In order to write an effective response, it is important to understand why Tufts University is asking this. Students typically apply to several colleges, so this question is meant to see how serious the applicant is about attending the school. When answering this question, you should be asking yourself, why would I rather attend Tufts as opposed to any other college?
This mindset will help you discover unique reasons that make Tufts stand out from other universities. It is very important to be specific with this response. If you can replace the word Tufts with the name of another school, then it needs to be refined further to include Tufts-exclusive details.
For example, if there is a specific program that Tufts specializes in, such as the International Relations program, definitely mention that. The nature of the program itself does not have to be unique, but the descriptions about it have to provide unique insight that is not applicable to any other school. For instance, International Relations itself is not an exclusive course of study; in fact, Stanford, the University of California-Davis, and the University of Southern California all offer such a major in their undergraduate program.
However, only Tufts requires a capstone component which can be fulfilled through intensive seminars in one’s chosen concentration or directed research mentored by one of the professors. Therefore, when citing the International Relations program as one of Tuft’s allures, it is insufficient to mention its prestige; instead, discuss how the capstone project will allow you to develop your perspective on the tensions between world superpowers under the seasoned guidance of Professor Hitchner.
Because of the restrictive word limit, choose one aspect and describe it in an in-depth manner. The most important thing is to demonstrate how your personal strengths can contribute to that unique facet of Tufts. Doing so allows the admissions officers to understand that you are a good fit for the school, not just the other way around.
Here’s another college application staple: the “elaborate on an extracurricular” prompt. This time, however, you actually have some breathing room.
Compared to Purdue’s other prompts, this one is more straightforward. For this essay, you should expand one extracurricular activity beyond the scope of what is listed in your activities section or resume. Bonus points if you can convey personal growth.
The biggest challenge here will be choosing the right activity to write about. You don’t necessarily want to choose your most impressive one. Often times, writing about your personal experience with something more grounded can be just as effective.
If your application has a central theme (like commitment to service, intellectual fervor, or social activism), you might consider using an activity that relates to this theme, even if it is only tangentially related. This will uphold the overall cohesion of your application.
On the contrary, it can be good to demonstrate your capacity to engage with the world in multiple, often contradictory ways. A diverse portfolio can be a good indicator of a mature thinker, capable of seeing multiple perspectives.
Which of the following major/activity pairings do you think would be most effective:
- A political science major who writes about student government
- A biology major who writes about ceramics
- A linguistics major who writes about ice skating
- A statistics major who writes about social science research
- An English major who writes about HOSA
The truth is, all five pairings have equal potential to be great! It just depends on your unique circumstances and how you wish to frame your response.
While you have liberty with subject matter, don’t just write anything. Make sure your response to this question provides new information. Adcoms will be able to see what accomplishments are on your application, so you need to focus on specific tasks within these activities and why they were so impactful.
This essay isn’t lengthy, but it’s still a chance to be creative in terms of content/structure. Try to begin with an interesting hook that leaves the reader begging for more.