What are the unique qualities of Northwestern - and of the specific undergraduate school to which you are applying - that make you want to attend the University? In what ways do you hope to take advantage of the qualities you have identified?
Of all the reasons why I could possibly be attracted to Northwestern, none interests me more than the idea of studying Social Policy under the auspices of the School of Social Education and Social Policy. That's not to say that I don't find other aspects of your school to be compelling - Northwestern's curriculum offerings, cozy location on Chicago's north shore and Big Ten-status are hard to overlook - but, for quite some time now, I've known that I wanted to pursue an education in social policy. For these past four years, almost every single endeavor I've undertaken has been in an attempt to further my understanding of public and social policy, law, political science and government. My participation in organizations like Model United Nations and Policy Debate has rewarded me with insight into the mechanics of international affairs and domestic political reform; through Mock Trial and Moot Court, I am capable of perceiving the inherent worth of jurisprudence and legal forensics. All of these extracurricular achievements are complimented by the knowledge I've accumulated in my Government and History classes, along with my self-studying of economics.
I look to Northwestern because I recognize that it is one of the few Universities that actively devotes resources to undergraduate-level public and social policy. The more I learn about the School of Education and Social Policy and the Institute for Policy Research, the more I want Northwestern to become my home. From SESP's academic advising policies that will help me in deciding the right concentration and its core curriculum that stresses public policy in a pragmatic, societal context, to the ease at which SESP students can earn double majors at the Weinberg College and engage in interdisciplinary specialties - the School of Social Education and Social Policy has precisely what I'm looking for in my collegiate education. Here, I would be enrolled in a program that caters directly to the interests and talents that I've already spent years trying to develop. Moreover, the Institute for Policy Research and the dozens of professors in its ranks act as an on-campus utility through which I'll be able to apply my public policy studies. After seeing a few of the publications released by the IPR and its faculty members, I hope that I too may contribute to the Institute during or after my stay at Northwestern.
Additionally, I find the Northwestern Model United Nations Club, the highly-decorated Northwestern Debate Society and the Northwestern Mock Trial Team to be exceptionally compelling. These extracurricular activities easily relate to my intended major and will act as the most conducive environment in preparing me for real-life Social Policy issues. My familiarity with Speech and Debate aside, becoming involved with these clubs at Northwestern is an appropriate way of rounding-out my education at the School of Education and Social Policy, while at the same time acting as a strong segue into graduate- and professional-level political studies.
I could really use a better opening line, but I was trying to get to the point succinctly with all of my supplements.
Thanks for the help!
Instead of starting off with a broader generalization. Start off with a specific incident that made you interested in social policy.
Maybe you shoud also focus on Northwestern's atmosphere, the weather, the city, and such.
^Thanks, that makes a lot of sense. If only I had a single experience that I could use as the root of my interest, haha.
And the idea of only briefly mentioning those aspects of NU was intentional; it's incredibly cliche/overused to write about those aspects of any school.
Thanks for the good feedback.
I think that in your final paragraph you have to talk more about the whole experience of NU, rather than about the two clubs that will make an impact on you)
Your essay is well written and you sound like you know what your talking about but it was pretty boring to read. Imagine yourself in the position of the admissions person who has to go through hundreds of similar essays. That being said, I don't think this will hurt your application, its just not going to make you stand out.
I hope this isn't too harsh.
This is a very well done piece, but try to not use contractions . Use "that is " instead of "that's" and " I have" instead of "I've".
You show you know a lot about the college and its many academic/extracurricular programs.
I think it could be more improved if you incorporated more personal aspects into the essay, what makes NWU FIT YOU as in applicant.
This way you would be able to "stand out" instead of just praising the university.
Look at my NWU post if you get a chance and help me out a bit? Thanks!
focus on two or three and talk about how you ENVISION yourself at northwestern doing them
I agree with the previous comments. Generally, you're going for a pretty cookie cutter format of "Why Northwestern?"