How to Write "Why This College" Essay

How to Write "Why This College" Essay
Table of Contents
  1. How to Write "Why This College" Essay
  2. What Colleges Get Out Of Reading Your "Why This College" Essay
  3. I. Common Mistakes Students Make on the “Why This College” Essay
  4. II. Types of "Why This College" Essay
  5. Writing a Good College Essay
  6. 1. Always write directly
  7. 2. Don't retell the information you read on the school site
  8. 3. Make a detailed research
  9. 4. Write about yourself
  10. 5. Start a college essay with a good thesis statement
  11. 6. Create an outline for the college essay
  12. 7. Make a visit to schools you are planning to attend
  13. 8. Make a list of interests and passions
  14. 9. Revise the completed work thoroughly
  15. 10. Re-read requirements before submitting your college essay
  16. Professional Assistance in Making an Excellent Essay
  17. Essay Samples
  18. 1. Why Penn “Why this College” Essay Example (The essay that Worked)
  19. 2. Why New York University “Why this College” Essay Example that Worked
  20. 3. Why Washington “Why this College” Essay Example (The Essay that Worked)
  21. 4. Why Swarthmore “Why this College” Essay Example that Worked

When students apply to the school, they have to write their admissions essays. It is a paper to tell college admission officers of the university about their personal characteristics as well as explain why they want to study here. Needless to say, it's quite important to write a good supplemental essay to impress officers with an awesome document. Many students may have difficulties with writing the application essay. We created this useful guide to help every student to get approved on the campus of their dream and get the desired education and learn cons of homework.

Writing a supplemental application requires specific resources like good skills, enough time, patience, and ability to put important things in the short essay. Every student spends hours and days in search of every single useful prompt to help him/her achieve the dream as well as lots of them do need help with making their admissions papers. Our talented writing team provides them with online help. You can ask our college homework help service to write your a paper for the specific university ANY college admission will enjoy.

What Colleges Get Out Of Reading Your "Why This College" Essay

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

1. 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?

2. 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?

3. 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?

I. Common Mistakes Students Make on the “Why This College” Essay


1.  DO NOT write about the establishment's size, location, reputation, weather etc.

Why shouldn’t you do this? Because that's what many other students are writing about and you don’t want to blend in. Check out Swarthmore College’s prompt:

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

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

2. DO NOT 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: “I can see myself rooting for the Wildcats at MetLife Stadium on Sundays.” - the Wildcats play neither at MetLife Stadium nor on Sundays. Also, the “I can see myself in...” is a cliché of the "Why this College" essay. Avoid it too.

3. DO NOT write about traditions the college 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.” 

4. DO NOT cite relentlessly the brochures or the website. 

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 hand, 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.”

5. DO NOT think of this as only "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:

In order to prove you and the school are destined to be together, make connections between the two of you.


II. Types of "Why This College" Essay 


The "why this college" essay is best thought of as a back and forth between you and the college. This means that your essay will really be answering two separate, albeit related, questions:

  1. "Why us?" - This is where you explain what makes the school special in your eyes, what attracted you to it, what kind of education you are willing to get and what you think you'll get out of your experience there.
  2. "Why you?" - This is the part where you talk about why you'll fit in at the school, what qualities/skills/talents/abilities you'll contribute to student life, and how your future will be impacted by the school and its opportunities.

1.  "Why Us" Essay Prompts

You can recognize this version of the prompt from phrases such as the following:

  • Why are you interested in this college?
  • Why is this college a good choice for you?
  • What do you like best about this college?
  • Why do you want to attend this college?

Examples of factual "why us" college essay prompts:

  • "We would like to know more about your interest in NYU. What motivated you to apply to NYU? Why have you applied or expressed interest in a particular campus, school, college, program, and or area of study? If you have applied to more than one, please also tell us why you are interested in these additional areas of study or campuses. We want to understand—Why NYU?" 
  • "Which aspects of the Tufts undergraduate experience prompt your application? In short, 'Why Tufts?'"
  • "When choosing a college community, you are choosing a place where you believe that you can live, learn, and flourish. Generations of inspiring women have thrived in the Wellesley community, and we want to know what aspects of this community inspire you to consider Wellesley. We know that there are more than 100 reasons to choose Wellesley, but the 'Wellesley 100' is a good place to start. Visit The Wellesley 100 and let us know, in two well-developed paragraphs, which two items most attract, inspire, or energize you and why. (Not-so-secret tip: The 'why' matters to us.)"
  • "Please describe why you are interested in attending Tulane University (optional)."
  • "Describe the unique qualities that attract you to the specific undergraduate College or School (including preferred admission and dual degree programs) to which you are applying at the University of Michigan. How would that curriculum support your interests?"

2. "Why You?" Essay Prompts

This type of prompt turns the tables slightly, asking something along the lines of the following:

  • Why are you a good match/fit for us?
  • What are your interests and how will you pursue them at this college?
  • What do you want to study and how will that correspond to our program?
  • What or how will you contribute?
  • Why you at this college?
  • Why are you applying to this college?

Examples of the "why you" prompts of the college essay:

  • "Life is a collection of moments, some random, some significant. Right now, you are applying to Babson College. What moment led you here?"
  • "Generations of students have found connection and meaning in Bowdoin's 'The Offer of the College.' ... Which line from the Offer resonates most with you? Optional: The Offer represents Bowdoin's values. Please reflect on the line you selected and how it has meaning to you."
  • "At Brown, you will learn as much from your peers outside the classroom as in academic spaces. How will you contribute to the Brown community?"
  • "Why do you want to join the Colorado College community, and how do you think you will contribute to it?"
  • "The metro Kalamazoo area is a bustling, thriving community, home to more than 340,000 residents, which is a distinct difference between us and other private institutions. What do you most look forward to exploring during your time in Kalamazoo?"

Writing a Good College Essay

We came up with a detailed guide for those students who want to create a successful paper to apply to the chosen university. Use our tips to make awesome work to impress admissions officers. Remember that you have to explain the question - why you want to select a specific school, what courses attracted you the most, and why you selected the campus from many other colleges. Usually, every school has its own requirements for college essays.

1. Always write directly

Specify what things have attracted you in the school. Admissions officers like interesting topics of papers with successful examples and written in a easy to perceive language. Start your essay by describing your personal characteristics, describe your own goals for the future, and explain the reasons why you want to choose this college.

2. Don't retell the information you read on the school site

There is no need to tell the officers about the awesome school because they know it. Provide readers with examples what impressed you the most, why you like certain courses, and why this college will help you to reach your own goals. Explain in your college essay why you want to attend: the topics you’ll love to learn; enumerate every possible major you dream to have and every kind of class  you’ll love to be involved in.

3. Make a detailed research

Research what kind of programs, activities, and classes the particular school has, learn about science types they study, get acquainted with every professor a college has. Find something interesting that matches your goals. Colleges usually have a detailed description of their programs and activities on their online websites. Students have to demonstrate their interest towards some major or a science in the college essay.

4. Write about yourself

Remember that officers in schools want to read about students but not only about their college. Put an interesting story about yourself at the start of your paper. Describe goals, habits, successful moments, and any other characteristics. Don't write too much, it's better to select the one impressive story to tell. If you're writing about skills, support the document with examples from life to make it interesting. Think of how you can improve the school and make it better with your appearance. Tell about your expectations in the essay. A scholarship essay will be a good example of brainstorming interesting ideas to write about yourself.

5. Start a college essay with a good thesis statement

In fact, a school essay should be divided into three paragraphs: an introduction, the main part, and a conclusion. Feel free to use various online resources to write these important parts of the essay properly. A thesis statement is the main idea of the entire work. Spend time to brainstorm ideas and choose the most interesting topic for your future essay. At the beginning of writing, an applicant has to draw the attention of officers. Keep in mind that nobody will read the paper with a boring statement. We offer our users to use a thesis statement example for argumentative essay. You will be able to make it outstanding then.

6. Create an outline for the college essay

Making an outline is an important part of your work. It is a detailed plan of the paper to help you in creating a successful document. Use various resources and tips on how to create an excellent outline. It will help you to remember all the important things and create a perfect school essay without stress.

7. Make a visit to schools you are planning to attend

If you can, visit a school you're going to apply to. Research its classes, activities, programs, environment, and other interesting aspects. It will help to understand possible benefits and define the interest. If it's impossible to visit a college, find their site on the Internet and take a virtual tour to discover a school. If you plan to connect your career with art, we prepared a list of the best acting schools. We hope, it will help.

8. Make a list of interests and passions

If it's hard to understand what you should write about, create a list of your skills, passions, interests, and things you like to do or learn. Make at least 10 points or more, and then choose just a few to be a part of your college essay. Remember these points must be connected somehow to the particular school. Your main task here is to make a strong connection between abilities and college resources.

9. Revise the completed work thoroughly

When you finished a school essay, proofread it carefully to correct mistakes. Officers won't be interested in documents with errors because they show your unprofessionalism. It's quite important to correct grammar mistakes and misprints to make your paper look excellent and clear. Feel free to use various vocabularies, grammar checkers and programs to edit your texts without stress. Make sure you formatted the entire work properly in accordance with instructions.

10. Re-read requirements before submitting your college essay

Before submitting your paper, make sure you fulfilled it according to the particular instructions. Spend enough time to check every point carefully. The final checking before sending your text to the admission officers will help you to calm down and wait for results with hopes.

Do not have a recommendation letter? Worries no! Prepare it beforehand using our recommendation letter sample. Use one more opportunity to tell more about yourself.

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     Essay Samples


1. Why Penn “Why this College” Essay Example (The essay that Worked)

  Through our educational years, my fellow students and I were incessantly forced to read books on racism and inequality. The towers of books grudgingly read by the most dedicated students, but mostly left untouched by the general population, always stirred groans of, "Why should we even care, "This was ages ago! Move on!" and my favorite, " Why don't we read about discrimination on whites!" In truth, most of these books had limited domains to choose from: either Hispanic discrimination, African inequality, or if the authors were really unconventional, Indian intolerance. But I felt the same way as everyone else; this stuff doesn't actually exist.

  I grew up differently from all the other children around me. Being a Mexican American, I spent my childhood at religious events, family gatherings that are as far from cookouts as classical music is from reggae, and boasting a closet filled with traditional Mexican dresses that resemble the marvelous triple-decker pastries from, "Cake Boss." But even all these differences never made me truly stand out, because no one knew who I really was.

  My mother, having earned a degree in another country, had neither "legitimate" work experience nor education in America. Always believing in the importance of employment, she began working as a housecleaner. From a young age, I would accompany her and never saw this job as demeaning; I simply thought this was life. Then, one afternoon, while I was making a bed and my mother dusted, a warm, Chanel smelling woman walked in to say hello. She strolled around, noticeably uncomfortable. I eventually made small talk, asked about her pure breed German Shepherds and lost brain cells as I heard about the dog's wedding day. Eventually, the woman shortened the gap between us and asked, almost ashamed, " What are your plans after high school honey?" Though seemingly innocent, I was taken aback by this question. This was a random woman asking me if I had any future plans other than folding her laundry. I simply answered, " College has always been my plan, ma'am," determined to escape the situation. With a sympathetic look, she said, "Good for you. I'm glad you know being Mexican doesn't mean you don't have potential."

  I have never been ashamed of my background, always gladly checking off the Hispanic option on my annual school questionnaire. But if my friends knew my mother cleaned houses, or that my father works as a groundskeeper on the weekends, would I be viewed differently? Would I be prone to the comments and jokes that my dusty books say exist? That afternoon, I realized society still categorized people by race. But instead of letting it restrict me, I decided it was up to me to define myself. I let that feeling of degradation empower me to become someone great, someone not defined by race.


2. Why New York University “Why this College” Essay Example that Worked

  My two passions in life drew me to New York University. While some of my fellow high school classmates looked for a campus close to home, others chose the freedom of being far away. Some looked for specific programs of study like pharmacy or law enforcement. Others just followed their friends. I, however, chose New York University because it is the only school in New York where a student can play in a jazz band and also fly airplanes, the two overwhelming passions of my life.

  I have been playing the trumpet since I was seven years old. My uncle had an old horn, which he let me fool around with when I was a child. I still have that trumpet and have learned to play it pretty well. The School of Arts’ jazz program and classes are both strong academically and allow students to perform with other musicians. I plan to continue following this passion here at NYU as a minor and then as a life-long hobby.

  My other passion, Aviation, is what I want to major in at NYU and then find work in that field. I want to fly but I also want to understand the business and management areas of Aviation. One day, I hope to manage airport operations at one of New York’s major airports. Only New York University could offer me the chance to fly an airplane, learn about airport operations, and at the same time make music with my trumpet.

  I believe that I would be a worthy student of the New York University. I did well in high school and I have completed 29 credits. I belong to the flying club and perform with the school’s Jazz ensemble. Also, with the help of one of my music professors, I have organized a group of student musicians and we go to nursing homes in Queens to perform old favorite jazz numbers for the senior residents. Seeing the smiles and clapping and singing along by people who are my grandmother’s age makes me feel that I am really helping those people to have a better quality of life.

  I am a student who is proud to be a New York citizen and will continue to contribute to the quality of student life. I plan to be a leader in the flying club and the jazz ensemble and eventually in student government, where one of my main goals would be to increase the number of paid internships for students. I myself plan to intern at Kennedy airport or with one of the airlines such as Jet Blue. When the managers there see how hard I work, how focused I am, and how well educated I have become, they will not only want me to continue working with them, they will also want more interns and full-time workers who study at or have graduated from the New York University.

The essay worked cause the applicant precisely and accurately described the following of the college admissions “favourites”:

  1. Reasons you selected New York University.
  2. Reason(s) you feel that you should be part of the University.
  3. Benefits you’ve received from any community service experience.
  4. Contributions you feel you can make as a NYU student.

3. Why Washington “Why this College” Essay Example (The Essay that Worked)

  Psst! I have a confession to make. I have a shoe fetish. Everyone around me seems to underestimate the statement a simple pair of shoes can make. To me, though, the shoes I wear are not merely covering for the two feet on which I tread, but a reflection of who I am.

  So, who am I? Why don’t you look down at my feet? I could be wearing my highplatform sandals— my confidence, my leadership, my I-want-to-be-tall-even-though-I’m-not shoes. My toes are free in these sandals and wiggle at will. Much like my feet in my sandals, I don’t like being restricted. I have boundless energy that must not go to waste! Or maybe I’m wearing my furry pink pig slippers. I wear these on crisp winter nights when I’m home spending time with my family.

  My slippers are my comforting side. I can wear them and listen to a friend cry for hours on end. My favorite pair of shoes, however, are my bright red Dr. Martens. They’re my individuality, my enthusiasm, my laughter, my love of risk-taking. No one else I know has them. When I don’t feel like drawing attention to my feet or, for that matter, to myself, I wear my gym shoes. These sneakers render me indistinguishable from others and thereby allow me to be independent. I wear them running, riding my bicycle alone through the trails surrounded by signs of autumn, and even when I go to a museum and stand, transfixed by a single photograph. My hiking boots typify my love of adventure and being outdoors. Broken in and molded to the shape of my foot, when wearing them I feel in touch with my surroundings.

  During college I intend to add to my collection yet another closet full of colorful clodhoppers. For each aspect of my personality I discover or enhance through my college experiences, I will find a pair of shoes to reflect it. Perhaps a pair of Naot sandals for my Jewish Studies class or one black shoe and one white when learning about the Chinese culture and its belief in yin and yang. As I get to know myself and my goals grow nearer, my collection will expand.

  By the time I’m through with college, I will be ready to take a big step. Ready for a change, I believe I’ll need only one pair after this point. The shoes will be both fun and comfortable; I’ll be able to wear them when I am at work and when I return home. A combination of every shoe in my collection, these shoes will embody each aspect of my personality in a single footstep. No longer will I have a separate pair for each quirk and quality. This one pair will say it all. It will be evidence of my self-awareness and maturity. Sure, I’ll keep a few favorites for old times’ sake. I’ll lace up the old red shoes when I’m feeling rambunctious, when I feel that familiar, teenage surge of energy and remember the girl who wore them: a young girl with the potential to grow.

  I am entering college a naïve, teenage bundle of energy, independence, and motivation. My closet full of shoes mirrors my array of interests, and at the same time my difficulty in choosing a single interest that will satisfy me for the rest of my life. I want to leave college with direction, having pinpointed a single interest to pursue that will add texture and meaning to my life.

  So there you have it. I’ve told you about who I am, what I enjoy, and what I want from college. Want to know more? Come walk a day in my shoes.


4. Why Swarthmore “Why this College” Essay Example that Worked

  I hesitated on the ground for only a moment before sprinting to the huddle. Through the light drizzle on artificially bright Astroturf, a mist rose from my teammates - the product of fourth quarter determination and weeks of preparation. I took my place behind a tackle and steadied my breathing as the linebacker began to boom out orders. “Third and eleven, fifty-two bobcat, ready…hit!” My legs twitched, my eyes focused, and the ball snapped. Ripping to the outside, I saw my opportunity: the quarterback was only two steps away. This tackle is mine. I will sack the quarterback. Suddenly, I was flying towards the ground.

  My body hit the ground with a sickening thud as the enemy completed his pass for a first down. I had been blindsided. This time there was no hesitation; I pushed off the ground and regrouped with my teammates thirteen yards closer to my end zone. I should have anticipated the trap; I had almost cost my team the game. Physical pain paled in comparison to my mental anguish. As formations came in via linebacker, the other defensive end gave me a fraternal thump on my pads.

  I broke out of the huddle and my chagrin hardened into resolve. Thoughts of how much we had all sacrificed brought our August practices abruptly to my mind. How many times did we take respite in grilling burgers or floating down the river after an especially grueling practice? Strong left, strong left. Again I locked eyes with an opposing tight end, our faces equally grim and determined. My body calmed, a smooth anticipation prepared me to test and break my limits.

  “Down, green nineteen, green nineteen, set, hit!” boomed the rival quarterback, his red #7 jersey a matador to my bull. The center’s arm twitched and I fired into my man—the sort of collision that makes mothers shudder and dads grin. Again, I fought to the outside, but it came too easy. Years of drills turned technique into instinct and I could almost hear Coach’s familiar words, “That’s it, fight pressure. Don’t let him set the pace.” Almost without meaning to, I spun around and now faced a somewhat surprised running back.

  In a split second, we were two gladiators, sizing each other up and feeling only the rhythmic beat of an excited heart. He stepped right and my cleat mirrored his, the few yards still between us crumbling away. As I moved closer, his dark eyes and furrowed expression became distinguishable and infused me with renewed determination to make the play. He faked left, opening his arm to me. Seizing my opportunity for redemption, I drove into his hips with a gratifying CRACK! Together, we hit the ground - a perfect tackle.

  It was a few moments before I heard the roar of the crowd, an orchestra of excitement brought alive with air horns, stomping feet, and whistling. I regained my footing to see the teammate who had bolstered me moments before, now carrying the ball down the field. I had caused a fumble! Sprinting after the ball, I caught up with my brothers in the end zone and jubilantly joined them in celebration. As we jogged off the field I could not help but look around at my teammates, my family - “the wrecking crew.”