The horrible "Why Yale/Brown/Swarthmore/etc" essay

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Discus: College Admissions: 2002 - 2003 Archive: November 2003 Archive: The horrible "Why Yale/Brown/Swarthmore/etc" essay
By Thecritic22 (Thecritic22) on Wednesday, November 12, 2003 - 01:39 pm: Edit

Ugh. I'm sick of seeing the "Why Swarthmore" "Why Brown" essays. Any ideas for writing one that isn't cliche and boring? What are they looking for in this essay?!

By Jamimom (Jamimom) on Wednesday, November 12, 2003 - 02:23 pm: Edit

They are looking to see your interest in their school, how you would fit in their school and what you would contribute to their school. They are also looking to see how much time and thought you have given to going to their school. This is a very important essay and should be carefully done. It is probably examined more carefully than the longer essays that the admissions officers are pretty sure have been edited, proofread, rewritten, possibly bought by others. Though colleges have stressed the essay, I don't think they are so naive to believe that these essays are too often redone by parents, teachers, tutors, etc. They do look very carefully at the shorter essays because they can give an excellent picture of the interest the kid has in their school and how much research and thought he has given to going there.
You need to put yourself into that college and see where and how you would fit and contribute. If you have visited, than key in on the things you really liked there. Otherwise study the video the descriptions and ask "what would I like there? What would I do there? What would I change there?" GW's app asks a series of questions on how the applicant discovered the school, who he has contacted and spoken to at the school, what he likes about the school and what he did when he visited the school. That gives you some idea what colleges want to know in that more general "why"? question. This is really your chance to sell yourself to the school.

By Thecritic22 (Thecritic22) on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 01:56 am: Edit

Do they care if it's in the standard form "These are the reasons i love and can see myself at your school" essay

By Jamimom (Jamimom) on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 12:20 pm: Edit

You can be a little more creative than that, I hope. Otherwise you might want to rethink your school list...

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