On average, an admission counselor will spend about three to five minutes reading a college essay, according to a 2014 USA Today article. So a well-written college essay is vitally important. Because an admissions counselor is often very detail-oriented, the essay should draw his or her attention. Provide information about yourself that goes beyond the standard facts that are covered in other areas of the application. This is the time to show the admission counselor what makes you unique from other applicants who may have your same test scores, GPA, etc.