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Why this school essay

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Hi there,

I'm applying to a selective LAC. I feel a why school essay should have an academic reason. However, the school in question has no special or 'unique' academic offering or courses. What I mean is, there's nothing that really differentiates it in terms of academics from other schools. I see lots of posts were they say mention a unique program or offering that the school has. So what do you think is the best way to tackle the academic section? Also, what's the best way to connect different points about the school in a way that would make the essay flow great(like transitioning from one point to the other?) I thought using a paragraph for each point is ok, but I read somewhere that each point you're citing should be well connected.


2 answers

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Accepted answer

So, let's think this one through for a minute. Why do you actually want to go to this school? What interests you about it? If there is nothing special about the academics then there must be something else that makes you want to apply there. So what is it? While it might be great to include academic reasons for wanting to go to this school it is by no means a necessity. Have you considered looking into the faculty at the school, especially the ones who you might end up taking classes from? It's possible someone there is working on research or has done some type of work that interests you. If that's the case I think that would be something great to write about. It's a great academic reason to want to go to a school and you also can expand on your interests in your essay.

We've done a few essay livestreams that specifically address the "Why This School" essay and I think they might be of interest to you. If you're interested in watching any of the recordings you can find them here: If you have more questions after watching those I'm happy to answer them for you. Good luck with everything!

Honestly, it's because of the reviews. I've communicated with a few students, and looked them up on college evaluating websites like Niche and everyone has lovely things to say. Plus, it has a very accepting community for international students. I feel if I say these things it would come across as cliche and vague.
Thanks for your input
I don't think there's anything wrong with saying it's the community that makes you want to apply. That's truly what makes you excited for the school and it's easier to write about something when you're being honest compared to making up a reason you think they want to see. The fact that you've communicated with students from there, done research on other sites, and you recognize they are accepting of international students shows you've done your research which I think they'll appreciate.
answered on

To address the "unique" courses part, I think that every school has something "unique" about their classes, even if it's not stated on their website. You can also search up the course syllabus and see if they have a lesson that's really unique. If you really can't find something unique, write about how that course is unique to YOU. To make a good connection, you have to relate the classes that you talk about to your interests/goals. Answer these two questions: How will the courses help you achieve your goals and what will you bring to the college? You could also write about the professors that teach the class.

Food for thought! Thanks. It's the community that excites me tbh