Think within 50 words as the lower bound, with the word limit as the upper bound.
So for a 500-word limit essay, try to get to somewhere between 450-500 words. College essay prompts usually provide the word limit right in the prompt or in the instructions.
For example, the University of Illinois says: "Explain your interest in the major you selected and describe how you have recently explored or developed this interest inside and/or outside the classroom.
You may also explain how this major relates to your future career goals.
Brevity is not necessarily a bad thing in writing just so long as you are clear, cogent, and communicate what you want to.
However, most college essays have pretty tight word limits anyways.
Generations of inspiring women have thrived in the Wellesley community, and we want to know what aspects of this community inspire you to consider Wellesley.
We know that there are more than 100 reasons to choose Wellesley, but the ‘Wellesley 100' is a good place to start.
This makes sure there's a standard length for all the essays that a college receives, regardless of formatting or font.
In the simplest terms, your college essay should be pretty close to, but not exceeding, the word limit in length.