Artificial vs. Authentic: Four reasons why using AI to write your college essay is a bad idea.

Artificial vs. Authentic - $ reasons why using AI to write your college essay is a bad idea

As we slip further into summer, many high school students are starting to prepare for August 1st—the day when many colleges release the supplemental essay prompts for their school’s applications. These summer months are the perfect time to start working on your college application essays. This crucial step in the admissions process provides an opportunity for students to showcase your unique qualities, experiences, and aspirations. 

While you’re focused on solidifying your spot at your dream school, it may be tempting to turn to artificial intelligence (AI) for assistance in crafting these essays. But before you take another step, we’ve got four solid reasons why using AI to write your essay could be detrimental to your application.


  1. Your Authenticity

The new technology we see being used all over the world certainly has language processing abilities beyond any human capability.  But you have something it can never replace: your own lived experience. College essays serve as a platform for students to reflect on their personal growth, challenges, and achievements. Admissions officers are reading these essays in an attempt to understand your character, values, and unique perspectives. AI-generated content lacks the authenticity and personal touch that comes from sharing genuine experiences. AI cannot be vulnerable for you.  So, set yourself apart by expressing those vulnerabilities, focusing on the things that move you and why.  


  1. Your Integrity

Keeping your integrity intact is more valuable than you may realize.  In the pursuit of personal and academic success, integrity serves as the moral compass that guides your actions. It is the bedrock of trust, credibility, and self-respect. When you uphold your integrity, you demonstrate honesty, authenticity, and ethical behavior. It shows that you are a person of character, one who takes responsibility for their choices and values. While it may demand additional effort and sacrifices, the rewards of a steadfast integrity are immeasurable—self-esteem, trust from others, and a strong foundation for future achievements. It’s about so much more than the essay—it’s about staying true to your values so you can build a solid credibility that will accompany you throughout your academic journey and beyond.


  1. Your Reputation

Colleges are well-aware of the existence of AI and the potential for its misuse in the application process. They employ advanced plagiarism detection tools that can identify content generated by AI. Submitting an essay that has been composed by AI can lead to severe consequences, including rejection or even expulsion. Your application needs to reflect your individuality, and any attempt to deceive the admissions committee will compromise your chances of success.  Ultimately, submitting an AI-written essay undermines the integrity of the application process and deprives you of the opportunity to truly showcase your individuality and the qualities that make you a deserving candidate.


  1. Your Victory

One thing we’ve learned after years of helping students write these essays is that it can be so much more than an assignment.  If you approach it with the right perspective, this essay becomes a journey of reflection over your entire education experience thus far.  Reviewing your accomplishments, the challenges you’ve faced and overcome, the relationships you’ve built, and the skills you’ve worked hard to develop—there’s something incredibly satisfying in the compilation of your story.  The final product is what gets sent off, but it’s the writing process itself that leaves so many of our students with a heightened sense of pride and maturity as they put this flag on the mountain of their experience.  AI, in all its potential usefulness, could never capture that experience for you.  And you would miss out on so much to let it try.


So, as “Prompt Day” nears, and you’re making your plans, when the thought “I’ll just use AI to write it” comes along, fight it off.  This is your time to shine, not some new tech’s.  You’ve worked hard for this.  You deserve to have your story and accomplishments heard from your own hand.  And you absolutely deserve the sense of achievement you’ll feel when you do.  So, let those wheels spin while you’re catching some sun.  August is just around the corner!

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