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By our guest writers EssayEdge. The Harvard educated admissions essay editors.

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Lesson One: Future Goals Essays

Please select from the following sample application essays:

Note: The below essays were not edited by EssayEdge Editors. They appear as they were initially reviewed by admissions officers.

Sample Essay 1: Georgetown, School Target

When I think of Georgetown University, I think of Washington and world affairs. I do not know yet exactly what type of professional career I will pursue after schooling, but I do know that I wish to be inter-nationally aware and involved, and that Georgetown would provide me with a solid foundation for that goal.

I am glad I do not know specifically what I want to do later on, because it should be an adventure choosing which course I will take in life. Thus, I have time to experiment and learn from a wide variety of topics. At Georgetown, I am present with the opportunity to take any classes I want and to be taught by some of the most learned and dynamic professors in the world. I was once told that in college, I “will take classes in subjects I had never thought or heard of, ” and I am very excited to do this.

If I were required to pick a major at this instant, I would choose history. If history were only studying, memorizing and regurgitating events, facts, and dates, I would be just as uninterested as most people. However, in studying history, I get a chance to contemplate ideologies and the nature of human beings. I believe that Georgetown University is the best place in the world to study history. It is a school located in Washington, D.C., the capital of the country, of outstanding academic reputation and recognition; my resources would be absolutely unlimited. Living in Washington, I would feel the pulse of our world today. The United States is the world’s dominant power and every issue of great global importance is brought to the country’s capital.

I have been told that although Georgetown has approximately 6,000 undergraduates, the students and faculty alike feel as if the school is a small, interwoven community. I believe that this sense of closeness is a vital aspect in an outstanding college experience. We learn most from interactions among other people, and the fact that this reputation of faculty accessibility and student involvement-both in the immediate Georgetown community and in Washington, D.C.-exists, is very attractive to me.

Sample Essay 2: Johns Hopkins, School Target

The college admissions and selection process is a very important one, perhaps one that will have the greatest impact on one’s future. The college that a person will go to often influences his personality, views, and career. Therefore, when I hear people say that “it doesn’t matter that much which college you go to. You can get a good education anywhere, if you are self-motivated,” I tend to be rather skeptical. Perhaps, as far as actual knowledge is concerned, that statement is somewhat valid. Physics and mathematics are the same, regardless of where they are taught. Knowledge, however, is only a small piece of the puzzle that is college, and it is in the rest of that puzzle that colleges differ.

At least as important, or even more important, than knowledge, is the attitude towards that knowledge. Last year, when my engineering team was competing in the NEDC Design Challenge, held at Hopkins, after the competition I and a few friends talked to a professor of civil engineering. What struck me is the passion with which he talked about his field of study. At Hopkins, everyone-the students, the faculty, the administration-displays a certain earnestness about learning. This makes Hopkins a good match for me, as I, too, am very enthusiastic about the subjects I study. I love learning, and when those around me do too, it creates a great atmosphere from which everyone benefits.

My enthusiasm and activeness extend not just to academics, but to other aspects of life as well. I am very involved in extracurricular activities, participating in my school’s engineering club and math team, and I love sports, having played on the varsity soccer and tennis teams for three years. This makes Hopkins, with its great sport traditions and a multitude of clubs and organizations, a great choice. Further, while in college I intend to explore new activities. Because of my school’s small size and dual curriculum, there is a relatively narrow spectrum of activities available for me. Hopkins affords a great opportunity for me to branch out and participate in organizations to which I previously had no access.

Another aspect of Hopkins that attracts me greatly is its student body, diverse and multicultural, but at the same time uniformly strong academically. Since I myself am a refugee from Russia, where I experienced social and cultural anti-Semitism, multiculturalism and acceptance of different groups are very important to me, not to mention that it allows me to meet people of different backgrounds and learn of their varying perspectives. And this summer at the U.S.A. Mathematical Talent Search Young Scholars’ Program, I experienced the thrill of working in a group where everyone is on the same, or higher, intellectual level as I. I think that, given my academic and cultural background, I would fit in well with the student life at Hopkins and contribute to it.

Academically, too, I believe I would fit Hopkins well. Though Hopkins is most known for its medical program, its engineering school is also one of the best, and that is the general area of study I intend to pursue. In high school, I’ve most enjoyed my mathematics and science courses, particularly physics, and I have participated in the engineering school, so attending Hopkins’ engineering program would be a natural extension of my high school interests. However, my interests are not confined solely to the sciences. I enjoy courses from all areas of curriculum, particularly unorthodox and thought-provoking ones. Therefore, Hopkins, which according to the viewbook “is geared toward educating students in the fundamentals of their field of interest while illuminating wider possibilities through interdisciplinary study” is perfect for me.

Of course, none of those aspects of Hopkins, neither their great student body, their world-renowned faculty, their research centers, nor their clubs and extracurricular opportunities, are worth anything unless one takes advantage of them. That, however, is exactly what I intend to do. While many people find the transition to college overwhelming, therefore not participating in the student life fully the first year, I hope to plunge immediately into the full array of possibility and make as much use of them as possible. Though my soccer and tennis skills might prove insufficient to earn me a place on Hopkins’ varsity teams (though I hope that’s not the case,) I nevertheless want to play sports at least on the club level. Other than that, however, nothing is set in stone except for one thing-to take as full and broad advantage of what Hopkins has to offer as possible.

Comments:

Both of these essays do a good job of showing that the writers know the schools and have some specific reasons for wanting to attend them. The first focuses more on the academic environment and surrounding city. The second combines several aspects such as academics, extracurriculars, and a diverse student body. Both applicants also use the opportunity to show that they would fit in by highlighting their own interests and activities (an interest in history in the first and math, tennis, and soccer in the second).

Return to Lesson One's College Essay Questions Help

From Essays that will get you into College, by Amy Burnham, Daniel Kaufman, and Chris Dowhan. Copyright 1998 by Dan Kaufman. Reprinted by arrangement with Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

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