Admission Essay

I am at the crucial moment where I am ready to send my portfolio.
I have written a few answers/essays for the questions and requirements of the admission process.
I feel confident in the sense that what I wrote is what genuinely moves me, and my voice.
But no matter how hard I try to trim it, the main essay is still too long.
And at the same time I feel everything I wrote is important to and needs to be communicated.

Are there any teachers here or someone who has knowledge in the matter?
Can an essay be too long? There are no length limit for the essays at the school I am applying to.
How does the essay weight vs sketching abilities vs the concepts/inventions/styling of the products and general presentation.

I didn’t find sample essays or portfolios online. Could you please suggest a link. or advice.
Coroflot doesn’t really show admission portfolios.


Well… that’s because Coroflot is a place for people to get jobs, not admission. And most people just toss / forget about their essays right after they submit it. I have no idea where mine are. Usually there’s a word limit, so I dunno what kind of crazy schools you’re applying to (that the admissions people actually want to read limitless essays). If it’s as long as you put it, you probably don’t need everything. Essays depend on schools too. So do the admission requirements (like you asked, the essay vs sketching vs concepts/presentation. I should hope that the schools look into your concepts the most, as writing/sketching/presentation skills can be trained.

And yes, essays can be too long. They have to read thousands of these, so the one that’s the clearest, quickest, and memorable will give you a better chance, but if your portfolio is crap, they would probably toss your app.

I’d say focus on your portfolio, and trim your essay. Presentation of portfolios these days has gotten less and less attention from applications since there’s digital submission, but show that you care enough about it, whether it be making a CD case (since you’re ID), and a little menu/booklet, and packaging the slides or something.

One thing that can rrrrreally help is arranging interviews and tours with your prospective schools.

Get in contact with someone in the department and go visit if you can. If the faculty and admissions reviewer can see that you took the time out of your schedule to come down and visit and appear genuinely interested in going to their school, it can only help when they look over your essay, portfolio, etc.

Some schools even gave me a form to fill out after my visit and told me that they would separate the applications of those prospective students who had a chance to visit and those who didn’t.

Do whatever you can to give yourself an advantage over the other applicants!


But there’s a rrrrreal problem. I live in South America and the school I am the most interested in is in California. But my Boyfriend was there and went to visit, asked questions and took tons of photos for me.

The thing is that I have lots of interests that are not specifically design, but they nurture and inspire me in design. So I mentioned those things. Art Center does not want a digital submission of sketches.
I am sending about 10 pages of sketches for each concept.

I hope they pay attention to the concepts. I am considering trimming the essay a little bit, and send a mind map of the essay, where I include those ideas.