caminante wrote:echamberlin8 wrote:I'm curious what the general guidelines are for Why ___? essays. In what situations should you write them? Are there certain schools other than Penn that it is important to write them for?
Write a Why X essay for any school that you have legitimate and specific reasons for wanting to attend. It really can't hurt you if that is the case, even if you are not worried about YP.
If there is anything about you that would make the school question whether you would attend if you were admitted, it is even more important to write a Why X. For example, if your numbers are high enough to get you into a higher ranked school, or if you have no visible ties to the area the school is in, a Why X essay is particularly helpful.
A Why X essay is not necessary for HYS because they already assume you have good reasons to attend if admitted (this is generally the case for CCN as well, though there may be exceptions). The only other time a Why X essay is NOT recommended is if you can't come up with any decent answer to "Why do you want to attend this school?"
Thanks for the advice!