How to ace the “why this college?” question


In most cases, applying for college is never as easy as it should be. Prospective students typically just want to send an application to their school of choice and hope for the best, but it doesn’t work that way. You have to write essays and answer questions, the trickiest of which is always the one that asks “why here?” The admissions officer wants to know why you’re interested in their college over all the others, and putting that into words can be challenging. Luckily, we know exactly how you can ace that question.

Start off with research

Whether you’re crazy about a college or you’re lying through your teeth, the admissions officer needs to believe you genuinely love the place. To do that, you’ve got to show you’ve taken the time to do your research. It’s essential to read up on the establishment and learn what it has to offer. Unfortunately, most of the time, you can’t fake that – you actually have to do the research.

How to ace the “why this college?” question

It might be tiring work, especially if you’re doing it for multiple colleges. However, taking in that information will pay off when you answer the question. So, check out the website, read the college paper, search for the professors online – anything you can think of. Most of what you learn should help you out.

Show a personal connection

If you want to put all this information to good use, you need to think carefully about how you share it. Don’t just reel off a load of things; otherwise, you’ll sound like a college brochure. Instead, find how it relates to you and what you want out of your experience. For example, if you’re going there because of a specific major, make reference to particular professors, their academic work, and why they attracted your attention.

Think about how many applications admissions officers go through every year. If you want to stand out to them, you need to show you not only know about the college but that you appreciate what it offers too. That’s far more likely to bag you a place than merely making generic statements about how amazing the place is.

Back up everything with evidence

No matter what you’re writing, it’s always a good idea to show rather than tell. Essentially, that means rather than saying you’re great at something, provide evidence that proves it. So, if you claim to be creative or passionate about history in your admissions essay, make sure you have stories or accolades that back it up. An admissions officer is more likely to believe you and see where your passions lie if you show them what you’re capable of.

How to ace the “why this college?” question

Never forget enthusiasm

While your application might not change their lives, these admissions officers still want to see enthusiasm from you. They pick students who will not only benefit from the college but who will give back to it in equal measure. Being excited about attending there and carving out your future as one of their students will always win you points. Just ensure that your enthusiasm comes across as meaningful and not merely a bunch of empty words on the page.

If you want to go to college, then the stress of applications is something you just have to accept. It’s all part of the package, which is why it’s important to put in the effort wherever you can. You’ll be grateful for it once that acceptance letter arrives in the post.