The “Why” Question

The notorious “why _____” question is unlike everything you’ve ever written, and yet it is probably the most commonly recurring prompt on college applications. Since it’s so new, it can be difficult to figure out where to begin: here are a few things to try and to avoi


Mention yourself: While you may think that colleges don’t want to hear about you in a question about them, it’s essential that you note how you plan to take advantage of opportunities and become a part of the community. After all, the college admissions team is looking to add people to their school, not just numbers and statistics. Letting them know how much you love to engage with others can not only help convey who you are, but can also make the admissions team want you as much as you want to go to their university.

Do your research: It might sound like a lot of work to spend your time poring over pages and pages of information about the school. This is not the case. While it is possible to write the whole essay using data found one or two clicks from the college website’s homepage, the admissions team almost always knows their site well enough to recognize the low hanging fruit. We can also help provide information on the school, while ensuring what you write doesn’t miss the culture of the university.

Use details: After adequately researching the school, you can now tie in your favorite findings. If you’re an artist try the new art institute, if you’re a scientist try the cutting edge research facility, or maybe there’s a particular professor you can’t wait to learn from. The more unique the better.

Keep your personality: If you’re one of the people who can pull off a hilarious common app essay, don’t try and change to match the school for which you’re writing. Instead, write sincerely and let the admissions office get to know you better.

Be organized: In the traditional high school curriculum, organization and readability are important. The same goes for this essay. In fact, the “why _____” essay is usually more prone to structure than the common app essay. By sending in a well-written piece, your essay will make more sense, be more impressive, and leave the admissions reader in a good mood.


Write a love letter: While enthusiasm is certainly encouraged, keep in mind the word limit. There is invariably a better use of space than pouring your heart out with statements like “I can really see myself at _____,” if not supported by actual reasons. Do not fret to much about letting the university know you want to go there – the strongest message you can send is the fact that you’re even applying in the first place.

Be vague: It’s often said that if you could delete the name of a college and replace it with another, then neither will like your essay. Though writing unspecifically about the beautiful campus or the world renowned faculty will save you hours of work, it will also leave the admissions committee bored and unimpressed.

Fixate: There is a fine line between showing you know the school well and coming across as too specific. Our essay writers will help you walk this tightrope, as it is often a very difficult balance. If you compose your entire essay about one niche class that isn’t even a part of your major and overlook the school’s major features, you may seem like you don’t understand what the school is focused on. It is advisable to mention a couple things you’re interested by in different spheres (i.e. community service, academics, location, etc).

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