Tips for Writing a Winning College Application Essay
College Essays. Sample personal essays you think you were all done pouring out your blood, how do i write a college essay, and tears in written extra curricular activities examples for your personal statementonly to be faced with the "why this college" supplemental essay?
This question might seem simple but is in fact a crucial and potentially tricky part of many college applications. What exactly is the "why us" essay trying to understand about you? And how do you answer this question without falling into its many pitfalls or making any rookie mistakes?
In this article, I'll explain why colleges want you to be able to explain why you are applying. I'll also discuss how to generate and brainstorm topics for this question and how the college guy make yourself sound sincere and committed. Finally, we'll go over some "why this school" essay do's and don'ts. College admissions officers collegd to read an incredible amount of student work to how do i write a college essay together a winning class, so trust me when I say that everything they ask you to write is meaningful and important.
The purpose of the "why us" essay goes two ways. On the one hand, seeing how you answer this question gives admissions officers a sense of whether you know and value their school. On the other hand, having to verbalize why you are applying gives you the chance to think about what you want to get out of your college experience, and whether your target schools fit your goals and aspirations. Hod, they want to see that you have a sense of what makes this college different and special.
And colpege, they want to see that this school will, in turn, be a good fit for you. Throughout this process of articulating your answers to the questions above, you will also benefit xo a couple of key ways:. Finding hpw programs and opportunities at schools you are already happy about will give you a grounded sense of direction for when you start school.
At the same time, by describing what is great about schools that are low on your list, you'll likely boost your enthusiasm for these colleges and keep yourself from feeling that they're nothing more than lackluster essaay.
Writing the "why us" essay can act as a moment of clarity. It's possible that you won't be able to come up with any reasons for applying to a particular school. If the more research you do wdite more you see that x won't fit, this might be a good indicator that this school is not for you. At the end of your four years, you want to feel like this, so take hod "Why This College" essay to heart. Want to write the perfect college application essay?
Get professional help from PrepScholar. Your dedicated PrepScholar Admissions wrote will craft your perfect college essay, from the ground up. We'll learn your background and interests, brainstorm essay topics, and walk you through the essay drafting process, step-by-step. At the end, you'll essaj a unique essay that you'll proudly submit to your top choice edsay. Don't leave your college application to chance. Find out more about PrepScholar Admissions now :. The "why this college" essay is best thought of as a back and forth between you and the college.
This means that your essay will really be answering two separate, albeit related, questions:. Colleges usually use one of these approaches to frame this essay, meaning that your essay will lean heavier toward whichever question is favored in the prompt.
For example, if the prompt is all about "why us? If the wfite instead is mostly configured as "why you? It's good to hos that these two prompts are simply two sides of the same coin. Your reasons for wanting to apply to a particular school can be made collegs fit either of these questions. For instance, say you really want the chance to learn from the world-famous Professor X. A "why us" essay might dwell on how amazing an opportunity studying with him would be for you, and how he anchors the Telepathy department.
Meanwhile, a "why you" essay would point out that your own academic telepathy credentials and future career goals make you an ideal student to learn from Professor Essqy, a renowned master of the field. Next up, I'll show you some real-life examples of what these two different approaches to the same prompt look like. I hear the Rings of Power Department is really strong at that esssy, too.
Check out the Gandalf seminar on repelling Balrogs—super easy A. Tell me all about Sure, Ultimate Frisbee is cool, Whitman College. But when I get to campus, I'm starting a quidditch league. No matter how the prompt is worded, this essay is a give-and-take of what you and the college have to offer each other.
Your job is to quickly zoom in on your main points and use both precision and detail to sound sincere, excited, and authentic. How do you effectively explain what benefits you see this particular school providing for you, and what pluses you will bring to the table as a colleve there? And how can you do this coloege using the small amount bow space that you have usually just one to two paragraphs?
In this section, we'll go through the process of writing the wirte This College" essay, step by step. First, I'll talk about the prep work you'll need to do.
Next, we'll go through how to brainstorm good topics writee touch on what topics to avoid. I'll give you some tips on transforming your ideas and research into an actual essay. Finally, I'll take apart an colleye "Why Us" essay to show you why and how it works. Before you can write about a school, you'll need to know specific things that make it stand out and appeal to you and your interests.
So where do you look for these? And how do you find the detail that will speak to you? Here are some ways you can learn more about a school. If you're going on college toursyou've got the perfect opportunity to gather information about the school.
Bring a notepad and write down the following:. Try to also connect with students or faculty while you're there. If you visit a class, note which class it is and who teaches it.
See whether you can briefly chat up a student e. Don't forget to write down the answer! Trust uow, you'll forget it otherwise—especially if you do this on multiple college visits. You can also connect with students without visiting the campus in person. Many admissions websites list contact information for currently enrolled students you can email to ask one or two questions about what their experience of the school has cillege like.
Wgite if you know what department, sport, or activity you're interested in, you can ask the admissions office to wrrite you in essy with a student who is involved with that particular interest. Soon, fully immersive VR campus tours will let you play in Minecraft arite, in which you just build each school from scratch, brick by brick. If you have an interviewask your interviewer questions about his or her experience at the school and about what going to that school has done for him or her since graduation.
As always, take notes! If you have a chance to go to a college fair where your target college has representatives, don't just come and pick up a brochure. Engage the reps in conversation and ask them about what they think makes the school unique so you can jot down notes on any interesting details they tell you.
Colleges publish lots and lots of different kinds of things—and all of these will be useful for your research. Here are some suggestions for what you can use. You should be able to find all of the following resources online. Read the mission statement of the school—does its educational philosophy align with yours? You should also read through its catalogs.
Pro Tip: These interesting features you find should be unusual in some way or different from what other schools offer. For example, being fascinated with colelge English department isn't going to cut it unless you can discuss its unusual focus, collegw world-renowned professors, or the different way it structures the major that appeals to you specifically. Are any professors highlighted? Does their research speak to you or connect with a project you did in high school or for an extracurricular?
Sometimes alumni magazines will highlight a college's new focus or new expansion. Does the construction of a new engineering school relate to your intended major? There might also be some columns or letters written by alumni that talk about what it's meant to them to go to this particular school. What stands out about their experiences? Students write about the hot issues of the day, which means that the articles will be about the best and worst things on campus. It'll also give you insight into student life, what jow are available to students, what you can do off campus, and so on.
Your target school is most likely on FacebookTwitterInstagramand other social media. Follow the school to see what it's posting about. Any exciting new campus developments? Professors writing about yourself example the news? Interesting events, clubs, or activities?
Wikipedia is a great resource for learning basic details about a college's history, traditions, and values. I also recommend looking for forums on College Confidential that specifically deal with the school you're researching. Another option is to search on Google for interesting phrases, such as "What students dollege think about [School Name]" or "[School Name] student forum.
So what should you do now that you've completed a bunch of research? Answer: use it to develop connection points between you and your target school. These connections will be howw skeleton of your "why this college" essay.
You have on hand all kinds of information, from your own personal experiences on campus, to your conversations with people affiliated with your target school, to what you've learned from campus publications, to tidbits gleaned from the web.
Tips for Writing a Winning College Application Essay
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Read and learn for free about the following article: Writing tips and techniques for your college essay. The essay is the most important part of a college appllication, see sample essays perfect for applying to schools in the US. Tips for a Stellar College Application Essay. Write about something that's important to you. Don't just recount—reflect! Being funny is tough. Start early and write several drafts. No repeats. Answer the question being asked. Have at least one other person edit your essay. Test Your College Knowledge.