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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
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SAT: 720 math
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University of Rochester Essay Example

 

The University of Rochester is a selective school, so it’s important to write strong essays to help your application stand out. In this post, we’ll share an essay a real student has submitted to the University of Rochester. (Names and identifying information have been changed, but all other details are preserved).

 

Please note: Looking at examples of real essays students have submitted to colleges can be very beneficial to get inspiration for your essays. You should never copy or plagiarize from these examples when writing your own essays. Colleges can tell when an essay isn’t genuine and will not view students favorably if they plagiarized. 

 

Read our University of Rochester essay breakdown to get a comprehensive overview of this year’s supplemental prompts.

 

Want to know your chances at the University of Rochester? Calculate your chances for free!

 

Example

 

Prompt: The University of Rochester benefactor, entrepreneur, photography pioneer and philanthropist George Eastman said, “The progress of the world depends almost entirely upon education.” With that statement in mind, how will you use your University of Rochester experience to foster positive change in order to make the world, your community and those around you “ever better?” (250 words).

 

On a Tuesday morning, I learned I had a brand new cousin; he was born prematurely, but my aunt said she could already tell he looked like me. I, who has no siblings, was happier than words could describe. However, my cousin died a few days later, and no matter how thickly my parents painted the situation in fate and divine will, I knew he needn’t have died.

 

The incubator lost power overnight, and the generator could not be turned on for some reason. My two-day-old cousin battled hard for his life, living longer than he should have, but still dying. Indeed, it was the most traumatizing news I had ever received, but it was also my inspiration to engineer a better healthcare system for my country.

 

With Professor Jonathan Ellis – at the world-class mechanical engineering program at Hajim – and from hands-on work at Rochester’s School of Medicine and Dentistry, I can learn to design hospital equipment that produce their energy. I look at Rochester’s Solar Splash and their design of the solar-powered boat (which I intend to be a part of), and I see hope in the clean and constant energy of the sun which can be harnessed to power incubators and theatrical equipment and subsequently reduce the frequency of unfortunate hospital fatalities.

 

Indeed, I look forward to being a part of the Rochester experience, as I see it as a catalyst towards my goal of making myself, my community, and my country’s healthcare system ever better.

 

What the Essay Did Well

 

This essay had many positives. One of them was the structure the essay followed which was clear and allowed the essay to naturally progress. The essay began with this student’s past, where they established what motivated their decision to pursue healthcare engineering. Then the student discussed how they plan to accomplish their goal of becoming a healthcare engineer by studying at Rochester. Finally, they described their vision of a solar-powered incubator they want to design after graduation. This past, present, and future structure isn’t altogether that creative, but it is an effective structure to answer a prompt like this one.

 

Another positive aspect of this essay is the anecdote at the beginning. The story the student told about their newborn cousin was emotional and moving. Describing the sheer happiness the student felt and contrasting it with the trauma after they learned their cousin had passed created an emotional connection for the reader. The anecdote put the reader in the student’s shoes as a young, broken-hearted kid, which makes it easier to understand their motivation behind pursuing their career path.

 

What Could Be Improved

 

One thing that this student could improve in the essay is the grammar. There are some phrases that sound clunky and out of place with the rest of the essay. For example, “I knew he needn’t have died,” could have simply been “He didn’t have to die.” The sentence “I can learn to design hospital equipment that produce their energy,” could have been rewritten to say, “I’ll learn how to design hospital equipment that runs independently from electricity,” and “I look at Rochester’s Solar Splash and their design of the solar-powered boat (which I intend to be a part of),” could become: “After graduation, I can turn my knowledge of how to power a boat with solar energy, which I’ll have learned on the Solar Splash team, to powering hospital equipment.” 

 

Although essays should use elevated language and diction, they shouldn’t lose the student’s voice. Sometimes students get carried away with trying to make their essay sound more ‘impressive’, but the end result is a clunky essay with odd grammar choices. Making the language more direct and to the point would have benefitted this student more than having some sentences that stand out in a negative way.

 

More Free Essay Resources

 

How to Write the the University of Rochester Essays: See our in-depth guide of each supplemental essay prompt for the University of Rochester. 

 

All of Our Essay Guides: Don’t miss our essay guides for all of the top schools.

 

How to Write the Common App Essays: Learn how to write a strong Common App essay for each of the prompts, with examples.

 

Free CollegeVine Peer Essay Review: Submit your essay and get feedback from another student. Editing other students’ essays will also help you improve your own writing skills!

 

 


Short Bio
Our college essay experts go through a rigorous selection process that evaluates their writing skills and knowledge of college admissions. We also train them on how to interpret prompts, facilitate the brainstorming process, and provide inspiration for great essays, with curriculum culled from our years of experience helping students write essays that work.