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The Requirements: Two essays of 250 words or fewer, one optional essay of 200 words or fewer
Why IIT? Odds are that you’ve seen this prompt before (or one very similar to it) and our advice is the same: start with research. Go to the Illinois Institute of Technology’s website and see what there is to see. What stands out to you? If you have the opportunity to visit campus, even better! Take notes and picture yourself as a student there. Would you complete your assigned readings under a tree in Grant Park? Would you revel in the windy city, a welcomed escape from the southern small town you were raised in? Which clubs would you join? Who would you want to take classes with? Are you chomping at the bit to participate in Pumpkin Launch, so you can engineer the best pumpkin catapulting device ever known to humankind? Whatever your reasoning may be, make sure admissions knows why you’re eager to attend next fall.
Now is the time to get nerdy. This prompt is all about your intellectual curiosity, but also your ambition for the future. There are so many reasons to pursue a degree in Mathematical Finance: because you’ve always wanted to apply your interest in math to the real world, or because you’re gunning for a career in bank regulation, or even because you hope to make policy changes one day. No one reason is more or less valid than the other, so first and foremost, be honest about your motives. Then refer to your notes to fill in the details with colorful examples. In a short essay like this, you’ve got to shoot from the hip, so be specific and succinct. What makes IIT the ideal place to pursue your higher education? How will their offerings and opportunities inch you toward your goal? And if you’re going in undecided, take some time to explore IIT’s academic offerings and choose a few to highlight in your response. IIT doesn’t expect you to have your whole life figured out just yet–but they do expect you to put time and energy into your response.
If you think your application to Illinois Institute of Technology would be incomplete without an essay on _________ (fill in the blank), then this essay is for you. Maybe 250 words wasn’t enough for you to describe your personal interest in IIT and address your family’s ties to the school, so you’d like to use this space to talk about attending women’s soccer games with your mom, an alum with a golden boot, and how campus already feels like home. Or, perhaps, you have a Community or Activity Essay in hand that you wrote for another school that you think would enhance admissions’ understanding of your background and character. (If you do that, however, just make sure to double check that your recycled essay doesn’t include any school-specific details that you need to swap out!) Finally, it’s worth noting that this submission is completely optional, so if you don’t feel like you have anything obvious to contribute here, feel free to skip it!