What are your chances of acceptance?

Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
Duke University
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

How to Write Cornell’s Essay for The Brooks School

This article was written based on the information and opinions presented by Mariana Goldlust in a CollegeVine livestream. You can watch the full livestream for more info.


What’s Covered: 



Understanding the differences between the colleges at Cornell is essential when applying. Certain schools may have additional essay prompts, and you should tailor your essay to what the college has to offer. Read our post about how to write the Cornell essays for more information. 


The Cornell Brooks School of Public Policy’s Essay Prompt


The supplemental essay prompt for the Cornell Brooks School of Public Policy asks:, 


Why are you drawn to studying public policy? Drawing on your experiences, tell us about why you are interested in your chosen major and how attending the Brooks School will help you achieve your life goals. (650 words)


Although this prompt is practically a “why major” prompt, this essay still requires a fair amount of research into the school and reflection about whether or not the Brooks school is the right fit for you.



For a policy-specific education, the Brooks School is a great option. However, if your interests are broader, you may want to consider other departments that have a wider focus. 


Political Science, for example, offers a social science perspective on policy issues. Alternatively, Cornell’s School of Industrial Relations offers similar coursework, with a community of students that are actively involved in government-based organizations. Cornell also offers a Policy and Management major in the School of Human Ecology.


If you are still having trouble finding the right school for your interests, check out CollegeVine’s list of 7 Things to Consider When Choosing a College Major


Questions to Consider When Brainstorming


In this essay, applicants should focus on their genuine reasons for deciding on this major and how they will positively use an education in public policy to better themselves and their communities. Here are some questions to consider as you write your essay:. 


  • Why are you interested in public policy?
  • What issues energize you and how do they relate to studies at the Brooks school? 
  • How does the Brooks school align with your career goals? 
  • How will you give back to your community? 


It’s always best to illustrate your answer for the reader through your background and anecdotes, rather than just explaining that you have an interest. Use your experiences to your benefit while writing this essay to “show, not tell” the admissions officer why your values align with those of the Brooks school. 


For more tips on answering this question, check out CollegeVine’s Guide to Writing the “Why This Major?” Essay