Some of you will be making plans to visit colleges. Many of you will be doing web research on colleges and just about anyone applying to college will need to eventually answer a typical essay question found on most applications “Why are you a good match for ________?” These essays generally have a limited word or character count and must be concise and clear.
Here are a few tips to help:
Academic Departments 1. Know the academic departments in which you are interested. These vary and set each college apart from one another. Find the uniqueness in faculty, course offerings and available resources. Understand what appeals to you and why you are applying. Why is a specific academic department a good fit for you, how can you reach your goals and be an asset?
Be An Asset 2. Be clear about how you can contribute in meaningful ways. Perhaps you want to continue a project you worked on in high school or at a previous college. How will you integrate life on campus with events in the surrounding community? Admission officers like students who will contribute to life on campus and enrich their community.
Understand The Mission 3. The mission statement of each college is a unique statement that explains the basic philosophy of that school. Demonstrate an understanding of it and how it ties in with your beliefs. If you are a match for that college, it is important that you communicate that point.
Show Your Passion 4. Your sincerity and desire to attend that university must come through in your writing. If you plan on attending if admitted, say so, Demonstrate excitement about specifics about that college that appeal to you. Remember not to be vague and just mention generalities about reputation, faculty or yearly events. Your detail will show admission officers that you have carefully researched their college and are sincere about your intent to be part of their school. Use specific examples that demonstrate you understand what makes that college unique and why you are a good match. If you have visited, state that and don’t tell them things they already know like that they have a great faculty or a beautiful campus.
The Students 5. Try to stay current and read the campus newspaper. Students are writing about hot topics and it’s a great way to learn about the goings on on campus. You should demonstrate your knowledge about what is going on outside the classroom as well as inside. Write about how you would like to be active on campus through clubs, organizations and internships. Your spirit should shine through so those reading your application will know you will add value to their college. Be explicit, sincere and detail oriented in your response and your essay will be more impressive.
This is one essay that cannot be duplicated in any way for any other college. Do homework on each college on your list and make sure you distinguish specifically what a particular college can offer you and why you fit.
Following these essay tips will differentiate you from other applicants and help make you a strong candidate for the colleges where you choose to apply.