10 November 2011

Answering the Question "Why Do You Want to go to our College?"

If you have just started applying for college, you may have noticed that many college applications ask similar types of questions in their application essays. A question that many colleges ask is "why do you want to go to our college?"

This may seem like a complicated question to answer. Why are they asking you this? Why do they care? What kind of answers are they looking for? If you say the wrong things, will they reject your application? If all of these stressful concerns are running through your head, it will be very difficult to start writing. As with almost all personal essays, the easiest way to write a solid paper is to be informed about the topic before you start writing and to be honest as you write.

With this in mind, the first step you should take is to thoroughly research the college. Find out every single detail that will matter to you. Which majors does the college offer? How big are the class sizes? Does the school have the kind of extracurricular or social setting that you are looking for? What kind of housing do they offer? How much money will it cost to attend the college each semester? What kind of financial aid options are offered? How far away is the campus from your current home? Is the campus located in a city that you like?

Once you have a good understanding of what it will be like to attend this particular college, think about all of its aspects that suit you best. Maybe you really like their attitude toward learning. Maybe their art program is one of the best in the country. Perhaps the city in which the college is located is perfectly fitting for your tastes and lifestyle. Maybe the tuition is incredibly low and will save you tons of money. Make a list of everything you like about the college.

Now, add more information to the list. Next to each item that you like, write down why you like it. Your list should be honest and personal. You should also write down why you want to attend college at all. Next, take another look at the website or brochure for the college. Take a note of all of the adjectives that are used to attract students to the college. If these adjectives describe what you are looking for in the college, write them down.

Begin your essay. Explain who you are, where you are in life and what you hope to accomplish by attending college. Explain what kind of degree or major you plan to pursue and why. If you have not yet chosen an area of study, explain the aspects of the college that you think will lead you toward finding yourself and what you want to do with your life. Be concise, but also honest, personable and, if appropriate, passionate.

Using your list, describe everything about the college that you like and explain why it is a perfect fit for you specifically. If applicable, try to use some of the adjectives that you found in the college brochure or on its website.

If you are still having a really hard time with this and cannot find good reasons for attending this college, perhaps you should rethink even applying in the first place. There are so many wonderful colleges in the United States. Try to find schools that are actually a good fit for you. Imagine getting an acceptance letter in the mail from each college to which you apply. If you cannot picture yourself getting excited about attending this school, then it probably is not the right school for you.

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