How to Write the Georgia Tech Essay 2020-2021
The Georgia Institute of Technology is the southeast’s premier public university oriented towards technology. Located in downtown Atlanta, Georgia Tech was 29th in U.S. News and World Report’s 2020 National University Rankings. About 20% of applicants were accepted to the Class of 2024, though out-of-staters faced higher admissions standards than Georgia residents (38% for in-state students, and 16% for out-of-state students).
Engineering, computer science, and mathematics are among the strongest offerings at Georgia Tech. Just 38% 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 their supplemental essay can be daunting, CollegeVine is here to help! Read on for a guide to tackling Georgia Tech’s essay. Want to know your chances at Georgia Tech? Calculate your chances for free right now.
How to Write the Georgia Tech Supplemental Essay
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.
The first portion of your response should explain what drew you to your prospective major. A common pitfall students make here is being way too general – try to make your response something that is unique to you and your life experiences. For instance, one applicant might write an anecdote about how they first interacted with the subject. Another might describe a niche within the subject that appeals to them the most. Be sure to include specific details such as people, roles, and events that influenced your decision. Here are two examples of how to start off your essay:
Weak: “For as long as I can remember, I have been interested in civil engineering. I love working with my hands, so engineering has always seemed like a good fit for me. I have also always done well in the relevant classes, like math, physics, and computer science. In addition, I knew I wanted to pursue a subject that would make the world a better place.”
Strong: “As an environmental activist, I firmly believe everyone has a social responsibility to help keep the planet healthy and I am always looking for new ways that I can contribute to this endeavor. In high school, I started the Anti-litter Volunteer Club, where my peers and I picked up trash around our campus and neighboring community. Exploring my passion in college as a civil engineer seemed like the logical next step in developing ways to preserve nature. I am especially passionate about reducing waste by making product packaging out of biodegradable materials.”
This first response is weak for several reasons. The student mentions wanting to work with their hands, but this is much too general as it can apply to any type of engineering and other subjects as well. In contrast, the second response shows, rather than tells, admissions officers that this student has a passion for the environment. The student includes specific details about their past that communicate their desire to engage with civil engineering.
The first applicant also lists superficial reasons, such as their academic prowess, which can come off as boastful and disingenuous rather than as a passion for the major itself. Instead, efforts you have made to pursue the subject outside of the classroom, like the anti-litter club, provide much better examples of your interest in the subject. Finally, the second applicant introduces a niche in civil engineering that they are especially passionate about. This level of detail lends authenticity to your response, and you can use forward-thinking phrasing to connect to the next portion of your essay. Keep in mind that these examples are just excerpts, and you should elaborate more in this area if word count allows for it.
2. Connect them to your choice of major and resources at Georgia Tech.
After you have established a foundation for your passion for your major, you can delve into how you can continue to develop it at Georgia Tech. This will reaffirm your interest in the school while also providing a realistic path through which you can accomplish your goals. Try to avoid clichés like small classroom size and mention more specific offerings instead, like programs and classes that are unique to Georgia Tech. Here is a weak and strong example of this portion:
Weak: “With the second best undergraduate civil engineering program, Georgia Tech is a leading institution that will provide me the tools to be successful in this field. I look forward to taking engaging classes, including breadth electives, that will expand my knowledge of civil and other types of engineering. I plan on joining clubs like Engineers Without Borders to continue learning outside of the classroom.”
Strong: “Georgia Tech can provide me with ample opportunities to pursue my passion; for instance, I can work on creating a biodegradable takeout box with my peers in the Geotechnical Society, and then implement our prototype design in on-campus dining facilities like Colony Bistro and Bhojanic. I also look forward to attending the Sustainability Banquet to hear from Atlanta’s leaders in sustainability like Dr. Jennifer Hirsch. Her work in grassroots sustainability innovation and use of a cross-cultural lens embody the approach I wish to take in civil engineering.”
The first response makes a common mistake in lauding the school’s accomplishments. Admissions officers are aware of statistics and ranking but want to know what, beyond prestige, makes you interested in this particular major at this particular university. The second prompt achieves this by mentioning specific offerings like the Sustainability Banquet, and a professor’s work that closely aligns with the student’s values.
Though the first prompt does name a club at Georgia Tech, the applicant fails to describe how exactly they plan to use this resource. Meanwhile, the strong response mentions a society and provides a hypothetical scenario where they might participate in it. The latter response is a much more effective approach in that it shows, rather than telling, admissions officers how you plan to pursue your major on-campus. Again, keep in mind that these examples are just excerpts, and you should elaborate more in this area if word count allows for it.
3. Explain how Georgia Tech will prepare you for your prospective career/future.
Finally, you should wrap up your response by mentioning how your passion for your major and involvement on Georgia Tech’s campus will culminate in your future. Avoid platitudes about making the world a better place and growing academically and professionally. Instead, tie your conclusion back to the purpose behind your essay and communicate that you want to pursue your passion for this subject beyond your college career.
Weak: “Obtaining a degree in civil engineering from Georgia Tech will allow me to further my passion for this subject. I look forward to using the skills I learn in my future career.”
Strong: “Embarking on projects like these will provide me with hands-on learning opportunities that will reinforce my commitment to sustainability. A background in civil engineering will provide me with the tools to literally build a better planet, a passion I will continue to pursue beyond my college career.”
While the first response tells readers what the author plans to do, it lacks specific details and the narrative-like quality that will keep admissions officers engaged. In contrast, the second conclusion restates the applicant’s goal of sustainability and their major of choice while providing a future-facing ending. This drums up the correct level of interest within the reader and lends your response closure without making it feel finite.
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 both logical and borne out of a genuine passion.
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