video Archives - Write Track Admissions
How to tackle the “Why” School Specific Essay For College and Graduate Programs
Reading Time: 3 minutes   Most schools, nowadays, will ask their applicants some form of the question “Why us?”. This supplement has gotten more and more famous over the years, and many schools are adopting it into their supplements. Before we get into how to tackle this kind of question, it’s important to understand why a specific school or program would ask this kind of question. Schools always accept more applicants than they can actually take on because not all applicants who are accepted decide to go: this ratio of admitted students and students who decide to attend is called a yield rate. Schools want to have the highest yield rate possible and want to ensure that the students they are accepting will attend, hence the “Why us?” question.    Tackling the “Why us?” the question seems like a daunting task, but it’s much easier when separated into a few subsets. Most responses to the “Why us?” question mention one of the following: Academics, Community, or Location. However, successful responses mention more than one of these three subsets and are sure to mention specific parts of the school at hand, whether that be specific professors, classes, cafes on campus, or anything between!    To help you get a better grasp at a successful “Why us?” response, let’s look at some example sentences or wordings that WORKED:  
  • “Although I was never able to visit X school, one of its faculty members made herself known to me”
  • “X’s cafe on Brooks street, while small and run down, serves as the perfect analogy to X school. While X school isn’t small and run down, much like the cafe, it serves as a homey place that brings students from all corners of the community”
  • “Outside of academics, X school’s student-life excites me. X school’s pan-Asian student group is well-known in my community for its strong bonds, its dance team, and … its food.”
  As you can see, these snippets are well-informed, show commitment to the schools they are discussing, are playful, and think beyond the surface-level. You, too, can do this! Remember, schools want you to attend; show them how much YOU want to attend, too!   Also check out our latest YouTube Video on Acing the “Why” School Specific Essay For College and Graduate Programs!   ~ Aly Hartman Write Track Admissions – Marketing Officer