JFK's is The Worst “Why us” Statement Ever

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Business Insider just posted an article on the five-sentence essay JFK wrote that helped get him into Harvard.

My big take-away: Whoa, Harvard was doing “Why us?” essays in the 1930s.

Anyway, the prompt was "Why do you wish to come to Harvard?" and applicants were told the admissions committee expected a “careful answer” to the question. Here's what a young JFK wrote:

The reasons that I have for wishing to go to Harvard are several. I feel that Harvard can give me a better background and a better liberal education than any other university. I have always wanted to go there, as I have felt that it is not just another college, but is a university with something definite to offer. Then too, I would like to go to the same college as my father. To be a "Harvard man" is an enviable distinction, and one that I sincerely hope I shall attain.

April 23, 1935
John F. Kennedy

And here’s the photo of the actual application, from the JFK library:

john kennedy jfk harvard university application essay.png

There it is: proof that what you write on your college essay doesn’t really matter.

If you’re JFK.

If you’re not JFK and want tips on writing your “Why us” statement, click here.

To read the Business Insider article, click here.


CHECK OUT SESSION TWO IN MY 'how to apply to college' COURSE.