How to Write the Georgia Tech Application Essays 2018-2019

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The Georgia Institute of Technology is the southeast’s premier public university oriented towards technology. Located in downtown Atlanta, Georgia Tech was 34th in U.S. News and World Report’s 2018 National University Rankings. About 32% of applicants were accepted last year, though out-of-staters faced higher admissions standards than Georgia residents.


Engineering, computer science, and mathematics are among the strongest offerings at Georgia Tech. Just 34% of students are female, but the university has worked to boost offerings for women in STEM. Georgia Tech is also known for its emphasis on hands-on experience, and the majority of students have internships and/or study abroad.


Georgia Tech is highly selective and admissions officers will look closely at your essays. While drafting these essays can be daunting, CollegeVine is here to help! Read on for a guide to tackling Georgia Tech’s 2018-2019 application essays.

How to Write the Georgia Tech Application Prompts 2018-2019

Prompt #1: Why do you want to study your chosen major at Georgia Tech, and how do you think Georgia Tech will prepare you to pursue opportunities in that field after graduation? (250 words max)

This prompt is both straightforward and challenging. Given the brevity of your answer, you will need to selectively use your background and resume to convincingly describe how Georgia Tech fits into your future. Here’s how to approach this prompt:


1) Describe your interests and background

2) Connect them to your choice of major and resources at Georgia Tech

3) Explain how Georgia Tech will prepare you for your prospective career


This prompt is designed to help admissions officers understand your character, background, and how you think. You should never just relist your extracurriculars and coursework. Instead, your essay should show, rather than tell, readers about your interests and make your major and career choices seem logical.


Let’s look at an example. Pretend that Jane (a fictional student) plans to major in civil engineering. Jane could begin with an anecdote that demonstrates her fascination with the systems that support daily life. Next, she could elaborate on how she pursued her passion through taking physics classes, joining design club, and interning with the municipal government.


Jane’s background makes the civil engineering major seem like a logical choice. Next, she should identify unique features of the program at Georgia Tech. For example, the environmental and water systems concentration could help her prepare for a future career in environmental engineering.


Be as specific as possible. Vague statements like “Engineers thrive at Georgia Tech” convey a lack of focus, research, and effort. Imagine yourself as a student in the program. What interesting classes would you take? Which professors do you hope to work with? And how would these unique opportunities at Georgia Tech both enhance your background and prepare you for a related career?

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In addition to the “chosen major” essay, you are required to write a short statement about your entrepreneurial skills or personal life. You only have to answer one of these prompts, but all three test your self-knowledge and social awareness. Georgia Tech is not the most social campus, and you can stand out by highlighting these qualities.

(1) 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?

Think about how you relate to those closest to you. Even if your family life is fairly ordinary, you can still be introspective about how you affect others. For example, your role could be “the mediator of family conflicts” or “the adventurous spirit who inspires my siblings to try new things.”


A descriptive anecdote will bring your essay to life. Elaborating on the “mediator” example, you could describe a time that you calmly helped your family arrive at a compromise. A few sentences about how you “helped identify the differences in opinion between your brother and sister” and “facilitated a respectful dialogue to arrive at a compromise” speaks volumes about your character.


Avoid vagueness and buzzwords. Claiming that you have “good values” or “are traditional” is not insightful and shows that you have not thought deeply about the question. Of course, you should not include highly personal information about yourself or your family.


Here is an example:

My family has described me as an “inspirational adventurer.” While my brother, sister, and parents tend to be introverted and enjoy spending time at home, I make a point of having new experiences and gently encouraging them to do the same.

For example, I recently decided to take a fencing class. I convinced Ethan, my younger brother, to take the class with me. I could tell that he wanted to also learn fencing, but I sensed that he needed encouragement to venture out of his comfort zone. In particular, I knew that he was self-conscious about being “bad” at new activities. I reminded him that being adventurous broadens your perspective and that no one would judge him for being a beginner.

Ethan took the class and loved it, and now we spar weekly! At Georgia Tech, I would strive to inspire others to have new adventures.

This response works because it shows considerable self-awareness and provides a concrete anecdote. Specificity and detail makes the content “pop,” and it lets admissions officers envision a student who will enhance Georgia Tech’s community in a unique way.  

(2) Georgia Tech is always looking for innovative undergraduates. Have you had any experience as an entrepreneur? What would you like Georgia Tech to provide to further your entrepreneurial interests?

This prompt is clearly intended for students with an entrepreneurial background. If you lack a demonstrated entrepreneurial experience, do not choose this prompt. Like the previous question, concrete details and showing, rather than telling, are critical.


For example, you could discuss how you joined a development team that recently launched a new app that tracks BMI. You then marketed the app to a large software firm, which acquired it. At Georgia Tech, you could further your entrepreneurial interests by becoming a computer science major and joining a startup focused on medical technology.


Again, students with entrepreneurial backgrounds will be able to write the strongest essays. If you are not interested in entrepreneurship, it behooves you to choose a different prompt rather than stretching unrelated activities to make them seem entrepreneurial.

(3) In our application review, we want to get to know you better. One way to do that is to understand a typical day for you. Please describe your typical day.

This prompt is somewhat similar to the first one. It gives you a chance to show the depth of your character and have fun. Since you are essentially describing your daily schedule, this essay has the potential to become formulaic and read like a list.


As always, descriptive language will make your response stand out. Avoid highly cliché phrasing such as “I wake up at 8:00 AM. I get dressed, head downstairs to the kitchen, and eat a bagel. I say goodbye to my mom and get on the bus.


Instead, start with “Every morning at 8:00 AM, I awake to “All Star” by Smash Mouth. The song’s upbeat lyrics get me excited about the day ahead, and after a black coffee and a bowl of Cheerios, I catch the bus to Whitney High School.


This response is far more engaging to readers (and undoubtedly more fun to write). Be truthful about your routine, but also look for possible moments of reflection. For example, the response above includes a brief rationale for waking up to “All Star.” Although your routine feels mundane, describing it vividly gives readers a much better sense of your personality.

Goizueta Foundation Scholarship (No Specified Word Count):

What are your educational goals and how do you foresee using your education & cultural background to impact the growing Hispanic population?

Goizueta Foundation Scholarships are intended to bolster enrollment of Hispanic/Latino students at Georgia Tech. Requirements state that you “Must be of Hispanic/Latino heritage with family residing in the United States (i.e., not an international student planning to move abroad upon graduation).”


In addition to your application to Georgia Tech, you will need to submit a separate essay that answers this prompt by January 10th, 2019. The scholarships are both merit- and need-based.


Education and cultural identity should be at the center of your essay. Beginning with an anecdote about a cultural experience growing up can engage the reader and feed into your educational goals. Always include details, avoid clichés (especially important in this essay), show your reader, and use active voice.


Details will make your essay memorable and engaging. Avoid sentences like “As a kid, I enjoyed creative activities.” Something like “At age 5, I started taking salsa lessons at the studio across the street. Salsa physically engaged me with my cultural heritage, and as I matured I became interested in providing dance lessons to others.”


Needless to say, you should avoid reductive clichés about Hispanic/Latino culture. Georgia Tech is a relatively liberal institution, and using generalities could come off the wrong way. Convey your experiences authentically, but be mindful as you write.


Show your reader your educational goals and connect them to your plans to work with Hispanics in the United States. If you are interested in teaching math, describe an extracurricular that gave you instructional experience and what you learned from it. You could then elaborate on how you would use these skills and your cultural background to relate to Hispanic students. Do not simply restate your resume.


Finally, use active voice whenever possible. Instead of the phrase “The robot was built by my team and me,” you should write “My team and I built the robot.” Using active voice will help you engage your readers and make your essay more compelling.

CyberCorps Scholarship (450 Words Max):

Please provide a personal statement about both your interest in Information Security and why you are pursuing the CyberCorps® scholarship.

The CyberCorps Scholarship is a federal program intended for students studying computer science, engineering, public policy, and/or international affairs. The scholarship committee seeks students interested in cybersecurity, and the award includes full tuition, a stipend, health insurance, a travel allowance, and internship opportunities for up to two years. After graduation, students must work for the U.S. Government for the same duration as their scholarship.


The deadline is May 31st, 2019. Since your Georgia Tech application is due months earlier, you have time to decide if this scholarship program is a good fit.


In this essay, you should highlight your commitment to information security and define your career goals. Envision the CyberCorps Scholarship as a mutual investment. You gain substantial financial and career resources, and the U.S. Government adds an intelligent, young employee (you) to an important industry (cybersecurity).


Writing about extracurricular activities related to cybersecurity (e.g. programming experience) is compelling, but you should also demonstrate that you are a reliable person. The U.S. Government does not want students who shirk their mandatory employment. If you do not have extracurriculars related to cybersecurity, think about ones that demonstrate your commitment.


For example, you could discuss how you played basketball for four years. Even when you suffered an injury, you attended practices and tried to help your team. Without writing “this shows that I’m a committed individual,” you come across as a dependable, team-oriented student.


Finally, be specific about your interest in the scholarship. Avoid a vague rationale like “I want to stop hackers” or “I value cybersecurity.” Instead, be specific about your intended career choice. Research the jobs that CyberCorps Scholars take after graduation and ensure that the award could lead you to an interesting career.


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