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  • Writer's pictureHarpal Kochar

What You Shouldn’t Miss In Your Supplemental Essays

Updated: Apr 23

Admissions officers are trained to look for the "fit." Remember this: The ad-com dude wants to help you, but only if you help him. Simplify his life. Help the dude make the case on your behalf. Get to the details and stories quickly, and put everything they need in front. For example, don't just explicitly state your values, but instead, with the research into the school values how you fit those like a glove. Quickly give the team enough unique qualities and ammunition to make the case for how your candidature fits in. 

What is a supplemental application for college? 

Supplemental essays are a chance for applicants to give more information to an admissions committee to further show why they are a good fit for a school. Make sure you aren't repeating something that's already covered in your main essay. Many colleges ask you to write an essay or paragraph about why you're applying to their school specifically. In asking these questions, admissions officers are trying to determine if you're genuinely excited about the school and whether you're likely to attend if accepted.

What do colleges want to see in supplemental essays? 

When answering this essay question, use specific details. Mention courses and professors of interest. Students should elaborate on the on-campus organizations or programs that fit certain goals, and specific aspects of the campus community that make it a good social and academic fit.

Do colleges care about supplemental essays? 

They're your chance to demonstrate that you know what makes the school special and that you're excited to attend that particular institution.

How long do supplemental essays take? 

Once you've done all the preliminary steps for filling out the application, actually filling out each school-specific application and writing their supplemental essays should only take 5-10 hours

Are supplemental essays more important? 

College admissions officers report that supplemental essays play an increasingly important role in the college application process.

How do you end a supplemental college essay?

The end of a supplement is your last chance to make your point. You may not have a lot of space but set aside at least a short sentence to bring everything together. If you have more than 250 words to work with, commit at least two sentences to the conclusion.

The nine types of supplemental essay prompts are:

  • Why Us?

  • Why Major?

  • Community.

  • Leadership!

  • Diversity!

  • Extracurricular!

  • “Quotation”

  • Short answer.

10 Tips for Writing Great Supplemental Essays for College...

  • Ascertain which of your college choices require supplements. ...

  • Read the essay prompt carefully. ...

  • Write about yourself. ...

  • Do not repeat anything from the rest of your Common App or Coalition App. ...

  • Do your homework. ...

  • Recycle your essays the smart way. ...

  • Know there are no optional essays. ...

  • Stay within the word count.

Harpal's list (made this for researching BU, but applicable to all schools, just replace BU with target school name)

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