BestColleges Student Voices Submission Guidelines

If you have a story to tell, learn what the process looks like and how to write it.
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Updated on April 10, 2023
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If you have any questions about our submission guidelines, the pitch process, or writing for BestColleges, please email

If you have something to say about your college experience, we want to hear it — and pay you to write about it.

BestColleges Student Voices features essays from real college students on their experiences, challenges, and successes. If you want to see your story on the site, what should your submission look like?

The Basics

Student Voices essays are ~1,000-word, first-person stories on students' academic journeys, life lessons, health experiences, and more. Here are some examples of stand-out student stories we've published:

BestColleges values stories that are inclusive and conscious of diverse students' experiences (see our Editorial Policy for more). Our Conscious Language Guide details how we use language to help all students feel supported.

Tone of Voice

Your essay will be in your voice, but it still needs to meet BestColleges' standards. Our editors will take a quick look at your piece to help your writing shine, but here's how you can ensure your writing's up to snuff:

  • Be engaging: Write in natural, everyday language that's easy to understand. (Tip: Think the opposite of a class essay.)
  • Be actionable: If you have tips for the student reader, lay them out in clear, actionable steps.
  • Be authentic: We aren't all doom and gloom, but we are honest about the college experience — even if it means identifying hard truths about potential obstacles.
  • Be trustworthy: Your experience should be the centerpiece of your essay, but if there's a bigger picture you want to speak to, use authoritative sources to back you up. (Example: Using trustworthy data sources, like the government or expert organizations.)


When writing your essay, try to keep your paragraphs short — about 1-4 sentences each — and your draft free of grammatical errors. This ensures your piece is readable for the typical student visiting the site.

Try incorporating headers to break up different sections and ideas, like in this Student Voices essay. Also, if you have accompanying pictures that help tell your story, include them in your draft. (Make sure the image size is at least 1400px wide by 500px high.)


Before submitting your Student Voices pitch, make sure you meet the following criteria:

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    You're a current student or recent graduate
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    You attend(ed) a two- or four-year college or university, bootcamp, or trade school in the U.S.
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    You can fill out an I-9 form and pass a background check

If you’re a student with a story to tell, and you meet the eligibility criteria, please send us a pitch using this form. We look forward to working with you!

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