Five Tips To Answer The Universal College Essay Prompt: Why Are You A Good Match?


The Universal College Essay Prompt: “Why Are You A Good Match?” appears on just about every college application. Below are some things to keep in mind while answering this question.


Some of you will be making plans to visit colleges. Many of you will be doing web research on colleges and just about anyone applying to college will need to answer why they are a good match for a specific college. “Why are you a match?” college essay questions generally have a limited word or character count and must be concise, clear and give admission officers insight about you, the applicant.

Following these essay tips will distinguish you from other applicants and help make you a strong candidate for the colleges where you choose to apply.

Tip 1: Know the academic departments in which you are interested.

These vary and set each college apart from one another. Find the uniqueness in faculty, course offerings and available resources. Understand what appeals to you and why you are applying. Why is a specific academic department a good fit for you, how can you reach your goals and be an asset? Do not answer the “Why” question telling the readers what they already know about their college. Instead, show the college admissions officers how you can be an asset to their campus.

Tip 2: Be clear about how you can contribute in meaningful ways.

Admission officers like students who will contribute to life on campus and enrich their community. How will you integrate life on campus with events in the surrounding community?  Perhaps you want to continue a project you worked on in high school or at a previous college.

Tip 3: Show your passion.

The mission statement of each college is a unique statement that explains the basic philosophy of that school. Demonstrate an understanding of it and how it ties in with your beliefs. If you are a match for that college, it is important that you communicate that point.

Tip 4: Your sincerity and desire to attend your top choice college must come through in your writing.

If you plan on attending if admitted, say so! Demonstrate excitement about specifics about that college that appeal to you. Do not be vague and just mention generalities about reputation, faculty or yearly events. Your details will show admission officers that you have carefully researched their college and are sincere about your intent to be part of their school. Use specific examples that demonstrate you understand what makes that college unique and why you are a good match. If you have visited, state that and don’t tell them things they already know (like that they have a great faculty or a beautiful campus).

Tip 5: Stay current and read the campus newspaper.

College students write about hot topics and it’s a great way to learn about the current events on campus. You should demonstrate your knowledge about what is going on inside as well as outside the classroom. Write about how you would like to be active on campus through clubs, organizations and internships. Your spirit should shine through so those reading your application will know you will add value to their college. Be explicit, sincere and detail oriented in your response and your essay will be more impressive.

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