Top 4 Do’s and Don’ts of Writing the “Why Us” Admissions Essay

By Brandie Erickson November 23, 2022 BS/MD Admissions Consulting College Application Press

High school seniors are in full swing writing many different college admission essays. One essay question that tends to come up frequently is the “Why Us” or “Why This College” topic. This supplemental topic is asking the very specific question of why you want to attend the college you’re applying to. This admissions essay topic offers a perfect opportunity to show ones genuine interest in a specific college/program. But, is there a right or wrong way to write this essay? The short answer is yes. 

1. Don’t reuse one essay for every college

Admission officers can always tell if you reuse material. For example, saying “I want to attend Harvard University because it’s a great school with a welcoming community where I can truly succeed” is much too vague. You could switch out Harvard for Duke UniversityBrown University, or any other college, which means you’re wasting your word count. Be more specific and find reasons why you want to attend a particular school. If you do reuse essay material, ensure that you proofread it several times before submitting your applications. Nothing is worse than an admission officer reading a “Why Us?” essay that mentions another school.

2. Do share concrete reasons why you want to attend

You can’t just rely on your emotions to produce a great “Why Us?” essay. Saying that you’ve been dreaming of attending a certain university since you were five years old and you’re positive it’s the right place for you is a sweet sentiment, but it doesn’t show the admission officers how you would fit in and contribute to their campus community. Give them as much reason to believe that they’re the right fit for you as you are the right fit for them.

To read all of the tips and see how they can better help your chances when writing your college admission essays, check out our article on CollegeXpress here.