Why this School Essay Examples, Everything you Need to Know : Current School News

Why this School Essay Examples, Everything you Need to Know

Filed in Education by on March 25, 2022

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Why this School: The “Why this School” or “Why Us” essay is somehow complicated to some students. This is among the brain tease questions colleges and Universities ask at the entrance and once you miss the points needed that’s how you forfeit your chance.

Why this School Essay Examples,

Right here I will make it easy for you by telling you why these schools ask that question as an essay topic and how you can overcome it. I will explain a whole lot of things in regards to this article, there are as follows:

The purpose of the “Why us?” or “Why this college” essay is to demonstrate–through specific details and examples–why you’re a great match for a particular school. In some cases, the “Why us?” essay is an important way to demonstrate an interest in a particular college.

The “Why this college?” essay, and variations of this prompt, also happens to be one of the most popular supplemental essay questions asked of students on the college application.

Why this School Essay: Why Do Colleges Ask This Question?

I mentioned above that this is one of the most important essays you’ll write—and that almost every college wants you to write it.

But why? What’s the significance of this question?

In reading your response, colleges are hoping to determine:

  • Whether you truly know and have an interest in their school
  • Whether you’ll be a good fit for the school
  • Whether the school is a good fit for you

Are You Interested?

Sure, the fact that you’re filling out the application indicates some level of interest in the school.

  • But many students apply to schools simply because they recognize the name, know the school has a great reputation, or even have been pushed in that direction by friends or family members.

Colleges only accept a limited number of students, and they want to admit students who have a genuine interest in and commitment to their school.

  • Do you know what makes this college stand out from others?
  • Do you know about the opportunities and experiences this school can offer?
  • Are you aware of the school’s values, culture, and traditions?
  • Have you already spent time picturing yourself here? Are you excited about this possibility?

As you write this essay, aim to demonstrate your knowledge and enthusiasm for the school in question.

Are You a Good Fit for the School?

As they read your essays, college admissions officers try to picture you on their campus.

  • Will you fit in and thrive there?
  • What contributions will you make to their college and community?
  • Do your interests mesh well with the school’s strengths?
  • Is your personality a good fit for the school’s culture and values?

Help the admissions team imagine you as someone who would happily thrive at their school, making positive contributions to campus.

Is the School a Good Fit for You?

Not only do you need to be a good fit for the school, but the school needs to be a good fit for you as well.

  • What are your academic and career goals? Can this school help you achieve them?
  • Will you be successful at this school? Is the rigor and approach to learning a good fit for you?
  • What academic programs, research or internship opportunities, classes, extracurricular activities, and so on will you take advantage of and participate in?

Show that the school you’re applying to have the resources to help you achieve academic and career success.

How to Recognize the “Why This College” Question

Of course, this essay won’t be labeled “Why This College” on applications. You’ll have to be able to recognize it in a variety of forms.

There are two different angles colleges might use to approach this question: “Why us?” and “Why you?”

  • Why us? Here, you’ll express enthusiasm for the school and its opportunities and culture. What will you get out of attending this school?
  • Why you? In this case, the focus is on the contributions you’ll make to campus and the skills, background, and talents that make you a good fit.

Although these approaches are slightly different, you can include similar information in your answers to both prompt types.

For instance, let’s say you’re really excited about a particular program offered by the university.

  • If the university’s asking, “Why us?” you might focus on what an amazing opportunity participating in this program would be, and why you’re so excited about it. You could explain how the program would help you achieve your future goals.
  • For a “Why you?” essay, you might describe how your background, experiences, and abilities make you a perfect fit for the program. You could also discuss how your future goals make you someone who would benefit from and take advantage of this program.

Let’s take a look at what these two different approaches look like.

Examples of “Why This College?” Prompts

In some cases, the college will literally ask you, “Why [college name here]?” making this prompt very easy to identify.

Alternatively, they might ask you:

  • What do you like best about our university?
  • Why are you interested in our school?
  • Why do you want to go to our college?
  • What aspects of our college most excite you?

Some examples:

  • “Why Brown?” – Brown University
  • “Please tell us what you value most about Columbia and why.” – Columbia University
  • “What are the top five reasons you want to be a Hokie?” – Virginia Tech
  • “Please submit one page, single-spaced essay that explains why you have chosen Carnegie Mellon and your particular major(s), department(s) or program(s).” – Carnegie Mellon

Examples of “Why You?” Prompts

Examples of “Why You?” Prompts

These prompts focus more on you, asking questions like:

  • What are your interests or goals and how will you pursue them here?
  • What will you contribute to our school?
  • Why are you a good match/a good fit for us?
  • What do you want to study and how does this fit well with our programs?

Some examples:

No matter how they word it, these schools are asking the classic “Why This College” question.

Why this School Essay: The Purpose Of “Why Us” Essays

You can imagine how many such essays college admission officers have to read. This, in turn, allows you to imagine the amount of effort that they invest in putting together a splendid class. This is why you should apply the same effort to make sure that you only put meaningful information into your essay.

As one may guess, the purpose of “why this college” essays partially dubs the goal of personal statements. On the one hand, the admission board wants to know how well-informed you are about the school – so that they knew how well you are prepared for what comes next.

On the other hand, they want to know about your expectations from their school – to know whether or not they meet your expectations and whether or not you should seek a more fitting place to realize your aspirations.

If we go into a little more detail, we can list three factors to which your reader will pay attention:

  1. What makes this college so appealing to you? In general, this may involve the school’s rich history, outstanding values, a mission that you feel inspired to follow, etc. In particular, you are expected to know about their specific approach to the academic process. Needless, to say, you also need to express your approval of all of the above.
  2. What traits make you a perfect fit for the school’s requirements and traditions? This involves your areas of interest, which may include your hobbies, and how they accord to the school’s activities. In other words, they want to know how you expect to contribute to the school – not only academically, but also in terms of campus life.
  3. Whether or not this particular school is the right choice. As we have mentioned, the admission board also wants to know about your expectations and what you want to get out of your school years to see whether or not they can meet these expectations.
  4. Their specific approach to studies is involved here, and applicants need to be confident that it will allow them to succeed academically. This, however, includes not only studies per se but also all sorts of extracurricular activities, including those that may be beneficial for the applicants’ future careers. The admission officers would like to make sure that their school is precisely what students are looking for.

As you answer these questions, it will provide more in-depth insight and other benefits not only to your reader but also to yourself. First of all, researching for your essay will let you know more about the school and what awaits you there. Moreover, you will obviously want to sound excited as you describe it all in writing.

By doing so, you will build up your optimism, which is essential to a splendid start of your studies there. Secondly, you will ensure that you are making the right choice by applying to this particular college.

You will know exactly what to do as soon as you set your foot on campus. There is also a chance, however, that you will not find this school particularly exciting and wisely choose to apply to a place that fits your aspirations better.

Six Common Mistakes Students Make On the “Why This College” Essay

Mistake One: Writing about the school’s size, location, reputation, weather, or ranking.

Why shouldn’t you do this? Because that’s what many other students are writing about and you don’t want to blend in. Take a hint from Emory University, whose “Why us?” prompt used to read:

Many students decide to apply to Emory University based on our size, location, reputation, and yes, the weather. Besides these valid reasons as a possible college choice, why is Emory University a particularly good match for you?

Or check out Georgia Tech’s prompt:

Beyond rankings, location, and athletics, why are you interested in attending Georgia Tech? 

Clearly their admissions readers are tired of reading about those things.

Mistake Two: Simply using emotional language to demonstrate fit

Telling the school that you walked onto campus and “it just felt right” is a) something else a lot of students say and b) doesn’t the reader understand how a good match for the school is. And, for that matter, neither does the statement, “I can see myself rooting for the Wildcats at MetLife Stadium on Sundays.”

Mistake Three: Screwing up the mascot, stadium, team colors or names of any important people or places on campus

Why avoid this? It’s the quickest way to show you’re a sloppy researcher. In the example above, the Wildcats play neither at MetLife Stadium nor on Sundays. Also, the “I can see myself in [insert school colors here]” is a cliché of the “Why this college” essay. Avoid it too.

Mistake Four: Parroting the brochures or website language

Mistake Four: Parroting the brochures or website language

It could be that the person reading your essay and evaluating your application actually wrote the words you’re copying and pasting.

“On the one hand, it shows that a student has actually researched us and I appreciate that,” says Brian Liechti of Warren Wilson College. “On the other, as one of those people who wrote the words you’re copying, I’d rather see evidence of how what I wrote resonated with you–do we share values? What stood out or spoke to you in that brochure or on that web page? That’s what I really want to see.”

Mistake Five: Describing traditions the school is well-known for

In fact, find out the school’s common traditions (like throwing toast on the field at Penn, for example, or painting the rock at Northwestern) and then don’t write about those things. Why? Everyone and their brother already has. How do you learn these? Google the name of the school and the word “traditions.”

Mistake Six: Thinking of this as only a “Why them” essay

The school knows it’s awesome. “You probably don’t need to tell us about the beautiful Nott Memorial,” says Nicole Buenzli of Union College. “I pass the Nott every day, it’s on every brochure we create, and we all know it has 16 sides!”

Instead, think of this as a “Why we are perfect for each other” essay.

In fact, imagine you’re on a date and the person sitting across from you leans in to ask, “So, why do you like me?” Don’t just say, “Because you’re hot,” or, “My auntie says a relationship with you will improve my job prospects.” When it comes to the “us” in “Why us?” think of it this way:

Do You Know Why Colleges Want You to Write a “Why Us” Essay?

College admissions officers have to read an incredible amount of student work to put together a winning class, so trust me when I say that everything they ask you to write is meaningful and important.

The purpose of the “why us” essay goes two ways. On the one hand, seeing how you answer this question gives admissions officers a sense of whether you know and value their school.

On the other hand, having to verbalize why you are applying gives you the chance to think about what you want to get out of your college experience, and whether your target schools fit your goals and aspirations.

What Colleges Get Out Of Reading Your “Why This College” Essay

Colleges want to check three things when they read this essay.

First, they want to see that you have a sense of what makes this college different and special

  • Do you know something about the school’s mission, history, and/or values?
  • Have you thought about the school’s specific approach to learning?
  • Are you comfortable with the school’s traditions and the overall feel of student life here?

Second, they want proof that you will be a good fit for the school

  • Where do your interests lie? Do they correspond to this school’s strengths?
  • Is there something about you that meshes well with some aspect of the school?
  • How will you contribute to college life? How will you make your mark on campus?

And third, they want to see that this school will, in turn, be a good fit for you.

  • What do you want to get out of college? Will this college be able to provide that? Will this school contribute to your future success?
  • What will you take advantage of on-campus (e.g., academic programs, volunteer/travel opportunities, internships, extracurricular clubs, etc.)?
  • Will you succeed academically? Is this school at the right rigor and pace for your ideal learning environment?

Excellent “Why this School?” Essay Examples

Excellent “Why this School?” Essay Examples

Let’s look at a few examples of stellar “Why This College” essays that worked.

These examples come from students who were accepted to Tufts University.

Depending on the word limit for the colleges you’re applying to, yours may be a bit longer.

Example 1:

I spent my Tufts campus visit in a “Sociology of War and Peace” class. The discussion was rich as ideas were tossed back and forth, comparing and contrasting modern warfare in different regions and cultures.
The dialogue instantly excited me, but when the students I was sitting with invited me to come to lunch with them, to continue talking about the Middle Eastern conflict, I knew that Tufts was the kind of environment I was looking for: an open community that values dialogue, and a campus with a strong intellectual pulse, even outside of the classroom.

-Jesse Ryan ‘21

Here, Jesse mentions a specific course that he was able to visit during a tour of Tufts. He details the discussion he observed in the class, as well as an interaction that followed with Tufts students.

Example 2:

As an artist, I believe that one’s work should reflect the world beyond it. Thus, I’m most attracted to Tufts SMFA’s combination of rigorous artistic study with a challenging liberal arts curriculum at the School of Arts and Sciences.
I want to inform my art-making with in-depth exploration of sociology, justice, and international relations, creating works that comment on global issues–a prospect uniquely possible at Tufts SMFA. With numerous opportunities for combining art and community work on campus and in Boston, the SMFA program shows art isn’t only meant for the classroom; it’s meant for the world.

-Isaac Joon-hyuk Choi ‘21

Isaac’s essay starts by explaining his own personal philosophy as an artist.

Next, he reflects on how a specific program at Tufts perfectly complements this philosophy.

His response shows a deep knowledge of the program he’s interested in, and he even discusses how he will use the skills he acquires in this program in his future art-making.

Example 3:

I vividly remember stepping onto the roof of Tisch Library and seeing a group of kids sitting in hammocks, overlooking the Boston skyline. I briefly tuned out my tour guide’s presentation and began to eavesdrop.
The students covered everything from physics to what they had for lunch that day. When they spoke about physics, they did not speak with pretension; instead they spoke with passion.
Likewise, when they spoke about something as simple as lunch, they did so with witty intrigue. Tufts students are as interesting as they are interested. This description not only resonates with me, it defines me.

Do you now understand why the “Why this School Essay” is required of you? Yes, now that you have full knowledge of everything, you can also share this with your friends to also learn. Thanks for your time.

CSN Team.

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