How to Write the “Why This College” Essay
The “Why This College” essay is a vital part of the college application process and it can have a huge effect on the success of your application. This essay is one of your first chances to make an impression on the admission panel and show a bit of your personality while also letting them know that you’re a great fit for their institution and their college is exactly what you need to succeed in life. Find out how to write the perfect “Why This College” essay with these do’s and don’ts of writing!
Do: Prove Why You’re Made for Each Other
When working on your “Why This College” essay, always keep in mind the main objective of your writing. You need to not only prove that the college will make the right choice by accepting you, but also demonstrate the value of the college for your life and academic success. A good way to work on this stage of the essay is to divide a paper into two columns and write the things you want in one column and the things the college can offer in another column. Wherever these two columns meet, make a not to include this information in your essay.
Don’t: Be Too Obvious
Half of the students applying to the same college will write about the school’s reputation, size, location, or even the weather. Being among those students won’t do your chances any favor: it’s hard to stand out when you share views with thousands of other applicants. Don’t make the reviewing officer read the same facts for the 100th time – when you finish your essay, go over it once again and remove everything that could be said by another student.
Do: Be Sincere
When you’re listing the ways the school can benefit your academic success, it’s too easy to be too formal. Instead of simply retelling the facts of how the college will get you further in life and career, try to add a personal touch to each fact. For example, instead of saying that you’re interested in studying professional writing, tell the officer that you’ve been dreaming of becoming a journalist and getting a degree in professional writing from their college is the one thing that can help you achieve that dream.
Don’t: Be Overly Emotional
Writing a “Why This College” essay like your whole life depends on it isn’t a good strategy. You don’t want to seem desperate in your essay or make it look like you operate purely on emotions. Being personal in your essay is fine, but you also need to remember that it’s a professional setting and the reviewers will be looking for professional qualities in your writing.
Do: Research Thoroughly
Colleges can’t help but like who have done a lot of research prior to writing their “Why This College” essays. Including facts about the college that are not too easy to find and are relevant to your aspirations and achievements is a surefire way to let the officer know that you are truly interested in being accepted and you’re not afraid of hard work.
Don’t: Mix up Facts
One of the worst mistakes you can make when working on the “Why This College” essay is providing wrong information about the college. Just imagine how disappointed or even offended the officer is going to be if you mix up the college mascot, colors, professors, or another essential pieces of data. The college may suspect that you’re applying to more than one institution, but you don’t need to rub their faces in this fact by including false information in your essay.
Do: Be Specific
To write a convincing “Why This College” essay, you can’t just tell the officer which subjects you want to study and where you see yourself in the future. You need to closely connect your experience and aspirations to what the college has to offer. If you’re interested in a particular class, name the professor you’re hoping to work with during your years at the college. If you have athletic ambitions, mention how you can be a valuable addition to their sports team. This information not only proves you’ve made your research, but also helps you once again state your value to the college.
Don’t: Repeat The Words of Others
Every college has brochures or online articles about their school, its history, important facts, and plans. The last thing the admission board wants to hear is a retelling their own brochure. There is a big chance that the person reading your essay had either helped to write the articles or read them more than once, and they have little to no desire to go over it again. They can easily tell when you’re simply retelling the information in your own words, and it’s not going to make a positive impact on the success of your application.
Do: Show Initiative
The admission officer needs to know they’re making the right choice by accepting you as a student, and the “Why This College” essay is the ideal way to demonstrate your skills that can be valuable for the college during the course of your studies. One of those skills is organization. If you look at the college structure and realize it’s missing something, don’t be afraid to suggest founding the missing activity to the officer. That way they will not only know that you’re determined to become a student at this institution, but will also see your organizational skills applied in real life.