How to Write the Hofstra University Essay 2020-2021
Hofstra University is a private university in Hempstead, New York. At 6,700 undergraduates, it’s the largest private college on Long Island. Hofstra was founded as an extension of NYU in 1935, but became an independent university only four years later. Today, Hofstra’s academic offerings include over 100 dual degree programs, first-year seminars and clusters, and internship opportunities in metro New York City.
Outside of the classroom, Hofstra students can participate in Division I sports teams, or join one of the 220 student organizations. The Hofstra University Museum of Arts is also located on campus, and the school also owns Long Island’s oldest radio station. The college’s surrounding area contains activities such as an aquarium and a flying trapeze.
As of 2019, Hofstra’s acceptance rate is 63%, meaning it is slightly competitive. Admitted students had an average high school GPA of 3.6. The middle 50% of students had an SAT score of 1120-1320 and an ACT score of 25-32. If you’re hoping to snag a spot at this university in Long Island, writing a strong supplemental essay will certainly give you a boost. To learn how to respond to this year’s supplemental essay, read on!
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How to Write the Hofstra University Supplemental Essay
Hofstra’s supplemental essay exemplifies a classic question admissions officers use to better gauge your fit with their school. Many applicants share similar academic profiles, extracurricular activities, and backgrounds. Thus, a reasonable chunk of your candidacy relies on your ability to convince readers that you genuinely want to attend Hofstra.
The key with a “Why This College?” prompt is specificity. In your response, you should include components that are specific to Hofstra, and then relate them to yourself. Prioritizing specificity when discussing both the school and yourself will go a long way in making your essay pleasurable to read, and distinguishable from thousands of other applicants. The more detail, the better: officers are more likely to offer admission to someone who seems as though they are realistically planning to attend their institution. Here is a rough guide to tackling this type of essay:
- Jot down a list of your current interests and hopes for college. Though these could essentially be anything, try to narrow it down to interests you have tangibly pursued. For example, if you were interested in cybersecurity, you might be in their high school’s coding club. Additionally, you could have taken free online courses in the subject or participated in a hackathon.
- Scout Hofstra’s website for courses, research opportunities, and extracurriculars that match this interest. For instance, Hofstra has a Cybersecurity cluster, which is a unit of courses designed to give you the foundations needed to pursue this field. The college also offers Zarb Technology Club, which gives students the opportunity to work with the business school on cybersecurity-related projects. The school’s Cybersecurity Innovation and Research Center has an academic “war room” facility that allows students to simulate combatting a real cyberattack.
- Next, you need to meld your current experience with your potential future by establishing a credible trajectory of how you could potentially pursue them at Hofstra. Use lots of specific, descriptive detail to keep the reader’s attention, and speak as if you are already attending the university. Building off of the previous information, here are two potential responses:
Bad: “I have always been extremely interested in cybersecurity as it is a fascinating and ever-changing field. I took AP Computer Science my junior year and fell in love with the mechanics and potential of coding. As an incoming freshman, I plan to take advantage of Hofstra’s established cybersecurity programs and join clubs that allow me to further hone my skills. I believe cybersecurity is a critical field in our evolving society because as technology continues to evolve, so will the ways in which hackers attempt to steal data. Protecting software is becoming increasingly important to ensure that we are safe whether we are doing remote schoolwork or voting in elections. At Hofstra, and utilize the small student-to-faculty ratio to get the individualized attention I need to succeed. With a degree from this highly ranked university in this country, I can’t wait to see where my passion for cybersecurity takes me, not only in college, but in my future career.”
Good:“I’ll never forget the burning curiosity I felt the first time I saw a spam message pop up on my computer screen. As a child, a lot of the gaming websites I frequented often sent warnings about stealing my data or infecting my computer. Though those threats may not have been imminent, they catalyzed gears in my brain, sparking a fascination with how computer viruses worked and how people could counteract these digital menaces. Friends and family came to me with their technical issues, and I happily obliged after taking the relevant Cybrary courses. In high school, I installed and helped maintain anti-malware software on the Tech Club’s devices. As I continue to pursue my passion for safety in technology, Hofstra’s Cybersecurity cluster will provide me the foundation I need to be successful. I cannot wait to engage with Circadence Project ARES software and immerse myself in realistic drills with my peers. With clubs like Zarb, I can work on real business-related projects and establish a career path where I can continue to help others in the digital sphere.”
The first applicant severely lacks specificity and makes claims about the cybersecurity field without drawing personal connections to themselves or the school. They vaguely state their passion for cybersecurity but fail to follow up with specific measures they have taken or plan to take in pursuing it. They mention taking AP Computer Science, which is a relevant course, but this could also be improved. Taking initiative outside of coursework, such as a club or self-led project, makes a stronger argument for demonstrated interest in a field of study.
Furthermore, though the name “Hofstra” is used, it could feasibly be switched out with any other school with a cybersecurity program and there would be no real changes necessary to the essay. The same goes for mentioning the student to faculty ratio, which is typical of many private schools and therefore is not a large asset to the essay’s purpose. This name-replacement check demonstrates that the applicant has gravely underspecified why they want to attend Hofstra. Furthermore, the applicant commends Hofstra’s ranking in their response. Making comments about a college’s prestige can come across as disingenuous and does not demonstrate that you have actually looked into the school’s offerings.
On the other hand, the second prompt is rife with detail and paints a clearer picture of why the applicant specifically wants to attend Hofstra University. Mentioning their prior experience in non-mandated cybersecurity work illustrates that they have a genuine passion for the content. This serves to bolster their response with an extra layer of credibility and lay a foundation for their pursuit of cybersecurity at Hofstra. Furthermore, it is evident that the applicant has done research on Hofstra’s website and browsed through the different computer science offerings. The applicant mentions a course cluster and software that are unique to Hofstra, which demonstrates that the student has done ample research into the school’s relevant programs. Moreover, mentioning extracurriculars like Zarb serve to highlight an interest in Hofstra that transcends academics. Admissions officers are looking for future community members who are engaged and involved on campus beyond required coursework.
Adding these relevant details can really make or break your response. It is important to take the time to conduct proper research for a “Why This College?” prompt to make sure your interest in the school is accurately conveyed and your application stands out.
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