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Why University of Michigan?

High school seniors applying to U-M often get stuck when writing the essay about why they want to attend a specific school or college. Wow Writing Workshop’s Susan Knoppow offers suggestions.

One of the most challenging questions for high school seniors applying to the University of Michigan shows up on the university's application supplement: Describe the unique qualities that attract you to the specific undergraduate College or School (including preferred admission and dual degree programs) to which you are applying at the University of Michigan. How would that curriculum support your interests?

Writing 500 words on this topic is easier for students applying to the nursing school or engineering program. It’s not so bad for those who want to be musicians or architects. But what if you are applying to U-M’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts? Budding liberal arts majors, what can you say?

Actually, responding to this prompt is less challenging than you might think. Are you interested in a specific program? Do you want to do research for a professor you’ve read about? Is there a  unique program at U-M-LSA that you are looking forward to? Be sure to write about it and show that you really understand what it is about.

Do not tell the admissions committee you “bleed maize and blue” or that you have been attending Big Ten football games since you were a toddler. Don’t repeat the stats on the LSA web page. Your audience knows they have gifted faculty, dozens of inspiring programs and opportunities for undergraduate research and exploration.

What do you know about yourself? Are you curious? Creative? Innovative? Do you love a good challenge? Are you a problem-solver?

What do you know about U-M-LSA? What appeals to you about liberal arts? Do you look forward to the opportunity to study everything from public policy to linguistics? Are you interested in the Residential College? Do you hope to participate in the University Research Opportunity Program? Do you want to go to the Biological Station? Are you curious about the Institute for Social Research?

Choose a story that demonstrates how your best qualities intersect with the best of U-M, then give it your all. Everyone has a story to tell – including you.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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