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Essay Writing Tips: WHY THIS COLLEGE


Articles by page:

1-2 “Why Me?/Why Them?” Essays

3 “Why this college?” Worksheet

4-6 Why this college? Common Supplemental Question

7-9 College Essay Sample- Why You Are Interested in Applying

10-12 College Essay Sample- Intellectual Interests/Why this college?

13-14 Why School X is my Top Choice School Worksheet

15-16 Writing the Why This School Essay

17-18 How to write a “Why Us” Essay

19-22 Why this college? Tips from Essay Hell

23-30 Tips from College Essay Guy

“Why Me?/Why Them?” Essays
Write one “Why Me?” essay that:


  • Tells them what you are going to bring to the party

  • Tells them how you will enrich the college community

  • Lets them understand what you think you will contribute to life at the college

  • Explains activities and interests from high school that you intend to continue pursuing in college

  • In essence, explains why selecting you will help them


Write a “Why them?” essay for each school that you are applying to that::

  • Explains why that college is a good “fit” for you

  • Shows them that you have done your homework on the college website

  • Names specific courses and/or professors of interest

  • Describes your academic interests in some depth

  • Describes extracurricular activities at the college that match your interests

  • Talks about a variety of the characteristics from the College Match Meter that are “pluses” for you at that college


Tips and Strategies for answering the “Why This College?” Question

When responding to the “Why this college?” question, it is important to convey that you are not just applying for the sake of applying – they want students that want them. Colleges care about “yield,” which is the percentage of students that actually choose to attend the college, out of the total number offered admission. Yields vary greatly between colleges. So, when admission officers are evaluating your application, they look for signs of interest. They want an indication that you will accept the offer if you get admitted.



  • This is where the work you’ve already done on your College Fit Worksheet comes in particularly handy. Go back and take a look at the courses you identified and the clubs and extracurricular activities you listed. Explain why the college is a good fit for you.

  • Be specific. Show your knowledge of the college. Talk about quirky college rituals and traditions, name college courses and professors. Show them you’ve done your homework and know a lot about the college; courses, activities, study abroad, majors, internships, etc.

  • Reference your campus visit if you’ve made one. Describe how you felt and what you learned.

  • Show how you can contribute to the college campus and the student body. So instead of saying, “I want to join X club,” write, “I hope to contribute my experience on the debate team to X club.”

  • Make paragraphs snappy. Have a strong, catchy intro. Use metaphors.

  • Focus on why the college stands out to you and how you can stand out in their college community.

  • Identify two college courses that pique your interest and jot down some words as to why you would be excited to take them. Find out the names of the professors and see if they’ve written any books or articles of interest.

  • Write a little about what you do in your spare time; i.e., what clubs and organizations would you plan to join. How are these clubs related to what you did in high school?

  • Write a little about your involvement in community service. Research service opportunities at the college and discuss what you’d like to continue doing or get involved in.

  • Write about what excites you about attending the college.

  • Incorporate the “Why Me?” into your essay: what will you bring to their college campus? How will you enrich the college community?

  • Focus on what experiences, interests, talents, skills and enthusiasm you bring with you.

  • In essence, explain why selecting YOU will help them.


Why this college?” Worksheet
Name of college:
Academic Fit
What subjects are you interested in? Why?
Identify two majors and an upper level course in each major. Write why you are interested in taking these courses. Do a little digging on the professor to see if he/she has written any interesting articles, spoken at any conferences, etc.

Identify one minor and an upper level course. Write why you are interested in taking this course.


Check and see if the college has any certificate programs, Centers or interdisciplinary programs that are appealing to you.

Check out the Freshman Seminar topics (if possible) and pick one that interests you, why?


Research the study abroad options if that interests you and write where you’d like to go and why?

Social Fit
What will you do with your free time?

Check out the list of Student Activities/Clubs/Organizations – pick two or three that interest you, why?

Do you plan on continuing any of the activities you’ve done in high school in college? If so, which ones and why?

Research the community service opportunities. What activities would you do? Why?

How will you enrich the college community? What will you contribute?

What excites you the most about attending this college?



Why This College? Common Supplemental Essay Question
Good Sample Essay and Bad Sample Essay

The supplemental essay for college admissions can be a stumbling point for a lot of applicants. Many students put significant time into their longer personal statement but then rush off the shorter supplemental section of the application.


The application to Duke University's Trinity College offers applicants the opportunity to write a supplemental essay that answers the following question: If you are applying to Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, please discuss why you consider Duke a good match for you. Is there something in particular at Duke that attracts you? Please limit your response to one or two paragraphs.
The question asked here is typical of many supplemental essays. Essentially, the admissions folks want to know why their school is of particular interest to you. Such questions often generate a lot of remarkably bland essays. The example below is one example of what not to do. A typical result is something like this weak supplemental essay.
I believe the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences at Duke is an excellent match for me. I believe college should not be merely a gateway to the work force; it should educate the student in a variety of subjects and prepare him or her for the range of challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in life. I have always been a curious person and enjoy reading all kinds of literature and nonfiction. In high school I excelled in history, English, AP psychology, and other liberal arts subjects. I have not yet decided on a major, but when I do, it will almost certainly be in the liberal arts, such as history or political science. I know that Trinity College is very strong in these areas. But regardless of my major, I want to receive a broad education that spans a variety of areas in the liberal arts, so that I will graduate as not only a viable job prospect, but also as a well-rounded and learned adult who can make diverse and valuable contributions to my community. I believe Duke’s Trinity College will help me grow and become that kind of person.
A bad essay such as this example never discusses features that are unique to Duke. A good essay gets specific and shows particular knowledge of the school.
The strong essay below was written in response to the same essay prompt. Essentially, the admissions folks want to know why their school is of particular interest to you.
When I visited the Duke campus last fall, I immediately felt at home. The Gothic architecture and tree-shaded walks created an atmosphere of peaceful but serious reflection. The place is at once Southern—which, as an Alabamian, is important to me—and universal as it reflects the traditions of Europe and the classical world. The Trinity College liberal arts curriculum also reflects this unique pairing of the modern South and the global past. For example, I am considering a major in history, and am very interested in the combination of geographic and thematic areas of study offered by Duke’s history program. The combinations of areas offer seeming endless areas of specialization. One interesting possibility is a focus in the geographic area of the U.S. and Canada, combined with a thematic study of Women and Gender or African Diaspora. By juxtaposing and intertwining these two foci, my understanding of the American South—and much more—would be greatly enriched. This innovative and flexible approach to both traditional and non-traditional subject matter is greatly appealing to me. I know by reputation and from a friend currently enrolled in Trinity College that the liberal arts curriculum is very challenging, but also rewarding. I believe I am more than prepared for these challenges, and that I will thrive in this climate. Duke University’s campus already feels like home; I believe that its academic opportunities will also provide a stimulating environment in which I feel I belong.
Think about the prompt. The admissions officers want to know if there is something "in particular at Duke" that makes the applicant want to go there. The strong sample essay succeeds on this front. Although the essay is just a paragraph long, the author presents three specific features of Duke that make her want to attend:
• The attractive campus with its Gothic and Southern appeal

• The flexible nature of the history curriculum

• The fact that she has a friend at Duke
This last point doesn't matter much in the admissions process and the writer was correct to mention it only indirectly.
The first point has moderate importance. Many colleges have impressive Gothic architecture, so the feature isn't unique to Duke. However, the writer connects the campus to her own Southerness. She also demonstrates that she has visited the campus, something that is not true of many applicants who haphazardly apply to a long list of prestigious schools.
The second point about the history curriculum is key to this essay's success. This applicant knows what lies beneath the university's surface. She has clearly researched the curriculum. She is not applying to Duke simply because of its beauty or its reputation, but because she likes how the university approaches learning.
Admissions officers will certainly take note of the fact that this applicant has done some research and has thoughtful reasons for wanting to attend Duke.
Why This College – Bad Example
Circle the errors
As a diligent ,and self conscious individual I feel that my academic potential is at unique heights, and being accepted to the _________________will only increase that prospective. Through my four years of high school, I have worked with my hardest effort, and striven for achievement, success, and difference.
Ever since I was young my dream has been to become a doctor, and I believe that _________________________will help me become a well rounded, educated, and social/attentive pediatrician. I have been taking medical classes through my years of high school, including: Biomedical Technology, Medical Science one, and Medical Science two honors. Through these classes I have been exposed to much more information making me want to become a doctor. I wish to take as many medical classes such as biology, genetics, and other subjects pertaining to the field I want to go into in the future.

Being a student, I have always striven for greater than what I expected. In my 9th grade class I was recommended not to be in honors English. Despite the doubt that my teacher possessed I continued through my high school career partaking in many honors and AP classes; and did succeed in them. In life I have dedicated myself to being the best I can be. The atmosphere at _______________________ I believe is the perfect environment for the growth of my academic success and my sociality. With my elevated standards, in and out of school I feel that as a student I can excel, and be all that is expected of me, and maybe more.


My goals outside of school not only consist becoming a better athlete and a better person to society. I set goals for myself, which enable me to grow as a genuine person. As a child I started dancing, ranging from traditional from hip-hop. I learned to be thankful for the value of setting good goals for myself. My dance choreographer made an everlasting impression on me by filling my head with positive morals, perseverance, and confidence. I am proud to say that I have been dancing for 12 years, and still am continuing. I am glad I had dance to help me inspire me positive values that can stand the test of time. On a daily basis I make use of these moral to better myself as much as I can.
Every wrong doing, every obstacle, every little mistake I have ever made has only made me a stronger person, because it taught me what is right or wrong. I attribute my devotion to being the best I can be, to Dnace, and the morals instilled in me from dance. I want to be a productive person in society, a person who makes a difference, and furthering my education at ________________________is the next step to making that process successful.

College Essay Sample- Why You Are Interested in Applying
Tip: This student wrote the essay below when colleges asked her to explain her interest in attending those schools. She modified it for different colleges by researching each school's respective music programs and academic departments, and then substituting the relevant college-specific information into the essay below. As a result, she minimized the amount of time she spent writing these essays, while ensuring each was individually tailored to the right college. (*This type of essay is similar to the Intellectual Interests essay that answers why a student is applying to a particular college, as it too conveys how the student's intellectual interests will be cultivated at that college rather than blandly recycling the college's own appealing qualities. However, there are rare situations in which a college may ask for a student to describe his/her intellectual interests while also asking why he/she is interested in attending that college. In such instances, it  is recommended that the student write about his/her intellectual interests for the first question and about how these interests can be cultivated at that college for the second question.)

Performing is the one thing I never tire of, and seeing others perform is like settling into a second home. I always look forward to diving headfirst into a new play or learning a new song and, quite often, it is the one thing that will get me out of bed in the morning after a long week. My parents tease that I spend more time in theaters, whether rehearsing for school musicals or viewing small shows downtown, than in my own bedroom. Now, after years of community theater, voice lessons, and acting classes, I want to be a part of this professional world myself.

Northwestern University’s Music Theater Certificate Program is outstanding and hardly rivaled in its comprehensiveness and intensity. What is most exciting is a student’s ability to participate in many shows throughout the year, from Main Stage extravaganzas to small student-directed plays to the lively Children's Theatre Tour. Combining the voice and opera program with the theater program assures that a Musical Theater student would be able to participate in a wide array of performance activities, from Shakespeare to Sondheim. Here, the staff and students understand that Musical Theater devotees would be just as excited performing Bus Stop by William Inge as they would be tackling a role like Irena in The Three Sisters. In my ambitious theater fantasies, I’m playing Fanny Brice in Funny Girl and belting out D’s, and next Vivie in Mrs. Warren’s Profession. Northwestern’s program encourages students to explore every facet of theater, promoting the importance of being not only knowledgeable, but also exceptionally competent in every aspect as well.

As someone who has been dancing since before she could pronounce en pointe, I know how important it is to experience a wide range of dance classes, and I feel a surge of excitement at the idea of taking courses that range from modern to tap to ballet. Such a wide spectrum is present in the acting curriculum, as well, with classes spanning from Shakespeare to Modern Drama. This assures that all students graduate with the ability to digest a piece of material from any style and era, and make it their own.

What is also thrilling is that, because this is not a conservatory, I would also have the ability to explore my other passion, psychology. My interest in psychology was piqued in middle school, as I wondered how the brain could be powerful enough to orchestrate the functions of the entire body. But what came to intrigue me more was discovering what happens when the brain does not work perfectly. My obsession with asylums and the mentally ill came on quickly and continues to have an inexplicable hold over me. My paperback copy of Mad in America: The Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill is so worn I fear it will fall apart in my hands. I can list the treatments and drugs used in asylums during almost any century. My friends find it terribly bizarre, but I someday hope to thrive in courses on clinical psychology and psychopathology.

At Northwestern, I would strive to become even more multifaceted and knowledgeable. In very few places can one encounter a program that focuses on all these facets, from singing to Shakespeare to psychosis. I can imagine myself thriving at Northwestern, knee-deep in coursework and loving every minute of it.



Tip: The above essay was modified below to answer another application's question that also asked her why she wanted to attend, this time to a program with different qualities. Only the parts highlighted in yellow have been modified.

Performing is the one thing I never tire of, and seeing others perform is like settling into a second home. I always look forward to diving headfirst into a new play or learning a new song and, quite often, it is the one thing that will get me out of bed in the morning after a long week. My parents tease that I spend more time in theaters, whether rehearsing for school musicals or viewing small shows downtown, than in my own bedroom. Now, after years of community theater, voice lessons, and acting classes, I want to be a part of this professional world myself.



The Musical Theater department of the University of Michigan's school of Music, Theater, and Dance is outstanding and hardly rivaled in its comprehensiveness and intensity. What is most exciting is a student’s ability to participate in many shows throughout the year, from enormous extravaganzas to small student-directed plays. Here, the staff and students understand that Musical Theater devotees would be just as excited performing Bus Stop by William Inge as they would be tackling a role like Irena in The Three Sisters. In my ambitious theater fantasies, I’m playing Fanny Brice in Funny Girl and belting out D’s, and next Vivie in Mrs. Warren’s Profession. Michigan’s program encourages students to explore every facet of theater, promoting the importance of being not only knowledgeable, but also exceptionally competent in every aspect as well.

As someone who has been dancing since before she could pronounce en pointe, I know how important it is to experience a wide range of dance classes, and I feel a surge of excitement at the idea of taking courses that range from modern to tap to ballet. Such a wide spectrum is present in the acting curriculum, as well, with classes spanning from Shakespeare to Modern Drama. This assures that all students graduate with the ability to digest a piece of material from any style and era, and make it their own.

What is also thrilling is that, because this is not a conservatory, I would also have the ability to explore my other passion, psychology. My interest in psychology was piqued in middle school, as I wondered how the brain could be powerful enough to orchestrate the functions of the entire body. But what came to intrigue me more was discovering what happens when the brain does not work perfectly. My obsession with asylums and the mentally ill came on quickly and continues to have an inexplicable hold over me. My paperback copy of Mad in America: The Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill is so worn I fear it will fall apart in my hands. I can list the treatments and drugs used in asylums during almost any century. My friends find it terribly bizarre, but I someday hope to thrive in courses on clinical psychology and psychopathology.

At Michigan, I would strive to become even more multifaceted and knowledgeable. In very few places can one encounter a program that focuses on all these facets, from singing to Shakespeare to psychosis. I can imagine myself thriving at Michigan, knee-deep in coursework and loving every minute of it.



College Essay Sample- Intellectual Interests/Why this college?

Tip: (Intellectual Interests) This student wrote the essay below when colleges asked her to describe what she wants to study in college. She also used it in modified form for such questions as, "Who are your favorite authors?" and "Which of your personal qualities or passions do you value most?" The key is to interpret the questions creatively and apply them to your own personal characteristics.
Words are precious to me, which is why I find writing this essay so challenging and so exhilarating. I take pride in my own words, choosing them with such scrutiny. Words are one of the most potent forms of expression. Their power is sometimes abused and often taken for granted by society and individuals. But in the end, they are what make humanity so special. In fact, the 1452 invention of the mass distribution of words through the printing press led the History Channel to just name Johannes Gutenberg the most influential man in modern history.
I don’t have a favorite word, but I do have favorite phrases. I love certain clichés forbidden in essays but uttered liberally by my mom’s friend Carol, who tells me, “You’re a chip off the old block, dear,” when I repeat my mom’s guacamole recipe by heart. And I feel a deep connection to the more elegant expressions of poets like Robert Frost who in his “Directive” wrote, “And if you’re lost enough to find yourself / By now, pull in your ladder road / And put a sign up CLOSED to all but me.” The words of writers like E.B. White, Harper Lee, J.D. Salinger, and Virginia Woolf also move me. I love White’s tale for all ages dressed up in the children’s book Charlotte’s Web. I love Lee’s simple storytelling technique that subtly weaves important lessons of empathy into To Kill a Mocking Bird. I love Salinger’s informal, blunt style and colloquial dialogue in Catcher in the Rye. And I love Woolf’s personal tone in her controversial ideas of women novelists in A Room of One’s Own. These authors have encouraged me to find my own voice, which I experiment with through creative writing and journaling. My words are passionate, and the catharsis and clarity that writing brings about for me are among the most powerful things I know.
The powerful expression gained from words is easily taken for granted. I did not truly appreciate it until a couple of years ago when the ability to fully explain myself was obstructed by a foreign language barrier. I have always been a linguistic connoisseur. My love of French led me to Corsica in the summer of my freshman year. I simply stared into my friend Philo’s eyes, stuttering to explain the full depth of my sad state after hearing the tragic story she had just told me. I had understood what she’d said in French but could not express to her my feelings. Two days later I realized that I needed to push myself to truly speak French fluently if I ever hoped to penetrate this lingual wall. My passion for this melodious Romance language has left me yearning to learn and absorb Spanish and Italian language and culture, too.
Language and written documents allow us to learn about history, another one of my passions. The words and biases in primary and secondary sources throughout history transfer different information to future generations. History depends on words, the right words. Other subjects like psychology study how words are an external manifestation of our inner beings—after all, the way words translate and sometimes misrepresent our thoughts and feelings is at the essence of our intellectual and emotional nature.

Tip: (Intellectual Interests, plus how these interests will be cultivated by the college's own academic program and any general aspects of the school's non-academic attributes that appeal to you) This student used her Intellectual Interests essay at the top of this page as her foundation for various essays, like the sample below. When a college asks why you want to attend that school, rather than simply recycle a college's brochure, you will find that it is far more advantageous to share your own intellectual interests and show how that college will be able to cultivate those interests. You can then mention anything else about the college that intrigues you, including its social aspects or anything you experienced during a campus visit.

The parts highlighted in yellow below were added to the foundational essay above. These parts were later substituted with similar information about other colleges that this student applied to, allowing her to personalize the essay for each college, while minimizing the amount of writing she had to do.

Words are precious to me. After all, words are the medium for conveying my passion for University X, a special place I very much hope to find myself for the next four years.



[Second paragraph removed.]

My own intellectual passions and aspirations have revolved around words and the broader theme of expression, and I find that University X embodies and promotes these interests. When I visited your campus this September, I was struck by the expressiveness of the students. They not only were eagerly socializing with one another, but also were exceptionally excited to share their ideas with me about the school. While the community’s excitement and warmth were infectious, I also loved the Independent Study option, specifically the emphasis on written, oral, and performance requirements.

University X’s diverse student body mirrors my experience growing up in New York City, hearing different manners of speech, unique accents, and colorful words.  I don’t have a favorite word, per se, but I do have favorite phrases. I love certain clichés forbidden in essays but uttered liberally by my mom’s friend Carol, who tells me, “You’re a chip off the old block, dear,” when I repeat my mom’s guacamole recipe by heart. And I feel a deep connection to the more elegant expressions of poets like Robert Frost who in his “Directive” wrote, “And if you’re lost enough to find yourself / By now, pull in your ladder road / And put a sign up CLOSED to all but me."

I was so impressed with University X’s English department and believe that the wide range of course options, especially “Literature, Gender, and Sexuality” (which expands upon the ideas discussed in my current English class on 20th century female literature), will foster my developing ideas.  The words of writers like E.B. White, Harper Lee, J.D. Salinger, and Virginia Woolf also move me. I love White’s tale for all ages dressed up in the children’s book Charlotte’s Web. I love Lee’s simple storytelling technique that subtly weaves important lessons of empathy into To Kill a Mocking Bird. I love Salinger’s informal, blunt style and colloquial dialogue in Catcher in the Rye. And I love Woolf’s personal tone in her controversial ideas of women novelists in A Room of One’s Own. These authors have encouraged me to find my own voice, which I experiment with through creative writing and journaling. My words are passionate, and the catharsis and clarity that writing brings about for me are among the most powerful things I know.  I would love to enhance my skills in University X’s esteemed creative writing program, taking advantage of the study abroad writing opportunity, as well.
Experiencing other cultures, after all, is incredibly important to me. In fact, I did not truly appreciate the powerful expression gained from words until a couple of years ago when the ability to fully explain myself was obstructed by a foreign language barrier. I have always been a linguistic connoisseur. My love of French led me to Corsica in the summer of my freshman year. I simply stared into my friend Philo’s eyes, stuttering to explain the full depth of my sad state after hearing the tragic story she had just told me. I had understood what she’d said in French but could not convey to her my feelings. Two days later I realized that I needed to push myself to truly speak French fluently if I ever hoped to penetrate this lingual wall. My excitement for this melodious Romance language has left me yearning to learn and absorb Spanish and Italian language and culture,  and I will have this opportunity through University X’s various abroad options, like the “University X Program in Barcelona,” and the many courses in your French and Italian programs.
Language and written documents also allow us to learn about history, another one of my passions. The words and biases in primary and secondary sources throughout history transfer different information to future generations. History depends on words, the right words. Other fields like psychology study how words are an external manifestation of our inner beings—the way words translate and sometimes misrepresent our thoughts and feelings is in many ways at the essence of our intellectual and emotional nature.  University X’s History and Psychology Departments are replete with stimulating courses that address the modern mass media machine and its sweeping global impact on the way we live and perceive ourselves. It’s all about communication, whether intimate or international.
University X’s supportive community and extensive academic offerings would cultivate not just my personal but also my intellectual development. Ironically, despite my commitment to self-expression, I cannot begin to convey how enthusiastic I am about the prospect of joining University X’s incoming class next fall.

Why School X is my Top Choice School Worksheet

Fill each blank with NAMES you find on the college’s website. Use lots of proper nouns in your essay, so the college sees that you have done your research and that you know the two of you are a great match.

College

Major 1


Major 2

Cool projects the department has recently done

Classes to take

Unique academic programs

Interesting faculty #1

Interesting faculty #2

Name of Study Abroad Program/Country

Academic club to join

Community service club to join

School spirit / athletics club to join

Setting / environment

Local opportunities

Cool factor about the campus

Award winning or notable facility or resource

Academic environment /competitive?

Admissions representative for my area

Can I INTERVIEW?

Writing the Why This School? Essay Written by Lisa Bleich.

Each school that participates in the Common Application has the ability to request supplemental essays ranging from a short answer (150 words) to a longer essay (500 words, or in some cases no limit). The most common supplemental essay questions are the “Why school?” and “Why academic interest(s)?” This essay is a chance for you to make the match between your interests and talents and the school’s offerings.



Many admissions professionals say that they read the “Why school?” essay first. They want to see if you as an applicant truly know why you want to attend the school other than its excellent reputation, outstanding location, or world-renowned faculty. So how do you do this? 

Start with your interests, goals, and school criteria. Depending on how much room is allowed, it’s good to start out with an anecdote that helps admissions counselors understand what is driving you in your school search or your academic interests. Do you want a school that will allow you to pursue engineering and music? Do you want a college with a nurturing environment where you can get to know your professors and do undergraduate research in marine biology? The more specific, the better.

Describe how you will pursue your academic interests at a given school. Even if you do not know what you want to major in, you can identify some areas of interest and why. One student described how she became interested in environmental engineering through her involvement with the energy committee at Model UN. She combined her strength in math and science with her interest in creating sustainable energy solutions. She then identified specific courses and programs at each school that would help her achieve her goal.

One of the programs that really caught my interest is the interdisciplinary Global Change Curriculum.  I am intrigued by the topics listed in this curriculum, such as climate change and human impact to the environment. In particular, I would want to use my math and analytical skills in classes such as Environmental Informatics: GIS and Modeling Program. The Environmental Informatics curriculum emphasizes the science and societal issues behind environmental problems, which would allow me to dig deeper into this field of study.

Avoid sounding like a brochure. I often ask students to do the brochure test. If it looks like what you wrote came straight out of the college’s brochure or website, then go back to the drawing board. You and your interests, goals, etc. need to be front and center in this essay.

Do your research. And don’t half-ass it! The more time you spend researching specific courses, professor’s areas of research, undergraduate research opportunities, specific clubs that match with your interest, study abroad opportunities and internships the more you will be able to plan out your journey at the school. The most compelling Why School/Why Academic Interest essays help admissions see you making your mark at their school in a very specific way.

Make it personal. If you’ve visited the school or spoken to current students, admissions counselors, or professors, infuse those experiences into the essay. It’s great to tie in those encounters to why they made you interested in the school or why they helped you confirm the match.

Do the substitute test. Can you substitute another college into the essay without any issues? If so, you have not been specific enough. While the template can stay more or less the same, the specific courses, research projects, clubs, etc, are unique to each school.

After you write these essays, you should be genuinely excited about the school because you (and hopefully admissions!) see what a great match it is!



How to Write a "Why Us" Essay
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