View Full Version : college application

September 29th, 2011, 03:31 AM
hi, I have been told by many people to major my college essay creative, fun, and eye catching. I have an idea but i am a little wary about it. a little background info though. I will be applying mainly to embry riddle, Virginia Military Institute, and the airforce academy(a few others too) but I was thinking about writing one of my college essays in binary(of course providing my calculations and a translation) but I think this is creative an eye catching, I wont be doing this for the academy or VMI since they are military and I and a few of my teachers do not believe they will like it, but in your opinion, is it a good idea?

September 29th, 2011, 03:36 AM
It depends on what you're planning to major in. If Art or Computer Science, then by all means try it. If it's for psychology, not so much...

Also, be wary. If the right person reads it, however, you have a good chance of getting in.

By the way, I don't actually know the college you're applying for well enough for my opinion to be worth salt, so don't make it be. ;)

September 29th, 2011, 03:39 AM
sorry forgot to mention that, i will be majoring in aerospace/mechanical engineering with a focus in astronautics

September 29th, 2011, 03:52 AM
I wouldn't do it, sounds like you're taking the idea of being creative a bit overboard. Besides, majors aren't taken in consideration when you apply for college.

September 29th, 2011, 03:56 AM
well heres the thing, one of my history teachers students was accepted into MIT by making his application into a working clock(origami), so im not sure where the creativity line ends

September 29th, 2011, 04:02 AM
For undergraduate essays, what they're looking for is for you to express what makes *you* unique and special. Keep this in mind throughout the whole essay. You want to say something about yourself that nobody else can say (good of course :P).

September 29th, 2011, 04:46 AM
I teach at a university and while I don't read admissions essays, I do read applications essays for programs that I'm involved with.

When I read these essays I want to see, minimally, that the student has a solid command of basic writing skills. If you cannot write or think that editing involves spell checking, then I don't even look at the rest of your application. A grasp of organization, rhetoric and logic with a dose of clarity floats my boat.

Beyond that, I select essays which demonstrate that the student has a clear and sober assessment of how exactly they are going to fit into the program in question. If the student does not have realistic expectations, or seems to know nothing about what they're applying for, then I usually move their application to the bottom of the pile even if the grades and numbers look great.

In the main, I want to see that you're a sane, thoughtful person who is competent at communicating. Anything relevant and interesting after that (your ambitions, an interesting story, the problem that defines your life, the influence of your grandfather, etc, etc) is a bonus.

Rendering your essay into binary might be huge risk especially since you are applying to notoriously conservative institutions. I'm not saying don't do it, I'm just saying that, as far as academic culture goes, the Air Force Academy is not MIT. For example, you wouldn't submit the same application letter to Disney and to the CIA. Make it sing, but know who your audience is.

On the other hand, if they ask to submit a writing sample or project with your application, that would be an appropriate place to take a creative risk.

Also, think about casting your net a little wider. Three institutions is not enough these days. Arguably you might get a better engineering education at a school that is not a military academy and end up with a better job in the end although the security clearance that will inevitably follows from post graduation service has worked out really well for some of my friends (many of my friends in HS and graduate school graduated from military academies--a few teach at those institutions).

Good Luck!!

September 29th, 2011, 05:20 AM
I'm applying to ROTC scholarships, and they require you to apply to 5- 6 different colleges for the program, so i have about 10 - 15 different colleges i am applying to, I will take the risk with some. Thank you for the advice as I am nervous about college

September 29th, 2011, 06:00 AM
I'm no expert on university admissions, not by a long shot. However, I was in the military for 6 1/2 years. Do NOT apply to an officer candidate program and try to be "creative" or "clever" they don't find it amusing. I would DEFINITELY not recommend you writing your application in binary (even with an attached translated copy) and submitting it to ANY military organization.

Be professional, be concise, and be knowledgeable. The other organizations I don't know much about so I can't help you there. On a side note, I wouldn't actually recommend you writing it in binary at all. It's not that creative and to be honest I think everyone knows you probably won't have actually written it in binary but only converted the original ascii. So it's sort of pointless, since it would amount to writing the admission essay and 2 1/2 extra minutes of copy and pasting.