No matter what college you apply to, you will certainly have to write the “why this college” essay. This essay may seem daunting, but with our template, you’ll be able to write an essay that stands out.
The “Why College” Template
Note: This template is for longer style essays, but can be condensed! The important part of the template is to do these three steps:
I. Tell a Story
Take the reader on a journey and show them how your experiences have shaped who you are and what you want to do with your future. This story should reveal your interests, your values, and your desired next steps.
II. Connect Your Story with the College
In this step, you will want to bridge the gap between your journey and the college. To do this, you will want to connect either your interests, values, or next steps with the college.
- An interest in film or television is a great way to show why you want to go to USC because they have a fantastic cinematic arts program.
- If you value a broad, freedom-filled education, then your values align perfectly with Brown University since they have an open curriculum.
- If your next steps include researching diseases, then maybe a certain college is right for you because they offer undergraduate opportunities in labs.
III. Imagine Yourself at the College
You want to make it so obvious to the reader that you’ll be a great fit on campus. To do this, paint a picture for your reader. Tell them what you will be like at the college, what you will be pursuing, and how that college will help you with your future goals.
A (very condensed) Example Essay
I have always wanted to work in the fashion industry. I dreamed of moving to NYC and having a collection premiere at Fashion Week. That is until I had an internship at a well-known fashion brand. The insight I gained from my internship as well as the advice from my boss made me realize what I’m truly passionate about is business, not fashion.
My experience led me to realize that 1. I want to be creative 2. I want to have an impact on the world and 3. I want to work for a company where what we do affects real people.
I thought that was what fashion was. But when I saw the competitive and toxic nature of the industry, I realized this wasn’t the only path for me. It doesn’t mean my internet in fashion is gone, it just means I have a new plan to pursue my interests.
I realized that NYC is where I want to go to college. My internship taught me about business and how business is not only about creating a great product but marketing it to get people’s attention.
That is why I want to attend NYU’s Stern School of Business. It has a great marketing track and is located in the mecca of the business world. The energy of NYC, combined with Stern’s education will get me to my next steps.
This example takes the reader on the student’s journey, the student’s values, and the student’s next steps. Additionally, it shows perfectly why a certain college is the right fit.
If your still stuck, you might not have researched the college enough. If you are able to, try to visit. If not, that’s ok! There a forums online, YouTube videos of current students, and prospective student websites you can check out from home.
Many students get lost in these types of essays because they add too much. Your essay should have one main focus, with every detail relating to that focus. Don’t go off on a million tangents about how you want to join all these clubs, study abroad, take all these classes, live in the nice dorms, and eat the great food. Instead, pick your most important value and center your essay around that.
The “Why this Essay” is one of the most important parts of your application. Take your time, do your research, and really hit all three points in our template.