Sample College Admission Essays
This section contains two examples of good college essays.
- College Essay One
- College Essay Two
- College Essay Three
College Essay One
Prompt: Please submit a one-page, single-spaced essay that explains why you have chosen State University and your particular major(s), department(s) or program(s).
State University and I possess a common vision. I, like State University, constantly work to explore the limits of nature by exceeding expectations. Long an amateur scientist, it was this drive that brought me to the University of Texas for its Student Science Training Program in 2013. Up to that point science had been my private past time, one I had yet to explore on anyone else’s terms. My time at UT, however, changed that. Participating for the first time in a full-length research experiment at that level, I felt more alive, more engaged, than I ever had before. Learning the complex dynamics between electromagnetic induction and optics in an attempt to solve one of the holy grails of physics, gravitational-waves, I could not have been more pleased. Thus vindicated, my desire to further formalize my love of science brings me to State University. Thanks to this experience, I know now better than ever that State University is my future, because through it I seek another, permanent, opportunity to follow my passion for science and engineering.
In addition to just science, I am drawn to State University for other reasons. I strive to work with the diverse group of people that State University wholeheartedly accommodates – and who also share my mindset. They, like me, are there because State University respects the value of diversity. I know from personal experience that in order to achieve the trust, honesty, and success that State University values, new people are needed to create a respectful environment for these values. I feel that my background as an American Sikh will provide an innovative perspective in the university’s search for knowledge while helping it to develop a basis for future success. And that, truly, is the greatest success I can imagine.
This emphasis on diversity can also be found in the variety of specialized departments found at State University. On top of its growing cultural and ethnic diversity, State University is becoming a master at creating a niche for every student. However, this does not isolate students by forcing them to work with only those individuals who follow their specific discipline. Instead, it is the seamless interaction between facilities that allows each department, from engineering to programming, to create a real learning environment that profoundly mimics the real world. Thus, State University is not just the perfect place for me, it is the only place for me. Indeed, having the intellectual keenness to absorb every ounce of knowledge presented through my time in the IB program, I know that I can contribute to State University as it continues to cultivate a scholarly climate that encourages intellectual curiosity.
At the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at State University, I will be able to do just that. In a department where education and research are intermixed, I can continue to follow the path that towards scientific excellence. Long-mesmerized by hobbies like my work with the FIRST Robotics team, I believe State University would be the best choice to continue to nurture my love for electrical and computer engineering. I have only scratched the surface in this ever evolving field but know that the technological potential is limitless. Likewise, I feel that my time at State University would make my potential similarly limitless.
This is a picture-perfect response to a university-specific essay prompt. What makes it particularly effective is not just its cohesive structure and elegant style but also the level of details the author uses in the response. By directly identifying the specific aspects of the university that are attractive to the writer, the writer is able to clearly and effectively show not only his commitment to his studies but – perhaps more importantly – the level of thought he put into his decision to apply. Review committees know what generic responses look like so specificity sells.
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College Essay Two
Prompt: What motivates you?
For as long as I can remember, I have dreamed of science. Where others see the engineering, experimentation, and presentation of science as a chore, I only see excitement. Even as a child I constantly sought it out, first on television with Bill Nye and The Mythbusters, then later in person in every museum exhibit I could find. Science in all its forms fascinated me, but science projects in particular were a category all to themselves. To me, science projects were a special joy that only grew with time. In fact, it was this continued fascination for hands-on science that brought me years later to the sauna that is the University of Alabama in mid-June. Participating in the Student Science Training Program and working in their lab made me feel like a kid in a candy store. Just the thought of participating in a project at this level of scientific rigor made me forget that this was supposed to be my summer break and I spent the first day eagerly examining every piece of equipment.
Even at first, when the whole research group sat there doing rote calculations and others felt like they were staring down the barrel of defeated purpose, I remained enthusiastic. Time and time again I reminded myself of that famous phrase "great effort leads to great rewards," and sure enough, soon my aspirations began to be met. This shift in attitude also coincided with a shift in location: from the computer desk to the laser lab. It was finally time to get my hands dirty.
Now things began to get really interesting. During the experimentation phase of the project, I spent the majority of my waking hours in the lab – and I enjoyed every minute of it. From debriefing with my coordinator in the morning to checking and rechecking results well into the afternoon, I was on cloud nine all day, every day. I even loved the electric feeling of anxiety as I waited for the results. Most of all, though, I loved the pursuit of science itself. Before I knew it, I was well into the seventh week and had completed my first long-term research experiment.
In the end, although the days were long and hard, my work that summer filled me with pride. That pride has confirmed and reinvigorated my love for science. I felt more alive, more engaged, in that lab than I have anywhere else, and I am committed to returning. I have always dreamed of science but since that summer, since my experiment, I have dreamed only of the future. To me, medical science is the future and through it I seek another, permanent, opportunity to follow my passion. After all, to follow your passion is, literally, a dream come true.
In addition to its use of clear, demonstrative language, there is one thing that makes this an effective essay: focus. Indeed, notice that, although the question is broad, the answer is narrow. This is crucial. It can be easy to wax poetic on a topic and, in the process, take on too much. Instead, by highlighting one specific aspect of his personality, the author is able to give the reader a taste of his who he is without overwhelming him or simply reproducing his résumé. This emphasis gives the reader the opportunity to learn who the writer is on his terms and makes it a truly compelling application essay.
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College Essay Three
The winter of my seventh grade year, my alcoholic mother entered a psychiatric unit for an attempted suicide. Mom survived, but I would never forget visiting her at the ward or the complete confusion I felt about her attempt to end her life. Today I realize that this experience greatly influenced my professional ambition as well as my personal identity. While early on my professional ambitions were aimed towards the mental health field, later experiences have redirected me towards a career in academia.
I come from a small, economically depressed town in Northern Wisconson. Many people in this former mining town do not graduate high school and for them college is an idealistic concept, not a reality. Neither of my parents attended college. Feelings of being trapped in a stagnant environment permeated my mind, and yet I knew I had to graduate high school; I had to get out. Although most of my friends and family did not understand my ambitions, I knew I wanted to make a difference and used their doubt as motivation to press through. Four days after I graduated high school, I joined the U.S. Army.
The 4 years I spent in the Army cultivated a deep-seated passion for serving society. While in the Army, I had the great honor to serve with several men and women who, like me, fought to make a difference in the world. During my tour of duty, I witnessed several shipmates suffer from various mental aliments. Driven by a commitment to serve and a desire to understand the foundations of psychological illness, I decided to return to school to study psychology.
In order to pay for school and continue being active in the community, I enlisted in the Texas Army National Guard as a Medic. Due to the increased deployment schedule and demands placed on all branches of the military after September 11, my attendance in school has necessarily come second to my commitment to the military. There are various semesters where, due to this demand, I attended school less than full time. Despite taking a long time and the difficulty in carving separate time for school with such occupational requirements, I remained persistent aiming towards attending school as my schedule would allow. My military commitment ends this July and will no longer complicate my academic pursuits.
In college, as I became more politically engaged, my interest began to gravitate more towards political science. The interest in serving and understanding people has never changed, yet I realized I could make a greater difference doing something for which I have a deeper passion, political science. Pursuing dual degrees in both Psychology and Political Science, I was provided an opportunity to complete a thesis in Psychology with Dr. Sheryl Carol a Professor in Social Psychology at the University of Texas (UT) This fall I will complete an additional thesis as a McNair Scholar with Dr. Ken Chambers, Associate Professor in Latin American studies in the UT Political Science Department.
As an undergraduate, I was privileged to gain extensive research experience working in a research lab with Dr. Carol. During the three years I worked in her lab, I aided in designing a study, writing an Institutional Review Board (IRB) application, running participants through both pilot and regular studies, coding data, and analyzing said data, with these experiences culminating in my honors thesis. This thesis, entitled Self-Esteem and Need-to-Belong as predictors of implicit stereotypic explanatory bias, focuses on the relationship between levels (high and low) of self-esteem and an individual’s need to belong in a group, and how they predict whether an individual will tend to explain stereotype-inconsistent behavior. Participating in such a large study from start to finish has validated my interest in academic research as a profession.
This fall I will embark on writing an additional honors thesis in political science. While the precise topic of my thesis is undecided, I am particularly interested in Mexico and its development towards a more democratic government. Minoring in Spanish, I have read various pieces of literature from Mexico and have come to respect Mexico and Latin American culture and society. I look forward to conducting this research as it will have a more qualitative tilt than my thesis in psychology, therefore granting an additional understanding of research methodology.
My present decision to switch from social psychology to political science is further related to a study abroad course sponsored by the European Union with Dr. Samuel Mitchell, an Associate Professor in the Political Science Department at UT. Professor Mitchell obtained a grant to take a class of students to Belgium in order to study the EU. This course revealed a direct correlation between what I had studied in the classroom with the real world. After spending several weeks studying the EU, its history and present movement towards integration, the class flew to Brussels where we met with officials and proceeded to learn firsthand how the EU functioned.
My interest in attending the University of Rochester in particular, relates to my first semester at OU and the opportunity to take an introductory course in statistics with the now retired Dr. Larry Miller. Through the combination of a genuine appreciation and knack for statistics and with his encouragement, I proceeded to take his advanced statistics class as well as the first graduate level statistics course at OU. I continued my statistical training by completing the second graduate statistics course on model comparisons with Dr. Roger Johnson, a Professor in the Psychology Department. The model comparison course was not only the most challenging course I have taken as an undergraduate, but the most important. As the sole undergraduate in the course and only college algebra under my belt, I felt quite intimidated. Yet, the rigors of the class compelled me to expand my thinking and learn to overcome any insecurities and deficits in my education. The effort paid off as I earned not only an ‘A’ in the course, but also won the T.O.P.S. (Top Outstanding Psychology Student) award in statistics. This award is given to the top undergraduate student with a demonstrated history of success in statistics.
My statistical training in psychology orientates me toward a more quantitative graduate experience. Due to the University of Rochester’s reputation for an extensive use of statistics in political science research, I would make a good addition to your fall class. While attending the University of Rochester, I would like to study international relations or comparative politics while in graduate school. I find the research of Dr.’s Hein Goemans and Gretchen Helmke intriguing and would like the opportunity to learn more about it through the Graduate Visitation program.
Participation in the University of Rochester’s Graduate School Visitation Program would allow me to learn more about the Department of Political Science to further see if my interests align with those in the department. Additionally, my attendance would allow the Political Science department to make a more accurate determination on how well I would fit in to the program than from solely my graduate school application. Attending the University of Rochester with its focus on quantitative training, would not only allow me to utilize the skills and knowledge I gained as an undergraduate, but also would expand this foundation to better prepare me to conduct research in a manner I find fascinating.
From attending S.E.R.E. (Survival/POW training) in the military and making it through a model comparisons course as an undergraduate, I have rarely shied away from a challenge. I thrive on difficult tasks as I enjoy systematically developing solutions to problems. Attending the University of Rochester would more than likely prove a challenge, but there is no doubt in my mind that I would not only succeed but enable me to offer a unique set of experiences to fellow members of the incoming graduate class.
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10 months ago .
The SBI PO Main Paper is around the corner. You must be prepared by now with your syllabus for the Main Paper. The best help for you at this time must be actual letter samples for SBI PO Mains, which will give you an exact idea of what to write in the descriptive paper.
Points to Remember when tackling Letter Writing:
- Decide: Are you more comfortable with Informal Letters or Formal Letters? Formal letters have a set structure and you can limit it to the subject at hand. Informal letters flow more easily and you have more flexibility in controlling the content of the letter. You will likely be given a choice between two or three subjects – one might even be an informal letter. So choose your subject well.
- Stick to Format:Follow the standard format in letter writing. Each letter simply must have the following parts in order.
- Your (Fake) Address
- Today’s Date
- Subject (There is no need for a subject in an informal letter)
- Salutations (e.g. ‘My Dearest Sister’, ‘Dear Sir’ or simply ‘Madam’ etc.)
- Introductory Paragraph, Body (dealing with the subject of the letter), Concluding Paragraph
- Sign off/ Complimentary Closing
- Your (Fake) Name (and Designation where necessary)
- Word Limit:Keep the subject in mind when writing the letter. You definitely have a time limit and will likely also have a word limit, so don’t wander off topic.
- Letter Body:The body must cover the entirety of the subject that has been given in the question. The introduction should introduce who you are and why you are writing this letter. The conclusion should be a polite but firm call to action.
- How to End: The sign off or complimentary closing must be appropriate. “Yours affectionately” may be appropriate for a personal letter but not for a formal one. “Yours sincerely” or “Yours truly” would be apter for formal letters.
- Salutation: If you know who you are writing to, make sure your salutations are gender appropriate. Else, you can just say “Sir”.
- Golden rule for Formal letters: Keep the formal letters as respectful as possible, even if you are complaining.
Here are some sample letters for you to get an idea. You can follow either of the formats for the formal letter…
Letter Samples for SBI PO Mains Descriptive Paper
1. Informal Letter Samples for SBI PO Mains
- Write an Informal Letter to your mother in about 300 words telling her of your achievements in college.
22nd July 2015.
I hope this letter finds you in the best of your health and spirits. I am writing this letter to you to tell you about my achievements at the college this year.
This year has been one of the most eventful years of my life. In the first month of college itself, I was elected as the class representative for the year. My classmates and teachers believed that my responsible and humble demeanour made me the perfect choice for this position. This was just the beginning. Once college began full swing, I became as busy as a bee.
My next successful endeavour was being a part of the organising committee of Mumbai’s largest college festival – Unnati. I participated in the organisation of this event in the capacity of the President of the entire organising team. Managing a multitude of people and ensuring that all that was planned was executed effectively almost took a toll on my physical and mental health. However, the satisfaction of its fruition was unparalleled. Besides this, I took part in a variety of conferences to realise my public speaking potential. Being awarded the ‘Best Speaker’ at several of these symposiums instilled a huge load of confidence in me. Academically, too, I have been working hard and I managed to achieve a position among the top three ranks in each semester. I do not think that this would be possible without the constant support of my teachers and friends who helped me cover up the classes I missed so often.
After such a tiring but fulfilling college year, I will be coming home over the summer break. I have been missing Papa, you and Vedika a lot and hope to see you soon!
2. Formal Letter Samples for SBI PO Mains
- Write a Formal Letter to your Municipal Corporation in about 300 words complaining about the state of roads in your area and the lack of street lights there.
B-515, Royal Ensign, Sector-64, Ashok Vihar, New Delhi, Delhi – 110052. 23rd July 2015
Mr K. K. Dahiya
Director (Personnel) – South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC)
Palika Bazar, Connaught Place
New Delhi, Delhi -110056
SUBJECT: POOR CONDITION OF ROADS AND LACK OF STREET LIGHTS IN ASHOK VIHAR
I, Ankita Vasudha, am a resident of Ashok Vihar. This letter is to draw the attention of the SDMC to the pathetic condition of roads in Ashok Vihar. The stretch between sector 64 and sector 125 has been in a very poor state since the last 6 months. This stretch, which is one of the busiest roads in New Delhi, also lacks street lighting.
The onset of the monsoon has only worsened the situation. There are huge potholes on this road which along with zero maintenance of this stretch leads to huge traffic jams during the peak hours. Needless to say, the damage it causes to the vehicles plying on this road is costing the citizens heavily. Almost every other day, a vehicle is punctured or dented or it gets stuck. Lack of proper lighting only adds to the misery of the people. The number of accidents occurring here has also gone up significantly.
Further, it has become very difficult for the pedestrians to walk along this road due to the fact that the vehicles including company buses, cabs and cars tend to avoid the potholes and drive along the sides of the roads, where pedestrians tend to walk because of the lack of proper footpaths.
These conditions have caused a lot of inconvenience to the residents of this area as well as commuters.
Keeping the above in view, I hope that the SDMC will initiate expeditious steps to ensure the repairing of this road with proper lighting.
2. Write a Formal Letter to the Principal requesting him to increase security for women in the college.
Aahat Enclave, Andheri,
22nd July 2015.
The Principal, St. Xavier’s College,
Subject: Request for increasing security for women in college
I, the undersigned, am writing this letter to you to request you to hike the security for women in the college. I am a student of your institution and am pursuing Economics. I am voicing out such a concern on behalf of all the other female students of the college.
Given the current scenario in the Indian diaspora and numerous untoward incidents that are being reported almost daily, I believe that women’s security is an issue that needs to be tackled effectively at the earliest. Most of the female students in the campus travel from faraway suburban areas and often stay back in the college campus even after the lectures are over because they participate in a wide range of extra-curricular activities. As such, it is imperative that the surveillance be increased for women in the college lest we face undesirable consequences.
This is why I earnestly request you to take some action as soon as possible. I would be highly obliged if you would do the needful and heighten the security in and around the college campus for all the females. I thank you in anticipation.
Follow these rules and these samples to ace your SBI PO 2017 exam. Best of luck!
If you liked these Samples for SBI PO Mains and are looking for Essay writing tips, you can find the links here.
Sample Essays for descriptive Paper – Part I
Sample Essays for descriptive Paper – Part II
Your descriptive paper will be evaluated only if you clear the objective stage of the SBI PO Mains. So make sure you start your preparation now!