Usage and Grammar

Q. In a school application would it be correct to say “At UPenn, I will participate in XYZ club” or “At UPenn, I would participate in XYZ club”? For an applicant who doesn’t yet know whether he will be admitted, the latter seems correct. Please advise. Thanks.

A. Yes, you’ve put your finger on this subtle difference. UPenn might be impressed by your self-confidence if you use the “will” construction—or they might just think you’re arrogant. Good luck!