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For example: instead of writing that you’re a hard worker, explain that you would thrive in the school’s small, discussion-based class setting.Remember though, “fitting in” doesn’t mean you can’t break the status quo.
It won’t be necessary for you to include every item on your list in your essay, but you’d be surprised how simply writing down your thoughts can help you write a more authentic and comprehensive response.
This essay question is your chance to show that you’ve done some serious research on the school (on that note: if you haven’t already, you should take some time to research the school! So, don’t just write that you admire their Global Politics program — explain why you admire the professors in the program, that you’re excited to study abroad with your classmates, and that you’re intrigued by the required undergraduate thesis.
First and foremost, it’s important to get your thoughts down on paper.
Jot down a list of all the reasons you like the school, from the biggest (maybe the school has a renowned degree program that interests you) to the smallest (delicious cookies in the dining hall, or great school colors).
Imagine an admissions officer, at the end of a long day’s work, getting ready to digest his or her 37th “why this college? Picking up your essay, the officer learns that you want to attend their school because it is “great” and “has a stellar reputation.” Yawns ensue.
After being reminded for the 37th time today of their school’s ranking, they take another sip of coffee and move on to the next file.
While supplemental essays may ask you anything from “What makes you happy?
” (Tufts) to analyzing a Kermit the Frog quote (Dartmouth…seriously), the most important question in this section will, in some form, ask you to explain why school is the perfect postsecondary home for you. ” essay, in whatever permutation, lulls students into spewing clichés, empty hyperbolic proclamations, and other vapid, “let me just fill up this space” commentary.
It’s easy to play it super-safe and get sucked-into the clichés and tropes of the “Why Us? In the end you may produce a competent essay, but at a school with a single-digit admit rate, just about everyone will have produced something competent.
To gain an admissions edge, you need to transcend competent blandness. In a competitive environment with more losers than winners (think of Stanford’s 5% or Columbia’s 7% admission rates), blending in with the pack isn’t going to add value to your candidacy.