writing 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  

How to ACE the Strengths and Weaknesses Essay
Reading Time: 5 mins   The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted countless lives across the globe. From financial troubles, unstable home lives, and unchartered school plans, students, in particular, have been disrupted greatly by the pandemic. Given the difficulties that students have faced this past year, the Common Application for example as well as many other schools, have placed a new question asking students about the impacts of COVID-19 on their lives:    Community disruptions such as COVID-19 and natural disasters can have deep and long-lasting impacts. If you need it, this space is yours to describe those impacts. Colleges care about the effects on your health and well-being, safety, family circumstances, future plans, and education, including access to reliable technology and quiet study spaces. For more information, check out our COVID-19 FAQ.   Students are asked to check “yes” or “no”, and if they choose to share (i.e. press “yes”) then students are given up to 250 words to address the prompt. However, many students are unsure as to what is suitable information to put in this section. A few reasons students might want to respond to the prompt include:   Grading changes: If your school decided to change the grading system or standards, then this would be a great place to let your colleges know about what was changed!   Unique circumstances: If you experienced significant changes to your daily life (such as the loss of a parent, forced evacuation from home, etc), then this would be the perfect spot to inform your colleges about the circumstances. Keep in mind, however, that most applicants faced some type of hardship during this time, so make sure you’re specific!   Testing: If you were unable to take required tests (IB, SAT, ACT, TOEFL, etc.), then be sure to make your colleges aware that your tests were cancelled. Although most colleges are being lenient with their testing requirements due to the pandemic!   The COVID-19 pandemic hit the world quite hard, and it continues to impact and change most of our everyday lives. The aforementioned ideas are just a few of the things that you might like to include for the COVID-19 prompt; include what you see fit. If you have been impacted by the pandemic, in any significant, unique way, then you should be sure to make your colleges aware. The better you explain your circumstances and your story, the better your chances. Remember, the college application is like a little film about YOU; all you have to do is tell your story!   ~ Sam Saba Write Track Admissions — College Expert