Creating An Admission Essay: Why Are You Applying?

One of the most dreaded parts of the college application process is writing an admission essay. Each essay must reveal the best qualities of the student. The essay, test scores and the strength of the curriculum are all important factors for the college admissions office. If two applicants are up for a slot at the school, a compelling essay can make a huge difference.

What the College Looks For

When admission officers look over the essay, the first thing they look for is the ability to write well. The essay must flow smoothly and have logical arguments. Additionally, the admissions office wants to learn more about the personality and goals of the applicant. Each school may ask for different essay topics, but one of the most common topics is for students to explain why they are applying.

Answering the "Why Us" Question

Colleges often ask students about their choice in colleges or future career goals. This question is designed to tell the college about the student's future goals and how committed they are to attending a specific college. When asked why the student wants a particular college, students have to clearly explain why this college suits their life goals. Does the college offer an excellent academic program that they need? Is there a mentor that they are looking for at the university? All of these factors can influence the students decision about attending the college. Ideally, the essay should be clearly written and have a strong focus on the student's reason for attending the school.

Possible Pitfalls in the Applicant's Essay

One of the worst problems with answering the "Why Us" question is factual errors. Admissions officers can easily tell which students have adequately researched the college and which students are sending in a cookie cutter essay. If the student says they want to attend the college for an agriculture program that does not exist, the admission officer immediately knows that the student has not thought deeply about their choice.

Researching the College Beforehand

Essentially, students have to research the college, departments and benefits of the school before they write the essay. Writing a fact-based essay to justify their decision helps the admissions office know that the student actually wants to attend. The added research also benefits the student because they may realize that they do not want to attend the school. Either way, researching the school extensively first ensures that the student is able to fulfill whatever choice they make.

While writing the essay, students should make sure to sound knowledgeable about the subject and sincere. Too much flattery in the essay can end up backfiring. If the essay is well-written and knowledgeable, it will increase the chances that the student will be accepted at their school of choice.