EducationUSA Mentorship Program


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Short Essays (150-250 words) are just as important as the longer essays (up to 650). Please approach them with the same degree of thoughtfulness and diligence as the longer ones. The writing process is the same. The purpose of the essay is the same – who are you and how are you different. Keep them personal by being open and honest. Keep it focused and clear. Dont try to say everything. Also, keep in mind, admissions officers read all your submissions together.  So again, look at all your essays together and balance their content.


Essay on Extracurricular Activity


Colleges often ask students to write about an extracurricular activity or work experience in the short-answer essays. This can be a number of things: sport, club, special summer project, language program, anything you do outside the school hours. The most important thing here is to focus on what you have learned and how that experience has changed you. Try to explain what that activity is, and see if you can craft a story about it when you started it and now. Explain why is it important to you. Don’t repeat what you have said in the application form.


Don’t forget please – just because the answer is short, it doesn’t mean it will take you less time to write it. These questions would be difficult even for an accomplished professional. Take your time to reflect on the question, be honest in your answers, make an essay plan and start your draft.


Short questions range from short questions” “What makes you happy?” to longer ones, “Nelson Mandela believed that “what counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived.  It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”  Describe a way in which you have made or hope to make a difference.” (Tufts University, 2019)


Story: There is an interview with a successful Tufts University student who graduated in 2011, and works now at a software engineering company. (From Electrical Engineering to the Environment, Julia Wagner, E’11) In it you can gather what makes a successful university candidate, and later a graduate. Julia is passionate about calculus and engineering. But she is also an avid environmentalist and has been wanting to “design things to make them more sustainable” right from the start. She realized great programs exist in German, so she learned German in college. All her engineering peers played an instrument. They are not good at just one thing but two or four…arts, sports, academics……” These are the kinds of qualities you want to emerge from application.


and “Why Us” essays

January 22, 2015

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