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Why Northwestern? How to Write the Northwestern Essay

What are the Northwestern supplemental essay requirements?

❶After months of persuasion and persistence, my parents consented to buying me one, but I proposed to them that I would build it instead.

Brainstorming for the Northwestern supplement: Why Northwestern?

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But we also want to consider how Northwestern will contribute to your interests and goals. Like all personal statements, this essay will involve some brainstorming. It will also ask you to do some research. Tips for each of these five steps — brainstorm, research, story, montage, and your speculation about Northwestern — are described below. You may know that Northwestern is a top school near Chicago with an active Greek culture, first-rate academics, and competitive Big 10 sports teams.

Northwestern is also big on interdisciplinary studies, so an interest that spans more than one academic subject is a plus. You need specific details that relate to Northwestern in your essay. Constantly asking yourself this question will keep you from including generic details. You may want to try writing two or three vignettes to see which one works. I realized that I had an interest in both telling stories and science in the fourth grade when my teacher had us keep mealworms to observe their metamorphosis.

I became obsessed with this process, and wrote a story about a group of walking, talking mealworms who are taking a plane to Europe.

The plane crashes in Egypt and they begin crawling across the Sinai Peninsula. One by one the mealworms slow down as they turn into pupae. Insofar as a fourth grader can be meticulous, I painstakingly described the metamorphosis of each mealworm.

Eventually, they became beetles and flew to Europe on their own wings. I look back on it as a moment when I realized how I was so compelled by telling stories related to biology. I wanted to build narratives about nature in a way that was vivid and alive, unlike Wikipedia. I would later write science stories for my school newspaper, and I won an award for my story about a butterflies called the painted ladies. It shows Northwestern that you have potential to develop this interest as a major or double major.

Go back to your research and ask the following:. I would flourish in a class where I could study and understand the history of bio-inspired robotics, and feel I could pursue fresh and innovative questions about ways marine mammals could influence the field. I would thrive in an environment where I could consider ways in which my interest in music composition relates to sociology and communication.

I feel that Northwestern would afford me the opportunity to adopt this multidisciplinary approach. Here, as always, specificity is key. Remember, your Common Application will give Northwestern a picture if you can contribute to the school. Sign up for the The Admissions Strategist newsletter to get the latest information on college and career success. By the time I was thirteen, I had built my own computer with no instructions at all. Today, I am programming a momentum indicator for stocks.

I believe innovation is the pinnacle of human imagination, and for that reason, I want to major in Computer Engineering at the McCormick School of Engineering. After months of persuasion and persistence, my parents consented to buying me one, but I proposed to them that I would build it instead. Although they were hesitant at first, I convinced them that it would cost less for more performance and give me a chance to engineer something on my own.

Two weeks later, I had the parts sitting in my living room. I was bewildered at first; I had no idea how a computer was assembled and the instruction manuals were less than helpful. I took a step back, drew a diagram, and wrote out a step-by-step plan on how I was going to build it. Eight hours of trial and error later, I pressed the power button and was thrilled to see my monitor light up. However, I was not about to get complacent just yet.

The next day, staying true to my philosophy of doing more with less, I wanted to figure out how to enhance performance without decreasing stability. After many days of experimentation and stress testing, I succeeded in stabilizing my processor to function at 2. But it did not end there; to this very day, I still enjoy the challenge of diagnosing and fixing computer problems for my family and friends.

Find help related to application requirements, such as your letters of recommendation and personal essay, and answers to common questions. To jump to a specific topic, please see below:. Applicants are not obligated to report scores from all test dates, though are welcome to do so.

Admitted students who choose to enroll will be required to submit official SAT or ACT test scores prior to matriculation. For students taking the ACT, we use the highest composite score that you choose to report. For students taking the SAT, we will simply add together your highest scores in the 1 Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and 2 Math categories to make a higher total score. SAT subject tests are optional.

Subject exams, offered in topics such as molecular biology, English and physics allow students to demonstrate their skill level s in a particular area.

For instance, a future engineering student may choose to take the chemistry and math subject tests. However, subject tests may be from topics outside of your potential major. Prospective students who do not submit SAT subject test results will not be penalized; we recognize that many applicants may not have the opportunity to sign up for the exams. Letters of recommendation should be from individuals who can best speak to the range of your strengths and abilities.

One letter should come from your high school counselor. This could be your college counselor, guidance counselor, academic advisor, career center specialist or whoever can to best speak to your overall high school curriculum and involvement within the context of your high school.

The second letter should come from one of your teachers who can address your strengths as a student in the classroom; this recommender should most likely be a teacher from one of your core subject areas, in your junior or senior year. If you have an additional reference who would like to submit a letter on your behalf, we will accept supplemental letters of recommendation.


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The Northwestern supplement may not allow a lot of words, but with a strategy in place, you can be sure that the essay you submit will make a substantial impact. To recap: Open with a personal, detailed anecdote about your intended major/interest (approximately 25% of the essay).

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In the Northwestern Writing Supplement, we ask students to explain why they would like to attend Northwestern. This question is intentionally open-ended. You may choose one or several aspects of Northwestern to focus your writing, though the majority of the essay’s content should relate to your own interests or experiences.

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Northwestern University Application Essay Question Explanation. The Requirements: 1 essay of words or less Supplemental Essay Type(s): Why Is it a mirage? No it’s the Northwestern supplement. Why Northwestern College Essay Example 1 – Northwestern Supplement This is a college essay submitted by a student who graduated from Northwestern University. Hopefully from reading this essay, you will be able to gain a better idea of what Northwestern University is looking for when answering the question, “Why Northwestern”.

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Top 2 Successful Northwestern Essays. These college essays are from students who got accepted at Northwestern University. Use them to get inspiration for your own essays and knock the socks off those admissions officers! Share Tweet Post Message. 1. Northwestern Supplement - Engineering & Music. Is the Northwestern Supplement Essay "What are the unique qualities of Northwestern - and of the specific undergraduate school to which you are applying - that make you want to attend the University?