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"What can you offer our school?" and "Why do you wan to go here?"

WiscongeneWiscongene Registered User Posts: 1,355 Senior Member
edited June 2011 in College Essays
*I posted this in the wrong forum-sorry*

I take it these are pretty common prompts considering at least 3-4 schools that I am looking want them. I'm a little confused though, how do I answer these without bragging?

The former ("What can you offer our school?") seems simple enough. Yet, I'm not sure if they want a single story, a history, or a list? For me, personally, I want to discuss my quiet initiative, motivation and curiosity. Teachers say I possess one of the stronger work ethics that they've ever seen, and in XC, I catapulted myself from JV to lead varsity runner within a year. Although, you might say, it's a mixture of self-loathing, pride, Nietzschean eccentricity and an ounce of fun that got me there.

I want to get across that while some people are very active and loud in their community service activities, someone can be just as passionate about certain things and, due to the circumstances, be seen as the quieter type. I would have more time for EC's if I didn't love doing (and succeeding at) school work so much. I'm the guy that works behind the scenes on school-projects and those few service activities I do, and my track record shows that I'm *very* conscientious--a true workaholic. And sure, I also build guitars and breed guppies in the summers. Isn't *this* guy a useful asset to have around campus?

You see, my big concern is that in my attempt to garner sympathy for the ambitious and misunderstood ("like Germany", get the reference?) mad-scientist within me, I might give off the impression that I'm just another machine academic or a social-recluse. Your thoughts?

The second prompt, an equally common one, has me stumped. Do they simply want me to flatter them?

Anything you can help me with or any comments you wish to add are greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Post edited by Wiscongene on

Replies to: "What can you offer our school?" and "Why do you wan to go here?"

  • rubberdonutrubberdonut Registered User Posts: 71 New Member
    First question - sounds good. You just need to stress that you're multi-faceted, if you're worried about giving off those impressions. If you're unsure, ask someone you know will be completely honest.

    Second question - lol, I thought the same thing. It's like you have to show just how much you know about that college. Some people apply to Columbia and Cornell and none of the other Ivies. Why? What distinguishes that college in that applicant's eyes? Is it their strong *insertfancyscientificterm* program, their residential system, their location near say, Washington D.C. for a poli. sci. major? Along those lines...:P

    Hope that helps. :)
  • amy11112222amy11112222 Registered User Posts: 77 Junior Member
    for the latter question - 'why do you want to go here' - often the schools have bios of the profs. you can read about specific research projects and perhaps express interest. is there something about the faculty that is appealing you can discuss? diversity of the student body? small classes? international coop opportunities? maybe it has a campus feel but is located in a city? ok to mention quality of the education, but also mention specific things that the school offers that appeal to you.
  • loltimeloltime Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
    "self-loathing, pride, Nietzschean eccentricity and an ounce of fun that got me there." You've got the right idea about the kind of charm you want to answer the question with. Just don't forget to mention the other things you spend your time doing besides working hard. Colleges are after the "holistic" after all.
This discussion has been closed.