Main content

What the Purchase Admissions Process Was Like for Me

October 16, 2017
  • Blog Post Image

by Jack Sullivan ’20, Graphic Design major from Yorktown Heights, NY

Hello All!

 My name is Jack, I am a Graphic Design BFA sophomore in the School of the Arts at Purchase College. Seeing as I only applied to Purchase about two years ago, I thought I would mention a thing or two about my experience in the application process while it is still fresh on my mind.



As a Graphic Design student I had to submit a portfolio of my visual work. Towards the end of high school this became my primary focus. All I would think about through the month of October was the work in my portfolio. How would I arrange it? What would the order be? Which of my work should be put in? I was very nervous, but in the end the process was easy and quick! So no need to worry!

Talent reviews (aka portfolios, auditions, and interviews) are for students applying for Acting, Creative Writing, Dance, Film, Music, Theatre Design/Technology, and the Visual Arts. Of course, this component comes on top of the existing application. I completed my college essay with the Common App.



If I could summarize some advice for writing your college essay, it would be to only write what you know. Purchase isn’t looking for you to be something you’re not. Authenticity reads very well (not to mention it’s really important to us here at Purchase!), not only that but it is worlds easier to write about yourself, your experiences, and your goals.

As a prospective college student, you’ve already made the choice to make something more of your career and your life. You could almost talk about that choice alone the entire essay and it would be easy, because it’s all you. I personally wrote my essay on how I discovered a love for design, and what I want to do with it, and where I want to go with my life as a designer. The title was “I Want to Make Things Pretty,” and it has become clear that Purchase was at least amused by my satirical tone. Just be you.



What is even better than the college essay is the Think Wide Open submission that Purchase now requires you to submit. Now I know what you might be thinking, ‘he certainly is being paid to say that since he’s an Admissions Ambassador.’ Well I am, BUT I really do appreciate the Think Wide Open submission! Here at Purchase we have a saying, “Think Wide Open.”

I’m not going to tell you what that means, and I don’t think anyone should. I believe it is entirely up to your own interpretation. This submission is something that is truly specific to Purchase. Before writing my response, I just took a few days to really break it apart and think about what it could mean to me.

Beyond that, I want you to recognize that whatever meaning you might apply to Think Wide Open is welcomed at Purchase college and will be recognized by Admissions. I remember I wrote my submission in one sitting, at a Panera Bread. Once I reflected on what it meant to me, the submission just sort of came out.



I actually took a day off from school to get everything done (for all my schools) and do it right. I recommend you consider doing something similar if you think it could work for you. Get comfortable. Some hot tea or coffee, comfy clothes.

Assign a day and really take your time, take breaks, make sure you breathe. I know this whole process may seem really intimidating, it might sound like your ticket into college of your own creation and if you don’t manifest it correctly you won’t get in. This is not true. The goal of these writings and of your application, is for Purchase to get to know you. The more personable and authentic you are, the easier it will be for Purchase to want to meet you. Just be you!

I hope I get the chance to meet you!