Writing Your Essay
High school seniors applying for admission to the Kilachand Honors College often ask what we’re looking for in our potential students and what they should include in their essays.
First, read the information on this website. Look at how the Kilachand Honors College fits with your program of choice. Read more about the co-curricular events and the purpose they serve. Peruse our course offerings and look at the four-year curriculum of the program. The Kilachand Honors College isn’t for everyone, but if it is a good fit for you, you’ll know after reading this information.
Second, think about what your personal goals and interests. Kilachand Honors College students stand out for their accomplishments, motivation, and excitement about the opportunities around them.
The relaxed atmosphere and intimacy of a six-student class allows for flexibility in the curriculum, and it also provides an open forum for discussions of observations and ideas. I like how I’ve used what I’ve learned in this class in my others, in terms of addressing all sides of arguments and being comfortable during open discussions.
Marissa Petersile (CAS’15), Undeclared
If you’re like many of the Kilachand Honors Students, you probably still want more information. Here is Professor Charles Dellheim, Director of the Kilachand Honors College, explaining how Kilachand Honors College students stand out from students in a traditional honors program:
“What are we looking for? We’re looking for people who are intellectually curious, motivated; they may have an intense interest in the subjects. A lot of our students are doing a number of different things. I’ll tell you what we don’t want—If you are an English major, or a chemist, or a violinist, and all you really want to do is English or chemistry or violin; if you don’t want to learn about other disciplines and other ways of looking at the world, you would be very unhappy in the Kilachand Honors College, because that’s not our purpose. We give people a lot of opportunities, especially in the second year, to pursue their own interests; in fact, we require them to do that. What we want are students who will be engaging with different ideas, different methods, different approaches, different ways of looking at the world. And also people who will enjoy being in a community that is made up of students from all over the University.
I’ve had conversations with students who were accepted and said I only want to be with students from my school; I want to be with the students in my degree. I have to tell you, I think that’s a disaster. When you’re with one group of people, especially when you’re in college, it can get old really quickly—you don’t learn anything about the disciplines outside of your own.
It isn’t that we’re looking for people who are well rounded—that’s a phrase I don’t like. I had a professor who said “Well-rounded—that means a person without edges! Without personality!” We are trying to find students who have a lot of ability and who would really flourish in college and add something to the community, but maybe didn’t have the highest SAT scores or GPA.”
If you’re interested in sitting in on a Kilachand Honors College class or talking with a current Student Ambassador, please contact us.
The Inevitable College Essay Question: "Why Are You A Good Match?" appears on just about every college application. What are some things to keep in mind while answering this question?
Some of you will be making plans to visit colleges. Many of you will be doing web research on colleges and just about anyone applying to college will need to eventually answer an inevitable college essay question, "Why are you a good match?" 'Why are you a match' college essay questions generally have a limited word or character count and must be concise, clear and give admission officers insight about the applicant.
Here are a few tips to help:
1. Know the academic departments in which you are interested. These vary and set each college apart from one another. Find the uniqueness in faculty, course offerings and available resources. Understand what appeals to you and why you are applying. Why is a specific academic department a good fit for you, how can you reach your goals and be an asset? Do not answer the "WHY" question telling the readers what they already know about their college. Show them why you are a good match!
Be An Asset
2. Be clear about how you can contribute in meaningful ways. Perhaps you want to continue a project you worked on in high school or at a previous college. How will you integrate life on campus with events in the surrounding community? Admission officers like students who will contribute to life on campus and enrich their community.
3. The mission statement of each college is a unique statement that explains the basic philosophy of that school. Demonstrate an understanding of it and how it ties in with your beliefs. If you are a match for that college, it is important that you communicate that point.
Show Your Passion
4. Your sincerity and desire to attend that university must come through in your writing. If you plan on attending if admitted, say so, Demonstrate excitement about specifics about that college that appeal to you. Remember not to be vague and just mention generalities about reputation, faculty or yearly events. Your detail will show admission officers that you have carefully researched their college and are sincere about your intent to be part of their school. Use specific examples that demonstrate you understand what makes that college unique and why you are a good match. If you have visited, state that and don't tell them things they already know like that they have a great faculty or a beautiful campus.
5. Try to stay current and read the campus newspaper. Students are writing about hot topics and it's a great way to learn about the current events on campus. You should demonstrate your knowledge about what is going on outside the classroom as well as inside. Write about how you would like to be active on campus through clubs, organizations and internships. Your spirit should shine through so those reading your application will know you will add value to their college. Be explicit, sincere and detail oriented in your response and your essay will be more impressive
Following these essay tips will distinguish you from other applicants and help make you a strong candidate for the colleges where you choose to apply.
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