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09/04/2019

College Essays?

QUESTION
College Essays?
I am planning on applying to both Duke and Northwestern. I am pretty much done with common app stuff, but I am seriously drawing a blank on the supplemental. For both, the essay is why would you want to go to Duke or Northwestern. How do you distinguish your answer from everyone else’s? Everyone will write great things about the school and the opportunities.. but that is really it… I guess I am asking how do you personalize a response to a question like that?

ANSWER
Interestingly, I too am applying to both those schools. I actually already turned in my application to Duke.

For the supplement, I answered with specific programs that I am interested in. First, think of what makes you excited about a school, and then don’t be afraid to express it. Don’t worry about sounding so unique because the admissions officers are well aware of what their school offers. Instead, focus on how you will use the university’s resources to continue your activities and interests. I know this sounds redundant, but use the supplement essay to add to strengths already on your application, not to introduce new and unsupported interests on a whim.

For Northwestern, I will write about how much I enjoyed the Human Origins Anthropology class I took there over the summer. The professor was really knowledgeable and personable, etc.

Also, a tip from the Northwestern head of admissions- don’t say you want to apply to their architecture school. They don’t have one.

Good luck in applying. I know I need it.