The trick with this question is to recognize that there are two questions being asked here. First is why you want to go to SUNY ESF in particular, and the second is why you want to study the specific major that you chose. To have the strongest possible answer, you must respond to both in your essay.
This prompt is the standard “Why this school?” essay, so prior to answering this you should do some research on the school and pinpoint specific programs or resources that stand out to you. Make sure that anything you end up mentioning can be backed up by the other parts of your application.
For example, if you enjoy working with local volunteer organizations, then you could mention how SUNY ESF’s emphasis on integrating students’ studies with real-life experiences is great because almost all the student organizations on campus dedicate part of their mission to giving back to the community.
If having a personalized undergraduate research opportunity is important to you, then you can also write about how the Upper Division Honors Program will aid you in conducting intensive research under the guidance of an esteemed faculty member. In this program, the topic of the research is intentionally left open so that the students themselves can do something that they are passionate about.
The same idea goes for when you are answering why you are interested in a specific major. As a result of SUNY ESF having such specified programs of study, it’s a great idea to look into the course requirements for each degree and see which faculty are teaching said classes.
This will not only help you solidify your own reasons for the major, but can also provide examples for why you think your selection is a good fit. Remember to be specific in your response; don’t simply state that you enjoy conservation biology or environmental biology. Try to be as detailed as possible and avoid including generic answers that could apply to any other university.
This is also the place to include what your vision for post-graduation looks like. Have you always envisioned yourself designing a new form of green energy? Maybe you’re more interested in the policy side and hope to establish new environmental protection laws. If so, mention it; after all, the prompt also wants you to talk about how your education will play into your future goals.
While you may not have a specific career in mind, you can still talk about the increasing importance of understanding the environment and how the relationship between humans and the rest of the Earth is deeply intertwined. It’s okay to be more general here, as the admissions team understands that four years is a long time away and that your interests can and will change throughout college.
We hope that this guide has been helpful for you, and we wish you the best of luck in your writing process!
Want help on your SUNY ESF application or essays? Learn about our College Apps Program and Essay Editing Program.
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Our colleagues in our North White Plains, NY office often take the time to remind us that our home office's home of California isn't the only state with a fine public university system. And they're right (even if they are a little New York-style brusque about it). So here are five tips for students applying to the State University of New York (SUNY) system, courtesy of our own Breda Malfesi.
1. Choose the right application.
The State University of New York makes it easy for students to apply. If you are applying only to SUNY schools, the most efficient way to do this is through the SUNY application. It is user friendly, accurate and secure. However, if you are applying to a combination of public and private colleges and want to minimize the number of applications you are completing, the following SUNY campuses accept the Common Application as well: Albany, Binghamton, Brockport, Buffalo, Buffalo State, Cortland, Environmental Science and Forestry, Fredonia, Geneseo, New Paltz, Oneonta, Oswego, Plattsburg, Purchase and Stony Brook.
2. Remember that there is a SUNY school for everyone.
The State University of New York is the largest and most comprehensive university system in the United States. The 64 campuses include University Centers and Doctoral Degree Granting Institutions, University Colleges, Technology Colleges and Community Colleges. With campus locations from New York City to Plattsburg and Albany to Buffalo, academic programs from accounting to zoology, large city campuses to small rural ones and opportunities for success through leadership and honors programs, to athletics and study abroad, the State University of New York offers an extraordinary education at an affordable price. No matter what your interests, there is a SUNY campus that will fit your needs.
3. Consider applying early.
It is wise to apply to the SUNY campuses that interest you as early as possible. Although many of the campuses offer early decision and early action programs, the majority of the SUNY schools have rolling admissions. The earlier you submit your application, test scores and supplementary materials, the sooner your application will be reviewed and a decision made. Some SUNY schools have sent out their first round of decisions in early October! Wouldn’t it be nice to have some choices before the usual notification date of April 1?
A word of caution regarding rolling admissions: As a college identifies its prospective freshman class and makes admission decisions, applications received later in the cycle will receive much more scrutiny than the ones that were received at the beginning of the cycle, so plan accordingly!
4. Research the individual SUNY campus websites for information on supplements.
In addition to your SUNY application, a number of SUNY campuses require or recommend that applicants complete a supplemental application. The supplemental application provides the admissions office with additional information, typically regarding your interests, activities, etc. and these supplemental applications are often necessary for consideration for merit aid. Campuses may also ask applicants to complete an essay or personal statement as part of the supplemental application as well. If you apply to a SUNY school using the Common Application, you will be able to access any supplementary information through this application.
5. Here's a bonus SUNY secret.
New York State is home to Cornell University, a very well respected Ivy League institution. Three of Cornell’s undergraduate colleges are land grant institutions which provide an added benefit to New York State residents. If a resident applies to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the College of Human Ecology, or the College of Industrial and Labor Relations and is accepted, they will get a Cornell education with deeply discounted tuition and fees.
Note: Before you follow our tips, we recommend you read our "How to" guide here: Download HowToUse30Guides
Filed Under: Advice for specific colleges