What do colleges mostly want to see in "why us" essays?

<p>Hey guys</p>

<p>Just finishing my supplements, and most colleges ask for a "why us" or a "why this major" essay. Can those of you that have gone through this already say what exactly they wish to see?</p>

<p>I'm international, so I couldn't visit campus, so I can't say that I fell in love with the college because of how warmly it greeted me and how at home I felt. So I have to rely on what I found out on their websites and the brochures some sent my way.</p>

<p>Any help would be muchly appreciated :)</p>

<p>Hello,</p>

<p>here are some posts I found useful. They are by the poster digmedia who has also written a book about writing the application essay.</p>

<p><a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-essays/1188060-how-does-someone-answer-why-insert-college-essay-question-w-o-being-cliche.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-essays/1188060-how-does-someone-answer-why-insert-college-essay-question-w-o-being-cliche.html&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>In response to a poster about Why Emory?:

[quote]
Advice: Everyone will spend their 250 words talking about how great Emory is (and it is), as well as extolling the virtues of the specific schools. The real trick is to make sure the essay is about YOU in this way: How the school fits YOUR needs by what it offers. You need to let them know that you've spent time discovering just why Emory is right for YOU, not why Emory (and the specific school) is great.</p>

<p>Example: Which is more likely to capture their attention:</p>

<ol>
<li>"Emory's professors are well-known in the field of _____ and the research is world-class... blah blah blah" (you know the type of statements).</li>
</ol>

<p>-or-</p>

<ol>
<li>"I am very interested in _______ and researched lots of schools trying to find one which would fuel my passion for the subject. Imagine my excitement when I ran across a reference to ________ in the School of __<strong><em>. I immediately began researching Emory and discovered that it has everything I need to pursue _</em></strong>. For example, ...."</li>
</ol>

<p>Actually, I don't think that #2 is especially worded well, but you get the point. You are not saying "Emory, you're great! Take me ... please!" but "I have needs to seriously pursue my career and, out of all the schools I researched, you - Emory - will fit the bill."</p>

<p><a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-essays/1225099-why-emory-essay.html%5B/url%5D%5B/quote%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-essays/1225099-why-emory-essay.html

[/quote]
</a></p>

<p>In response to a Why NYU? prompt:

[quote]
Just like the personal statement, the "Why ___?" has to be an essay about YOU. They know about their own school, so those who write about how great the school is come across as prestige-hounds. But you really want to tell why the school is a FIT for YOU. So start out saying that you are searching for a FIT for YOU and that several things are important to you. </p>

<p>Your things mentioned above fit right into that... you want to be in a city with journalism opportunities (notice the subtle difference between that statement and saying "NYC has great opportunities for journalism")... you want an environment where you can feel comfortable as a gay man... etc. You've done your research and NYU looks to be a great fit for you. </p>

<p>Very subtle difference in approach, but you want it to look like
a) you have requirements for yourself,
b) you've done research into schools/cities/environments, and
c) it looks like NYU is the choice YOU want to make.</p>

<p><a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-essays/1214942-drafting-my-response-my-why-nyu-supplement-cliche-response.html%5B/url%5D%5B/quote%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-essays/1214942-drafting-my-response-my-why-nyu-supplement-cliche-response.html

[/quote]
</a></p>

<p>Check out his other posts too. I used quite a bit of his advice and it worked.</p>

<p>Thank you so much! I'll definitely look at the other posts! I'm also going to buy the book right now</p>