Last time, we ended our blog post talking about the necessity of writing the supplemental essays. This week, we will be covering HOW to write an effective supplemental essay.
An effective supplemental essay is one that shows how your background, interests, and ideals are aligned with the college. This is slightly different than your Common Application essay where your goal is, more often than not, to showcase who you are independent of the college that you are applying to (since you will be using that Common Application essay for most colleges). Your goal for the supplemental essay is unique because you can answer the prompt in a way that directly ties your background, interests, or ideals to that specific college. When done correctly, the supplemental essay can be a powerful advocate for your application.
The number one way we ask all of our students to frame their supplemental essay for a specific college is using the information available on the college’s website. College websites contain a wealth of information about the university- everything you need to know about the place where you will spend one of the most important periods of your life. While you may not know exactly what career you will go into post-graduation, having an idea of what you’re interested in (or disinterested in) and use that as your compass for your essay is very helpful. For example, if you have a passion for coding and computers and you know that the college offers a renowned computer science program, work it in your essay; if you have a strong interest in community service, talk about how you plan on contributing to an existing volunteering program at that school; if you plan on majoring in physics, name drop one of the professor’s research whom you admire. Yes, this involves research and yes, it involves spending time outside of playing Candy Crush. But doing this research will not only show admission officers how your qualities are compatible to those of the school, but also that you care enough to take that extra step to research about the school.
Supplemental essays can be an afterthought for a lot of applicants- and colleges know that. That is why a college specific supplemental essay that targets how the applicant can fit into specific existing programs at the school will stand out among a sea of generic supplemental essays.
As the scholarships and Regular Admissions deadlines are fast approaching, I would like to once again extend our services to you- we help you polish your Common App essays, scholarship essays, supplemental essays, and resume. We also offer a comprehensive package that will walk you through every step of the process if you are still underprepared and overwhelmed. Contact us for a free consultation!
Our affordable and flexible tutors are also available to help you get that dream SAT/ACT score. Our published book is a great resource for any of you stressing about what to write for the Common App & Supplemental essays.