5 Effective “Why This College” Essay Examples
When working on your college essays, chances are that you’ll come across a “Why this college” essay. These school-specific essays are a way for colleges to get a better understanding of how you’ll take advantage of the academic resources the school offers, as well as what extracurriculars you plan to get involved in.
These “Why this college” essay examples were all written by real students. For each example, we provide a first draft, what the writer can improve, and the revised version.
Example of the “Why This College Essay” Prompt
In no more than 250 words, please tell us why BU is a good fit for you and what specifically has led you to apply for admission.
“Why This College” Essay Example, First Draft
Thoughts on the Essay and How It Can Be Improved
The focus of this essay is on research, which is something that BU excels at, so the author made a good topic choice. For the response to really be exceptional, the author needs to highlight their own interests and motivations much sooner—and they need to go into more depth about why BU is the right place for them to pursue those interests.
First, the author needs to more clearly show their deepest interests and motivations. After reading this essay, we understand that they want to conduct medical research. However, it’s not clear why they’re interested in medical research, or what particular problems they’’d like to solve through their research. This, in turn, means that it’s never quite clear why BU’s particular resources (their majors, cross-disciplinary courses, and research opportunities) fit them. To address this, there are a few steps they could take. One would be to just add in a few sentences throughout the essay that explain more about why they’re interested in medical research.
An even stronger approach would be to incorporate a story or anecdote that shows why they’re drawn to this career path. The best way to do this might be to include an anecdote at the start of the essay to clearly establish their interests and motivations early on—then, they can refer back to this throughout the essay. This anecdote could be almost anything: a story about someone they love who suffered from mental health issues; something they read in the news; a medical experience; or even just something they observed in passing. The goal is to use a specific moment to really show what drives them.
One other thing for the author to keep in mind is that their research experience has lots of potential to show a lot about what drives them, but it’s currently underdeveloped. The main focus seems to be on reporting what they did and explaining how they overcame the challenge of not knowing much about coding. While it’s valuable to report what they did, the latter may not be an effective point of focus in this essay. Instead, they should try to illustrate why this research was meaningful and include details that show their passion and enthusiasm. Were they entranced by the process of turning data into meaningful insights? Did they love knowing that they were working on something that could help others? To use their story of research to illustrate their interests and motivations, the author should consider “flipping” the order of their essay and starting by describing their research—and then explaining how they can continue to explore these interests at BU.
Finally, they should elaborate more on BU’s resources. Right now, almost half of the essay is focused on their past experiences. This essay is ultimately about the future and what they want to do about BU. To address this, the author should add in more details about the kind of research they want to do at BU. What topics do they want to explore? What makes BU’s facilities ideal for this kind of research? Is there a particular person they hope to work with?
Overall, the author should spend more time explaining what interests them and why. To do this, they should consider either adding an anecdote or story at the start of the essay to really show what drives them or moving the story of their research to the start of the essay to serve this same purpose. Then, focus on elaborating on BU’s resources and how they fit into their specific, personal motivation and interests.
The Revised Essay, Final Draft
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