Minor panic attack over the 'generic' school fit paragraph

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kabutar
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 4:24 am

Minor panic attack over the 'generic' school fit paragraph

Postby kabutar » Fri Jan 15, 2010 4:28 am

let me begin by saying I'm not a law school applicant... I'm a MPP/MPA applicant, but I can't find a similar forum with as many knowledgeable people, and this is a fairly simple question so I thought I would just ask here. If that's ok. :)

I'm freaking out a bit: I'm applying for MPAs/MPPs in enviro policy, to various very well regarded schools. I wrote my SOP, sent it to a couple of good friends, family, and professors to read (including an MIT and Princeton alum), all of whom liked it. Not trying to name-drop, just saying they've been through the process lol. :)

I had a para in there that was admittedly somewhat generic because it talked about faculty at University XYZ and their legacy, intellectual attitudes and so forth. I initially had nothing, then thought I should say SOMETHING and added it in. There wasn't a whole lot I could have said specifically about the school - it's a professional degree (much like law), no thesis, and when you apply to Harvard you don't need to explain why you are applying to Harvard, so I just said basically that I wanted to go there because of its [legacy, faculty, intellectual wealth, etc]. (Not that I applied to Harvard!)

Now I'm a little worried. The generic para was in there when I sent it for review, and not one person mentioned anything, so I left it in the app submissions, but now it's struck me that it might be SOP suicide? It's a paragraph and not as generic as a one-sentencer would be, so maybe it doesn't stick out as a generic para with flashing neon lights, but it's still not really specific.

Are admissions committees likely to discard what is otherwise, IMO, a really strong SOP just on the basis of this? Or will it really not make any difference to the overall app? I'm counting on my SOP and LORs to carry a lot of weight... really hoping this hasn't sunk it.

... Help?

User avatar
calawbiz
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:05 am

Re: Minor panic attack over the 'generic' school fit paragraph

Postby calawbiz » Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:35 pm

kabutar wrote:let me begin by saying I'm not a law school applicant... I'm a MPP/MPA applicant, but I can't find a similar forum with as many knowledgeable people, and this is a fairly simple question so I thought I would just ask here. If that's ok. :)

I'm freaking out a bit: I'm applying for MPAs/MPPs in enviro policy, to various very well regarded schools. I wrote my SOP, sent it to a couple of good friends, family, and professors to read (including an MIT and Princeton alum), all of whom liked it. Not trying to name-drop, just saying they've been through the process lol. :)

I had a para in there that was admittedly somewhat generic because it talked about faculty at University XYZ and their legacy, intellectual attitudes and so forth. I initially had nothing, then thought I should say SOMETHING and added it in. There wasn't a whole lot I could have said specifically about the school - it's a professional degree (much like law), no thesis, and when you apply to Harvard you don't need to explain why you are applying to Harvard, so I just said basically that I wanted to go there because of its [legacy, faculty, intellectual wealth, etc]. (Not that I applied to Harvard!)

Now I'm a little worried. The generic para was in there when I sent it for review, and not one person mentioned anything, so I left it in the app submissions, but now it's struck me that it might be SOP suicide? It's a paragraph and not as generic as a one-sentencer would be, so maybe it doesn't stick out as a generic para with flashing neon lights, but it's still not really specific.

Are admissions committees likely to discard what is otherwise, IMO, a really strong SOP just on the basis of this? Or will it really not make any difference to the overall app? I'm counting on my SOP and LORs to carry a lot of weight... really hoping this hasn't sunk it.

... Help?



The lack of a super specific "why School X MPP" won't kill your app, especially if the prompt doesn't specifically ask you to address your reasons why you're applying to that particular program. So, you're probably in good shape if the rest of the essay is as good as you say.

kabutar
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 4:24 am

Re: Minor panic attack over the 'generic' school fit paragraph

Postby kabutar » Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:50 pm

calawbiz wrote:
kabutar wrote:let me begin by saying I'm not a law school applicant... I'm a MPP/MPA applicant, but I can't find a similar forum with as many knowledgeable people, and this is a fairly simple question so I thought I would just ask here. If that's ok. :)

I'm freaking out a bit: I'm applying for MPAs/MPPs in enviro policy, to various very well regarded schools. I wrote my SOP, sent it to a couple of good friends, family, and professors to read (including an MIT and Princeton alum), all of whom liked it. Not trying to name-drop, just saying they've been through the process lol. :)

I had a para in there that was admittedly somewhat generic because it talked about faculty at University XYZ and their legacy, intellectual attitudes and so forth. I initially had nothing, then thought I should say SOMETHING and added it in. There wasn't a whole lot I could have said specifically about the school - it's a professional degree (much like law), no thesis, and when you apply to Harvard you don't need to explain why you are applying to Harvard, so I just said basically that I wanted to go there because of its [legacy, faculty, intellectual wealth, etc]. (Not that I applied to Harvard!)

Now I'm a little worried. The generic para was in there when I sent it for review, and not one person mentioned anything, so I left it in the app submissions, but now it's struck me that it might be SOP suicide? It's a paragraph and not as generic as a one-sentencer would be, so maybe it doesn't stick out as a generic para with flashing neon lights, but it's still not really specific.

Are admissions committees likely to discard what is otherwise, IMO, a really strong SOP just on the basis of this? Or will it really not make any difference to the overall app? I'm counting on my SOP and LORs to carry a lot of weight... really hoping this hasn't sunk it.

... Help?



The lack of a super specific "why School X MPP" won't kill your app, especially if the prompt doesn't specifically ask you to address your reasons why you're applying to that particular program. So, you're probably in good shape if the rest of the essay is as good as you say.


Thanks, that makes me feel a bit better. It's not the lack of the 'Why X' so much as having the generic 'why X' that I was worried about though.

But none of the questions were super specific, i.e. one said "explain how X school will help you in your career and any other considerations for why you want to be admitted" and another said "Outline both your academic and professional goals. Explain your reasons for selecting X school for graduate study"... so it was more of a 'why MPP' question, tho that second one is more specific I know. So hopefully I'm ok.




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