Georgia Tech Essay Examples: Breakdown + Analysis

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Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the foremost schools in the country for technology-related majors, such as computer science, engineering, and mathematics. Situated in Atlanta, it has a 21% acceptance rate and ensures real-world experience for its students whether through study abroad or internship opportunities.

 

Georgia Tech requires one supplemental essay, in addition to the CommonApp essay required by all schools. While writing any college essay can be intimidating, admissions officers at Georgia Tech are especially selective. This post features the supplemental essay of an admitted Georgia Tech student and analyzes what techniques you should take from it—and what not to do.

 

Georgia Tech Supplemental Essay Prompt #1

Why do you want to study your chosen major specifically at Georgia Tech? (300 words max)

 

This prompt is asking for a “Why This Major?” essay. With this prompt, college admissions officers are looking for insight on what makes you you, through the lens of your major. It’s good to include things like standout high school accomplishments, passions, and career plans that relate to your intended major. The admissions committee is also looking to see how well you’ll fit in with their student body, so it’s a good idea to mention resources specific to the school you’re applying to and how they’d help you achieve their goals.

 

Georgia Tech Essay Example for Prompt #1

 

I held my breath and hit RUN. Yes! A plump white cat jumped out and began to catch the falling pizzas. Although my Fat Cat project seems simple now, it was the beginning of an enthusiastic passion for computer science. Four years and thousands of hours of programming later, that passion has grown into an intense desire to explore how computer science can serve society. Every day, surrounded by technology that can recognize my face and recommend scarily-specific ads, I’m reminded of Uncle Ben’s advice to a young Spiderman: “with great power comes great responsibility”. Likewise, the need to ensure digital equality has skyrocketed with AI’s far-reaching presence in society; and I believe that digital fairness starts with equality in education.

 

The unique use of threads at the College of Computing perfectly matches my interests in AI and its potential use in education; the path of combined threads on Intelligence and People gives me the rare opportunity to delve deep into both areas. I’m particularly intrigued by the rich sets of both knowledge-based and data-driven intelligence courses, as I believe AI should not only show correlation of events, but also provide insight for why they occur.

 

In my four years as an enthusiastic online English tutor, I’ve worked hard to help students overcome both financial and technological obstacles in hopes of bringing quality education to people from diverse backgrounds. For this reason, I’m extremely excited by the many courses in the People thread that focus on education and human-centered technology. I’d love to explore how to integrate AI technology into the teaching process to make education more available, affordable, and effective for people everywhere. And with the innumerable opportunities that Georgia Tech has to offer, I know that I will be able to go further here than anywhere else.

 

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Overall Comments 

 

This essay flows well. It’s a strong example of the in medias res technique, where you plunge readers into the middle of a story right at the beginning of the essay. The personal anecdote, in addition to quickly engaging the audience, connects directly to the main point of the essay: her love for computer science.

 

This essay also does a great job of answering the prompt. “Threads” are something unique to the College of Computing at Georgia Tech, and the author makes it clear that the path she wants to pursue is only possible through this program. We can also see the author’s personality shine through in this essay. She’s someone who is invested in equality and justice, as evidenced by the reference to Spiderman, her past as an English tutor, and her interest in the People thread.

 

Sectional Comments

 

I held my breath and hit RUN. Yes! A plump white cat jumped out and began to catch the falling pizzas. Although my Fat Cat project seems simple now, it was the beginning of an enthusiastic passion for computer science.

 

The strongest part of this essay is the hook. It captures the attention of the reader and immediately draws them into the story. Yet, still, the reader is left with a desire to know how the anecdote ends; this sets a great flow and general outline for the essay. The descriptive imagery, such as “plump white cat” and “falling pizzas,” helps put the reader in the situation, making them feel as if they are experiencing the game with the author—an example of “show, don’t tell.” Another important aspect of the in medias res technique is how to “zoom out” from the story to the main point of the essay in a way that remains personal to the author. This essay does this very well by tying the computer game into the author’s passion for computer science in the second sentence.

 

I’m particularly intrigued by the rich sets of both knowledge-based and data-driven intelligence courses, as I believe AI should not only show correlation of events, but also provide insight for why they occur.

 

This particular sentence is a great example of clear and concise language. It would have been easy for the author to get lost in writing about the multitude of courses offered at Georgia Tech, but she stayed on topic by tying those courses directly back into AI. 

 

In my four years as an enthusiastic online English tutor, I’ve worked hard to help students overcome both financial and technological obstacles in hopes of bringing quality education to people from diverse backgrounds.

 

This is such an intriguing part of the author’s past, considering English tutors are not necessarily responsible for the financial and technological wellbeing of their students. An extra sentence providing a little more detail here would have been helpful in allowing the reader to better understand how this experience furthered the author’s passion for helping others.

 

Georgia Tech Supplemental Essay Prompt #2

If you feel that your personal or community background can provide additional insight to your application that we have not already seen elsewhere, please take this opportunity to share that information with us. (optional)

This prompt, on the other hand, is very open-ended. You could answer it with a diversity essay, an overcoming challenges essay, or an essay about community service. Your response doesn’t even have to fit any archetype at all! Admissions officers will look for writing that gives them insight into who the applicant is outside of academics.

 

This prompt is best for an important activity or experience you haven’t had a chance to fully describe, or unusual circumstances that impacted your development, such as an illness or caring for your family.

 

Georgia Tech Essay Example for Prompt #2

I will never forget the feeling I had in Kindergarten when I received a failing grade because I couldn’t answer the question “where do you live?” It was a simple question, one that my classmates answered with ease. I was, however, struck by the recounting of my private home life. The 2009 recession left my family homeless and broke, living in the basement of a close friend. While we were fortunate to have somewhere to sleep, my family, especially me, internalized the negative sentiments from everyone we knew at the time. While my Kindergarten teacher didn’t mean any harm, the question reinforced my feeling of inferiority. No matter what I said, there were serious diminutions to my character: being honest about my homelessness or being dishonest about my own circumstances. I ultimately responded with the latter, saying “I don’t know”.

 

That day, I accepted the failing grade, and this moment became a stepping stone to a now valuable trait: healthy self-definition. Healthy self-definition relies on improving the objective truths of myself and fixing lacking characteristics into better ones. Lying to my Kindergarten teacher wasn’t healthy nor ethical to do, but the action of choosing who I wanted to be sparked the desire for healthy self-definition throughout high school. For example, I redefined myself from a dispassionate pianist to an authentic music producer. I used track and field to redefine my lack of athleticism growing up and eventually became a top-three sophomore 400-meter hurdler at my school. I had extreme social anxiety, so I used the Music Technology Club to redefine my social ability and practice leadership and public speaking skills. In all weak aspects of my character and identity, I improved and continue to improve through these healthy redefinitions. Like Kindergarten me, I refuse to be defined by my circumstances.

 

Overall Comments

This essay also flows well from the first paragraph to the second. The first sentence engages the reader, as not being able to answer “Where do you live?” sets up an intriguing story. Structurally, the essay could’ve been broken up into smaller paragraphs, and there are also some wordy sentences that could be cleaned up. Overall, however, we feel an emotional connection with the writer and have a clear picture of their initiative and ambition.

 

Sectional Comments

 

I will never forget the feeling I had in Kindergarten when I received a failing grade because I couldn’t answer the question “where do you live?” It was a simple question, one that my classmates answered with ease. I was, however, struck by the recounting of my private home life. 

 

This essay uses the anecdotal hook, where you tell a story from your past in order to draw the reader in. It gives us a glimpse into the author’s past, while also giving the author a lens through which to discuss their present and future. A hook like this strengthens the essay while also giving it room to grow.

 

One area of improvement is the paragraph structure, as I mentioned earlier. The second paragraph especially would benefit from being broken down into two sections, as the author goes from discussing his Kindergarten memories to high school. Putting the high school examples in a separate paragraph would help the flow.

 

For example, I redefined myself from a dispassionate pianist to an authentic music producer

 

This essay is very concise, which is a strength because supplemental essays have to be short. It’s important to be able to convey your meaning clearly in a small amount of words. However, there are some parts where this conciseness means that certain details are left out, such as in the excerpt above. It would have been interesting to learn how the author evolved from a pianist to a music producer, and it’s unfortunate that this detail is glossed over because it really sets him apart from other applicants.

 

I used track and field to redefine my lack of athleticism growing up and eventually became a top-three sophomore 400-meter hurdler at my school. I had extreme social anxiety, so I used the Music Technology Club to redefine my social ability and practice leadership and public speaking skills.

 

Similarly, these couple sentences tell, and don’t show. While it can be difficult to include detail and imagery when the word count is so limiting, it’s important to show and not tell the admissions committee about your accomplishments, because that kind of writing can really elevate your essay and thus your application as a whole. It might’ve been more effective to shorten the first paragraph, which is more focused on the writer’s circumstances rather than their growth, to have the space to dive into the story of one of these specific accomplishments.

 

Where To Get Your Essay Edited For Free

 

It’s vital to get a second set of eyes on your Georgia Tech essay before you submit it. They can help you catch things you may have missed and give you new insight into something you hadn’t considered before.

 

That’s why we at CollegeVine have a free peer essay review tool, allowing you to submit your essay and get feedback from another student. Editing other students’ essays will also help you improve your own writing skills!

 


Short Bio
I'm originally from Vienna, VA and go to William & Mary. Other than writing, I enjoy baking and reading! I'm a member of my university's rowing team and am also a research assistant in a psychology lab.

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