This is a classic “Why us?” essay, but with a smaller word budget than most others of its type. Here’s a complete guide on how to write the “Why us?” essay. Read through it and pay close attention to the “Why Cornell” and “Why Penn” examples (our favorites).

This essay will be shorter, so you won’t be able to match those essays, but you’ll still be able to work in at least 4-8 reasons. 

Action Items:

  1. Reflect on what you want out of your college experience. Collect those insights using this chart. Identifying specific or niche interests and needs will help you find equally specific resources at Georgia Tech and make your “we’re a perfect match” case (see more on this in the “complete guide” link above) more compelling. 

  2. Spend at least an hour researching 10+ reasons why Georgia Tech might be a great fit for you, mapping them out in the third column of the chart. 

    1. Remember: The best “Why us?” pieces don’t celebrate how “x” school is the GREATEST SCHOOL OF ALL TIME. They’re more an explanation of why you and the school are the perfect match. Make sure to connect each of your Tech examples to your goals and interests. 

  3. Create an outline based on either Approach One, Approach Two (recommended), or Approach 3 (as explained in our “Why us?” guide). 

Example Georgia Tech Essay 1:

Ever since participating in the InVenture Challenge, I fell in love with Georgia Tech. I was exposed to the school’s principal philosophy of “creating the next” when a guest speaker who had won the collegiate-level InVenture Prize spoke about a new portable toilet designed for developing countries with poor access to clean sanitation. I was so blown away by the innovation taking place that I decided to walk around campus and found a group testing a new device for transmitting a certain signal frequency that could map any environment targeted. I needed to know more. The students were eager to share their prototype with me. I learned that one was majoring in computer science and the other industrial design. 

On the way home, I researched the industrial design program at Tech and was immediately hooked on the possibilities. Not only would I learn to design and build devices but learn principles of human interaction with design philosophy. After touring other colleges that offered industrial design, none matched the level Georgia Tech offered. Not only does Tech offer a strong program on how to sketch high-quality designs, but it also teaches students how to prototype and manufacture functional devices. Touring spaces like the Interactive Product Design Lab, run by Noah Posner, showed me the importance Tech places on creating devices that connect to users. I really hope to take a class with Pr ofessor Chininis, who I met while touring Tech. By learning from his example in creating toys for brand companies, I’ll learn to create products that address people’s needs.  

The emphasis Tech places on startups and innovation is unmatched. From its maker spaces to its help with patent filings, the opportunities Tech provides will teach me skills that will help me make an impact in my field after graduation.

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Tips + Analysis

  1. Specifics, specifics, specifics. This student packs his essay with examples that demonstrate he has done his research. Check out the types of specifics he offers (and the kinds of things you can include in your essay):

    • School philosophy + mission statement: This student names Tech’s mission of “creating the next.” You can often find a school’s mission and values on its website under sections like “Our Mission” or “Who We Are.” 

    • Guest speaker: Hearing about a portable toilet that will improve the health of people in developing countries not only demonstrates that the student is tuned into what’s happening on Tech’s campus; it subtly demonstrates that he is interested in using what he learns at Tech to help others. 

    • Experience on campus: Sharing the story of hearing a guest speaker, touring the campus, and witnessing student innovation in action drives home the message that this student has already invested in being a part of Georgia Tech. If you’ve visited the campus, consider sharing a quick and focused story about something you saw or heard. Haven’t visited campus, can’t, or won’t visit? Don’t worry. You can write a similar story about “exploring” the campus website, course catalogue, or a student publication. 

    • Campus resources: The InVenture Challenge. The Interactive Product Design Center. These are unique to Georgia Tech, and show that this student will arrive on campus ready to make the most of the resources available. 

    • Professors: This student refers to professor Chininis’ work in toy design. Use the course catalogue to find a professor who teaches a class that aligns with your interests. Even better, use the college website to find a professor doing current research that relates to the work you hope to do on campus or as a career. 

    • Classes: The classic. Almost every student will include classes they hope to take in their “Why us?” essay,  and you should too! But make sure to flesh out your essay with non-class examples (like the ones listed above). 

  2. Connect Georgia Tech’s specifics to you and your interests. On top of showing that Georgia Tech is a great school for you, show how you will be a great fit for the school. A great way to do this is to refer to specific interests and “stuff you’ve done” that you’ll build on once you’re a Yellow Jacket. 

This student, for example, mentions his involvement in Tech’s InVenture challenge, and a desire to “create products that address peoples’ needs.” He also implies an interest in start-ups and innovation. By mentioning these things, we start to understand how he’ll make the most of his time on campus. 

Let’s take a look at another example that even more directly emphasizes connections between the author and the school.

Example 2

At Georgia Tech I’m excited to explore both the small and the large.

I want to work with professor Fedorov at Georgia Tech and study engineering on the nanoscale.  I’ve been working on finding potential materials for solar cells by comparing and improving their bandgaps and am interested in participating in the research on the micro-capillary injector. The vibration-powered robots, investigated by Azadeh Ansari and Jun Ueda as well as graduate students DeaGyu Kim and Chris Hao, also attract my interest, for it may be possible for it to swim in the human body, combating diseases. 

Science also can be seen in the largest things. Through NASA’s Exobiology Program and working with scientists in Tech’s School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, I’ll learn more about the hydrate crystallization process under high-pressure, and further explore the structures of methane clathrates, understanding the habitability on the icy moons of Jupiter and Saturn. Moreover, the course Nuclear Astrophysics and Stellar Evolution with Dr. Sowell will give me a deeper understanding on the topic of stellar structure and evolution, as well as nucleosynthesis and degenerate objects. Studying this course that also focuses on the Boltzmann & Saha Equations will take my understanding of the relationship between ionization of an atom and its ground and excited state to another level. 

Besides science, Tech offers opportunities for me to make connections with those around me. With my experience and interest in video recording and editing, I would love to explore the Filmmakers to work with peers and produce shorts to share with the community. Also, having volunteered for my school’s GiveBack 5K and learning about people’s acts of kindness, I’d love to be a part of the Break Free from Poverty 5K Run/Walk, as sometimes small things can make a big difference. 

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Tips + Analysis

  1. Connect Georgia Tech’s specifics to you. This student does this in a few effective ways:

    • As a framing device. This student begins with a statement of her interests: exploring things both small and large. By opening this way, we know that every specific example she gives about resources and opportunities at Tech will relate to her interest in exploration. It’s also a great hook—What kinds of things? 

    • In relation to work she has already done. Right after name-dropping professor Fedorov, she backs it up with some details on her work to find “potential materials for solar cells.” She follows that up with details on the type of research done by Fodorov, research she implies is connected to her own projects. 

    • As a way to learn more about topics she’s just starting to learn about. The student has an “understanding of the relationship between ionization of an atom and its ground and excited state,” but wants to take that understanding to another level. This implies that she a) already knows something about the topic (seriously, you have to know something to reference Boltzmann Equations…), and b) already has a plan for developing that knowledge at Tech. 

    • As an opportunity for her to tap into new and budding interests. Just because you haven’t done something amazing in a certain area doesn’t mean you can’t include it in a “Why us?” essay. This student mentions her interest in video recording and editing, and implies that she can have a greater impact on Tech’s campus (producing shorts to share with the community). She also mentions the volunteer work she’s done and the type of volunteer work she hopes to do as a student at Tech. 

  2. Use geeky language. Nanoscale. Bandgaps. Microcapillary. Hydrate crystallization. Methane clathrates. Without having to explain any of these concepts explicitly, this student shows us that she knows her stuff and will show up on campus ready to jump right into her academic and research work. 

  3. Show more than one side of yourself. The first two paragraphs make it clear that this student is a science stan. But this student makes a point of rounding out her interests. While some people may envision a serious scientist living in the lab, she’s the kind of scientist who prioritizes making “connections with those around [her].” By mentioning her video-editing and volunteer work, the reader’s vision of her as a Tech student shifts to more accurately capture the full range of her interests and abilities.