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Tips for a Stellar College Application Essay

Why Do Colleges Want You to Write a
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Telling Your Story to Colleges

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This website uses Google Analytics to collect anonymous information such as the number of visitors to the site, and the most popular pages. There are two cookie types that you may encounter on comedy-festival. It may sound like a chore, and it will certainly take a substantial amount of work.

But it's also a unique opportunity that can make a difference at decision time. Admissions committees put the most weight on your high school grades and your test scores.

However, selective colleges receive applications from many worthy students with similar scores and grades—too many to admit. You have a unique background, interests and personality. This is your chance to tell your story or at least part of it. The best way to tell your story is to write a personal, thoughtful essay about something that has meaning for you. Be honest and genuine, and your unique qualities will shine through. Admissions officers have to read an unbelievable number of college essays, most of which are forgettable.

Many students try to sound smart rather than sounding like themselves. Others write about a subject that they don't care about, but that they think will impress admissions officers.

You don't need to have started your own business or have spent the summer hiking the Appalachian Trail. Colleges are simply looking for thoughtful, motivated students who will add something to the first-year class. It could be an experience, a person, a book—anything that has had an impact on your life.

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 to make yourself sound sincere and committed. 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 a re 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.

And third, 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 in a couple of key ways:. 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 fallbacks. Writing the "why us" essay can act as a moment of clarity.

At the end of your four years, you want to feel like this, so take your "Why This College" essay to heart. Want to write the perfect college application essay? Get professional help from PrepScholar. Your dedicated PrepScholar Admissions counselor 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 have a unique essay that you'll proudly submit to your top choice colleges. Don't leave your college application to chance. Find out more about PrepScholar Admissions now: This means that your essay will really be answering two separate, albeit related, questions:.

If the prompt instead is mostly configured as "why you? Your reasons for wanting to apply to a particular school can be made to 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 X, 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 school, too.

Check out the Gandalf seminar on repelling Balrogs—super easy A. Tell me all about 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. 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 student there? In this section, we'll go through the process of writing the "Why 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 and 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 actual "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. Bring a notepad and write down the following: 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! 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 been like.

As always, take notes! 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.

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