Before you envision yourself getting settled in at Georgia Tech, you must get over the hurdle of writing the Georgia Tech essays. The Georgia Tech supplement requires you to write a short essay specifically for Georgia Tech, in addition to the standard Common/Coalition App essay. What is this essay prompt? And what should you include in your Georgia Tech essay?
Keep reading to learn exactly what the Georgia Tech essays are, what kinds of topics you can write about (and what kinds of topics to avoid), and how to ensure you’re submitting a quality essay.
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What Essays Does Georgia Tech Require?
The Georgia Tech application includes a total of two essays. (They used to require three, but in 2019 they decide to drop one of their short answer questions to make their application easier to complete.)
One of these is a personal essay that answers a prompt from either the Common App or the Coalition App (depending on which system you apply through). This essay should be around 500-550 words, and must not be longer than 650 words. You can visit the Common App and Coalition App websites to see the essay prompts for the 2019-20 application cycle.
The other essay is part of the Georgia Tech supplement and is referred to as the Georgia Tech short answer question, since your response to it is shorter than the personal essay you must write for the Common App/Coalition App.
We have guides specifically on how to write the best Common App and Coalition App essays, so in this article, we're going to focus on the Georgia Tech short answer question, which we'll also refer to as the "Why Georgia Tech" essay.
The prompt for this essay is given on both the Common App and Coalition App, and your essay must be 300 words or less (about half the length of a regular college essay).
What Is the Georgia Tech Supplement Essay Prompt?
The prompt is essentially a version of the "why this college" prompt, which we discuss more in our in-depth guide on how to write a "why this college" essay.
You may write up to 300 words for your response. Here is the prompt for 2019-20:
Why do you want to study your chosen major at Georgia Tech, and how do you think Georgia Tech will prepare you to pursue opportunities in that field after graduation?
Now that we’ve covered the basics of the Why Georgia Tech essay, let’s take a look at how you should answer this prompt to give yourself the best shot at getting into this prestigious college.
For this first essay, you must answer the critical question: why Georgia Tech?
How to Write the Why Georgia Tech Essay
As you answer this essay prompt, you should discuss why you decided to apply to Georgia Tech and how the major you’ve chosen will help you achieve your academic or professional goals.
This prompt is a version of the "why this college" prompt. Specifically, this prompt is a "why us" prompt, as it’s asking you to elaborate on why this college and the major you’ve chosen are best suited to you and your aspirations. In other words, what about Georgia Tech and the field of study you want to pursue there will help you achieve your future goals?
To answer this question, you’ll need to do some research on Georgia Tech and the academic program you’re applying to. The easiest way to do this is to go to the Georgia Tech website to get an overview of what's offered by your program, including the kinds of classes, study abroad options, professors, and internship opportunities.
If possible, I suggest visiting the campus to sit in on classes and meet professors so you can get a clearer feel for the academic program as well as the environment at Georgia Tech as a whole.
In your essay, try to pick a specific characteristic to focus on—don’t just say you want to attend Georgia Tech because it’s prestigious or well known. Lots of colleges are!
Next, you’ll need to know how your education at Georgia Tech will help you after college. For example, you could write about how you think Georgia Tech’s cooperative education program will help you gain relevant professional experience and make connections with like-minded peers.
Regardless of what aspects of Georgia Tech and your major you want to write about, make sure to clearly connect the essay back to you and your own interests and goals.
Here are some possible topics you could use for your "Why Georgia Tech?" essay:
- An anecdote relating some sort of positive personal experience you had at Georgia Tech (such as while on a campus tour)
- A positive interaction you had with someone affiliated with Georgia Tech, such as a current student or professor involved with the major you’re applying for
- Your excitement about getting to work with a particular faculty member, and how this opportunity will help you further your career goals
- Your enthusiasm for getting to study in a program or major/minor that's not usually offered at many schools or that has a unique, interesting angle at Georgia Tech
- A special facility or piece of equipment you're looking forward to being able to work in or with, and that isn’t offered on other campuses or is very rare
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Georgia Tech Essay Examples + Analysis
We've written two Georgia Tech essay examples to help give you an idea as to what and how you could write your Why Georgia Tech essay. Additionally, we go over what makes them good essays for a Georgia Tech application.
Georgia Tech Essay Example 1
"Honestly, I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I hadn’t gone to Georgia Tech."
Katrina was a few years older than me and the sister of my best friend, Troy, who’d given me her email address so I could ask any questions I had about her time at Georgia Tech. This was the last line of her response—and by far the most memorable.
Like Katrina, I can’t imagine myself not attending Georgia Tech. As an aspiring environmental engineer, I see Georgia Tech as a gateway to not just learning but also professional success. The flexibility of the major would allow me to focus specifically on my passion for reducing the negative effects of climate change and securing access to clean water. As a senior, I plan to take several hydraulics-focused electives.
In addition, through the InVenture Prize, which I hope to participate in at least twice, I’ll be able to utilize the knowledge I’ve gained through my classes, projects, and fieldwork by translating it into a concrete vision—specifically, an invention that will increase the availability of fresh, healthy water for disadvantaged communities.
After graduation, and as a proud Georgia Tech alumnus (ideally with an InVenture Prize), I plan to implement the skills I’ve gained through my environmental engineering major in the nonprofit sector.
I haven’t met Katrina yet, but I feel as though I know her—perhaps it’s that shared sense of joy at having discovered the perfect school for the paths we’ve chosen.
- It’s got a creative hook that draws you in. This Georgia Tech essay opens with a quotation that immediately makes it feel as though you’re reading a compelling story. It then goes on to connect this hook directly to the narrator who "can’t imagine … not attending Georgia Tech," ensuring the focus remains on the applicant and not Katrina.
- It mentions specific features of Georgia Tech. The applicant doesn’t just write about how prestigious Georgia Tech is but specifically mentions opportunities she’s interested in taking advantage of, such as hydraulics courses and the famous InVenture Prize competition.
The mark of a good college essay = an acceptance letter!
Georgia Tech Essay Example 2
Atlanta has been my home all my life, and I’ve always known that I want to be one of the people who help make it such a wonderful place to live. My dream is to create my own business that makes it easier for other start-up businesses to get up and running. Georgia Tech is my dream school because I know it will give me the absolute best chance of achieving my goals.
The course catalog for Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business makes it clear that all business students receive a top-notch and comprehensive business education no matter what area they choose to focus on. However, what really interests me is Scheller’s emphasis on entrepreneurship. I’m so excited to take advantage of the opportunities the school offers, like LBAT and study abroad programs that focus on starting a new business, the certificate in entrepreneurship, and the Enterprise Innovation Institute where I hope to collaborate with professors, business leaders, and peers to learn how to create and grow and successful business of my own.
Growing up in Atlanta, learned early that it has many resources for people hoping to go into business, and I know Georgia Tech will help me take advantage of them. Under the school’s internship program, I hope to work for a start-up company, learning about what makes some new companies thrive while others fail, and getting on-the-ground experience learning what new companies need to do well and avoid common pitfalls. I’ll also use Georgia Tech’s extensive connections with local business leaders to continue to expand my business acumen outside the classroom.
I have so many ideas for what I want to do with my career, and I can’t wait to attend Georgia Tech to learn the skills I need to make these dreams possible.
Here’s why this Georgia Tech essay works:
- It goes in-depth on what Georgia Tech offers. Like the first essay, this one also gets specific on exactly which parts of the school the writer plans to take advantage of the most. From mentioning the course catalog, specific business programs, and the school's connections with the community, it's clear the writer did her research and knows which of Georgia Tech's resources will be of most value to her.
- It has a clear vision of a career path. You don't need to know exactly what you want to do after you graduate college, but having a general idea can really help you show the admissions committee how you're going to take advantage of what Georgia Tech offers. In this case, it's the entrepreneurship and business opportunities at the school, which will help the writer start her own business after graduation.
How to Write a Great Georgia Tech Essay: 3 Essential Tips
Now that you know the specifics of the Why Georgia Tech essay prompt, here are three key tips to use while writing your essay.
#1: Be Specific and Concise
The Georgia Tech supplemental essay only gives you room for up to 300 words. That's a pretty short essay! Since you’re so tight on length, you’ll need to make sure you’re using the space you have wisely. Don't write super flowery, verbose descriptions or rely on overly vague examples.
Instead, be as specific as you can be so that you’re emphasizing only the most important parts of the story you want to tell. Specificity will make your essay more concise and easier to follow.
#2: Show, Don’t Tell
You’ve probably heard this refrain a million times, but it’s especially important for college essays: show your experiences, emotions, and perspectives instead of simply telling them to your readers. Doing this will make your Georgia Tech essays sound vibrant and alive rather than dull and boring.
One of the very best ways to catapult your descriptions to a whole new level and to lend a stronger voice to your writing is to use a variety of literary devices, including flashbacks/anecdotes, imagery, and euphemisms.
#3: Polish and Proofread
Before you submit your Georgia Tech essays, make sure to take some time to read them over, edit them, get feedback, and proofread them.
The best way to do this is to start by writing a rough draft. Once finished, put your essay away for a little while—anywhere from a couple of days to a week or so depending on the amount of time you have left before college applications are due—and then take it out again.
As you read your essay, mark any areas that are unclear, awkwardly worded, or irrelevant. You should also proofread your essay for any glaring typos and errors in punctuation, spelling, and grammar.
Once you’ve repeated this process a few times, it’s time to get a new set of eyes to look it over for you. Ask someone you trust, such as a teacher, parent, or counselor, to read your essay and offer comments and corrections on it.
Doing all of this will ensure that your essay is completely polished by the time you turn it in to Georgia Tech!
Applying through the Common App? Check out this comprehensive list of schools that accept the Common App, and learn more about how to write the Common App essay.
To learn more about Georgia Tech and how to get in, take a look at its admission requirements page.
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Hannah received her MA in Japanese Studies from the University of Michigan and holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California. From 2013 to 2015, she taught English in Japan via the JET Program. She is passionate about education, writing, and travel.