How to Tailor Grad School Application Essays to the Specific University

Often, graduate school admissions essays for JD, MBA, and policy programs will ask applicants to discuss why they chose this school specifically or how this specific program will help them achieve their unique career goals. While it may be tempting to just turn in the same essay for every school, you’ll need to tailor your grad school admissions essays to the specific school if you want a chance at acceptance.

Here are a few tips on how to make your admissions essays more specific to the university:

1. Do your research.

Before you start writing your admissions essays, take some time to figure out what makes each school unique. This will help you identify ways in which this school is a good fit for you and how you might be able to contribute to the program as well. When doing your research, explore which areas of law, business, or policy the school is known for and which faculty specialize in areas that you’re interested in.

2. Be specific about why you chose the university.

Though it’s alright to use some of the same information in all of your admissions essays, the section about why you chose this specific university or how the school will help you achieve your career goals needs to be unique. Use specific details instead of vague phrasing. For instance, instead of saying that you chose a school for its “strong curriculum” or “renowned faculty,” mention a few specific courses you would like to take or faculty members you’d like to work with who can contribute to your growth as a student and professional.

3. Consider how the location might impact your experience.

In addition to mentioning specific courses or faculty, you should also consider how the location of the school will impact your experience there. Different cities offer different opportunities to network, attend certain events, or work for companies headquartered there. If you want to work in the market that your school is located in, it may help to mention how you will take advantage of this opportunity while attending grad school.

4. Discuss the university’s environment.

The environment on campus can have a significant impact on your experience there and what opportunities you are able to pursue while in law, business, or policy school. Do you want a smaller program that gives you more experience to connect with faculty and colleagues? Or are you looking for a larger program that offers a vast network and wealth of resources? The environment is often one of the key factors that impacts an applicant’s school of choice, so be sure to mention how the environment has played a role in your decision.

5. Connect with current students or alums.

Want to know what it’s really like to go to attend a specific law, business, or policy program? Connect with some current students or alums. Not only will they give you an idea of whether this school and program will be a good fit for you, but they will also give you some additional insight on how this specific program or school will help you get closer to your educational and professional goals.

Our clients that work with us in our signature program, Application Accelerator®, have access to a list of past clients who serve as client ambassadors. That way, they know they have people at all the top programs to whom they can reach out to and connect with.

While it can be tempting to just copy and paste content from one essay to the next, make sure you take the time to thoroughly research each school to which you are applying. That way, you can confidently explain why you’re drawn to each university.

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