Writing Your Essay
High school seniors applying for admission to the Kilachand Honors College often ask what we’re looking for in our potential students and what they should include in their essays.
First, read the information on this website. Look at how the Kilachand Honors College fits with your program of choice. Read more about the co-curricular events and the purpose they serve. Peruse our course offerings and look at the four-year curriculum of the program. The Kilachand Honors College isn’t for everyone, but if it is a good fit for you, you’ll know after reading this information.
Second, think about what your personal goals and interests. Kilachand Honors College students stand out for their accomplishments, motivation, and excitement about the opportunities around them.
The relaxed atmosphere and intimacy of a six-student class allows for flexibility in the curriculum, and it also provides an open forum for discussions of observations and ideas. I like how I’ve used what I’ve learned in this class in my others, in terms of addressing all sides of arguments and being comfortable during open discussions.
Marissa Petersile (CAS’15), Undeclared
If you’re like many of the Kilachand Honors Students, you probably still want more information. Here is Professor Charles Dellheim, Director of the Kilachand Honors College, explaining how Kilachand Honors College students stand out from students in a traditional honors program:
“What are we looking for? We’re looking for people who are intellectually curious, motivated; they may have an intense interest in the subjects. A lot of our students are doing a number of different things. I’ll tell you what we don’t want—If you are an English major, or a chemist, or a violinist, and all you really want to do is English or chemistry or violin; if you don’t want to learn about other disciplines and other ways of looking at the world, you would be very unhappy in the Kilachand Honors College, because that’s not our purpose. We give people a lot of opportunities, especially in the second year, to pursue their own interests; in fact, we require them to do that. What we want are students who will be engaging with different ideas, different methods, different approaches, different ways of looking at the world. And also people who will enjoy being in a community that is made up of students from all over the University.
I’ve had conversations with students who were accepted and said I only want to be with students from my school; I want to be with the students in my degree. I have to tell you, I think that’s a disaster. When you’re with one group of people, especially when you’re in college, it can get old really quickly—you don’t learn anything about the disciplines outside of your own.
It isn’t that we’re looking for people who are well rounded—that’s a phrase I don’t like. I had a professor who said “Well-rounded—that means a person without edges! Without personality!” We are trying to find students who have a lot of ability and who would really flourish in college and add something to the community, but maybe didn’t have the highest SAT scores or GPA.”