Costco Essay: Top tips for writing

When applying for admission to join the top universities in the world then you will need something to make you stand out. Common app essay or personal statement is the right tool to use in order to give you that advantage. You might have come across the famous Costco essay that earned Brittney Stinson acceptance to the world top universities.

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What is the purpose of common app essay? It is an essay that gives you an opportunity to show who you are beyond your classroom grades, scores or even extracurricular activities.  Admission committees need to know you at a personal level. Costco common app essay gives you that opportunity to express yourself.

Small universities have high acceptance rate due to lack of competition. In these cases, writing the Costco essay is not necessary. On the other hand, the renowned universities like Yale you will have to get creative and fight for that space. Read this guide on top tips for writing Costco essay to get the upper hand you need.

Costco essay explained

Costco essay is an essay written by Brittany Stinson, a student seeking university admission. It describes her experience with Costco shops since when she was young. Her description in the essay was unique. It revealed her personality and defined who she was. She related her teenage explorations in the shop with her strengths and personal qualities. In her essay she showed how those qualities impacted her interest in studies. Brittney’s essay went viral and got offers from five best world universities. That is Yale, Stanford, Pennsylvania University, Cornell, Dartmouth and Columbia.

What made the Costco essay a success?

The key to the essay’s success was that Brittney Stinson understood the purpose and the goal of her essay. She knew that she had to convince the admission committee that she was special.

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Good topic

Stinson’s take on her personal experience was special. She revealed herself to the admission committee through her life long experience with Costco.

It is wise to write about how smart, ambitious, hardworking, or all the good staff you have. Unfortunately, all these will not guarantee you an admission. Think of how many people write the good things about themselves.  For your common app essay to be considered, it has to be special. Write about what you love to do and do not worry of the consequence.

Nice underlying theme

Brittany combined her adventures and her personality growth. The Costco theme expressed her as a determined explorer who can resist the basic urges to acquire more knowledge.


Another amazing thing in the Costco girl essay was the use of tone. It is serious but humorous at the same time. The combination of the two styles made her essay stand out.

Tips for writing Costco essay

Take note that it is not compulsory to write about Costco. You can borrow her creativity and write your own.

Using the Costco essay sample won’t be a good idea, it is an already written essay. It is done! The format will feel repetitive. Write your own unique essay.

So how can you create an assignment and still be special?


Use your own personal experience, avoid using someone else’s ideas. Look at your experiences in a different angle. Do not present a Costco essay that no one will remember after 10 minutes.  Make it captivating. Remember this essay is the only thing that will make you stand out from other applicants.

Precise expressions

Use figurative language. This is because figurative language gives you the freedom to express yourself. You should provide the admission committee the feeling that they will know you by reading the essay. By doing these you are creating a story that can be felt.

Do not over do

Go through your Costco essay and ensure that your personal experiences have some relation to the academic spheres. Put in mind that it’s a Costco college essay not just something you want to send to your friend on how the holidays were. It is an essay that is supposed to give you priority over other applicants.

Do not lie

Exaggeration of any kind will do you no good. It is not a script, be basic and truthful. Write on who you are not what you wish to be. If by any chance you are chosen, you will not have a difficult time pretending to be someone you are not.

Be bold and unapologetic

Confidence is the key.  Show determination through you own words. Try as much to prove to the panel that you deserve to be picked.

Proof read

Go through you essay and eliminate any grammatical or spelling mistakes.  Spelling and grammatical errors are a letdown in these situations. It gives negative impression of who you are.

Costco Essay

Why and why not Costco college essay may not be good model

It is ideal for applicants to read the Costco essay. It is a brilliant example of how powerful and effective personal statements can be. It also shows you how common app essays should look like. See how the Costco girl used language complexity to her own advantage.

On the other hand, many successful personal statements focus on more serious topics. Topics that deal with money, work, social class and other heavier topics. The dilemma and confusion of what topic to write will certainly arise.  

To navigate around this, trust in yourself and your limits. Read college essay about Costco and try to comprehend. Figure out why it was accepted, compare with you own ideas that you have in mind and grasp that idea. If you do not find something worthwhile look other successful samples. Internalize the ideas and come up with your own unique ideas. If you are overwhelmed by the samples, stop and concentrate on your own ideas.

Final thought

To sum it up, there are no particular rules concerning the common app essays. You only need to introduce yourself, showcase your qualities, achievements and strengths.  Do not exaggerate but let the admission committee know you. Let them into your personal ‘space’. Combine your background and present it well.

Do not limit yourself on a particular topic. Personal statements are broad you can write about anything you feel is relevant.

Still stuck?

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