As admissions officers wade through equally qualified applicants, they work to determine who is going to be the best fit with their institution. Who gets what they are all about? Who has done their research and understands “Why this College?” They ask this supplemental essay question in a lot of different ways, with varying requirements when it comes to length, but they’re all trying to get at the same thing: Why do you want to be here, as opposed to one of the other wonderful schools on your list? Review these tips when you consider how to write your best “why this college” essay: Be genuine. Be specific. Go deep. Talk about your visit. If you didn’t visit, dig into the website. Explore how you fit with the college. Avoid using the school’s ranking. Include compelling details. And lastly, take this question seriously. If they ask, they want to know your answer. There are a lot of college options; admissions officers want to know that you are choosing their school for good reasons and not just clicking a box on your Common Application. For more about how to master this essay topic, see the latest post on the College Coach Insider Blog at

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