Why College X Why Major X - An Answer in Two Parts

Essay Prompt

Cooper Union asks for two short answers (1-2 paragraphs each): one is Why College X, and the other is Why This Major?

Sample Essay

Why do you believe Cooper is a good fit for you?

I got interested in Cooper Union when I discovered a video on YouTube about the Annual Egg Drop Competition (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNsNhXjkFNI). I was doing research in preparation for a team egg drop competition in our Physics class. I watched a lot of videos and I got the best ideas for our team from Cooper Union’s. (In case you were wondering: We won the class competition, but were edged out by another team in the school-wide competition. Since the egg drop competition was in 9th grade, I didn’t really explore it further until I started making my college list. That’s when I dug in and did more research, mostly on the web, because I couldn’t afford to visit.

For me, a kid from a working class family, the affordability of Cooper Union is one of its primary attractions. A close second are the opportunities to learn about cutting edge automotive design both in class and by being part of a Formula SAE team. I love the idea of building race cars for competition, having been a dedicated Formula One fan for my whole life and having just finished rebuilding the engine and restoring an old Mustang my Dad gave me for my 16th birthday with the understanding that I had to make it run if I wanted a car to drive.

What do you know about your chosen major (e.g. Chemical, Civil, Electrical, General, or Mechanical Engineering) and where do you hope it will take you?

Being raised in my Alabama town where the Honda auto assembly plant employs a huge portion of my family – both my parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins – I suppose loving cars was inevitable. But being a 21st century kid, I also know that cars have to be reinvented for a world without fossil fuels. That’s what I want to do. Mechanical engineering is therefore the branch of engineering that is my first interest, but electrical engineering is also important because of the integration of computer technology into cars of the future.

My goal is simple, but big. I want to be the guy who designs the 21st century version of the Ford Model A because for me the most important thing is that this car be affordable for the average Joe. Obviously it will be a car that runs on something other than fossil fuels. A first job at Tesla would be awesome (if it is still a going enterprise), but if not Tesla, then wherever I can get the support for research and development.

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