Each admissions cycle, Admissions Officers read thousands of responses to the oh-so important “Why Tufts?” short answer question. What I love most about this part of the application is that it’s punchy and direct, allowing applicants to boil down their motivation for applying to just a short paragraph.
At the Admissions Office’s summer staff retreat, we were asked to write our own responses to the “Why Tufts?” supplement. While you’d expect this to be a straightforward task, especially for those who spend many months reading these responses, I found myself in the same predicament that many applicants find themselves in when faced with this question. The tricky part is this: how does one effectively articulate their reason for applying to Tufts in a short yet comprehensive yet specific way? After a bit of thought (and admitting to myself that there’s no way all the things I love about Tufts can be summed up in 150 words or less), I began to write. Here’s what I came up with:
Tufts is a great, big, beautiful hive mind. Our students come from all corners of the world, representing over 80 nations and all 50 states, and each one of them has something meaningful to contribute to the classroom and to the broader Tufts community. It is a microcosm of the world, and Tufts students are the most engaged citizens imaginable. The exchange of ideas in an environment humming with thought and innovation is a defining feature of the academic experience here, and our students are doers who leverage their many talents for real-world application. Tufts students are kind, down-to-Earth, and simply good humans. What other environment fosters this type of community, all within a R1 research university with the heart and soul of a liberal arts college? This is a special place, to say the least. I know you’ll think so, too.
Your Why Tufts can be as broad or narrow as you like; there truly are no right or wrong answers. What’s most important is that your response is thoughtful, genuine, and speaks to who you are and what you hope to get out of your Tufts experience. The Admissions Committee knows that the stakes can seem high with this question, but we encourage you to take a step back and reflect on what makes our community feel like the right fit for you. Whatever those reasons are, write them down. After all, this is your Why Tufts!