Admitted Essay for Claremont McKenna: Essay Review

Admitted Essay Reviews
September 24, 2020
Students Who Can Use Essay Prompts To Paint A Picture Of Themselves Set Themselves Apart From The Competition...

Yet, most students shy away from talking about themselves when responding to prompts that are focused on the school itself. When a student takes the time to detail how an education at an institution compliments their existing interests and passions, it shows a level of research and critical thinking that colleges love to see in potential students.

In this admitted essay, we see a student craft a response that allows the admin office to picture that student on campus, adding to and benefiting from all that Claremont McKenna has to offer.

An Admitted Essay For Claremont McKenna College

College is a transformative experience; an exciting time for you to discover yourself. During your four years of college, you will have opportunities that will allow you to learn, adapt, and develop into a young adult ready to take on the real world. Today, you believe Claremont McKenna College is a good match for you based on your aspirations and based on your knowledge of our institution. How can Claremont McKenna College both challenge and complement the person you aspire to become during your undergraduate career? (250 words)

“Claremont McKenna College provides its students with a liberal arts education unique from any other institution because of its distinct commitment to real-world application of classroom knowledge, especially in the fields of economics and politics. Students engage in deep, intellectual discussions that enhance learning and then apply that learning in the real world during their summer internships. Even though I know that I am interested in environmental studies, economics, and politics I am not quite certain about what career I would like to pursue. At CMC, I will apply the knowledge that I gain in the classroom to potential careers, and I will learn more about what careers I might be passionate about.

The Athenaeum exposes students to experts who themselves are examples of practical knowledge at work. These experts will challenge my beliefs by presenting their perspective; consequently I will develop a better understanding of the cracks in my own philosophical foundation. Free discussion of ideas in other settings like the CARE Center provide a space where students of diverse identities can feel supported and have a space to engage in open dialogue with students of different identities about how our identities affect our lives. This allows me to connect with others and discuss issues that directly affect my life while learning about the perspectives of others. CMC is the right fit for me because it will challenge me to align my academic interests with potential careers and complement my desire to extend my education beyond the classroom.”

Our Expert Review

At first glance, this prompt may tempt a student to go overboard with the amount of research they include in their essay. However, this student does an excellent job providing just enough of their research to create a strong foundation for the rest of their essay. It also showcases their strength at research, logic, and planning; a must for thriving liberal arts schools such as Claremont McKenna.

This prompt invites students to imagine themselves at Claremont McKenna, and this student intertwines their personal passions and talents into their answers. By giving concrete examples of programs, they tie their research into their vision for their future. When the admissions office is finishing reading this essay, the question”‘how will this student take advantage of what our school has to offer?” is well answered. This strategy works very well if you can back up what you say in your essay with a track record of extracurricular involvement as well.

Of course, like many essays, there are areas where the student could improve. Spending more time highlighting their own goals rather than going over what Claremont McKenna has to offer at the start of the essay would make for a stronger introduction. As it stands, the essay still manages to make it clear that the student is ambitious and their goals align with the unique experience offered by the school.

One of the strongest points of the essay is how specific the student was. Unafraid to go into detail and relate how their passions are interconnected, this essay provides a clear roadmap of how the student plans to live out their college life if admitted to Claremont McKenna.

How To Apply This Advice To Your Own College Essays


In order to highlight your student’s research skills and the ability to make connections, referring to their research in their personal statement is a must. The admin office already knows about special programs and resources, so avoid outright explanation in favor of name dropping these appropriately when talking about goals, passions, and dreams. In the example essay, the student ties in their research with the need to feel challenged for personal growth, which is a value that liberal arts colleges love.

  • How can you include your research naturally within your essay?
  • Does your essay include any information that will be obvious to the admin office? Is it relevant to the rest of your essay?


Your student’s essay should show more than cursory research. A strong essay is detailed and specific, getting to the core of what draws a student to the school. In this essay, the student works hard to not only get detailed but also to show how the details they mention about Claremont McKenna are related to their passions and interests. If you’re afraid your essay may be too general, spend time working with a college counselor to brainstorm ways you can narrow down the details in your essay.

  • How can you include specifics offered by a college and relate them to your interests in your essay?
  • Is your essay general enough that it could be sent to several similar schools? How can you add more specific detail to make it feel more exclusive?


More than just talking about how they plan to take advantage of what Claremont McKenna has to offer, this student’s essay allows the admin office to imagine the student as a part of the campus. When an essay makes it possible to see the organic path a student may take at a school, rather than just “I like X, so, therefore, I must take part in program Y” type logic, it showcases the ability to be a well-rounded and interconnected young adult; something that liberal arts colleges love to see in potential applicants.

An essay shouldn’t be afraid to show its writer’s true colors and aspirations. If your student has multiple passions but is unsure which will ultimately end up being their future major or career, honesty and curiosity in their essay can go a long way to painting a picture of that student.

  • Does your essay paint a picture of what type of student you’d be like on campus?
  • Can you interconnect all your interests together, showing how your hobbies and passions feed into each other?


With only 250 words, the student had to carefully craft each sentence for maximum impact. Using words with emotional impact rather than overused everyday words allows the student to paint a picture. Rather than leaning on formal or fancy words, the student goes for impact, specifically in this line:

“These experts will challenge my beliefs by presenting their perspective; consequently I will develop a better understanding of the cracks in my own philosophical foundation.”

When your personal statement is filled with word choices that lend themselves to powerful imagery (like that of a student challenging their own beliefs for the better), it carries a weight that stale wording cannot.

  • Can you exchange overused words (such as strong, experience, passion, skills, interests) with others that come with more emotional strength?
  • Does your essay flow well and read clearly?
  • Are there any unnecessary uses of overly formal language or technical jargon?

Refine Your Personal Statement

Colleges are looking for eager students who can both benefit from what their colleges have to offer and add to the overall culture and atmosphere of campus. Combining your passions with what the college has to offer is a path to success when writing personal statements for prompts such as these. Don’t be afraid to get nerdy, passionate, or excited!

If your essay starts to turn away from your path and you can’t seem to refine it in a way that makes you happy, consider asking one of our WeAdmit counselors for a bit of advice. Our knowledgeable experts have helped students respond to college essay prompts of all types, and we’d love to help polish your essay or any other part of your application!



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