Writing a Costco Essay

If you have ever applied or are applying for college admission, you probably are familiar with a personal statement or perhaps Common App Essays. You may have heard about a student who used Costco essay to earn acceptance in several world best universities. That proves that a successful college essay can be as simple as writing a Costco essay.

This article discusses both the successful ideas behind a Costco essay and how you can apply them in your writing. Subsequently, the post will explore the downfalls of this model and, most importantly, guide you on how to handle a Common App Essay uniquely.

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writing a costco essay

What is a Costco Essay? Who wrote the Costco essay?

Presenting ACT or SAT scores is never enough to secure a chance in a college. The university admission criteria may demand that you write a personal statement. The Costco essay, otherwise known as Brittany Stinson’s essay, is a personal statement that got Stinson accepted by renowned universities in 2016: Stanford and the five Ivy League schools.

She described her personal qualities, strengths, and childhood in line with shopping at Costco stores, a multi-billion-dollar global retailer with international warehouse club operations. Ivy League schools are known for their low acceptance rate. It was atypical how they all accepted her application. This story created such great resonance and went viral, for that matter.

What made the Costco Essay a Success?

You probably want to know what makes the Costco essay good. Below are highlights of the success of the paper:

Topic Choice

If you thought Brittany’s essay had Costco as the focal point, you might want to forgive yourself for the wrong assumption. It is worth noting that she only used Costco as a framework to mention her interests, such as scientific research. All these could be presented in a typical personal statement essay. Brittany went an extra mile to describe herself with a fantastic take on ordinary experience.

Additionally, Stinson articulates herself in the shortest words possible. Often, students mistake a personal statement for an autobiography. Stinson acknowledges that students can describe themselves in a college application essay without being too wordy.

Underlying Theme

Brittany uses the topic to demonstrate her intellectual curiosity. She curiously wants to know if people would still have free will if there only existed thirty-three ounces of Nutella. Her curiosity probably extends to the classroom. She explains that she employs exploring in her intellectual endeavors. For instance, she probes the realms of biology while sampling buffalo chicken dip.

Stinson explicitly links her topic experiences to her application. In this way, the essay demonstrates who Stinson is in a narrative form by displaying her interests and activities.


The author uses an approachable, fun tone. Her philosophical approach to her shopping experience at Costco gives an impression of her personality. She seems to be friendly to hang out with after class and probably a good discussion group member. The conversational feel and humor in her essay are a clear indication that she will impact the university.

Stinson avoids being too casual while writing the Costco essay. She is keen on her choice of words. Her writing composes of well-crafted sentences that are neither too stiff nor too informal. The paper is free from slang and grammatically correct in all aspects.

Research and Thinking Outside the Box

Although critics argue that the Costco essay is overrated, the truth is that the author illustrates her interests in an arguably thoughtful way. She exhibits deep thinking and reasoning. She focused on her experiences when her family shopped at Costco to describe her personality growth. She was willing to learn about free samples despite her mother’s restrictions.

Tips for Writing a Costco Essay

Do you want something similar to Brittany Stinson’s essay? Note that it is not always compulsory to write a Costco essay. However, you can borrow from her creative writing and create your own.

Here are tips for writing a Costco essay of your own:

Be Original – writing a Costco essay may seem obvious but trying not to replicate Stinson’s work goes a long way to generate an original paper. Ensure to use your personal experience. Be captivating to make your essay outstanding among other applicants. Make your writing worth spending time on to read.

Proceed with Precision of Expression –  To affirm who you are to the college committee, you must be specific about employing figurative language. Write in a manner that will convey your personality without being bland or too wordy. Remember, this writing should differentiate you from other applicants as competent and impactful in the university. Again, when writing a Costco essay, don’t get lost in the narrative and forget to present your interests.

Do not Overdo – While writing a Costco essay, make sure that your personal experiences relate to academics. Do not include unnecessary experiences. Remember that you are not writing a creative essay but a personal statement. Starting to fantasize will get you lost. This essay is supposed to win you a chance in a higher learning institution – make your content worth it.

Write in an Authentic Voice – Just as you searched for a topic and settled on writing a Costco essay, it feels true about who you are. Strive to write the paper in a natural tone. Humor is a great tool, but when forced, it makes the essay read as pretentious. To avoid such mishaps, select a comfortable topic; it does not necessarily have to be a Costco essay.

Avoid Lies – Being creative does not mean exaggerating. Do not pretend to be who you are not. You can use various writing techniques but do not describe what did not happen to you. Remember that you are writing a personal statement and not a script. Lies can get you in bad books with the university, and you do not want to fall into that trap. Always proceed with caution while writing a Costco essay.

Be Confident – Present prove why the university should admit you. Discuss what you like that is related to academics in a unique way. For instance, Brittany’s love to explore new things has a great outlook from an academic perspective. Perhaps she can be a good researcher.

Proofread your Work – After writing a Costco essay, critically read it to polish mistakes. You may use your classmates to critique the paper. However, you can contact an online essay editor to help you proofread or even write you a professional document.

Why the Costco Essay may not be a Good Model

Writing a Costco essay can be an excellent way to go about your college application essay. As mentioned earlier, it is not always a good idea – it is already written by someone else. You would rather write on a different topic while borrowing ideas from Brittany Stinson’s essay than writing a Costco essay. That gives your paper an original feel.

Additionally, while it is advisable to browse personal statement examples, proceed with moderation. Being crowded by someone else’s ideas may prevent you from being authentic in your paper. You might feel overwhelmed with views of other papers hindering you from being creative in your line of experience. Additionally, other people’s ideas may make you paranoid about your work, thinking that you have plagiarized other people’s work.

What are the Common App Essay Prompts for 2020?

The Common App essay is the main personal statement submitted to colleges seeking admission. Common Application essay is only applicable to colleges that use Common App. Common App essay prompts are learning assignments that direct students on how to go about a personal statement. Writing prompts are designed to incorporate students’ creativity and thoughts into guided writing. Listed below are the Common App Essay Prompts from 2002:

  • Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.


  • The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?


  • Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?


  • Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma – anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.


  • Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.


  • Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?


  • Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

How do you Start a Common App Essay?

The most challenging aspect of writing is getting started. The fix for the problem is, however simple – confidence and preparing. An excellent way to begin is brainstorming essay topics and working with Common App essay prompts. Analyze the Common App prompts and identify which one gets your story flowing.

After analyzing the prompts, start by formulating a thesis and writing the essay outline. Basing your paper on a writing prompt will keep you restricted to what the prompt requires, a good way to avoid writing outside the context of a personal statement.


What is Brittany Stinson’s Essay?

Brittany Stinson’s essay, commonly known as the Costco Essay, is a personal statement written by Brittany Stinson, a former student at Concord High School in Wilmington, seeking college admission. The essay earned the teen admission acceptance to the five Ivy League schools alongside Stanford University.

What are the Best College Essay Topics?

Anything you can think of can make a good college essay topic. However, for college papers, try to think about a topic that will have you presenting your personality while giving a story at the same time. You may want to contact the best college application essay writers for hire for a professional college essay.

What is Yale Pizza Essay?

A pizza essay is a 196-word college essay written by Carolina Williams that earned her an admission chance at Yale University.  The girl gets into Yale with a pizza essay by simply penning about her love for Papa John’s pizza since when she was a kid. She uses this as a narrative to present her interests and why the university committee should consider her application.

If you consider writing a college essay on pizza, you might use Carolina’s paper as a good pizza essay example to borrow ideas. However, it is essential to note that this is not the best option as it is already somebody else’s work – no originality.

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