How to Write the Georgia Tech Application Essays 2016-2017
Georgia Institute of Technology, or Georgia Tech, is a public university located just outside downtown Atlanta. Considered one of the best engineering schools in the country, Georgia Tech is an excellent choice even if you can’t take advantage of in-state tuition. The school admits roughly a third of all applicants, making admission challenging, but entirely possible for any passionate student.
Georgia Tech’s student body boasts some impressive standardized test scores (SAT average: 1450, ACT average: 31), and its relatively short supplement questions might give the impression that its admissions staff care more about numbers than words. Don’t be fooled; strong essay responses can easily turn a borderline application into a solid acceptance, so give these prompts your full attention.
Georgia Tech Application Essay Prompts
Beyond rankings, location, and athletics, why are you interested in attending Georgia Tech? (max 150 words)
This is a question you should always ask yourself before applying to a school. The best place to start brainstorming a response is Georgia Tech’s website: read up on its academics, research opportunities, and clubs, and see what draws you in. If you know a student or alum, ask them for insights (however, don’t make a personal connection the focus of your essay).
Your answer should be consistent with the rest of your application, meaning that any interests you discuss in this essay should also be reflected in your transcript or extracurricular activities. Remember to steer clear of mentioning rankings — there are plenty of other things to focus on.
For example, over half of the student body majors in engineering; if you love designing and building, Georgia Tech has one of the highest concentrations of like-minded individuals you’ll ever encounter. Including facts like this and connecting them to your personal desire to attend the school will make for a much more effective essay than a lazy reference to its high rank.
Please choose ONE of the following questions and provide an answer in 150 words or less.
When answering this prompt, the first step is to choose your question. As you read through the options, pay attention to whether any ideas or experiences jump out at you. Your essay will be much more compelling if you’re actually passionate about your topic, so take the time to come up with something you truly want to write about.
Tech’s motto is Progress and Service. We find that students who ultimately have a broad impact first had a significant one at home. What is your role in your immediate or extended family? And how have you seen evidence of your impact on them?
With this option, keep in mind that the scope of the question is quite narrow. This is a great choice for a student who has helped their family out substantially, such as caring for a sibling or ailing relative, working a part-time job, or translating for non-English-speaking parents. Even if you haven’t done any of these things, this question isn’t off-limits — for example, you might regularly introduce your non-technical parents to fascinating new scientific concepts.
For the impact part of the prompt, try to show rather than tell; instead of simply stating that your parents have had a lot more free time since you started babysitting your siblings, describe how your parents have more energy when they come home from work and your siblings gush about all the great books you’ve introduced them to. If you can’t think of a good example of the impact you’ve had on your family, you might want to pick a different prompt.
Students are often told what classes they should take. If you had the opportunity to create a class, what would it be and why?
This is a very open-ended prompt, making it perfect for creative students. The exact subject you write about isn’t as important as the reasoning you give (although you should make sure that Georgia Tech doesn’t already offer a similar class). Focus on the skills or experiences your class would give students, such as improved public-speaking confidence or a new appreciation for a previously unfamiliar culture.
Although most students will probably find it easiest to write a lighthearted response to this prompt, it’s fine to choose a more serious topic. For example, if you know someone who died due to bystanders lacking some basic training, your class might provide a comprehensive discussion of physical and mental first aid, as well as how to recognize the most common warning signs.
We challenge our students to “be comfortable being uncomfortable.” Tell us about a time in high school that you felt outside of your comfort zone and the resolution.
The definition of “uncomfortable” is intentionally vague in this prompt, giving you a broad range of options. You could write about standing up to a bully, pushing yourself too hard during track practice, visiting a new country… the possibilities are endless. Whatever topic you choose, make sure to talk about both the situation and the outcome.
Although there’s nothing inherently problematic about discussing an argument or heated debate, make sure that your response doesn’t paint you in a negative light. Avoid situations or wording that might make you sound stubborn or close-minded. This is a great chance to show off some of your best qualities — take advantage of it!
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