Rutgers Essays Samples

Need a little inspiration? Check out this sample transfer essay, and don't forget to check out our tips below! (And if you need help getting started on your transfer application essay, go here.)

“But Dad, I can do both!” I pleaded, doing my best not to raise my voice. He’d always been sure to remind me of the importance of a not making a scene.

“I’m sorry, bud. We just signed you up for baseball. The answer is no. No.”

“Dad, you don’t understand. I need to take painting lessons.” I tried to look as defeated as possible, hoping his heart would break just enough for him to agree.

“Yeah, well you said that about skiing and guitar too. Baseball is your top priority right now, and it’s going to stay that way. Besides, sports teach you how to work in a team. Painting teaches to mix colors.” He turned back to the television and cranked up the volume, and I knew I’d lost this one. I retreated to the kitchen table to finish the jigsaw puzzle I’d abandoned moments before.

I couldn’t really argue with my dad. As a kid, I frequently bounced from activity to activity, often hurrying from one to the next. It wasn’t that I got bored with what I was doing—I just couldn’t wait to try something new. Everything was interesting and everything was fun.

In high school, I became involved in as many extracurricular activities as I could, getting elected to student council and playing varsity baseball, joining groups like the school improvement team, and yes, even the art club. I was intrigued by nearly every class I took, eager to dissect things in physiology or pick apart the ideas of Faulkner in American literature. I’ve wanted to be everything from an engineer to a chef to a professional baseball player. A friend once described me as a guidance counselor’s worst nightmare.

Years of searching, experimenting, and learning have brought me here.

When my classmates crossed the stage at graduation, it felt like nearly everyone knew which direction they were headed. Friends were moving across the country to pursue their dreams, and I couldn’t even figure mine out. I had a strong academic record and plenty of experiences to shape my application, but watching my friends leave for four-year schools with such determination reminded me of how lost I actually was. It was time to figure things out for myself.

Enrolling at a two-year community college gave me the opportunity to sift through different areas of study and find what worked for me. General education courses and a varied curriculum offered a wide lens through which I could see what different fields had to offer, and find a true fit. It wasn’t easy. I took classes ranging from applied sciences to ceramics, and—of course—I liked almost everything I tried! Then I took an anatomy and physiology course during the spring of my first year at ABC Community College, and it hit me. I realized that the medical field would allow me to help people while constantly learning, exploring different facets of the work.

After two years of studying, researching, and homework, I received an associate degree in pre-physical therapy, and I believe XYZ University is the next stop on my journey to achieve my dream.

It may have taken me longer to get here, and my path probably had a few more twists and turns in it than most, but every activity I begged my dad to let me do and every extracurricular club I joined complemented my course work and shaped who I am. XYZ University’s physical therapy program will lead me to the necessary bachelor’s and doctoral degrees I need to succeed in a profession I know will leave me fulfilled—and hold my interest—throughout my professional life.

What makes this a good transfer essay?

  • You need to grab transfer admission counselors' attention right away, and that’s just what this essay does. Try starting with a bold statement or some interesting dialogue to draw your readers in. Remember: admission staff read hundreds and sometimes thousands of essays, so yours needs to stand out.
  • He gives transfer counselors a glimpse at what makes him unique with just the right amount of detail. With a 500-word limit, you need to be succinct.
  • Often, transfer students are asked to discuss what led them to changing schools. Like this student, you should address your reasons for transferring in a straightforward manner, without being defensive or negative. And you should address why you want to transfer into your college (or colleges) specifically, just like this student does.
  • He also ends his application essay with a strong statement that ties into earlier themes, bringing the essay full circle to a satisfying conclusion.
  • Finally, this essay is also good because of everything that’s not there: it is free of misspellings, it is an appropriate length, and there are no run-on sentences or lengthy paragraphs. And you can bet it was submitted well before the deadline! Meeting deadlines is crucial in the college application process, whether it’s the first time around or as a transfer. Even if your intended college has a rolling admission policy for transfer students, the earlier you submit your materials, the better. 

Related: Find the right transfer college or university for you!

Note: Did you know you could win a $10,000 scholarship for college or grad school just by registering on CollegeXpress? This is one of the quickest, easiest scholarships you’ll ever apply for. Register Now »

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Rutgers Application Essay - With A Free Essay Review

Going into my college search, diversity was definitely one of the top requirements on my checklist. Growing up in northern New Jersey, diversity has virtually surrounded me my entire life. However, being from Montville, a suburban town filled with middle-upper class, and mainly white, people, my high school is slightly void of diversity in the traditional sense: race, ethnicity, religion, etc. Luckily though, through various extracurriculars, I have gotten my share of variety, yet want nothing more than to get my fill from Rutgers.

I first came into my greatest contact with diversity in my sophomore year of high school. I was invited to the National Young Leaders Conference in Washington DC to learn about government and see the nation’s capitol with students from all over the country. Both excited and nervous, I stepped into my study group with kids from every state and Puerto Rico. Immediately after a quick icebreaker, leadership and teamwork activities went into full swing. Being the only New Jerseyan, I was anxious to find out how each person worked coming from their different backgrounds. But to my surprise, working with everyone was easier than I had anticipated. I quickly became comfortable with my new team members and gained my role as an ambassador for our debate. We worked on making mock trials, legislature, and ultimately toured the city together. By the end of our weeklong journey in DC, we all were able to open up and built lifelong friendships, as I still keep in touch with many of them today. NYLC taught me the importance of a variety of people and gained me first hand experience on a national level.

From experiences such as NYLC, I have learned the importance of diversity in any situation. From my volleyball team, to my DECA competition, this variety makes for greater learning opportunities. While working at a Public Relations firm in Manhattan this passed summer, I was surrounded by various people with different personalities and working skills. I now know, that being surrounded by diversity will help me to better cope with my responsibilities in the real world. Being an aspiring marketing major, I am setting myself up to be in a field where working with people and teamwork is essential. By choosing a diverse college experience, I know it will only prepare me to overcome challenges and form relationships not only in the work world, but also in life in general.

To me, adaptability, camaraderie, and the formation of relationships define what it means to be diverse. With the hopeful privilege of enrolling in Rutgers University, I know the benefits of its diverse community will be endless.


Your essay would be at least twice as good as it is if you just deleted the first paragraph, which, I'm sorry to say, is about as convincing as the tears of Glenn Beck. You treat diversity as though it were a commodity that Rutgers has up for sale and you really want to buy it. (Of course, many universities do parade their diversity as a commodity for sale, but that's beside the point). So completely revise the opening, or excise the whole thing and start with "I was once invited to the National Young Leaders Conference in Washington DC."

Here's the complete prompt: "Rutgers University is a vibrant community of people with a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. How would you benefit from and contribute to such an environment? Consider variables such as your talents, travels, leadership activities, volunteer services, and cultural experiences."

This prompt asks you two specific questions: How will you benefit from Rutgers' vibrant community? How will you contribute to it? Your essay barely answers the first question, and ignores the second. Let me quote two of your sentences as examples:

"NYLC taught me the importance of a variety of people and gained me first hand experience on a national level. "

"From my volleyball team, to my DECA competition, this variety makes for greater learning opportunities."

In these sentences, you identify benefits of "diversity" and "variety," but only in general terms. What exactly did NYLC teach you about the importance of diversity? How did playing volleyball or being in the DECA competition teach you that "variety makes for greater learning opportunities"? What were these learning opportunities? How did you take advantage of them? What did you learn? I infer from the rest of the paragraph from which the second quotation is taken that you think being in a vibrant community will prepare you to cope with teamwork in the real world. That's really the thesis, so to speak, of your essay, so you might want to articulate it more clearly, and make it more obvious that that is your answer to the first question in the prompt. It doesn't have to be your only answer, but so far it appears to be, with the possible exception of your remark about forming relationships. It was unclear to me, however, how the fact of diversity itself helps you form relationships. You also have an implicit story going on in your second paragraph about how you were once anxious about being thrust into the middle of group with people from places that were not New Jersey, but you thrived. You don't really make it clear that you enjoyed meeting people from different places or learning about different places and so on. You probably also don't sufficiently emphasize the part of the story that might help you answer the second question in the prompt. So far, you don't answer that question at all. So, how will you contribute. There are two ways to answer that.

(1) You could claim to be culturally interesting.

Unfortunately, you're from New Jersey, so you're not really culturally interesting.

(2) You could claim to be experienced in the art of getting on with people from different backgrounds which you hope will allow you to contribute something or other when it comes to working on class projects or being involved in campus organizations.

Unfortunately, you don't have any such experience.

Fortunately, one of two sentences that begin with the word "unfortunately" is false. (Hint: It's the second one).

Best, EJ

P.S., Before you organize a New Jersey-culture-loving Internet posse to wreak pitiless vengeance against peddlers of calumniatory reviews, let me just clarify that I meant that in coming from New Jersey you are only not culturally interesting to Rutgers. As proven by MTV, the rest of the world is all kinds of crazy about New Jersey.

P.P.S., What on earth is DECA?

Submitted by: lea221

Tagged...essay writing help, essay about diversity

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