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'FOCUS' program - Is there something particular about Duke that attracts you?


CollegeMe 7 / 19 3  
Jan 3, 2016   #1
If you are applying to the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences as a first year applicant, please discuss why you consider Duke a good match for you. Is there something particular about Duke that attracts you? (Please limit your response to no more than 150 words)

One of the things that attracts me to Duke is the FOCUS program.
I like making connections. I find it mentally stimulating when I am able to make connections between the economics class I currently take and the business math class I took last year. I want to continue making similar connections in college and like how Duke's FOCUS program sets it up to where these connections are easily made through the course clusters.

The FOCUS program will also allow me to build a strong relationship with my classmates and my professors. I like belonging to small, closely knit groups and like how the FOCUS program provides that. I also want to be as close to my college professors as I am to my high school teachers, and the FOCUS discussion seminars over dinner in addition to the Duke flunches will help me create the relationships I desire.
vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Jan 3, 2016   #2
Olu, if you remove the first sentence that you wrote and instead open the statement with the line " I like making connections..." then you are able to create a more memorable opening hook for your response. You should always make your response about you, first and Duke, second. All of these essays are meant to give you an opportunity to present various facets of your interests and personality to the reviewer. So wording the statement, no matter how short, in the correct manner is of the utmost importance.

When you open the statement with "One of the things that attracts me to Duke is the FOCUS program." You remove the focus from the reason that Duke is a perfect match for you and instead, make it all about why Duke is a good university for you to attend. Setting up your statement in certain ways manages to change the trajectory of your response and in the process, ends up changing the implication of your response. That is what happened in this statement when you opened with that sentence. However, it is easy to get it back on track by simply editing the response.

Your response is strong and accurate. Don't be worried about whether you addressed the prompt properly or not because you actually did. There was just a slight misstep in the way you formatted the response that needs to be addressed in order to make the response statement as strong as it can possibly be.
OP CollegeMe 7 / 19 3  
Jan 3, 2016   #3
Thanks for the advice. I made changes in the body as well. Tell me what you think.

I like making connections. I find it mentally stimulating when I am able to make connections between the economics class I currently take and the business math class I took last year. I want to continue making similar connections in college and like how Duke's Focus program sets it up to where these connections are easily made by providing clusters of related, yet distinct courses.

Secondly, I like belonging to small, closely knit groups. I am attracted by the fact that the Focus program will make that possible for me through small classes made up of the same people I will also live near.

I also want to be able to have the same close relationship I have with my teachers in high school with my professors in college. Duke's weekly Focus dinners in addition to the Duke flunches and FINvites will help me create the relationships I desire.
vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Jan 3, 2016   #4
Olu, this version of the statement response is just as good as the first and also, has a problem sentence that I think you should remove. When it comes to your statement that indicates:

Secondly, I like belonging to small, closely knit groups. I am attracted by the fact that the Focus program will make that possible for me through small classes made up of the same people I will also live near.

It seems like the statement is not as strong as the rest of the essay. All of the information that you placed before and after this line indicates a clear connection as to what attracts you to Duke in a strong manner. However, this reference to your possible residence and relationship with your neighbors and classmates does not resonate as strongly as the other parts. My opinion is that you can omit this part and just keep the focus on your interest in the Focus program. That makes for a more informative and stronger response statement.
OP CollegeMe 7 / 19 3  
Jan 3, 2016   #5
Thank you, will do!


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