3 years ago
Admissions Advice

Should I write my why cornell essay in the form of a letter?

I was on the collegeessayguy website and it is a website that helps you with college essays. For the Why Cornell essay, they gave an example of student who wrote their why Cornell essay in the form of a love letter. I was wondering if since it was public if it was okay for me to also do the letter approach or is it considered stealing someone's idea? Have Cornell admissions officers already seen those types of essays? Here's the link to the website if you want to know: https://www.collegeessayguy.com/blog/cornell-supplemental-essay

I would like your most honest and most helpful opinion!

@iamjyoti2 years ago

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4 answers

Accepted Answer
3 years ago

Just to add to this discussion, your essays are really about “content” rather than “format”. As long as it’s full and complete and responsive to the prompt, I think a letter would be great!! In fact, I believe it will stand out because not many people write in a letter-type format. With the “Dear Cornell,...” and the “With Gratitude, [your name]”, it will be both formal and unique. But just a precaution to add to @CameronBameron ‘s approach—don’t “shower them with love”. Absolutely don’t do this. If your going to write a letter, allow it to be formal not suck-up type.

Furthermore, reusing the “love letter idea” would be considered unoriginal, especially since it’s on a website (I’m pretty sure adcoms themselves would check these websites too). However, make it a formal-type of letter. Hence, it IS original and unique to who you are and how you will fit in with the school.

Hope this helps!! Oh yeah, if you DO want to be lovey—why not write a poem instead? 🤔

3 years ago[edited]

I would err on the side of caution before I considered following a gimmick just because it would stand out and be memorable, but remember that it could go all wrong and be memorable in the wrong way.

The main purpose of any "Why Us?" essay is two-fold. 1.) The college want to know you better and to see how you think you fit on their college campus given their location, resources, values, traditions, goals, aspirations. 2.) The college wants to know if you understand this is an opportunity for you to sell them on what you can do for them.

They already expect 1000s of applicants to shower them with love but that is only 1/2 the test. They want to know how your presence is going to make their school a better place and how you add to their class and what roles you fill and why you would be a better choice than the other 9 applicants vying for the same spot.

I think your last 2 questions are the wrong questions to ask because the don't have anything to do with the purpose of these types of essays.

Good luck with your decision.

3 years ago

Hi there! As others have said, it really depends on whether you can execute it well. It may seem kind of gimmicky otherwise. Writing a love letter isn't the most unique idea ever, so I'm sure others have done it, and it therefore it wouldn't be considered stealing.

You're always welcome to use our Peer Essay Review once your essay is done, so you can get feedback on the essay :)

3 years ago

I wouldn't necessarily consider it "stealing" but I am not sure if I would consider it a good idea. While the idea itself is good, I am sure a lot of people have seen this website and have decided to do their Why Cornell essay in this approach. If the admissions office receives hundreds of essays with this approach, it is harder to stand out.

Hope this helped :)

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