a year ago
Admissions Advice

Can I write this essay like a Thank-you Letter?

Prompt: Tell us about the person who has most impacted your life and why.

Can I write this letter as a thank you letter addressed to my maths tuition teacher, whose guidance made me-

- a model student

-earn competition medals

- a dependable math aide for my friends and juniors struggling with the subject (this will be beneficial to write because I am majoring in Applied Maths). This also instilled values of selflessness and non-judgmental ness in me towards people struggling with STEM.

- I am both a mathsy and artsy person today.

I am thinking of writing it as a letter addressed to her. Kindly provide guidance as to whether it will work in my context.

Thank you!


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2 answers

Accepted Answer
a year ago[edited]

Hi @AnanyaN,

This response is for you and all seniors still writing their main personal essay.

The purpose of the main essay is to inform college admissions readers and the committee that makes the final decision with NEW or ADD'L information that helps them connect the dots to as what kind of human being you are. They want to know how you think, what you think, what motivates and drives you, and how you want to live your life. They are looking for the "sparkle" in your application that inspires them to learn more about you and ultimately advocate for you. They want to see the real you, the unadulterated filtered you, the true person that is going to walk their campus, engage with other students and teachers, and make their school a better place.

What they are not looking for is an essay that is the impetus for all the other data points already evident in your common application in other sections like academic GPA, honors, coursework, or volunteerism.

While your idea is a clever one to reinforce the notion that your maths tuition teacher guided you to be W, X, Y, and Z, I do not think this adds the dimensionality to your narrative that college admissions decision-makers are looking for.

Here is the problem. I'll set it up for you. College admissions officers use a holistic evaluation of your application. If applicant A. has delineated 100 unique data points in their application which fall into all kinds of categories like ECs, Sports, Art, Talents, Eccentricities, Honors, Course Work, Personal Character, Test Scores, and Recommendations, you get the picture. And applicant B has 85 unique data points because they haven't informed the admissions team of new information or new facts or new data points because they decided not to take advantage of the personal essays. Instead of writing something new about themselves, they chose a clever format that doesn't contribute any new personal information. When the 2 applications, are read by the reader or by the committee, then applicant B has fewer colors on their palette of attributes for the admissions team to consider than applicant A.

While this is a generalization and applicant Bs lesser data points might be so overwhelmingly impressive that other information doesn't really matter, one could claim that applicant A has fully taken advantage of the opportunity to express themselves using their voice in the process. It's hard to know how they would lean but I would always recommend erring on the side of caution and providing more information versus less information.

One could easily make the same argument for making sure your supplemental essays, interview, graded papers, 2-minute video option, and recommenders use the time allotment, and space, to showcase more of them versus less of them.

Therefore I recommend that you choose wisely what you wish to write about in your main personal essay. Good luck.

a year ago

this thanku can be written with famous Rod Stewart lyrics?

Guess which one?

What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
+ add school
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

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