What They are Looking for in these Admission Essays
The admissions committee wants to admit students who care about things other than themselves. The 3 primary things they will be looking for in these admission essays are:
The issue that you selected
Your knowledge of the issue
The insight you provide into this issue
The Issue You Select
Think hard about the different things you care about. The goal is to paint a picture to the admissions office about what makes you unique and separates you from the myriad other applicants.
The issue you select does not have to be of such grand proportions as Israeli-Palestinian peace or world hunger. Once again, a smaller, more personal issue like your maintenance of a local hiking trail can make for wonderful reading and you can be certain that the material will be new to the audience as opposed to an essay about the national workings of the Sierra Club for instance.
Your Knowledge of the Issue
Keep in mind that this audience will be inherently skeptical about your altruistic claims so be sure you have knowledge of the selected issue and you share enough details in your essay to convey this knowledge.
The Insight You Provide Into this Issue
Remember to keep this essay — and all your admission essays for that matter — squarely focused on you, the reader. The best way to do this is to provide your analysis and insight into why your issue is of primary importance to you. Be sure to tell the admissions director what makes you tick and why you are different from the other applicants.
One Final Note
All admissions directors prefer applicants who take an interest in outside issues over applicants who are self centered. These are great admission essays to use to demonstrate your concern for the world around you!