- Embrace Additional Writing Requirements. Most selective colleges using the Common Application have individual Member Questions and/or Writing Supplements. View these supplemental essay opportunities as great offerings, as less is not more in the world of the competitive application process. Colleges that have supplemental essays really want to learn more about you– from you. So give them what they want. Great supplemental essay responses will give admissions officers more reasons to admit you and even give you a scholarship.
- Start with the big picture. Take a look at each written piece the college will receive from and about you—include your essays from the Common Application and even your activity list and letters of recommendation. Look at the supplemental essays as a way to flesh out and expand that picture. See all of your opportunities to share information, and make sure you don’t repeat yourself and what you’ve already discussed in the Common Application.
- Each college’s questions are unique. While all colleges will see your Common Application, only the individual colleges will see your additional responses. So each one is different. Colleges can ask all kinds of questions. Some will have one essay while others will have several. Each question and/or supplement, no matter what it requires you to provide, is another opportunity to provide more valuable information about yourself to the colleges you seek to attend.
- Each Writing Question or Supplemental EssayPromptis different. Be prepared to write a variety of supplemental essays from short one-line responses to medium size responses to 650 word essays. No matter what the length, each response is a new chance to tell a different story or message about what you will offer a college.
- Use our Into, Through, and Beyond approach in each essay. In each essay provide a hook, key context information, and then powerful ending. You can find our tips for writing great essays on our website: www.allcollegeessays.org.
- Be even smarter than the smart writing questions or supplements. Some of your questions will appear based on what you answer in Member Question about particular majors or merit scholarships. Don’t be surprised if an essay disappears if you change your major or select no to a particular program or scholarship. Keep a running track of what you have to write for each prompt based on your Member Question selections.
- Learn deeply about the personality and reputation of college. Think of what each college values when writing your supplemental essays. If the college is large, and asks a community or diversity question, think how you can make a big campus small. Think how you can enrich a diverse community and how well you can join existing communities. If the college is small, think of ways you can truly engage as a member of an intense learning community. If the college is religious, think of ways you can enrich the spiritual community.
- Let us help you.All College Application Essays has done the hard work of collecting all the Supplemental Essays for you. We tell you where to find them, what each additional essay prompt requires, and the length and submission format. You don’t need to waste your time collecting the essays and their formats, if we already have. Spend your time writing powerful essays that communicate even more reasons for a college to accept you.
- Recycle essays and re-use supplemental essays wisely. Remember, each question and/or supplement is separate and belongs to the individual college and you. The colleges do not communicate with each other, so you can use some of your essays over and over again, especially the longer ones and the optional activity statements. For example, you can see a way to use your University of Chicago Supplemental essays as your Boston College Supplement. Yet don’t be careless, and cut and paste a college specific essay into the wrong college.
- Prepare an activity statement. A short statement about one of your activities is now optional for colleges to use. In 2014-2015, these statements appear in different places, so be prepared by having two to three statements ready to go. The word limit will vary based on the college so have a short, medium, and long version. Focus on your leadership and initiative while also grounding your response in a specific story. Also some of these essays may lead to even better longer essays.
- Share more core qualities in college “Dating” essays. Many colleges have specific essays prompts geared around why you and the college are a good match. Read the specific word on these prompts. Give colleges what they want, a reason to ask you out and ideally propose. Some colleges want only academic information while others want an overall essay. Understand that if they have this prompt, they want to know how you will fit into their campuses. They don’t want mere recaps of what they know they offer. Think of how you can engage specifically on their campuses. Some campuses even send these essays out to professors or specific communities to read. Give specific examples from your visits, college fair talks with admissions officers, or emails with professors or current students. Let them picture you on their campuses by literally picturing yourself on their campus.
- Nothing is optional. Some colleges give you some optional essays. Do not ignore these options to offer new information. Each essay is a chance to share a new reason why you belong on that campus. Of course, don’t force yourself to answer an essay that doesn’t match
- Read college’s specific essay tips. Most colleges now have a variety of ways to communicate their views on college essays. Some even provide model essays, including, Johns Hopkins University, Carleton College, and Connecticut College. Others give great tips from The University of Michigan to Boston University. Read how colleges view the essays on their websites. College specific tips may help you write essays that you engage your admissions readers.
- Know the length and format of each college specific essay. You can submit essays in two ways—paste in or upload. The majority of colleges are using the “paste in” method. Some allow you to upload. All use word limits. Sadly, the text box does not always tell you the word limit even after you paste in. So you can experiment or save your time to write the essay by using our app: All College Application Essays. We provide each submission format—from whether it is required or optional, to word ranges, to submission methods.
- Use these additional essays to present even more powerful information about the additional ways you can enrich each college’s campus. You have plenty of time. Now get going. First buy our app and soon to be released website, All College Application Essays, and then start brainstorming and writing your college application essays. If for some reasons, you cannot afford the app, let us know and we can send you a gift certification to purchase it.
Are you applying to Boston College this fall? This Jesuit-affiliated college is one of few schools that don’t require any supplemental essays, which puts more emphasis on your personal statement. Here are 5 essay intro examples that were successful:
When describing my home of—-, I would define it as a typical English village. But what is typical for me is not normal to everyone else. My normal is growing up in a village with a pub that can fit only ten people. It is going to boarding school in an area of ‘outstanding natural beauty’. Normal is joining a primary school, attended by Winston Churchill, which was built around a 14th century manor house, and had only 138 students. It is having the closest town of—- being named ‘one of the strangest places to live’ due to its many converging religions. Some might not call this normal, but I’ve always called it home. Keep reading.
A frizzy mane of unruly ringlets crowns me as the owner of the Hair That Cannot Be Tamed. With corkscrew curls poking out freely from every inch of my head, I am quickly given the nickname “Fro-Fro”—half lovingly and half mockingly—by the children in my 5th grade class. Believing that there is truth in their ridicule, I decide to try out a new ‘do. I make a valiant attempt to tame my curls by creating two buns atop my head in a Minnie Mouse-like fashion, in what I thought would become the be-all and end-all fad of 2007: View full essay.
From the bright orange Indian tapestry and the intricately woven Iranian prayer mat hanging on the wall to the Romanian tea kettle perched precariously among piles of ungraded papers and tests, Ms. Moore’s World Literature classroom can more accurately be likened to a room in the Museum of Natural History than a 10th grade English classroom. Contrasting with the typical “hang in there” and “math is fun!” posters plastered on the walls of my other high school classrooms, the unconventional décor of Ms. Moore’s room is the first clue to any visitor that Room 187 is a unique learning environment. Darting from one end of the room to the other, a just under five-foot woman with cropped brown hair and glasses greets me as soon as I walk in the door. Calling me a biscuit, a nickname she reserves for her students, Ms. Moore makes coming into English feel like coming home. The room is warm and filled with excitement, a community of people passionate about literature and global issues presented in our readings. Although 10th grade has come and passed, the room and its owner still welcome me and all other students. The room itself, the teacher, and the community of Room 187 make it a place where I was and still am completely content. Read more.
As I slow my stride to look around, I see others on my track team working through their exhaustion and keeping a steady pace. Most of the time I can push forward, as the track is where I find solace and really feel alive. Sports have always been a large part of my life, but today I can’t help imagine running off the track straight into my home to fill the mold of my bed. I normally don’t concede to my fatigue, but sometimes the early wake ups, long train rides, and hours of work at school leave me wanting nothing more than to go home to recharge and come back rejuvenated another day. Unfortunately, home has not always been the best place for me to do this. Continue reading.
I’m afraid of everything. I’m afraid of the dark. I’m afraid of getting sick. I’m afraid of ghosts in my basement. I’m even afraid to eat my Grandma’s cooking – those expiration dates are there for a reason! Being home alone frightens me because I never know what could happen. A robber could break in. A tree could fall and crash through the roof. The electricity could go out and I could fall down the stairs in the dark. I was never afraid of elevators until I went on the Tower of Terror at MGM Studios. Now I’m afraid of ending up in the “Twilight Zone” instead of the hotel lobby. All of these fears paralyzed me for years and I was unable to fully enjoy life. View full.
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About The Author
Frances was born in Hong Kong and received her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University. She loves super sad drama television, cooking, and reading. Her favorite person on Earth isn’t actually a member of the AdmitSee team - it’s her dog Cooper.