Hamilton College Application Essay Prompt
While the primary criteria for admission are academic achievement, intellectual promise, and community engagement, Hamilton also seeks to admit candidates who are a good fit with the programs and experiences offered by the College. Please take this opportunity (in 100-250 words) to tell us about your interest in Hamilton and, in particular, why you believe it is a place where you can thrive. Be open. Be honest. Be brief.
As the prompt itself says, the college already takes into account your academics and ability to engage with the community that have been communicated elsewhere in your application. Therefore, you should use this essay to discuss more in depth how you fit into the Hamilton community.
Note that they are looking for candidates that are a good fit with the programs and experiences offered – they want you to be specific, and recognize that this is a true “Why this school?” essay. Chances are they will notice you are being generic if you say something along the lines of “this place has great academics and a beautiful campus,” so be specific, do your research, and give candid reasons as to why you are a strong fit for Hamilton.
Hamilton is a selective liberal arts school, which, among other defining characteristics, is extremely small and very cold throughout the year. This environment might not be for everyone, so recognize the unique environment Hamilton provides and convey how you see yourself fitting in.
Although you don’t have too much space to elaborate, and they do specifically request a brief essay, be sure to mention specific programs and classes at Hamilton you would take a part in to show that you have invested time in learning about the school. In addition, address how the campus and area will enrich your student experience, how you might take advantage of the Nesbitt-Johnston Writing Center, how you might join an Off-Campus Study, etc.
Finally, address how you will thrive at Hamilton, given the resources you will have at your disposal and the kind of mission the college follows. Like the prompt says, be open and honest, but also be concise, specific, and know why you would like to attend Hamilton College specifically, not why you want to go to a liberal arts school in general.
Examples of Awesome Personal Statements
Article Type: Tasty Bits
Write your own awesome personal statement with our COLLEGE APPLICATION ESSAY LAB, which will guide you through the process, providing tips and even more examples along the way.
Before you start, check out our own sample essays—or scroll down for the Best of the Web. Whether you're an athlete, a minority, or no one special (or, uh, probably some combination), we've got you covered.
No One Special
Some are surprising and some are clever, but they're all good examples of a "hook," not the kind with the pointy mustache but something that writers use to grab their reader's attention and make them want to keep reading.
Grab Them with the First Line
Stanford Magazine compiled the following list of great opening lines written by hopeful Stanford applicants.
Essays That Worked
Connecticut College posts a list of college essays “that worked.”
More Essays that Worked
Hamilton College provides access to some of their favorite application essays.
Other Resources for College Essay Writing
Writing the Personal Statement
The Purdue Online Writing lab offers a guide to writing all kinds of personal statements.
UC Berkeley Has a Say
Check out the University of California at Berkeley’s guide to writing the personal statement.
Application Tips: Tackling the Personal Essay
Abc.com provides some good tips on approaching the personal essay.
10 Tips for Writing the College Application Essay
The famous U.S. News & World Report offers some writing advice.
The Elements of Style
Flip through this famous guide to writing by William Strunk, Jr. that many students and teachers use. Read the 1918 version for free online.
Get Your Writing On
Some great handbooks on writing by writing guru Andrea Lunsford.
A Guide to Grammar and Writing
A cool interactive guide to grammar.
The University of Chicago’s guide to grammar.