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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

What Makes a Standout 'Why Us' Essay?

Hey everyone, I'm working on my college applications and I'm struggling with the 'Why Us' essays. I know it's important to show genuine interest in the college, but how do you write an essay that truly stands out? Any tips or suggestions on making it personal and unique to the specific college? Thanks!

5 months ago

Hey there! Writing a standout 'Why Us' essay can indeed be challenging, but it's definitely achievable. The key is to focus on three main aspects: research, personal connections, and specificity. Here's a rundown of how to incorporate these elements into your essay:

1. Research: Do extensive research on the college, going beyond the basic information found on their website. Look for details on unique academic programs, research opportunities, clubs/organizations, and campus culture. Connect these specific elements to your personal interests, ambitions, and passions. Demonstrating that you've taken the time to thoroughly explore what the school offers is crucial.

2. Personal connections: Reflect on how the college's values, mission, or environment align with your own beliefs, experiences, and goals. It's important to illustrate how your personal narrative intertwines with the college's identity. This may involve discussing a campus visit, a conversation with an alum, a faculty member’s research that relates to your intended major, or a specific campus tradition that aligns with your interests. Including these personal connections can help demonstrate that you're a great fit for the college.

3. Specificity: Be as specific as possible when discussing what you like about the college and how you envision yourself there. For instance, instead of simply saying you're interested in their biology program, mention a specific course or research opportunity. You can also discuss how you'd contribute to the campus community, such as by joining a particular club or taking part in a specific volunteer program. Being detailed and specific will make your essay more memorable and will illustrate you've put thought into your college choice.

Overall, a standout 'Why Us' essay will be well-researched, clearly highlight personal connections, and showcase specificity. It helps the admissions committee understand why the college is the perfect match for you and what you'll bring to their community.

If you want further guidance, you can check out CollegeVine's blog post breaking down this kind of essay: https://blog.collegevine.com/how-to-write-the-why-us-college-essay/. Remember that CollegeVine also offers both a free peer essay review service and paid reviews by expert college admissions advisors - sometimes, a more objective look at your essay can help you figure out whether your passion for the school is truly coming across.

Good luck with your essay and your college applications!

5 months ago

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