Six years ago, I was in your shoes, revising my personal statement and supplements “one last time” for the tenth day in a row before finally submitting the application to my dream school. Six months ago, I applied to Tufts for the second time, to join the admissions team as a counselor. After receiving my job offer, I nostalgically visited my “Why Tufts” supplement. I sat in horror and disbelief as I found a blaring punctuation error sitting in the middle of the short essay: a misplaced apostrophe. For your benefit, here is the sentence in full: “Tuft’s strong language department affords me the opportunity to improve my Spanish fluency and pursue the study of other languages.”
Because “Tufts” is a proper noun, there are two ways to write Tufts with a possessive apostrophe: Tufts’ or Tufts’s. My sentence should read, “Tufts’ strong language department,” or, “Tufts’s strong language department.” It’s your choice. What’s most important is to stay consistent with the grammar rules you choose.
I hope that in understanding this rule, you can learn from my mistake, have an error-free essay, and feel at ease after clicking the submit button. As an admissions team, we won’t dwell on a mistake or two that pops up in an essay. However, a well-polished essay shows us that you care, and that you worked hard to put your best foot forward. So please review your essays for grammar and spelling before submitting your Why Tuffs... Tuft’s...Tufts supplement.