on a phase I clinical trial that tested an experimental drug called imatinib—a treatment that would go on to receive U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval under the brand name Gleevec. It would also mean trusting a system with a documented history of negligence and abuse of Black people like him: “Many patients, especially some African Americans, are afraid they will be taken advantage of because of past unethical experiments like the infamous Tuskegee syphilis study​,” Mann writes, before describing changes that make current trials safer. Mann’s been on imatinib ever since and has enjoyed watching his daughter become a physician and celebrating 35 years of marriage.

college essays about having cancer

In  another essay , Carly Flumer addresses the absurdity of hearing doctors reassure her that she had a good cancer after she was diagnosed with stage I papillary thyroid cancer in 2017. “What I did hear repeatedly from various physicians was that I had the ‘good cancer,’ and that ‘if you were to have a cancer, thyroid would be the one to get,’” she writes.

In another piece for Cancer Today , Flumer shares  how being diagnosed with cancer just four months after starting a graduate program shaped her education and future career path.

For Liza Bernstein, her breast cancer diagnosis created a paradox as she both acknowledged and denied the disease the opportunity to define who she was. “In the privacy of my own mind, I refused to accept that cancer was part of my identity, even though it was affecting it as surely as erosion transforms the landscape,” she writes . “Out in the world, I’d blurt out, ‘I have cancer,’ because I took questions from acquaintances like ‘How are you, what’s new?’ literally. Answering casual questions with the unvarnished truth wasn’t claiming cancer as my identity. It was an attempt to dismiss the magnitude of it, like saying ‘I have a cold.’” By her third primary breast cancer diagnosis, Bernstein reassesses and moves closer to acceptance as she discovers her role as advocate.

college essays about having cancer

As part of the staff of  Cancer Today , a magazine and online resource for cancer patients, survivors and caregivers, we often refer to a succinct tagline to sum up our mission: “Practical knowledge. Real hope.” Part of providing information is also listening closely to cancer survivors’ experiences. As we celebrate National Cancer Survivor Month, we elevate these voices, and all patients and survivors in their journeys.

Cancer Today is a magazine and online resource for cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers published by the American Association for Cancer Research.  Subscriptions to the magazine are free ​ to cancer patients, survivors and caregivers who live in the U.S. 

  • About This Blog
  • Blog Policies
  • Tips for Contributors

AACR Annual Meeting 2016: Research, Prevention, and the Affordable Care Act

AACR Annual Meeting 2016: Research, Prevention, and the Affordable Care Act

Young Investigator Visits Congress to Advocate for Cancer Research Funding

Young Investigator Visits Congress to Advocate for Cancer Research Funding

AACR Annual Meeting 2021: Chemistry in Cancer Research to Share Live Highlights

AACR Annual Meeting 2021: Chemistry in Cancer Research to Share Live Highlights

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join the Discussion (max: 750 characters)...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed .

  • February is National Cancer Prevention Month
  • National Cancer Research Month
  • National Cancer Survivor Month

Bridgewater student’s Harvard admissions essay about finding passion for life after losing her mother to cancer goes viral on TikTok

Yes, abigail mack got in. she begins classes in the fall..

Abigail Mack wrote an essay about losing her mother to cancer that helped get her into Harvard. Videos of her sharing the essay have been viewed millions of times.

When Abigail Mack sat down to write her college application essay in October, she had a sudden realization: She strongly disliked the letter “s.”

The consonant had stung since she was 12, when her mother, Julie, died of cancer. Each time she heard the word “parents,” or said it herself, she realized she only had one. In time, she found herself wanting to escape the heavy grief that seemed to cling to its snake-like curve.

Staring at a blank screen, Mack, a Bridgewater resident who attends Cardinal Spellman High School in Brockton, started to type.

“I hate the letter ‘S’,” she wrote. From there, the words poured out.


The result was a heartfelt narrative about how running from the letter “S,” a symbol for the pain of losing her mother at a young age, led her to trying to distract herself with a range of extracurricular activities and hobbies — some of which eventually became passions that motivated her to keep going.

The powerful essay ended up helping her — along with her many academic achievements — land a coveted spot in Harvard College’s class of 2025, at a time when the school saw a record number of applicants.

After learning she had been accepted, Mack shared her story and essay on the popular video app TikTok this month, where 60-second clips of her describing her essay and why she wrote it have now been viewed close to 20 million times. Her essay has sparked an outpouring of support from all over the world, with many posting that they, too, had lost a parent to cancer growing up.

@a_vmack ♬ original sound - Abigail Mack

“I’ve gotten so many bittersweet comments from people who have had similar experiences, saying I had put into words what they had been feeling,” she said. “It’s been so nice to feel like I’ve connected with so many people about that topic.”

Mack, 18, decided to share her essay about her mother on social media after initially posting her reaction to getting into Harvard in March — a tradition for many high schoolers overjoyed to be heading to college.

From there, Mack began posting other school-related content for her followers, and answering questions from people curious about her academic journey. In late April, she posted the first in a series of videos about her essay, including one that has now been viewed some 16 million times.

“I had been really hesitant to share it just because it’s so personal,” she said. “But I thought about it some more ... so I decided to share it.”

Mack said she had long known she would write about her mother, recalling her as a kind, empathetic, and brilliant woman who was adored in her community. She ran a dance company, Julie’s Studio of Dance, with Mack’s father, Jonathan.

“My mom set the greatest example for me,” Mack said. “She had a way of making everybody feel so special and unique. She was so upbeat, and positive, and brave.”

But when it came time to write about her, Mack ended up with a completely different essay than she hoped for, one that focused more on her own loss and less on how the experience shaped her life.

So Mack, a devout theater enthusiast, went back to the drawing board in October with a new perspective.

“I remember sitting down at my computer in English class — it was an assignment to write our college essays — and I thought about the difference between ‘parent’ and ‘parents’ and how much ‘parents’ is so much more common in our vernacular,” she said. “Once I came up with that hook, the rest of the essay wrote itself.”

It started like this: “I hate the letter ‘S.’ Of the 164,777 words with ‘S,’ I only grapple with one. To condemn an entire letter because of its use 0.0006 percent of the time sounds statistically absurd, but that one case changed 100 percent of my life. I used to have two parents, but now I have one.”

“’S’ follows me,” she wrote. “As I write this essay, there is a blue line under the word ‘parent’ telling me to check my grammar ... but cancer doesn’t listen to edit suggestions.”

She recalled how she unintentionally became the “busy kid,” filling the void left by her mother with theater, sports, and afterschool programs. Eventually, she realized there were a few activities in particular that made her happiest.

“I stopped running away from a single ‘S,’ and began chasing a double ‘S’ — passion,” she wrote of narrowing her focus to politics, theater, and academics. “I’ve finally learned to move forward instead of away, and it’s liberating.”

Mack, who also got into Notre Dame, Georgetown University, Dartmouth College, and Northwestern University, said she didn’t entirely expect the video series to take off like it has but is glad her story has resonated so widely.

“It still doesn’t feel real,” said Mack, who is interested in studying foreign policy and international relations. “I’ve been a little bit nervous about my [future] classmates at Harvard seeing the video.”

Mack’s father, who met Julie at Holy Cross in the late 1990s and still runs the family’s dance studio, said he has been touched by the reactions to his daughter’s essay and is glad she found light in the darkness.

“Writing the essay gave her a chance to reflect on this last period of her life,” he said. “I think it’s good for her to be able to recognize the good things that have come from that.”

Steve Annear can be reached at [email protected] . Follow him @steveannear .

  • About Project
  • Testimonials

Business Management Ideas

The Wisdom Post

Essay on Cancer

List of essays on cancer, essay on cancer – introduction, types and conclusion (essay 1 – 150 words), essay on cancer (essay 2 – 250 words), essay on cancer – for school students (essay 3 – 300 words), essay on cancer – for medical students (essay 4 – 400 words), essay on cancer – for science students (essay 5 – 500 words), essay on cancer (essay 6 – 600 words), essay on cancer – written in english (essay 7 – 750 words), essay on cancer – for ias, civil services, upsc, ips and other competitive exams (essay 8 – 1000 words).

Cancer is a disease which is related to the abnormal growth of cells in a particular part of the body. Since the last decade, cancer has become one of the most feared diseases of all times, particularly due to the difficult treatment one has to undergo and the limitations of the treatment in curing this disease during later stages of cancer.

Audience: The below given essays are exclusively written for school and college students. Furthermore, those students preparing for IAS, IPS, UPSC, Civil Services and other competitive exams can also increase their knowledge by studying these essays.


Cancer is a group of more than 100 diseases that can develop in almost anywhere in the body. Cancer is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body.

Types of Cancer:

There are various types of cancer. They include:

1] Breast cancer: This is type of cancer that forms in the cells of the breast.

2] Prostate cancer: This is type of cancer that occurs in a man’s prostate. This is a small walnut sized gland that has the duty of producing seminal fluid.

3] Lung cancer: This is a type of cancer that begins in the lungs and this occurs mostly in people who smoke.

4] Leukemia: A cancer of blood forming tissues, hindering the body’s ability to fight infection.


We have seen various types of cancer but the types of cancer we have are hundreds but we had mentioned just a few. Each type of cancer comes with various symptoms and various ways of curbing it.

Cancer is a disease that has been around for centuries, but it has never had such an impact on public health as it has now. Cancer is the increase in the number of cells in human beings at an abnormal rate. Doctors have been discussing the reasons behind this increase for the past fifty years. One is tempted to think that there are no reasons behind this occurrence and that it is just a natural phenomenon, people die all the time. Right?

The thing is that the number of cancer cases has increased in the past decades and a lot of this increase is attributed to the influence of different types of radiation. Even though most of the really dangerous substances (or sources of radiation) are not allowed near people. What else can be causing such an increase in cancer cases?

Some doctors have made a discovery regarding cancer that can really help us get rid of this problem. Following down the line of the argumentation presented in the famous “China Study” more doctors are advising their patients to change their diet because it can help  in their fight against cancer. Not only that but a proper diet can also be the best prevention.

When you are a student your metabolism is young so you do not feel the bad effect of your habits as much as older people do but as we age the side effects of our bad choices will become obvious. We can teach ourselves to listen to our bodies and to prevent cancer but to do that we, first of all, have to defeat our habits.

Cancer is uncontrolled and unchecked development of abnormal cells in a part of the body. Cancerous cells develop just like another cell in the body. They, however, keep growing and can form a mass then subsequently becomes tumors. Since cells are present in every part of our body, cancer can also grow in all parts of our body.

Causes of Cancer:

One great scientific mystery in our world is the cause of cancer. Scientists from all over have tried and failed in isolating any particular action, substance or environmental factors that can lead to cancer.

However, scientists all over the world agree that cancer is caused by substances known as carcinogens. These substances are introduced to the body when we are exposed to or consume materials containing them. One of the confirmed sources of carcinogens is exposure to radiation from x-ray machines.

Cancer Treatment:

There are various ways to treat a person infected with cancer. These modes of treatment are chosen depending on the type of cancer, the stage of development and the health peculiarities of the cancer patient. In other cases, several modes of treatment are combined to treat a single patient.

Some of the modes of treating cancer are in fly highlighted below:

1. Surgery to remove Cancerous tumors from the body.

2. Radiation therapy to reduce the growth of cells.

3. Chemotherapy for destroying cancer cells.

4. Stem cell transplant.

Prevention of Cancer:

Just as there are no agreed actions, materials and exposure that causes cancer, there are no generally accepted means of preventing cancer. However, there are certain habits that can limit a person’s exposure.

Some of them are highlighted below:

1. Healthy environment and diet.

2. Reduction of exposure from the sun.

3. Keep your weight low.

4. Avoid the use of tobacco.

Early detection of cancer has been hailed as the most potent way of treating this menace. Though scientists are still in the business of searching for a cure, we as humans can prevent cancer by regular medical check-ups.

Cancer is one of the second largest fatal illnesses across the world. One of the horrific words a human being can listen to is being diagnosed with Cancer. The word Cancer brings alarm and anxiety to the listener. Cancer is the abnormal growth of cells in one part of the body which can even spread to other parts if not treated at an early stage. Neoplasms or tumour are the subset of these abnormally grown-up cells which often results in a mass or lump.

What causes Cancer?

Those agents which cause cancer are termed as Carcinogens . These can be classified into physical, chemical and biological. Physical Carcinogens include ultra violet and other ionizing radiations. Food adulterants such as aflatoxin, tobacco smoke, drinking water contaminant such as Arsenic, asbestos etc., are termed as Chemical Carcinogens. Viruses, Bacteria and other parasites which cause infections and eventually lead to Cancer are categorized under Biological Carcinogens. Ageing also causes cancer as the risk of the cellular repair mechanism weakens as we age.

Significant Symptoms of Cancer:

Some of the major symptoms of cancer include unexplained weight loss, extreme fatigue, persistent sores that do not heal, changes in the bladder and bowel movements, odd bleeding and discharges, change in voice due to cancer indication in larynx and lumps and bumps on the skin.

Preventive Measures:

Some of the risk factors which needs to be addressed to prevent cancer may include avoidance of tobacco, being overweight or obese, unhealthy eating with less vegetables and greens, physical in-activity, avoiding pollution etc. Apart from the mentioned, vaccination against HPV and Hepatitis B Virus, controlling hazards while at work, reducing exposure to ultra violet and ionizing radiation etc., can help prevent being infected by Cancer.

Assessing the type of cancer and the stage is very important because every cancer type has a different pattern of treatment from surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy . The treatment that is used to relieve the cancer patient from their pain and enhance the quality of life for the patients and their families is termed as Palliative care.

World Health Organization has partnered with UNO and other non-profit organizations to ensure every country is being made aware of the non-communicable diseases and the prevention of cancer and its control. Insights to develop Centers of Excellence to provide quality treatments and to conduct research on the carcinogenesis should be provided to governments and to help the people.

The abnormal cell growth in our body which spreads to other parts as well is what is termed as cancer. Around four lakh of people in India are known to be affected by this disease every year. More so, around half of them are not able to survive as they are usually detected in the last stages of cancer. Hence it is all the more important to educate the people about this disease and its symptoms so that it can be detected early and the lives of the people suffering from it can be saved.

Cancer can affect any body part. The part that is affected gives it the name, for instance, lung cancer which affects the lungs, skin cancer in which the skin is affected and so on. However, we can broadly divide cancer into four types. The first one is Sarcoma which is known to affect the blood vessels, bones, muscles cartilages and connective tissues. The second type of cancer is Carcinoma which affects the internal organs of the body or the skin. The third type is the Lymphoma. This cancer affects the lymph glands and the lymph nodes. The last type in which cancer can be categorised is Leukaemia which largely affects the parts forming blood such as the bone marrow.

Symptoms of Cancer:

Although no particular cause is known to trigger this disease, some activities have been associated as the cause of different types of cancer. The first and foremost is smoking. Excess smoking affects the entire respiratory system thereby leading to the onset of lung cancer. More so chewing tobacco is also attributed to giving rise to mouth and throat cancer. Similarly, alcohol is attributed to be the cause of stomach, liver and gallbladder cancer. Summarising it, all the ill habits of society and urbanisation have been attributed to this disease. Even radiations coming from X-ray machines can prove harmful and lead to cancer. That is why there are proper laws an protection in place when exposing people to these harmful radiations.

Treatments Available:

If detected in early stages, cancer can surely be curable. Surgery is one of the primary steps of curing this disease. If required, doctors remove the body part affected such as the uterus, gallbladder or the breast. Thereafter, through radiotherapy, the cancerous cells on the other affected parts of the body are killed so that they don’t spread to other parts. Chemotherapy is done using the strong chemical in order to kill the cancerous cells. Other methods such as tumour suppressing genes are used in different types of cancer as may be the need advised by the doctors. Whatever the method, it is extremely difficult to go through the pain and social stigma such as loss hair which comes alongside the treatment of cancer.

Living with this Disease:

It is indeed very difficult to live with this disease as not only this disease is not fully curable but the treatment is so tough that it scares even the toughest of individuals. We, as a society, must support the people suffering from cancer and help in their difficult times. We must not discriminate them and must understand that is already suffering a lot and must not do anything which further aggravates their sufferings.

Cancer is a severe disease in which there is abnormal growth of cell that spreads around the human body. Many people in the world are struggling with this disease. Consistently around 10 million cases are analyzed. These number of cases are expected to increase around 20 million by 2020. It turns into the most widely recognized reasons for death. Due to abnormal cell growth, it develops & affects the overall body weight. Prolonged cough and abnormal bleeding are some symptoms of this severe disease. The developed abnormal cells first make their impact on organs then slowly moved as poison. Cancer disease can be identified in the beginning periods. The medical professionals are still trying to catch this disease.

One of the main causes of cancer is smoking. Other causes include tobacco, consumption of alcohol, obesity, lack of physical activities, exposure to UV radiations, etc. Age factor and changes in genes are yet other factors that cause cancer.

Cancer has different types which can be divided into various forms:

i. Skin Cancer:

It is the most common type of cancer which can be seen in many people. Every year more than 1 million people are affected by skin cancer. Skin cancer happens due to the overexposure from the sun. The thicker ozone layers directly harms our skin, which increases the chances of skin cancer.

ii. Lung Cancer:

This type of cancer is related to the cells inside the lungs. The symptoms of this type of cancer are chest pain & sudden weight loss. It is also known as lung carcinoma. As a process of metastasis, the growth of abnormal cell growth spread inside the lungs. Smoking is a fundamental driver of Lung cases.

iii. Kidney Cancer:

Another name of kidney cancer is renal cancer. Renal Cell Carcinoma and Transitional Cell Carcinoma are the types of kidney cancer. This development of cancer happens after the age of 40 years. Smoking can twofold the danger of kidney malignant growth.

iv. Leukemia:

This cancer starts developing in the bone marrow, which leads to a high number of abnormal white cells. Acute myeloid leukemia or acute lymphocytic leukemia are the sorts of leukemia. Chemotherapy or radiation therapy can be used as the treatment for Leukemia.

Cancer Staging:

It is important to understand the staging factor of this severe disease. Diagnosis of cancer in early stages helps to tackle this disease by proper treatments. During the initial stages of cancer, proper surgeries or radiotherapy can help to overcome cancer. When the broken cancer cells move to other parts of the human body, then advance treatment is suggested by the professionals. But when a patient is in the final stages of cancer, he needs a treatment which covers his whole body. Chemotherapy is a therapy which is used to circulate the bloodstream. Professional doctors use various test techniques to identify the stages of cancer. Stages are used to describe the severity of cancer.

In the initial stage, cancer can be prevented through medication, proper surgeries and light treatment. In the advance stages of cancer, chemotherapy and radiation therapy is useful. Above all, the best way to keep cancer away is to stay away from smoking and tobacco, eat healthy food and a lot of green vegetables, and do some physical exercise daily.

It is very difficult for a cancer patient to fight with the final stages of cancer. To deal with this severe problem cancer symptoms should never be ignored. More than 70% of cases are seen only due to smoking. At every stage, it is essential that everyone must adopt a healthy diet plan & exercise daily to prevent this disease. A person who has a good and healthy lifestyle can fight with cancer more strongly.

Current trends in global health mention cancer. Cancer is currently one of the leading causes of death globally. It is an illness in which abnormal cell growth develops and affects parts of the human body as it advances, it has the potential to spread from one part of the body to the other. It is a chronic illness that imposes a great economic burden on a nation because its management is costly. Cancer occurs in different parts of the body and are classified according to where it has affected. In India, men are mostly acted by lung, oral, lip and neck cancers whereas women are affected by cervical, breast and ovarian cancer. The detection procedure varies with the type of cancer while the treatment varies with the stage of the cancer progression. Mostly early stages of cancer have better prognosis compared to late stages of cancer.

There are modifiable and non-modifiable factors that predispose an individual to cancer. Non modifiable factors include age and genetics. With an increase in age, the rate of cancer incidence increases. The genetic predisposition to cancer increases the incidences of suffering the disease. Modifiable factors include lifestyle habits like drinking and smoking tobacco which increase the incidences of lung, oral, esophageal among other cancers. Diet is also a predisposing factor especially one that is less in vitamin supplements.

Physical inactivity and obesity predispose to cancers of the colon, breast and others. Sexual activity in women with multiple sexual partners predisposes them to cervical cancer due to the transmission of HPV (Human Papilloma Virus). The environment also predisposes to cancer because of the chemicals, radicals and radiations that interact with human beings.

Detection of Cancer:

The detection varies with the type of cancer and so screening is done for each type differently. It is advisable that people get regular checkups of the whole body so that early detection facilitates effective and curative treatment. Screening of cancer is done using detailed examination of the physique, laboratory and histology tests, radiological and magnetic imaging techniques among other methods.

The campaigns against cancer advocate for early detection by teaching the public on the early signs of cancer. In breast cancer awareness for example, the public is made aware of physical examination of the breast and if they detect any abnormal growth or lump, they are to seek further investigation. Early detection is important because it results in successful treatment. In the detection, the cancer staging is done, which is usually four stages, stage one, two, three and four. Stage one has the best prognosis whereas stage four has the poorest prognosis.

Treatment of Cancer:

Once cancer is detected, a range of treatment options is provided. Treatment depends on the types of cancer and the staging. It can be treated by surgery whereby excision of the abnormal growth is done. Surgery is done for non-hematological cancers and those that have not metastasized to other parts of the body. An example of surgery is mastectomy to treat breast cancer.

Chemotherapy is another treatment option that involves the administration of anticancer medication that eliminate the abnormal cells in the body. Another treatment option is radiation therapy that uses ionizing radiations to destroy cancer cells. Radiation is also used to make tumors small. It is used to treat solid tumors and it depends on the sensitivity of the tumor to the radiations. It is targeted at the nucleic acid destruction in the tumor cells.

Consequences of Cancer:

Cancer is a chronic illness that could result in very serious consequences even with treatment. Cachexia is the extreme wasting of the body that causes death in cancer patients. Economic burden to both the individual and the nation is experienced in cancer treatment because the treatment modalities are costly. The economic burden results in decline of the nation’s economy and increased healthcare costs to the population.

Mental illnesses result from cancer because it is a terminal illness and most patients become mentally unstable upon diagnosis. The quality of health is affected in a country when there is high incidences of cancer and the performance is greatly affected, which cause poverty and economic crisis for individuals.

Cancer is a serious illness that impacts the lives of people and the nation negatively. It is evident that cancer has diverse treatment options but the problem is that people do not go for checkups. Checkups are important in early detection, which usually results in successful treatment and less burden of cancer in a nation and in individuals.

Cancer is basically an agglomeration of various diseases that involves the abnormal growth of cells with the ability to spread or invade other body parts. Cancers are quite different from benign tumours in that the latter does not spread or invade other body parts. Some of the many symptoms and signs of cancer include abnormal bleeding, a lump, weight loss that is unusual, prolonged cough and bowel movement change. Even though these listed symptoms and signs of cancer, they might be caused by other things so it is necessary to be diagnosed. Today, we have more than 100 various kinds of cancer that affect us humans.

History of Cancer:

It is believed that cancer has been in existence for a majority if not all of the history of man. Breast cancer was the first form of cancer that was recorded and this happened around 1600 BC in Egypt. Between 460 BC and 370 BC, Hippocrates spent time analysing various types of cancer and referred to them as crayfish or crab. The name was as a result of the crab-like look of the malignant tumour and the lateral extension of the distended veins and tumours.

Factors Causing Cancer:

It has been discovered that the major cause of deaths as a result of cancer is the use of tobacco and it accounts for about 22 percent of the total number of deaths due to cancer. Poor diet, obesity, excessive alcohol consumption and a lack of exercise and physical activities accounts for another 10 percent of deaths caused by cancer. Some other causes and factors that contribute to cancer include environmental pollutants, ionizing radiation exposure and certain infections.

In most developing countries, infections like hepatitis B, Helicobacter pylori, papillomavirus infection of humans, Hepatitis C, HIV and Epstein Barr contribute to fifteen percent of all cancers. All of the factors listed above change the cell genes. There are always a lot of genetic changes before the development of cancer. About 10% of all cancers are as a result of genetic defects that are inherited from a parent. Asides the symptoms and signs that are used to detect cancer, screening tests are also a good way of detecting cancer. Cancer is normally thoroughly investigated using medical imaging; it is then confirmed through biopsy.

Development of Cancer:

A tumour or neoplasm is a collection of cells which have gone through growth that is not regulated and most times form a lump or mass. Every tumour cell exhibits the six important characters that are necessary for the production of the malignant tumour.

The six characteristics are:

1. Cell division and growth without all the signals that are proper.

2. Continuous division and growth even though the signals given are contrary.

3. Cell death that is usually programmed is avoided.

4. The divisions of the cell are quite limitless in number.

5. The construction of blood vessel is promoted.

6. The tissues are invaded and metastases are formed.

Cancer Prevention:

The prevention of a lot of cancers can be ensured by trying to maintain a weight that is healthy, not smoking, consuming a lot of whole grains, fruits and vegetable, avoiding the consumption of a lot of alcohol, reduction in the amount of red and processed meat that is consumed, getting vaccinated against some infectious diseases and the avoidance of too much exposure to sunlight. It is sometimes useful that there is early detection in cases of colorectal and cervical cancer and this can be achieved through screening. The usefulness of breast cancer screening is highly controversial.

The treatment of cancer is usually done by combining surgery, radiation therapy, targeted therapy and chemotherapy. A very important element of care is the management of symptoms and pain. In cases of advanced disease, palliative care is of utmost importance. The extent of the disease at the commencement of treatment and also the form of cancer that is involved go a long way to determine the odds of survival. Using the adopted survival rate at five years, children that were under the age of 15 when they were diagnosed have an average rate of survival of 80% in most developed countries. In the US, the average rate of survival for the five year period is 66%.

90.5 million  people were living with different cancers in 2015. It has been reported that every year, close to 15 million reports of new cancer cases are filed. These do not include the cases of skin cancer. Cancer results in more than eight million deaths every year which is about 15.7% of the total number of deaths every year.

In males, prostate cancer, lung cancer, stomach cancer and colorectal cancer are the most widespread cancer types. In females, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer and lung cancer are the most widespread cancer types. Apart from melanoma, if we include skin cancer in the amount of new cases of cancer every year, it is going to be 40% of the total number of cases.

Brain tumours and lymphoblastic leukemia that is acute are the most widespread cancer types in children but in Africa, lymphoma that is no-Hodgkin is the most widespread. The total number of children that are under the age of 15 that ended up being diagnosed with one type of cancer or the other in 2012 is around 165,000.

With an increase in age, it has been seen that the risk of getting cancer also increases significantly and the number and occurrence of cases of cancer in developed countries in more than the number and occurrence of cancer cases in other countries. The change in lifestyle and increase in the number of people living to a very old age in countries that are developing contributes to the increase in the rate of the occurrence of cancer. Cancer is believed to have a financial cost of up to 1.16 trillion dollars every year.

Cancer can be extremely dangerous when it is not discovered early and when adequate and proper care and attention is not given to the treatment. Therefore it is very important to go for regularly screening to find out if there is need for caution or treatment.

Cancer , Diseases , Health

Get FREE Work-at-Home Job Leads Delivered Weekly!

college essays about having cancer

Join more than 50,000 subscribers receiving regular updates! Plus, get a FREE copy of How to Make Money Blogging!

Message from Sophia!

college essays about having cancer

Like this post? Don’t forget to share it!

Here are a few recommended articles for you to read next:

  • Essay on AIDS
  • Essay on Cleanliness
  • Which is More Important in Life: Love or Money | Essay
  • Essay on My School

No comments yet.

Leave a reply click here to cancel reply..

You must be logged in to post a comment.


  • Donald Trump
  • Warren Buffett
  • Email Address
  • Free Stock Photos
  • Keyword Research Tools
  • URL Shortener Tools
  • WordPress Theme

Book Summaries

  • How To Win Friends
  • Rich Dad Poor Dad
  • The Code of the Extraordinary Mind
  • The Luck Factor
  • The Millionaire Fastlane
  • The ONE Thing
  • Think and Grow Rich
  • 100 Million Dollar Business
  • Business Ideas

Digital Marketing

  • Mobile Addiction
  • Social Media Addiction
  • Computer Addiction
  • Drug Addiction
  • Internet Addiction
  • TV Addiction
  • Healthy Habits
  • Morning Rituals
  • Wake up Early
  • Cholesterol
  • Reducing Cholesterol
  • Fat Loss Diet Plan
  • Reducing Hair Fall
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Weight Loss

Internet Marketing

  • Email Marketing

Law of Attraction

  • Subconscious Mind
  • Vision Board
  • Visualization

Law of Vibration

  • Professional Life

Motivational Speakers

  • Bob Proctor
  • Robert Kiyosaki
  • Vivek Bindra
  • Inner Peace


  • Not To-do List
  • Project Management Software
  • Negative Energies


  • Getting Back Your Ex

Self-help 21 and 14 Days Course


  • Body Language
  • Complainers
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Personality

Social Media

  • Project Management
  • Anik Singal
  • Baba Ramdev
  • Dwayne Johnson
  • Jackie Chan
  • Leonardo DiCaprio
  • Narendra Modi
  • Nikola Tesla
  • Sachin Tendulkar
  • Sandeep Maheshwari
  • Shaqir Hussyin

Website Development

Wisdom post, worlds most.

  • Expensive Cars

Our Portals: Gulf Canada USA Italy Gulf UK

Privacy Overview

Web Analytics

Together Logo

Financial Aid & College Scholarships for Cancer Survivors

College is an exciting time of life filled with new experiences, knowledge, and relationships. Although it is expensive, childhood cancer patients and survivors have several college scholarship and financial aid options.

Many organizations provide scholarships for cancer patients and survivors. In addition, there are financial aid opportunities available for people with certain disabilities.

Some scholarships are available for family members of cancer patients. Be sure to check the application criteria for all scholarships.

Many organizations provide scholarships for cancer patients and survivors. In addition, there are financial aid opportunities available for people with certain disabilities.

Tips for successful scholarship applications

  • Every scholarship is different. Read the application and the organization’s website carefully. Note the application deadline as well as contact information, application requirements, and ability to renew the scholarship each year. Don’t miss an opportunity because of a simple mistake.
  • In general, applicants must provide a letter from a doctor stating the original diagnosis and the age the patient began treatment. Allow the doctor plenty of time to write the letter.
  • Some applications may also request letters of reference from teachers, coaches, or employers. Ask these people in advance. Don’t wait until the last minute.

Every scholarship is different. Read the application and the organization’s website carefully.

Every scholarship is different. Read the application and the organization’s website carefully.

Scholarship essay tips

Many scholarship applications require an essay. Some will ask the same types of essay questions. You may be able to tweak an essay written for one scholarship to meet requirements for other applications.

Make sure to have someone knowledgeable about writing and grammar proofread your application and essay.

List of scholarships for cancer patients and survivors

The organizations that offer these scholarships are often funded by donations and endowments given in honor or in memory of other pediatric and young adult cancer patients.

Beyond the Cure

These scholarships are for childhood cancer survivors who have demonstrated the ability to overcome the difficult challenges of cancer with determination and motivation. Fifty-eight (58) $3,500 scholarships are awarded each academic year. The scholarship application period is from January – March of each calendar year.

Applicants must be:

  • A childhood cancer survivor under the age of 25
  • Diagnosed before the age of 18 with cancer or a high-grade or anaplastic brain tumor
  • A citizen of the United States living within the country and attending school in the U.S.
  • Accepted into a post-secondary school in the fall of the upcoming school year.

Visit the website for an application:

Beyond the Cure Ambassador Scholarship Program

Cancer for College

The website provides a number of different scholarship offers to different regions of the United States. Scholarship application period is November 1-January 31 each year. Applicants must be planning to attend a degree-earning program in the United States. Certain scholarships listed are relevant only for particular states. 

Applicants need:

  • Their parents’ tax return(s)
  • Their own personal tax return or proof of any income if they do not file a tax return
  • A letter of good standing from the university attending
  • 2 years of academic transcripts, confirmation of diagnosis letter
  • Confirmation of Diagnosis letter
  • A letter of recommendation from 1 person outside your family
  • Total annual cost of attendance

Cancer for College Scholarship Application

National Collegiate Cancer Foundation

This organization provides services and support to young adults whose lives have been impacted by cancer and who have continued with their education throughout treatment or after their treatment. Each award is $1,000. Applications available in March. Deadline is May 15.

  • A young adult cancer survivor or current patient between the ages of 18-35. Exceptions are made for age 17 if entering college in the fall following application.
  • A U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Attending or planning to attend an accredited college, university or vocational institution in pursuit of an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate or certificate as of the fall following application

National Collegiate Cancer Foundation Scholarships

The Ortlieb Foundation

The foundation was created to honor cancer survivor Evan Ortleib, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma at age 16. Scholarships are awarded twice each year (spring and fall) and are valued at $1,000 each. The submission deadline for the spring semester is December 15, and the deadline for the fall semester is June 15.

Eligibility requirements include:

  • Letter of cancer diagnosis and treatment of chemotherapy , radiation , or proton therapy from oncologist
  • Proof of enrollment in full-time study at a four-year college or university
  • Transcripts from high school or college
  • Standardized test scores (ACT or SAT)
  • 1040 tax documents from parents and self
  • 2 letters of recommendation from teachers, mentors, or employers
  • 250-word essay on academic and career goals

Ortlieb Foundation Scholarship Application

Ronald McDonald House Charities

The network of U.S. chapters, along with the global office of RMHC, offers scholarships to students in financial need who have demonstrated academic achievement, leadership, and community involvement. Since 1985, more than $56 million in scholarships have been awarded.

Scholarships are awarded by local RMHC chapters.

Find Your Local RMHC Chapter

The Ulman Fund for Young Adults

Scholarships available to young adults affected by cancer through their own diagnosis or through the diagnosis of a parent or sibling. Applicants must be between the ages of 15 and 39 during the time of diagnosis/treatment. Recipients will be awarded a total of $2,500 over two academic semesters, paid directly to the recipient’s school. Deadline is March 1.

Ulman Cancer Fund Scholarships

Scholarship databases

Finaid: the smartstudent guide to financial aid.

This page contains information about scholarships for cancer patients, cancer survivors, children of a cancer patient or survivor, students who lost a parent to cancer, and students pursuing careers in cancer treatment.

FinAid Scholarships

The Samfund

Grants and scholarships provided by the Samfund cover a wide range of post-treatment financial needs, such as (but not limited to): rent and mortgage assistance; health insurance premiums; car payments, insurance, and repairs; continuing education and loans; gym memberships; and mental health expenses. This group is no longer accepting applications for undergraduate tuition, as they have in the past, but rather is focusing on other school-related expenses. Applications open in the spring.

Applicants need to:

  • Be between the ages of 21 and 39
  • Either (1) finished active treatment with no evidence of disease, (2) completed one year of planned treatment and be in a stable condition, or (3) be receiving long-term hormonal or targeted therapy.

Samfund Cancer Survivor Grants

Scholarship resources for students with physical disabilities

San francisco state university disability resource center.

The Disability Programs and Resource Center at San Francisco State University has compiled a list of scholarships for students of various disabilities. A chart lists the organization offering the scholarship as well as general information and a link to each scholarship page.

SFSU Disability Resource Center Scholarships

University of Washington Disability Resource Page

The University of Washington has put together a page with tips on searching for funding for students with disabilities. In addition to links to sites offering scholarships, it also discusses other ways students might find information on funding, such as vocational rehab and other state programs. Scholarships are listed by type of disability.

Scholarships for vision-impaired students

American council of the blind (acb).

This organization offers scholarships to legally blind student going to technical, undergraduate, or graduate school.  Scholarships range from $1,500-$7,500. Application deadline is February 15.

American Council of the Blind Scholarships

American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)

The AFB offers multiple scholarships to legally blind students. Application deadline is April 1.

Descriptions of the scholarships, as well as the online application can be found at the above website.

American Foundation for the Blind Scholarship

Council of Citizens with Low Vision International – Fred Scheigert Scholarship

This program awards 3 students an individual prize of $3,000 to full-time college students with low vision. Applicants must meet visual acuity and academic guidelines. Scholarship guidelines, application, and vision certification are offered on the website from January 1 to March 15 of each year. The scholarship application must be completed online. Selected finalists will be required to complete a phone interview with committee members. Chosen winners are expected to attend an annual meeting in conjunction with the American Council of the Blind National Convention (usually in July).

CCLVI Scheigert Scholarship

National Federation of the Blind (NFB)

The NFB offers 30 scholarships to legally blind students each year, worth from $3,000 to $12,000. The winner must participate in the NFB national convention in July and all its scheduled scholarship program activities. Assistance is available for convention needs. Application due in March 31.

  • Legally blind in both eyes
  • A resident of the United States or Puerto Rico
  • Planning to attend postsecondary study in the United States

National Federation of the Blind Scholarship Program

Christian Record Services for the Blind

The Anne Lowe Scholarship is awarded to blind students based on academic achievement and citizenship. Applications must be submitted or postmarked by April 15.

Application information/requirements:

  • Currently registered as a full-time student in undergraduate studies at accredited college or university in the U.S.
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Written essay
  • 3 letters of recommendation from non-family members

Scholarship is distributed in two parts during the school year

Anne Lowe Scholarship — Christian Record Services for the Blind

Scholarships for hearing-impaired students

Sertoma – service to mankind.

This group offers scholarships to individuals with hearing impairments and communicative disorders. Scholarships are available in $1,000 amounts. Application deadline is May 1.


  • Must have a minimum 40dB bilateral hearing loss, as evidenced on audiogram by an SRT & PTA of 40dB or greater in both ears
  • Must be a citizen of the U.S.
  • Must be pursuing a bachelor’s degree on a full-time basis at a college or university in the United States
  • Must have a minimum cumulative 3.2 GPA on a 4.0 unweighted scale
  • 2 letters of recommendation
  • High school and/or college transcript
  • Recent audiogram from a hearing health professional (must not be any older than two years)
  • Hearing loss on application must be verifiable from audiogram

Sertoma Scholarships

AG Bell College Scholarship Program

AG Bell Scholarships are for high-achieving students who have bilateral hearing loss that was diagnosed before age 4.

  • Must be using listening and spoken language as your primary communication mode
  • Must attend a mainstream university and working toward a four-year undergraduate degree or a graduate degree


Hydrocephalus association.

Scholarships applicants must be  17 or older with hydrocephalus. The scholarship funds must be used for an educational purpose, including, but not limited to, a 2-year or 4-year college, a high school post-graduate year to prepare for college, technical or trade school, an accredited employment-training program, or a post–graduate program. Scholarships are $1,000 each.

Application opens in January and is due April 15.

Hydrocephalus Association’s Scholarship Program


National center for learning disabilities.

Scholarships are available for 2 graduating high school seniors with documented learning disabilities and/or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder who are pursuing postsecondary educatoin.

National Center for Learning Disabilities Scholarships

  • Epsilon Sigma Alpha (ESA)
  • Sallie Mae Student Loans
  • Federal Student Aid
  • Financial Aid Scholarships

— Together does not endorse any branded product mentioned in this article.

— Reviewed: February 2020

College Classroom Accommodations

College and trade schools likely have services to help you when you need academic or physical accommodations for cancer-related problems. Sometimes cancer and treatment side effects can affect thinking and learning skills or your ability to get around from place to place.

Keep Up with School

Cancer treatment and side effects will likely disrupt your regular school schedule. Find resources to help you make the most of your education.

ACT or SAT Accommodations

Cancer patients may qualify for accommodations on ACT and SAT tests. Accommodations are changes made to the regular testing environment to allow people with disabilities to demonstrate their true ability on tests.

Will writing about mom dying of cancer help me with admissions?

<p>Wrote about my mom dying of cancer in my essay- written very well. Talked about the day i found out and they day after I went back to school to show dedication...will it help me a lot?</p>

<p>I have a 3.85 gpa with AP and 1780 SAT with lots of Extra credits.</p>

<p>First, I am sorry about your mom. However to use it as a hope that it will help you with admission strikes me as very cold. First an formost I would comfort my mom as much as could during her last days, college admissions would be the last thing on my mind.</p>

<p>I don’t understand how it is ‘showing dedication’ by going to school after your mother was diagnosed. It shows to me that you aren’t very close with your mother.</p>

<p>^ I felt the same way, using such a thing in the hopes of helping with admissions seems a bit cold. Writing about it is of course common, and can be a good idea if it reveals a lot about your personality and life, but the title of this thread just shocked me a bit.</p>

<p>No, and in fact it’s probably overused.</p>

<p>I don’t want to sound mean – and I am sorry about your mom – but enough is enough with these sob stories as essays. Do you know how many kids write sob stories to try to gain sympathy from the admissions officer? </p>

<p>It seems like everyone wants to write a sob story these days to have people feel sorry for them. Here’s the truth of the matter… we all go through tough times and our lives where we wanna just be alone and cry. You’re not any different from the rest of us. </p>

<p>I read my friend’s essay where he said he was overwhelmed with peer pressure about doing drugs and how he was able to say no and overcome everything… I’m thinking to myself. Really? You’re the only teenager in the world that has to deal with this?</p>

<p>Either way, I don’t think essays make or break you to be honest until the essay is really bad or really good.</p>

<p>If we’re going to talk about effectiveness, omitting the cold nature of this question, I’d say choose something else to write on, because indeed the “sob stories” are overdone if they are not written in an extremely original and creative way.</p>

<p>First of all, how dare anyone say me and my mom weren’t close. How could someone say I’m cold when they don’t know me? And thanks she died 6 years ago- I wouldn’t even think about college admissions if it was now. However it was only a question- I have recently heard that sob stories give you advantages. But I didn’t believe it. I hope all of you have a good day, oh no wait I dont</p>

<p>I wouldn’t of wrote it if the ESSAY QUESTION was describe a personal hard time that you had to get thru, and how did you get thru it.</p>

<p>No one said that directly that you were cold, I for example merely said that your post seemed cold. And it does. The title as I said is simply a bit shocking imo.</p>

<p>Anyways, if that’s your essay prompt, then it seems appropriate for you to write about this event, just try not to be sappy and over-dramatic, be sure to focus on the positives that came out of the experience, and perhaps how they can relate to your college experience.</p>

<p>OP, You certainly can write about challenges and hardships including something like the loss of a parent at a young age. The posters on this thread have no idea what you have gone through and continue to go through and that is obvious by their posts. If you have had academic success, despite your difficult circumstance, which the majority of your peers can only attempt to imagine, colleges most definitely want to know that.</p>

<p>^ It’s interesting that you assume that, we could easily have experienced the same exact thing, or a similar loss, and simply not said so. Anyhow, I didn’t mean to be disrespectful to anyone, I was only shocked at first, and then wanting to give my honest opinion.</p>

<p>^ Yes I do assume that and I doubt I am incorrect. Nina, your post is not offensive. However, some others are.</p>

<p>mtollen – firstly i’m very sorry about your mom. i also lost my mom almost two years ago and I wrote a few essays about the whole process of that death and overcoming that. i think that, if done correctly, it can be very effective. i felt like these events were extremely important in shaping who i am, so i can’t imagine not mentioning it all in my application (other than the parent info section). i agree that some of the posters here probably have no idea what it’s like to go through something like that and how much of an accomplishment it is to maintain a good GPA through something like that, like you have. if you focus on your growth through/because of the loss and not just the loss i think it could be very good and certainly not cliche or overused.</p>

<p>I’m very sorry for your loss.</p>

<p>I’ve read excellent essays about loss. It was not the loss itself, though, that made for an excellent essay. Colleges will not accept you out of pity. </p>

<p>However, the topic of loss could still be a good topic for you. Whatever topic allows you to write your most personal, detailed, specific, and revealing essay–ideally, the one so much like you that no one else could write it–will be a good topic for you.</p>

<p>Obviously a sensitive topic. I have not experienced that type of grief and its a very touchy subject that can strike the right cords for the reader for the right reasons. The topic can never be over played. </p>

<p>Now I want to Direct this to @Adad . you say most personal, detailed, specific, and revealing essay. so much like you that no one else could write about. I feel that could be so risky from my position. I will pm you</p>

<p>I am sorry for the OP’s loss, as well. But to the OP and to those who would chide other posters for being insensitive: Surely you can imagine why the question, “Will it help me a lot?” is a little shocking? We have all lost people in our lives. The OP asked a leading question. Presumably he or she wanted an answer and could have predicted that the post would elicit a range of responses. Speaking for myself, I got the impression the OP wrote the essay hoping to sway people with the subject matter. Maybe that’s not the case, but the post certainly left me wondering about the OP’s motivations. Regardless of the topic, a good essay will help in some instances more than it will help in others. It is not likely to tip the balance at a school where the applicant’s stats make him or her marginal. If the adcom is on the fence, a good essay could make a difference.</p>

<p>absweetmarie, Considering OP’s age and circumstance I am not going to judge his word choice or assume his motivation, which is something only he knows. Is it so terrible to consider the question after having lived through the loss of your mother at the age of 10 or 11? I don’t think so. I hesitate to judge that. As for coldness, what strikes me as cold is some of the replies to OP thinking Mother had recently (or even not so recently) died or had been recently diagnosed.</p>

<p>No it will not help. It will not give you an advantage like an extracurricular activity or a job. It reveals a part of your life. It shows them your experiences and who you are. That is how it will help. But it will not account for low SATs for a reach school just because they feel bad for you.</p>

<p>If anything, depending on the way you write about it, it may hurt you. Many students write about how they suffered with cancer or some medical issue and hope it will explain why they got low grades, but most of the times it comes off to the officer as an excuse. </p>

<p>Write about how it impacted you and then made you stronger and more dedicated to achieve a great education to make her proud. Don’t only write about how depressed you were and how it started to effect your concentration and grades.</p>

<p>mtollen- think about why the college is asking the question, and try to answer it from that point of view. Colleges ask questions to try to get to know who you are, and how you write. So, if your mom’s death is the most difficult thing (which it likely is), then that would be appropriate. But consider your real reasons for returning to school the next day. And when you are writing, make sure it does not turn into a poor poor pitiful me essay. I am not being mean, just going by some of the other essays I have read/heard about. I do feel for you for your loss - and really am not trying to be heartless! </p>

<p>I really doubt that you returned to school the day after your mom’s death because of dedication. The admiss. folks will doubt that too. Again- I am not being mean saying that. No one looses someone close to them and then just returns to school/work because of dedication. </p>

<p>But there are a miriad of other reasons that you may have returned to school. Comfort in a regular routine/schedule? Comfort around friends, or the need to be away from the house and the discomfort there? Denial? Not knowing what else to do and having a sense of loss of control? Not being able to handle the emotions of others around you? </p>

<p>Try to dig deeper than the “because I was dedicated” line. Then write about that. About what returning to school offered you. Was it your friends, the routine, familiar surroundings, knowing life when on, even a distraction…whatever gave you the comfort you needed to get through the experience. </p>

<p>As you write, try to write it from a how you grew as a person, and how you learned about yourself point of view. Try to make the content positive, even though the basic story is sad. </p>

<p>Hope that may help you look at the essay and how to approach it a little bit.</p>


Search sat scores, search act scores, search gpa’s, subscribe to our newsletter.

Stay informed with the latest from the CC community, delivered to you, for free.


© 2023 College Confidential, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Essay on Cancer for Students and Children


500+ Words Essay on Cancer

Cancer might just be one of the most feared and dreaded diseases. Globally, cancer is responsible for the death of nearly 9.5 million people in 2018. It is the second leading cause of death as per the world health organization. As per studies, in India, we see 1300 deaths due to cancer every day. These statistics are truly astonishing and scary. In the recent few decades, the number of cancer has been increasingly on the rise. So let us take a look at the meaning, causes, and types of cancer in this essay on cancer.

Cancer comes in many forms and types. Cancer is the collective name given to the disease where certain cells of the person’s body start dividing continuously, refusing to stop. These extra cells form when none are needed and they spread into the surrounding tissues and can even form malignant tumors. Cells may break away from such tumors and go and form tumors in other places of the patient’s body.

essay on cancer

Types of Cancers

As we know, cancer can actually affect any part or organ of the human body. We all have come across various types of cancer – lung, blood, pancreas, stomach, skin, and so many others. Biologically, however, cancer can be divided into five types specifically – carcinoma, sarcoma, melanoma, lymphoma, leukemia.

Among these, carcinomas are the most diagnosed type. These cancers originate in organs or glands such as lungs, stomach, pancreas, breast, etc. Leukemia is the cancer of the blood, and this does not form any tumors. Sarcomas start in the muscles, bones, tissues or other connective tissues of the body. Lymphomas are the cancer of the white blood cells, i.e. the lymphocytes. And finally, melanoma is when cancer arises in the pigment of the skin.

Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas

Causes of Cancer

In most cases, we can never attribute the cause of any cancer to one single factor. The main thing that causes cancer is a substance we know as carcinogens. But how these develop or enters a person’s body will depend on many factors. We can divide the main factors into the following types – biological factors, physical factors, and lifestyle-related factors.

Biological factors involve internal factors such as age, gender, genes, hereditary factors, blood type, skin type, etc. Physical factors refer to environmental exposure of any king to say X-rays, gamma rays, etc. Ad finally lifestyle-related factors refer to substances that introduced carcinogens into our body. These include tobacco, UV radiation, alcohol. smoke, etc. Next, in this essay on cancer lets learn about how we can treat cancer.

Treatment of Cancer

Early diagnosis and immediate medical care in cancer are of utmost importance. When diagnosed in the early stages, then the treatment becomes easier and has more chances of success. The three most common treatment plans are either surgery, radiation therapy or chemotherapy.

If there is a benign tumor, then surgery is performed to remove the mass from the body, hence removing cancer from the body. In radiation therapy, we use radiation (rays) to specially target and kill the cancer cells. Chemotherapy is similar, where we inject the patient with drugs that target and kill the cancer cells. All treatment plans, however, have various side-effects. And aftercare is one of the most important aspects of cancer treatment.


  • Travelling Essay
  • Picnic Essay
  • Our Country Essay
  • My Parents Essay
  • Essay on Favourite Personality
  • Essay on Memorable Day of My Life
  • Essay on Knowledge is Power
  • Essay on Gurpurab
  • Essay on My Favourite Season
  • Essay on Types of Sports

Which class are you in?


Download the App

Google Play

We use cookies to enhance our website for you. Proceed if you agree to this policy or learn more about it.

  • Essay Database >
  • Essays Samples >
  • Essay Types >
  • College Essay Example

Cancer Treatment College Essays Samples For Students

33 samples of this type

Regardless of how high you rate your writing abilities, it's always a worthy idea to check out an expertly written College Essay example, especially when you're handling a sophisticated Cancer Treatment topic. This is exactly the case when directory of sample College Essays on Cancer Treatment will come in handy. Whether you need to brainstorm a fresh and meaningful Cancer Treatment College Essay topic or inspect the paper's structure or formatting peculiarities, our samples will provide you with the required material.

Another activity area of our write my paper company is providing practical writing support to students working on Cancer Treatment College Essays. Research help, editing, proofreading, formatting, plagiarism check, or even crafting fully original model Cancer Treatment papers upon your demand – we can do that all! Place an order and buy a research paper now.

Cancer Treatments Essay Samples

Good translating evidence into practice essay example, inspiring essay about swedish massage therapy, implementation plan.

Don't waste your time searching for a sample.

Get your essay done by professional writers!

Just from $10/page

Good Research Elements Essay Example

Literature review.

Kaasa, S. (2015). Is Cancer Pain Control Improved by a Simple WHO Pain Analgesic Ladder Approach Combined With Tumor-Directed Treatment?.Journal of Clinical Oncology, JCO647537.

Article summary

This article takes into consideration the role that the WHO analgesic ladder plays in addressing cancer pain in palliative care patients. The authors identify that cancer pain occurs in 90% of cancer patients but only half them are under proper pain management. To this effect, therefore, there is the need for applying opioids under the WHO ladder guidelines as a way of addressing cancer pain in oncology care patients.

Essay On Cannabis E Cancer Treatment

Rhetorical analysis on cannabis in cancer reatment, free nanotechnology-drug delivery system essay sample, introduction, example of radiation therapy essay.

This paper limits itself to the discussion of Radiation Therapy and its application in the medical field. It highlights the meaning of Radiation Therapy, its types, the treatment process, and the side effects. Furthermore, it examines the current and future trends in Radiation Therapy in addition to evaluating the sustainability of pursuing a career and related opportunities in RT. Finally yet important, it concludes that radiation therapy and associated technologies is a fundamental application in the medical field such that its absence will mean continuous spread of cancerous cells.

Radiation Therapy

Synthesis, characterization and biomedical application of magnetic nanoparticles (mnp): essay you might want to emulate, exemplar essay on developing a picot question to write after, good lung cancer essay example, expertly crafted essay on breast cancer, readings summary essays examples, history and background of cisplatin essays example.

The primary aim of anticancer therapies is to induce the death of tumor cells. Cisplatin has done a good job in achieving this aim, which explains why it is the most commonly used adjuvant therapy of cancers. However, the success of applying CDDP and any other platinum compounds for cancer chemotherapy depends enormously on the ability to manage its side effects. This paper reviews the studies and literatures on cisplatin and some other similar platinum compounds. It presents its history and background, chemistry, mechanism of activity, as well as the side effects.

Essay On Huntsville Hospital System

Essay on cell reproduction, comparison and contrast of mitosis and meiosis, example of nanotechnologies technical brief number 2 nanotechnology use in cancer therapy essay.

The second nanotechnology technical brief that is from the DEW Point Resource Center gives a summary of the use of nanotechnology in cancer therapy and the step that need to be taken to ensure that this technology helps in treatment of cancer. There will be suggestions for further reading.

Current state

Complementary therapies essay sample.

3.1. As a care worker in a specific care setting:

3.1.a. Explain what you understand by reliability of information during complementary therapies.

Developing An Evaluation Plan: Example Essay By An Expert Writer To Follow

Write by example of this problem identification essay, learn to craft essays on radiation in medicine with this example, exemplar essay on complementary therapies and health and wellbeing to write after, exemplar essay on breast cancer in asian women to write after, major achievements in biology essay examples, major achievements in biology, good essay about research critique: treatment of breast cancer.

The prevalence of breast cancer in the world has prompted various research efforts in an attempt to understand the illness. The devastating result of its development as witnessed in increased mortality has motivated the development of new diagnostic and treatment approaches to be adopted to reduce its prevalence (Lenk, 2009). For this reason, various researchers have focused their studies on how to treat this deadly ailment. Some of these researchers are Gabriel Hortobagyi and Alastair Wood. This paper will carry out a qualitative analysis and critique of their work on the treatment of breast cancer.

Problem Statement

Good example of essay on should animals be used for research, sample essay on approach to care of cancer, good example of approach to cancer care essay, essay on nursing interventions to promote patient outcomes, free essay on the most successful space mission of all time, essay on the case for marijuana as a treatment for cancer patients, cancer and families: an article review essay sample, approach to cancer care essay example, approach to cancer care, essay on cancer.

Password recovery email has been sent to [email protected]

Use your new password to log in

You are not register!

By clicking Register, you agree to our Terms of Service and that you have read our Privacy Policy .

Now you can download documents directly to your device!

Check your email! An email with your password has already been sent to you! Now you can download documents directly to your device.

or Use the QR code to Save this Paper to Your Phone

The sample is NOT original!

Short on a deadline?

Don't waste time. Get help with 11% off using code - GETWOWED

No, thanks! I'm fine with missing my deadline

Cancer Essay Writing: Crucial Tips

The success of every essay strongly depends on the topic you cover. If you choose a boring and irrelevant theme, you will hardly meet success. Your main idea ought to be captivating and bring some importance. Therefore, you should study your theme from different angles and choose the most effective. Students of medical colleges compose assignments on various diseases. Undoubtedly, an essay on cancer is amongst the most popular.

That is one of the most serious and widely spread diseases in the world history. It exists in various forms. Accordingly, there are lots of similarities and differences. A researcher will definitely have what to write about. You won’t lack ideas. It’s only necessary to decide, which kind you will disclose in your college essay about cancer and what significance it may bring to your readers.

Writing about Cancer in a College Essay Step-by-Step

Writing about cancer in a college essay is a pretty typical, yet not too easy task. Decide which topic you wish to disclose. One of the most popular concepts is to write about lung cancer. It is a widely spread kind of disease throughout the globe.

Related essays:

  • Julian Vallejo English 2A essay
  • Aviation and the Environment essay
  • Bank Management and Finance By (name) essay

Afterward, you should gather some evidence on this matter. Make sure you can trust the informative sources you wish to use in your cancer essay. Craft an outline to see how the things are supposed to develop. Your next move is to write an initial draft. Then, you should revise your draft and possibly, write another one if the first was too weak. After you are entirely sure that you’ve depicted all things as they should be, write the final version and submit it.

Cancer Essay Introduction

After you have a plan and the necessary information, you may start to compose a cancer essay introduction. At first, you should grab the attention and introduce the general idea of your paper. Thus, you may begin with a short historical overview.

For instance, begin like this “Lung cancer is a common and serious disease. It wasn’t recognized as a disease until 1761. Thus, it took many lives without any hope to survive.”

The next part of your writing about cancer in an essay is the implementation of the thesis. “Lung cancer continues to take the lives of many people throughout the globe, and it should be prevented at any cost.”

Cancer Essay Body

The next stage is the cancer essay body. It is when you should develop the main argument and some sub-arguments. You should use effective and approved facts. For instance, you should mention the statistics. Approximately 1.3 million people die because of this terrible ailment each year.

Mention the role of the genes as one of your subtopics. That is not a hereditary ailment. Nonetheless, there were registered multiple cases when children suffered the same disease as their parents did. Therefore, you ought to investigate this matter too.

Another sub-topic may be based upon mental and physical outcomes of this cancer kind. Reveal how it affects the human body in both directions.

Afterward, speak about some preventive measures to reduce the percentage of its occurrence. In addition, mention the ordinary and new methods to treat this ailment. For instance, many severe health problems are being treated with the help of the stem cell therapy. Cancer is no exception. Find facts about this methodology.

Cancer Essay Conclusion

The final stage of your writing is a cancer essay conclusion. It should be concise and summarize your main point with other words. Mention your central question once again. Afterward, express your opinion.

For example, it may sound like this “Lung cancer is the disease of millions and it should be prevented and treated properly. The stem cell therapy has a huge potential to help this matter. Nonetheless, people should also give up smoking and maintain the lifestyle to improve their health conditions and escape this horrible disease.” As you can see, the conclusion of a cancer essay doesn’t differ from any other research projects.

Cancer Essay Outline Example

If you want to compose your paper fast, you’ll need a good plan. It shows what sections you need to fulfill. Thus, the work runs smoothly and quickly. Therefore, a cancer essay outline will come to you in handy.

  • General idea
  • A thesis statement
  • Development of your concepts
  • Implementation of the evidence and examples
  • Summarization of your project

Make a captivating first line, introduce subtopics and the main argument. Develop your thesis and sub-topics in the main plot, which should be supported by good examples. The defining chapter is a summary of your main points and your opinion about the entire issue.

Cancer Topics for an Essay: Interesting Suggestions

Under the condition, you lack some ideas about what topic to choose we can help you. We have a list of propositions on this important theme. Make allowances for the next cancer topics for an essay:

  • The main reasons why breast cancer takes place.
  • W hat are the most effective preventive measures against cancer?
  • How can cancer be treated?
  • The major differences and similarities among various forms of cancer.
  • Can the stem cell therapy really help to overcome cancer?
  • Why chemotherapy is dangerous when people treat cancer and what are the alternatives?
  • What form of cancer disease is spread the most and why?
  • Which cancer form is the most dangerous?

Memorize these concepts. Create similar ones. Thus, you’ll surely write a good cancer essay about the problem, which really matters and contribute to its solving.

Have a language expert improve your writing

Check your paper for plagiarism in 10 minutes, generate your apa citations for free.

  • Knowledge Base
  • College essay
  • College Essay Examples | What Works and What Doesn’t

College Essay Examples | What Works and What Doesn't

Published on November 8, 2021 by Kirsten Courault . Revised on August 14, 2023.

One effective method for improving your college essay is to read example essays . Here are three sample essays, each with a bad and good version to help you improve your own essay.

Table of contents

Essay 1: sharing an identity or background through a montage, essay 2: overcoming a challenge, a sports injury narrative, essay 3: showing the influence of an important person or thing, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about college application essays.

This essay uses a montage structure to show snapshots of a student’s identity and background. The writer builds her essay around the theme of the five senses, sharing memories she associates with sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste.

In the weak rough draft, there is little connection between the individual anecdotes, and they do not robustly demonstrate the student’s qualities.

In the final version, the student uses an extended metaphor of a museum to create a strong connection among her stories, each showcasing a different part of her identity. She draws a specific personal insight from each memory and uses the stories to demonstrate her qualities and values.

How My Five Senses Record My Life

Throughout my life, I have kept a record of my life’s journey with my five senses. This collection of memories matters a great deal because I experience life every day through the lens of my identity.

“Chinese! Japanese!”

My classmate pulls one eye up and the other down.

“Look what my parents did to me!”

No matter how many times he repeats it, the other kids keep laughing. I focus my almond-shaped eyes on the ground, careful not to attract attention to my discomfort, anger, and shame. How could he say such a mean thing about me? What did I do to him? Joseph’s words would engrave themselves into my memory, making me question my appearance every time I saw my eyes in the mirror.

Soaking in overflowing bubble baths with Andrew Lloyd Webber belting from the boombox.

Listening to “Cell Block Tango” with my grandparents while eating filet mignon at a dine-in show in Ashland.

Singing “The Worst Pies in London” at a Korean karaoke club while laughing hysterically with my brother, who can do an eerily spot-on rendition of Sweeney Todd.

Taking car rides with Mom in the Toyota Sequoia as we compete to hit the high note in “Think of Me” from The Phantom of the Opera . Neither of us stands a chance!

The sweet scent of vegetables, Chinese noodles, and sushi wafts through the room as we sit around the table. My grandma presents a good-smelling mixture of international cuisine for our Thanksgiving feast. My favorite is the Chinese food that she cooks. Only the family prayer stands between me and the chance to indulge in these delicious morsels, comforting me with their familiar savory scents.

I rinse a faded plastic plate decorated by my younger sister at the Waterworks Art Center. I wear yellow rubber gloves to protect my hands at Mom’s insistence, but I can still feel the warm water that offers a bit of comfort as I finish the task at hand. The crusted casserole dish with stubborn remnants from my dad’s five-layer lasagna requires extra effort, so I fill it with Dawn and scalding water, setting it aside to soak. I actually don’t mind this daily chore.

I taste sweat on my upper lip as I fight to continue pedaling on a stationary bike. Ava’s next to me and tells me to go up a level. We’re biking buddies, dieting buddies, and Saturday morning carbo-load buddies. After the bike display hits 30 minutes, we do a five-minute cool down, drink Gatorade, and put our legs up to rest.

My five senses are always gathering new memories of my identity. I’m excited to expand my collection.

Word count: 455

College essay checklist

Topic and structure

  • I’ve selected a topic that’s meaningful to me.
  • My essay reveals something different from the rest of my application.
  • I have a clear and well-structured narrative.
  • I’ve concluded with an insight or a creative ending.

Writing style and tone

  • I’ve crafted an introduction containing vivid imagery or an intriguing hook that grabs the reader’s attention.
  • I’ve written my essay in a way that shows instead of tells.
  • I’ve used appropriate style and tone for a college essay.
  • I’ve used specific, vivid personal stories that would be hard to replicate.
  • I’ve demonstrated my positive traits and values in my essay.
  • My essay is focused on me, not another person or thing.
  • I’ve included self-reflection and insight in my essay.
  • I’ve respected the word count , remaining within 10% of the upper word limit.

Making Sense of My Identity

Welcome to The Rose Arimoto Museum. You are about to enter the “Making Sense of My Identity” collection. Allow me to guide you through select exhibits, carefully curated memories from Rose’s sensory experiences.

First, the Sight Exhibit.

“Chinese! Japanese!”

“Look what my parents did to me!”

No matter how many times he repeats it, the other kids keep laughing. I focus my almond-shaped eyes on the ground, careful not to attract attention as my lip trembles and palms sweat. Joseph couldn’t have known how his words would engrave themselves into my memory, making me question my appearance every time I saw my eyes in the mirror.

Ten years later, these same eyes now fixate on an InDesign layout sheet, searching for grammar errors while my friend Selena proofreads our feature piece on racial discrimination in our hometown. As we’re the school newspaper editors, our journalism teacher Ms. Riley allows us to stay until midnight to meet tomorrow’s deadline. She commends our work ethic, which for me is fueled by writing一my new weapon of choice.

Next, you’ll encounter the Sound Exhibit.

Still, the world is my Broadway as I find my voice on stage.

Just below, enter the Smell Exhibit.

While I help my Pau Pau prepare dinner, she divulges her recipe for cha siu bau, with its soft, pillowy white exterior hiding the fragrant filling of braised barbecue pork inside. The sweet scent of candied yams, fun see , and Spam musubi wafts through the room as we gather around our Thankgsiving feast. After our family prayer, we indulge in these delicious morsels until our bellies say stop. These savory scents of my family’s cultural heritage linger long after I’ve finished the last bite.

Next up, the Touch Exhibit.

I rinse a handmade mug that I had painstakingly molded and painted in ceramics class. I wear yellow rubber gloves to protect my hands at Mom’s insistence, but I can still feel the warm water that offers a bit of comfort as I finish the task at hand. The crusted casserole dish with stubborn remnants from my dad’s five-layer lasagna requires extra effort, so I fill it with Dawn and scalding water, setting it aside to soak. For a few fleeting moments, as I continue my nightly chore, the pressure of my weekend job, tomorrow’s calculus exam, and next week’s track meet are washed away.

Finally, we end with the Taste Exhibit.

My legs fight to keep pace with the stationary bike as the salty taste of sweat seeps into corners of my mouth. Ava challenges me to take it up a level. We always train together一even keeping each other accountable on our strict protein diet of chicken breasts, broccoli, and Muscle Milk. We occasionally splurge on Saturday mornings after interval training, relishing the decadence of everything bagels smeared with raspberry walnut cream cheese. But this is Wednesday, so I push myself. I know that once the digital display hits 30:00, we’ll allow our legs to relax into a five-minute cool down, followed by the fiery tang of Fruit Punch Gatorade to rehydrate.

Thank you for your attention. This completes our tour. I invite you to rejoin us for next fall’s College Experience collection, which will exhibit Rose’s continual search for identity and learning.

Word count: 649

  • I’ve crafted an essay introduction containing vivid imagery or an intriguing hook that grabs the reader’s attention.

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

This essay uses a narrative structure to recount how a student overcame a challenge, specifically a sports injury. Since this topic is often overused, the essay requires vivid description, a memorable introduction and conclusion , and interesting insight.

The weak rough draft contains an interesting narrative, insight, and vivid imagery, but it has an overly formal tone that distracts the reader from the story. The student’s use of elaborate vocabulary in every sentence makes the essay sound inauthentic and stilted.

The final essay uses a more natural, conversational tone and chooses words that are vivid and specific without being pretentious. This allows the reader to focus on the narrative and appreciate the student’s unique insight.

One fateful evening some months ago, a defensive linebacker mauled me, his 212 pounds indisputably alighting upon my ankle. Ergo, an abhorrent cracking of calcified tissue. At first light the next day, I awoke cognizant of a new paradigm—one sans football—promulgated by a stabbing sensation that would continue to haunt me every morning of this semester.

It’s been an exceedingly taxing semester not being able to engage in football, but I am nonetheless excelling in school. That twist of fate never would have come to pass if I hadn’t broken my ankle. I still limp down the halls at school, but I’m feeling less maudlin these days. My friends don’t steer clear anymore, and I have a lot more of them. My teachers, emboldened by my newfound interest in learning, continually invite me to learn more and do my best. Football is still on hold, but I feel like I’m finally playing a game that matters.

Five months ago, right after my ill-fated injury, my friends’ demeanor became icy and remote, although I couldn’t fathom why. My teachers, in contrast, beckoned me close and invited me on a new learning journey. But despite their indubitably kind advances, even they recoiled when I drew near.

A few weeks later, I started to change my attitude vis-à-vis my newfound situation and determined to put my energy toward productive ends (i.e., homework). I wasn’t enamored with school. I never had been. Nevertheless, I didn’t abhor it either. I just preferred football.

My true turn of fate came when I started studying more and participating in class. I started to enjoy history class, and I grew interested in reading more. I discovered a volume of poems written by a fellow adventurer on the road of life, and I loved it. I ravenously devoured everything in the writer’s oeuvre .

As the weeks flitted past, I found myself spending my time with a group of people who were quite different from me. They participated in theater and played instruments in marching band. They raised their hands in class when the teacher posed a question. Because of their auspicious influence, I started raising my hand too. I am no longer vapid, and I now have something to say.

I am certain that your school would benefit from my miraculous academic transformation, and I entreat you to consider my application to your fine institution. Accepting me to your university would be an unequivocally righteous decision.

Word count: 408

  • I’ve chosen a college essay topic that’s meaningful to me.
  • I’ve respected the essay word count , remaining within 10% of the upper word limit.

As I step out of bed, the pain shoots through my foot and up my leg like it has every morning since “the game.” That night, a defensive linebacker tackled me, his 212 pounds landing decidedly on my ankle. I heard the sound before I felt it. The next morning, I awoke to a new reality—one without football—announced by a stabbing sensation that would continue to haunt me every morning of this semester.

My broken ankle broke my spirit.

My friends steered clear of me as I hobbled down the halls at school. My teachers tried to find the delicate balance between giving me space and offering me help. I was as unsure how to deal with myself as they were.

In time, I figured out how to redirect some of my frustration, anger, and pent-up energy toward my studies. I had never not liked school, but I had never really liked it either. In my mind, football practice was my real-life classroom, where I could learn all I ever needed to know.

Then there was that day in Mrs. Brady’s history class. We sang a ridiculous-sounding mnemonic song to memorize all the Chinese dynasties from Shang to Qing. I mumbled the words at first, but I got caught up in the middle of the laughter and began singing along. Starting that day, I began browsing YouTube videos about history, curious to learn more. I had started learning something new, and, to my surprise, I liked it.

With my afternoons free from burpees and scrimmages, I dared to crack open a few more of my books to see what was in them. That’s when my English poetry book, Paint Me Like I Am , caught my attention. It was full of poems written by students my age from WritersCorps. I couldn’t get enough.

I wasn’t the only one who was taken with the poems. Previously, I’d only been vaguely aware of Christina as one of the weird kids I avoided. Crammed in the margins of her high-top Chuck Taylors were scribbled lines of her own poetry and infinite doodles. Beyond her punk rock persona was a sensitive artist, puppy-lover, and environmental activist that a wide receiver like me would have never noticed before.

With Christina, I started making friends with people who once would have been invisible to me: drama geeks, teachers’ pets, band nerds. Most were college bound but not to play a sport. They were smart and talented, and they cared about people and politics and all sorts of issues that I hadn’t considered before. Strangely, they also seemed to care about me.

I still limp down the halls at school, but I don’t seem to mind as much these days. My friends don’t steer clear anymore, and I have a lot more of them. My teachers, excited by my newfound interest in learning, continually invite me to learn more and do my best. Football is still on hold, but I feel like I’m finally playing a game that matters.

My broken ankle broke my spirit. Then, it broke my ignorance.

Word count: 512

This essay uses a narrative structure to show how a pet positively influenced the student’s values and character.

In the weak draft, the student doesn’t focus on himself, instead delving into too much detail about his dog’s positive traits and his grandma’s illness. The essay’s structure is meandering, with tangents and details that don’t communicate any specific insight.

In the improved version, the student keeps the focus on himself, not his pet. He chooses the most relevant stories to demonstrate specific qualities, and the structure more clearly builds up to an insightful conclusion.

Man’s Best Friend

I desperately wanted a cat. I begged my parents for one, but once again, my sisters overruled me, so we drove up the Thompson Valley Canyon from Loveland to Estes Park to meet our newest family member. My sisters had already hatched their master plan, complete with a Finding Nemo blanket to entice the pups. The blanket was a hit with all of them, except for one—the one who walked over and sat in my lap. That was the day that Francisco became a Villanova.

Maybe I should say he was mine because I got stuck with all the chores. As expected, my dog-loving sisters were nowhere to be found! My mom was “extra” with all the doggy gear. Cisco even had to wear these silly little puppy shoes outside so that when he came back in, he wouldn’t get the carpets dirty. If it was raining, my mother insisted I dress Cisco in a ridiculous yellow raincoat, but, in my opinion, it was an unnecessary source of humiliation for poor Cisco. It didn’t take long for Cisco to decide that his outerwear could be used as toys in a game of Keep Away. As soon as I took off one of his shoes, he would run away with it, hiding under the bed where I couldn’t reach him. But, he seemed to appreciate his ensemble more when we had to walk through snowdrifts to get his job done.

When my abuela was dying from cancer, we went in the middle of the night to see her before she passed. I was sad and scared. But, my dad let me take Cisco in the car, so Cisco cuddled with me and made me feel much better. It’s like he could read my mind. Once we arrived at the hospital, the fluorescent lighting made the entire scene seem unreal, as if I was watching the scene unfold through someone else’s eyes. My grandma lay calmly on her bed, smiling at us even through her last moments of pain. I disliked seeing the tubes and machines hooked up to her. It was unnatural to see her like this一it was so unlike the way I usually saw her beautiful in her flowery dress, whistling a Billie Holiday tune and baking snickerdoodle cookies in the kitchen. The hospital didn’t usually allow dogs, but they made a special exception to respect my grandma’s last wishes that the whole family be together. Cisco remained at the foot of the bed, intently watching abuela with a silence that seemed more effective at communicating comfort and compassion than the rest of us who attempted to offer up words of comfort that just seemed hollow and insincere. It was then that I truly appreciated Cisco’s empathy for others.

As I accompanied my dad to pick up our dry cleaner’s from Ms. Chapman, a family friend asked, “How’s Cisco?” before even asking about my sisters or me. Cisco is the Villanova family mascot, a Goldendoodle better recognized by strangers throughout Loveland than the individual members of my family.

On our summer trip to Boyd Lake State Park, we stayed at the Cottonwood campground for a breathtaking view of the lake. Cisco was allowed to come, but we had to keep him on a leash at all times. After a satisfying meal of fish, our entire family walked along the beach. Cisco and I led the way while my mom and sisters shuffled behind. Cisco always stopped and refused to move, looking back to make sure the others were still following. Once satisfied that everyone was together, he would turn back around and continue prancing with his golden boy curly locks waving in the chilly wind.

On the beach, Cisco “accidentally” got let off his leash and went running maniacally around the sand, unfettered and free. His pure joy as he raced through the sand made me forget about my AP Chem exam or my student council responsibilities. He brings a smile not only to my family members but everyone around him.

Cisco won’t live forever, but without words, he has impressed upon me life lessons of responsibility, compassion, loyalty, and joy. I can’t imagine life without him.

Word count: 701

I quickly figured out that as “the chosen one,” I had been enlisted by Cisco to oversee all aspects of his “business.” I learned to put on Cisco’s doggie shoes to keep the carpet clean before taking him out一no matter the weather. Soon after, Cisco decided that his shoes could be used as toys in a game of Keep Away. As soon as I removed one of his shoes, he would run away with it, hiding under the bed where I couldn’t reach him. But, he seemed to appreciate his footwear more after I’d gear him up and we’d tread through the snow for his daily walks.

One morning, it was 7:15 a.m., and Alejandro was late again to pick me up. “Cisco, you don’t think he overslept again, do you?” Cisco barked, as if saying, “Of course he did!” A text message would never do, so I called his dad, even if it was going to get him in trouble. There was no use in both of us getting another tardy during our first-period class, especially since I was ready on time after taking Cisco for his morning outing. Alejandro was mad at me but not too much. He knew I had helped him out, even if he had to endure his dad’s lecture on punctuality.

Another early morning, I heard my sister yell, “Mom! Where are my good ballet flats? I can’t find them anywhere!” I hesitated and then confessed, “I moved them.” She shrieked at me in disbelief, but I continued, “I put them in your closet, so Cisco wouldn’t chew them up.” More disbelief. However, this time, there was silence instead of shrieking.

Last spring, Cisco and I were fast asleep when the phone rang at midnight. Abuela would not make it through the night after a long year of chemo, but she was in Pueblo, almost three hours away. Sitting next to me for that long car ride on I-25 in pitch-black darkness, Cisco knew exactly what I needed and snuggled right next to me as I petted his coat in a rhythm while tears streamed down my face. The hospital didn’t usually allow dogs, but they made a special exception to respect my grandma’s last wishes that the whole family be together. Cisco remained sitting at the foot of the hospital bed, intently watching abuela with a silence that communicated more comfort than our hollow words. Since then, whenever I sense someone is upset, I sit in silence with them or listen to their words, just like Cisco did.

The other day, one of my friends told me, “You’re a strange one, Josue. You’re not like everybody else but in a good way.” I didn’t know what he meant at first. “You know, you’re super responsible and grown-up. You look out for us instead of yourself. Nobody else does that.” I was a bit surprised because I wasn’t trying to do anything different. I was just being me. But then I realized who had taught me: a fluffy little puppy who I had wished was a cat! I didn’t choose Cisco, but he certainly chose me and, unexpectedly, became my teacher, mentor, and friend.

Word count: 617

If you want to know more about academic writing , effective communication , or parts of speech , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.

Academic writing

  • Writing process
  • Transition words
  • Passive voice
  • Paraphrasing


  • How to end an email
  • Ms, mrs, miss
  • How to start an email
  • I hope this email finds you well
  • Hope you are doing well

 Parts of speech

  • Personal pronouns
  • Conjunctions

A standout college essay has several key ingredients:

  • A unique, personally meaningful topic
  • A memorable introduction with vivid imagery or an intriguing hook
  • Specific stories and language that show instead of telling
  • Vulnerability that’s authentic but not aimed at soliciting sympathy
  • Clear writing in an appropriate style and tone
  • A conclusion that offers deep insight or a creative ending

There are no set rules for how to structure a college application essay , but these are two common structures that work:

  • A montage structure, a series of vignettes with a common theme.
  • A narrative structure, a single story that shows your personal growth or how you overcame a challenge.

Avoid the five-paragraph essay structure that you learned in high school.

Though admissions officers are interested in hearing your story, they’re also interested in how you tell it. An exceptionally written essay will differentiate you from other applicants, meaning that admissions officers will spend more time reading it.

You can use literary devices to catch your reader’s attention and enrich your storytelling; however, focus on using just a few devices well, rather than trying to use as many as possible.

Most importantly, your essay should be about you , not another person or thing. An insightful college admissions essay requires deep self-reflection, authenticity, and a balance between confidence and vulnerability.

Your essay shouldn’t be a résumé of your experiences but instead should tell a story that demonstrates your most important values and qualities.

When revising your college essay , first check for big-picture issues regarding message, flow, tone, style , and clarity. Then, focus on eliminating grammar and punctuation errors.

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

Courault, K. (2023, August 14). College Essay Examples | What Works and What Doesn't. Scribbr. Retrieved October 2, 2023, from

Is this article helpful?

Kirsten Courault

Kirsten Courault

Other students also liked, choosing your college essay topic | ideas & examples, how to make your college essay stand out | tips & examples, how to revise your college admissions essay | examples.

  • Account Activating this button will toggle the display of additional content Account Sign out

I Have a Simple Solution to the College Essay Problem

Time to end this charade, once and for all..

Every year more than a million students use the Common Application, a standardized electronic form accepted by more than 1,000 colleges, to apply to college. And every year since 1976, the Common App, as it’s known, has asked teenagers to write an essay where they reflect on who they are and what they want to be. Now is a good time for college admissions offices to reflect on who they are and what they want the application essay to be.

Some people who work in college admissions are very concerned about students using ChatGPT to write their essays, but colleges should treat this challenge not as an obstacle but as an opportunity to, as the Common App puts it, “ learn from the experience .” Colleges should make the admissions process a lot more straightforward and a little bit fairer by asking students better questions, requiring simpler, shorter answers, and dumping the personal essay

While the intention behind the creation of the personal essay might have been to give students a chance to shine, it took less than a decade for it to congeal into a genre thick with clichés and conventions. By 1986, admissions officers at a national convention were already complaining “about dull essays piling up all around them ” and saying that “if things didn’t liven up, the essay could soon disappear altogether as an admissions tool.” The essay did not disappear, but it also did not liven up.

If anything, essays grew duller. Guidebooks, English teachers, and private college consultants have increasingly taught students to follow a formula that goes something like this: Start with an arresting sentence that leads into an anecdote about some experience that shaped your character. Make sure the story leads to a lesson learned. And do it in 650 words.

It’s a “really difficult” exercise, as a dean of admissions at Princeton University once admitted , “where students are asked to write what makes them unique. No adult is ever asked to do that.” Pretty much no college student is either. The application essay is a one-off that bears little connection to the kind of writing people do at work or in college. Sure, applicants to graduate school usually write a statement of purpose, and job applicants need to write cover letters, but they do not need to tell their “story,” as people—just in relationship to the opportunity at hand.

That’s a phrase you hear often inside the college admissions industrial complex —the essay is your chance to tell “your story.” But perhaps at the age of 17 “your story” is not over yet, and you cannot be reduced to a character in a narrative. One of the worst ideas in college admissions right now is the notion that colleges should be taking character into account in the admissions process. I’m sure that’s going to be wonderful for students, telling them they got rejected on the basis of their character instead of their grades.

This idea that people need to tell their story has become all too familiar from social media and brand marketing, where consultants and business school professors are always telling companies they need a story in order to sell their product. What makes this exercise even worse with the personal essay is that students don’t have a product to sell. They are being told to think of themselves as the product.

Colleges might think that essays help open up opportunities for students, but the opposite could be true. A new study by Taylor K. Odle, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Preston Magouirk, a data scientist at the District of Columbia College Access Program, looked at the nearly 300,000 students who started but never submitted an application through the Common App. They wanted to see if there were any patterns that would explain why a quarter of the people who started an application never sent one to a college. The element most commonly associated with starting but not completing an application—more common than being a first-generation student or living in a low-income neighborhood—was the failure to write an essay.

To be fair, there is something of a chicken and egg thing going on here. Does a student not bother to write an essay because they have decided not to submit an application, or does having to write an essay push them not to submit an application? Odle and Magouirk’s research cannot answer that question, and they are careful to say that they are making no causal claims about the correlations they identified.

It is not hard to imagine that at least some of the students who bailed on the Common Application did so because of the essay. Writing the essay is hard, so it’s no wonder that so many teenagers turn to tired formulas for writing essays and that many of them will likely be turning to ChatGPT this fall to write something like this.

In the midst of a sunny middle school afternoon, I find myself embroiled in a Pokémon battle tournament with my closest friends. The vibrant trading cards sprawl before us, and the excitement in the air is palpable. We’ve all gathered in my backyard, our youthful enthusiasm infusing life into the colorful creatures on our cards. The Pokémon craze has consumed our lives, and today, we’ve decided to settle, once and for all, who among us is the true Pokémon Master. The rules are straightforward: We’ll take turns battling each other, and the winner will claim the illustrious title.

The lessons learned?

As the sun sets on that memorable afternoon, our friendships have weathered a severe test. This middle school Pokémon challenge, marked by cheating and redemption, has left an indelible mark on our lives. It serves as a poignant reminder that honesty, communication, and fair play are guiding principles that continue to shape our journey through the complexities of life.

It’s not great, but it’s not terrible. Which means it’s like almost all college application essays, which do an applicant neither harm nor good in the college admissions process. That’s a fact missed by those who thought that dropping test requirements would give the wealthy a greater advantage in the admissions process by making essays more important . The reality is that researchers and admissions deans have acknowledged that the essay does little to help assess an applicant’s ability to succeed at an institution. The essay’s role in admissions committees’ decisionmaking reflects that common knowledge. A Penn admissions dean once admitted that “maybe one in eight” essays played a role in an admissions decision. A University of Virginia dean put the number at 5 percent, with a majority of those having a negative effect.

Hiring an expensive college consultant , some of whom charge $15,000 or more to help with applications , is one way to make your essay stand out, assuming that the consultant is good at their job. Although companies that outright write the essay in exchange for cash do exist, most college consultants take the ethics of their work very seriously and limit themselves to assisting with identifying topics and editing drafts. Even so—and I say this as a person who has been paid to help students with their application essays—it is very hard to keep a clean line between helping a student with their essay and shaping that essay. In the real world, of course, editors often significantly contribute to a writer’s work. Great writing is often collaborative, but the college application encourages an illusory notion that writing is a product of a single person working in total isolation.

What is most irritating about all the hand-wringing over ChatGPT’s threat to the integrity of the admissions essay is that it assumes the essay ever had much integrity or value. It has always been possible to pay for help on college essays, but as long as the cheating was mostly limited to the rich, it seemed to have been cool with admissions officers.

It’s an idea that lines up with what the writer Emi Nietfeld has suggested is the ulterior motive of the college essay, namely to prop up the mythology of elite universities with stories of individual triumph. “ This narrative of overcoming is especially dangerous because it’s used to justify certain institutions having all of this power ,” Nietfeld says. “It’s used to justify being in such an unequal world.” It allows colleges to believe that they are “solving issues of structural inequality, rather than perpetuating them.”

College applications’ reliance on stories and characters reinforces a fundamental human tendency, known as correspondence bias , which attributes a person’s condition and actions to their character rather than to the situation in which they act. That means a student born with a slew of advantages might look more accomplished than someone who had much more to overcome but doesn’t have the chance to shadow her aunt in the oncology unit or the opportunity to co-author a paper during a summer internship.

Some applicants, especially people of color or those from low-income households, feel compelled to compartmentalize their experience in a story that foregrounds the adversity they have faced and “ put their pain on display ,” as the scholar Aya M. Waller-Bey puts it. For many students, that pain is likely raw and real, but for others it might be largely tactical. “The basic strategy,” one Harvard student bravely confessed , “was to highlight the worst parts of your life to distract admissions officers from the reality that, on the whole, you are very privileged.”

These trauma narratives are likely to become more common as a result of the Students for Fair Admissions decision . While the Supreme Court effectively banned the consideration of racial identity in admissions decisions in June, Chief Justice John Roberts also wrote, “Nothing in this opinion should be construed as prohibiting universities from considering an applicant’s discussion of how race affected his or her life, be it through discrimination, inspiration, or otherwise.” It is hard not to interpret that comment as an invitation, if not a demand, to students of color to center their personal essay around their racial identity. Some students will want to do that; only students of color will feel compelled to do that, even if they might prefer to write about punk rock or kombucha . Privilege means getting to write whatever you want, while other students have to think carefully about how they perform their identity.

Some colleges that formerly considered race as one element in their admissions process have found a way around this problem by adding a short question to their application about an applicant’s identity, experiences, and/or communities. Harvard, for example, gives applicants 200 words to answer their new supplemental question: “Harvard has long recognized the importance of enrolling a diverse student body. How will the life experiences that shape who you are today enable you to contribute to Harvard?” While it may be a net win that students are still allowed to talk about how race and identity has shaped them, this question puts the burden for diversity on the shoulders of students of color, who are pressured to present themselves in a way that lets Harvard acknowledge how their racial identity has shaped their experience, even as admissions officers cannot take that identity itself into account.

Figuring out how to answer the diversity question is no small thing to ask a 17-year-old to do. It’s made worse by the fact that Harvard and other highly rejective colleges have done so little themselves to mitigate the harm the Supreme Court decision will do to diversity on campus. They continue to cling to admissions practices , such as legacy preferences, athletic recruitment, and heavy reliance on students from expensive private high schools , that primarily benefit wealthy white applicants. Maybe Harvard needs to explain how it is contributing to diversity.

Add to all these problems the fact that more than 90 percent of undergraduates attend an institution that admits most of its applicants . Why do a million high school students have to go through this painful exercise when it probably will not matter in the end? If everybody can now get a bot to write the essay, and admissions readers at even the most selective colleges do not get much value out of it regardless, why not scrap it altogether?

I have advocated for that position in the past, but conversations with people who work in admission have convinced me that abolition is not the answer. While most essays have little impact on an applicant’s getting into a college, there is that minority for whom it makes a difference. What makes a difference is not really in the story or the writing, however; it’s the revelation of something about an applicant that doesn’t show up anywhere else in the application. Rich students pay consultants to help them write an essay that will impress, but what colleges want are essays that inform.

So here is the very simple answer to all the problems with the admissions essay: stop asking teenagers to tell stories. Get rid of the personal essay and just ask them more straightforward questions that speak to what a college is looking for in a class of students. Limit their answers to 150 words or even less, so there is no room for anecdotes or evocative quotations from F. Scott Fitzgerald or Travis Scott. And make it clear that how applicants express themselves does not matter. If a college cannot come up with these kinds of questions, then it should not ask any.

Lots of colleges already ask more straightforward questions on the Common App, in what are called “supplemental questions,” that tend to ask for factual information rather than narratives. Many colleges use a version of this question from Occidental, which is perfectly fair to ask an applicant: “Why are you applying to Occidental? Why do you think Occidental is the right place for you to pursue your interests?”

Also common is this style of question from Emory, which asks students what they want to study and why: “What academic areas are you interested in exploring at Emory University and why?” You do not need ChatGPT or a consultant to answer that question.

Even better, Emory also asks students to fill out a checklist of the resources they used in the application process, including paid college consultants and essay coaches. All highly selective colleges should be moving in this direction, asking for important contextual information, including whether someone paid for a test prep or academic tutor in high school, in a yes/no format. They could even give applicants space to provide some context on their answers, if they liked.

If colleges limit themselves to asking questions requiring short, factual answers, ChatGPT loses its power, since it does not know a single thing about an applicant. So, too, do expensive college essay consultants, who make most of their money working on essays with students. If an application just asks questions that—perish the thought—students are already prepared to answer, why bother to spend thousands of dollars on an independent educational consultant? With very little effort, highly selective colleges could wipe out one of the most corrupt elements in the admissions process and make it a little bit more fair.

comscore beacon

  • Share full article


Supported by

Guest Essay

The Only Way College Sports Can Begin to Make Sense Again

college essays about having cancer

By Jordan Acker

Mr. Acker is an elected regent of the University of Michigan and served as chair from 2021 to 2022. He is a partner at the Goodman Acker law firm, and a consultant on college athletics and governance.

College sports are in a state of upheaval. As of 2025, the century-old Pacific-12 Conference will no longer exist for all intents and purposes, as U.C.L.A., U.S.C., the University of Washington and the University of Oregon have decamped for bigger paychecks from the Big Ten Conference, and Stanford and the University of California, Berkeley, will henceforth compete in the now ironically named Atlantic Coast Conference.

Adjustments like these are not entirely new. Before the University of Nebraska joined the Big Ten in 2011, it was a member of the Western Interstate University Football Association, the Big Eight (once briefly known as the Big Six and then the Big Seven), and the Big 12 Conference. But these changes used to be about regional or academic affinity. The recent creation of new national super conferences, however, is about one thing: getting the biggest television audience — and the biggest payout.

This past year, the Big Ten signed a seven-year, $7 billion contract with CBS, NBC and Fox. Football was already a huge business for many large state universities. But now that TV executives with no interest in academics are influencing these decisions, conferences that were once schools of similar academic value and region have been dragged into direct competition, regardless of the impact it has on student athletes.

This is a money grab, and a shameful time for all of us involved in college athletics and higher education. As regents, trustees, presidents and athletic directors, we promised to focus on our universities as academic institutions first and sponsors of intercollegiate athletics second. We failed.

The problem has been the lack of direction and vision from the so-called grown-ups in the room — the National Collegiate Athletic Association. For decades, N.C.A.A. member institutions have spent their valuable time arguing (and losing) before courts and pleading on Capitol Hill for special protections of their “amateur” model, in which student athletes play their sport purely for the enjoyment of the activity, all while their coaches and administrators make millions.

Most recently, the N.C.A.A. and its members spent years trying to prevent two changes to the collegiate athletics model. One was the allowance of name, image and likeness compensation, which is essentially the ability of student athletes to engage in and be paid for outside advertising deals. The other was the widespread use by football and basketball players of the transfer portal, a website that allows student athletes to announce their interest in switching to another college so that coaches from other institutions can reach out, as they sometimes do in mere minutes. The N.C.A.A. says both changes do grave harm to the beloved model.

While Charlie Baker, the N.C.A.A.’s president, lobbies for one unpassable bill after another, his supporters repeat talking points about how the enterprise that has mismanaged college sports for generations should be saved for the good of American society and the academic mission of universities. At the same time, the Big Ten Conference, flush with millions of dollars of new TV revenue, helped destroy the Pacific-12 Conference, a more than 100-year-old institution and for years its “sister conference.”

There is nothing amateur about a model that negotiates billion-dollar deals and pays its coaches and administrators millions while denying athletes the ability to share in the revenue or even to have a voice in determining whether these deals are a good idea. The Southeastern Conference just agreed to a 10-year, $300-million-per-year deal with Disney, which owns ESPN, for its TV rights. This hypocrisy is too much to bear.

The steps that universities like mine — large institutions with prominent athletic departments and football programs — should take are clear: First, they should meet to consider how a revenue-sharing model would work within the current structure of the N.C.A.A., and release their plan for how to grant players employee or quasi-employee status. Second, if the N.C.A.A. is unwilling or unable to help schools through this dramatic transition, they should leave and found their own organization, similar to how the English Premier League broke away from the rest of English soccer in 1992. They can create a more efficient model with a sustainable infrastructure to protect the interests of student athletes.

College football teams get chartered planes and nice hotels. But for Olympic sports like field hockey, track and field, and crew, which most athletes play, flying commercial is the norm. For a University of Michigan team to travel to a game at the University of Oregon, for example, requires over seven and a half hours of travel on Delta Air Lines, with a layover in Salt Lake City or Seattle. That’s longer than a flight from Detroit to London. As part of the Big Ten Conference, a Rutgers volleyball player might fly more than 2,800 miles to compete in a game at the University of Washington on a Tuesday, before returning for a Wednesday morning exam. Calling this amateur or college athletics is simply laughable. Many student athletes rarely have the chance to set foot in a classroom, attending their classes online and taking proctored exams in hotel ballrooms near the next game site.

The only way any of it can begin to make sense is if players get a percentage of the money that conferences make off that labor.

There are a number of ways it could happen. For example, all student athletes at the University of Michigan would become employees or independent contractors of the Big Ten Conference, and would receive a percentage of the $59 million or so each member school makes per year from TV rights. Another model would involve the networks directly engaging in name, image and likeness deals with student athletes from major conferences, allowing these student athletes to make a guaranteed income without increasing their time commitment significantly. Say the Big Ten required its TV partners to share 30 percent of its revenues with its student athletes, each athlete would receive a percentage of that. At Michigan, where roughly 900 athletes compete in Ann Arbor, that would mean a wide receiver or field hockey player would get approximately $20,000 per year.

In early August, during the latest round of Big Ten expansion, I heard from leaders from across other power conferences — from university presidents to athletic directors and coaches — several of whom agreed with a plan for revenue sharing. Two current Big Ten Football coaches, Iowa’s head coach, Kirk Ferentz, and Michigan’s coach, Jim Harbaugh, have already expressed support for revenue sharing. It’s time for leaders who agree privately to help create a critical mass of support. The N.C.A.A.’s rules on revenue sharing are driven by their members; this change will not come from the N.C.A.A.’s home base of Indianapolis, but from leaders at member institutions speaking frankly about the challenges to come. It must also take into account the input of student athletes, who are too often shut out of decisions that directly affect them.

Make no mistake, the courts are judging the Big Ten Conference, and the other major N.C.A.A. conferences, on their behavior. As Justice Brett Kavanaugh of the Supreme Court wrote in a concurring opinion to the landmark 2021 N.C.A.A. v. Alston decision, “[n]owhere else in America can businesses get away with agreeing not to pay their workers a fair market rate on the theory that their product is defined by not paying their workers a fair market rate … The N.C.A.A. is not above the law.” With several other cases pending, the status quo is crumbling quickly. If the governing bodies and universities do not choose to reform soon, the courts, tired of the hypocrisy, will force their hand.

Jordan Acker is an elected regent of the University of Michigan and served as chair for 2021-22. He is a partner at the Goodman Acker law firm, and a consultant on college athletics and governance.

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips . And here’s our email: [email protected] .

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook , Twitter (@NYTopinion) and Instagram .


  1. Scholarship essay: Cancer essay

    college essays about having cancer

  2. Thesis for cancer research paper

    college essays about having cancer

  3. Lung Cancer Essay Example

    college essays about having cancer

  4. Breast cancer college essays

    college essays about having cancer

  5. Informative Essay About Cancer

    college essays about having cancer

  6. Understanding Breast Cancer

    college essays about having cancer


  1. Cancer College Essay Examples That Really Inspire

    Cancer College Essays Samples For Students 880 samples of this type paper writer service proudly presents to you an open-access database of Cancer College Essays aimed to help struggling students deal with their writing challenges.

  2. College Essay Advice for Teen Cancer Patients and Survivors

    1) The number one piece of advice I want to give you is to keep everything positive. Yes, we both know cancer sucks, but what you want to emphasize is that you took that adversity and turned it into opportunity (a great quote from my amazing mom!).

  3. Free College Essays On Cancer ️ Essay Topics Ideas

    Free College Essays On Cancer ️ Essay Topics Ideas | Check at StudyMoose Home Topics Health Disease Cancer Cancer - Free Essay Examples And Topic Ideas When people hear about the word cancer only think that what comes to their mind is death. This noun is related only to bad feelings and memories. Human body is made up of trillions of living cells.

  4. A Survivor's College Essay

    Holes - A Survivor's College Essay One year ago, Matthew Buff, a leukemia survivor, was fine-tuning his college applications. Today, he is a busy freshman at Emory University majoring in biology on a pre-med track. Matthew's personal goal is to become a pediatric oncologist focused on genetic research. The following is his college admissions essay.

  5. My Cancer Story: What I Learned From My Mom's Cancer

    6/18/2020 I remember the day my mom brought home Sharie and Jillian. They were new members of our family, and we were skeptical at first. But we figured they deserved a chance. We could try them on for a while and see what we thought.

  6. How Much To Share About Cancer In An Admissions Essay

    Here she offers AYAs, preparing to take the next step in their academic careers, insights from university insiders regarding how much to share in an admissions essay: When I help young adults navigate the College and Cancer process, I am always inspired by their motivation and strong will. Diagnosis, treatment and survivorship can be all ...

  7. Cancer Unwrapped Winning Essays

    Cancer Unwrapped Winning Essays 2023 Winning Essays View the 2023 edition: A collection of heartfelt stories written by teens facing cancer Browse the database below to read all of this year's winning essays or click on the image to the right. Click here to read previous years! 2022 Essays Relationship U Why I Fight

  8. Cancer Survivors: In Their Words

    In this essay, psychiatrist Adam P. Stern's cerebral processing of his metastatic kidney cancer diagnosis gives rise to piercing questions. When he drops off his 3-year-old son to daycare, he ponders a simple exchange: his son's request for a routine morning hug before he turns to leave.

  9. 'When Normal Life Stopped': College Essays Reflect a Turbulent Year

    Personal tragedy also loomed large, with 30 essays about cancer alone. Some students resisted the lure of current events, and wrote quirky essays about captaining a fishing boat on Cape Cod...

  10. Bridgewater student's Harvard admissions essay about finding passion

    The powerful essay ended up helping her — along with her many academic achievements — land a coveted spot in Harvard College's class of 2025, at a time when the school saw a record number of ...

  11. Support for College Students with Cancer

    The purpose of this guide is to increase understanding of and awareness for college students with cancer and provide resources and expert insight they can use to help them find success. Cancer impacts people of all ages, races, and religions, including college students. Roughly 1.8 million Americans were diagnosed with cancer in 2019 alone ...

  12. Cancer for Common App Essay Topic

    Cancer for Common App Essay Topic. College Essays. papyrusreed August 21, 2015, 12:37am 1. Hello, My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer between my freshman and sophomore years of high school. She is now healthy and in remission, but the experience was difficult for both of us. I was thinking about writing about this experience for my Common ...

  13. Essay on Cancer: 8 Selected Essays on Cancer

    Introduction: Cancer is a group of more than 100 diseases that can develop in almost anywhere in the body. Cancer is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body. Types of Cancer: There are various types of cancer. They include:

  14. Financial Aid & College Scholarships for Cancer Survivors

    These scholarships are for childhood cancer survivors who have demonstrated the ability to overcome the difficult challenges of cancer with determination and motivation. Fifty-eight (58) $3,500 scholarships are awarded each academic year. The scholarship application period is from January - March of each calendar year. Diagnosed before the ...

  15. Will writing about mom dying of cancer help me with admissions?

    <p>Wrote about my mom dying of cancer in my essay- written very well. Talked about the day i found out and they day after I went back to school to show dedication...will it help me a lot?</p> <p>I have a 3.85 gpa with AP and 1780 SAT with lots of Extra credits.</p> borghugh January 13, 2012, 4:29pm 2 <p>First, I am sorry about your mom.

  16. What my mother's battle with cancer taught me -Hello ...

    Cancer is a learning experience, and it taught me to appreciate life. It led me to an understanding that this word we fear, cancer, or "the big C," can be overcome by an even bigger "C ...

  17. Stronger through My Mom's Cancer Essay

    It all started with our family sitting at the dinner table with my mom crying, holding crumpled up tissues with black streaks of mascara on it. My dad nervous enough to say, "Your mom has stage four breast cancer.". Those words have stuck in my head clear as a bell for the last eight years.

  18. College Essay On Cancer

    Cancer is the uncontrolled division of somatic cells caused by defective cancer cells. Usually, when cells divide, they begin to form a layer. Normal cells will experience contact inhibition, where cells can cease to replicate once there is no more space for it to inhabit. However, cancer cells cannot control their division.

  19. Essay on Cancer for Students and Children

    Table of content 1 500+ Words Essay on Cancer 1.1 Types of Cancers 1.2 Causes of Cancer 1.3 Treatment of Cancer 500+ Words Essay on Cancer Cancer might just be one of the most feared and dreaded diseases. Globally, cancer is responsible for the death of nearly 9.5 million people in 2018.

  20. Cancer Treatment College Essays Samples For Students

    Cancer Treatment College Essays Samples For Students 33 samples of this type Regardless of how high you rate your writing abilities, it's always a worthy idea to check out an expertly written College Essay example, especially when you're handling a sophisticated Cancer Treatment topic.

  21. Cancer Essay Prompts and Tips to Prepare a Good Assignment

    Writing about Cancer in a College Essay Step-by-Step Writing about cancer in a college essay is a pretty typical, yet not too easy task. Decide which topic you wish to disclose. One of the most popular concepts is to write about lung cancer. It is a widely spread kind of disease throughout the globe. Related essays: Julian Vallejo English 2A essay

  22. College Essay Examples

    Essay 1: Sharing an identity or background through a montage. Essay 2: Overcoming a challenge, a sports injury narrative. Essay 3: Showing the influence of an important person or thing. Other interesting articles. Frequently asked questions about college application essays.

  23. Informative Essay On Cancer

    Informative Essay On Cancer. 516 Words3 Pages. There's many disorders in the world we live in. Some can be successful or some can be fatal. But I experienced my grandmother which is my mother mom deal with it. She had Cancer it bring me to tears every time I think or speak about it. Cancer is a disease in which abnormal cell divide ...

  24. 14 College Essay Examples From Top-25 Universities (2023-2024

    Note: Some personally identifying details have been changed. College essay example #1. This is a college essay that worked for Harvard University. ... in HeLa cells, a cervical cancer line, after treating them with curcumin-bound nanoparticles. Using flow cytometry to excite each individually suspended cell with a laser, the scattered light ...

  25. The Four Stages Of Ovarian Cancer

    Ovarian Cancer Ovarian cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the ovaries. Women have two ovaries, one on each side of the uterus. The ovaries — each about the size of an almond — produce eggs (ova) as well as the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Ovarian cancer happens when cells that are not normal grow in one or both of your ovaries.

  26. I Have a Simple Solution to the College Essay Problem

    A University of Virginia dean put the number at 5 percent, with a majority of those having a negative effect. Hiring an expensive college consultant, some of whom charge $15,000 or more to help ...

  27. In America, Not Having a College Degree Can Take Years Off Your Life

    Adult life expectancy for this group started out two and a half years lower, at 51.6, in 1992 — so an average individual would live to nearly 77 years old. But by 2021, it was 49.8 years (or ...

  28. Opinion

    The Only Way College Sports Can Begin to Make Sense Again. Sept. 21, 2023. Brendan Conroy. 810. By Jordan Acker. Mr. Acker is an elected regent of the University of Michigan and served as chair ...

  29. Brent Venables Says Oklahoma Player-Turned-Coach Has Cancer

    Details of Tawwater's cancer are unknown. Venables had just left OU for Clemson in 2012 when offensive lineman Austin Woods revealed he had been diagnosed with stage 3 Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Woods ...