Supplemental Essay Prompts by College (2022-2023)
Many colleges require applicants to submit supplemental essays in addition to the Common App essay. These essays vary in topics and range in length from just a few sentences (or 100-300 characters) to 650 words. These prompts can change from year to year.
For your convenience, I have compiled the 2022-2023 supplements for a majority of the top 50 Colleges, according to the US News Report. Note that “optional” doesn’t mean “optional” these days—it is highly suggested, if not expected that you complete these essays to demonstrate genuine interest in the school.
I look forward to helping your college applicant craft standout supplemental essays.
University of Virginia
Does Amherst College have Supplemental Essays? Yes
• At Amherst we know that identity is more than checkboxes. If you would like to share more about your identity, background, family, culture or community, please tell us more here. (Maximum: 175 words)
• Please briefly elaborate on an extracurricular activity or work experience of particular significance to you. (Maximum: 175 words)
• If you have engaged in significant research in the natural sciences, mathematics, computer science, social sciences or humanities that was undertaken independently of your high school curriculum, please provide a brief description of the research project: (Optional) (50-75 words)
Does Barnard College have Supplemental Essays? Yes
• What factors encouraged your decision to apply to Barnard College and why do you think the college would be a good match for you? (300 words)
• At Barnard, academic inquiry starts with bold questions. What are some of the bold questions you have pondered that get you excited and why do they interest you? Tell us how you would explore these questions at Barnard. (300 words)
• At Barnard, academic inquiry starts with bold questions. What are some of the bold questions you have pondered that get you excited and why do they interest you? Tell us how you would explore these questions at Barnard. (300 words)
Does Boston College have Supplemental Essays? Yes
• Respond to one of the following prompts (400 words)
Students at Boston College are encouraged to consider critical questions as they pursue lives of meaning and purpose. What is a question that matters to you and how do you hope Boston College will help you answer it?
• In 2020, we faced a national reckoning on racial injustice in America-- a reckoning that continues today. Discuss how this has affected you, what you have learned, or how you have been inspired to be a change agent around this important issue.
• At Boston College, we hope to draw on the Jesuit tradition of finding conversation partners to discuss issues and problems facing society. Who is your favorite conversation partner? What do you discuss with that person?
• Socrates stated that "the unexamined life is not worth living." Discuss a time when reflection, prayer, or introspection led to clarity or understanding of an issue that is important to you.
• Each year at University Convocation, the incoming class engages in reflective dialogue around a common text. What book would you recommend for your class to read and explore together-- and why?
Does Boston University have Supplemental Essays? Yes
• What about being a student at Boston University most excites you? (250 words)
• Additional Information (optional): Please use this space if you have additional information, materials, or writing samples you would like us to consider.
Does Bowdoin College have Supplemental Essays? Yes
• How did you first learn about Bowdoin? (Limit 140 characters.)
• Generations of students have found connection and meaning in Bowdoin's “The Offer of the College,” written in 1906 by Bowdoin President William DeWitt Hyde. (250 words)
To be at home in all lands and all ages;
to count Nature a familiar acquaintance,
and Art an intimate friend;
to gain a standard for the appreciation of others' work
and the criticism of your own;
to carry the keys of the world's library in your pocket,
and feel its resources behind you in whatever task you undertake;
to make hosts of friends...who are to be leaders in all walks of life;
to lose yourself in generous enthusiasms and cooperate with others for common ends –
this is the offer of the college for the best four years of your life.
Which line from the Offer resonates most with you?
- Optional: The Offer represents Bowdoin’s values. Please reflect on the line you selected and how it has meaning to you. (250 words)
- Optional: Navigating Through Differences
Bowdoin believes that only through building a more diverse and inclusive campus community will the College best prepare graduates to be contributing and useful citizens of the world. (250 words)
Does Brandeis University have Supplemental Essays? Yes
• The Brandeis community is a diverse group of critical thinkers defined by their ability to dive deeper into their learning by questioning, analyzing, evaluating, creating, critiquing and seeking other perspectives. Share an example of how you have used your own critical thinking skills on a specific subject, project, idea or interest. (250 words)
• What excites you the most about being an international student at Brandeis University? (250 words)
Does Brown University College have Supplemental Essays? Yes
• Brown’s Open Curriculum allows students to explore broadly while also diving deeply into their academic pursuits. Tell us about any academic interests that excite you, and how you might use the Open Curriculum to pursue them while also embracing topics with which you are unfamiliar. (250 words)
• (200-250 words) Brown’s culture fosters a community in which students challenge the ideas of others and have their ideas challenged in return, promoting a deeper and clearer understanding of the complex issues confronting society. This active engagement in dialogue is as present outside the classroom as it is in academic spaces. Tell us about a time you were challenged by a perspective that differed from your own. How did you respond? (200-250 words)
• Brown students care deeply about their work and the world around them. Students find contentment, satisfaction, and meaning in daily interactions and major discoveries. Whether big or small, mundane or spectacular, tell us about something that brings you joy. (200-250 words)
California Institute of Technology (CalTech)
Does CalTech have Supplemental Essays? Yes
• Because of the rigorous core course curriculum, Caltech students don’t declare a major until the end of their first year. However, some students arrive knowing which academic fields and areas already most excite them, or which novel fields and areas they most want to explore. If you had to choose an area of interest or two today, what would you choose? (Select from List)
• Why did you choose that area of interest? (200 words)
• At Caltech, we investigate some of the most challenging, fundamental problems in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Identify and describe two STEM-related experiences from your high school years, either in or out of the classroom, and tell us how and why they activated your curiosity. What about them made you want to learn more and explore further?
• STEM experience/activity #1* (200 words)
• STEM experience/activity #2* (200 words)
• The creativity, inventiveness, and innovation of Caltech’s students, faculty, and researchers have won Nobel Prizes and put rovers on Mars, but Techers also imagine smaller scale innovations every day, from new ways to design solar cells to 3D printing dorm decor. How have you been an innovator in your own life? * (250 words)
• The process of discovery is best advanced when people from diverse backgrounds come together to solve the greatest challenges in their fields. How do your past experiences and present-day perspectives inform who you have become and how you navigate the world? * (250 words)
• Optional Short Answers: We know, we know … you see optional and start to wonder if we mean it. But in this section, we truly do! See these as completely optional opportunities to show us more of your personality. Optional. We promise. If there are aspects of your identity that you feel are not captured elsewhere in this application, please provide that information below. (150 words)
• When not surveying the stars, peering through microscopes, or running through marathons of coding, Caltech students pursue an eclectic array of interests that range from speedcubing to participating in varsity athletics to reading romance novels. What is a favorite interest or hobby and why does it bring you joy? (100 words)
• Did you have a hard time narrowing it down to just one interest or hobby? We understand – Caltech students like to stay busy, too – tell us about another hobby or interest! (50 words)
• Have you had any extenuating circumstances regarding your coursework (such as limited course selection or disruptions) not described elsewhere in your application? If so, tell us about them here. (150 words)
• Some Caltech applicants engage in STEM competitions locally, nationally, and internationally (such as AIME, Science Olympiad, International Science Olympiads.) If you have received any STEM honors or awards, list them here (and scores, if applicable). (200 words)
Does Carleton College have Supplemental Essays? Yes
Please share your thoughts on one (1) of the following prompts (in no more than 300 words) of what these Carleton values look like to you:
1. I am empowered by individuals who… OR
2. I value community because… OR
3. I want to better my world by…
• Do you want to share more with us? If so, use this space to fill any gaps you think would assist us in reviewing your application. (Optional, no more than 250 words)
Carnegie Mellon University
Does Carnegie Mellon University have Supplemental Essays? Yes
• Many students pursue college for a specific degree, career opportunity or personal goal. Whichever it may be, learning will be critical to achieve your ultimate goal. As you think ahead to the process of learning during your college years, how will you define a successful college experience? (300 words)
• Most students choose their intended major or area of study based on a passion or inspiration that’s developed over time – what passion or inspiration led you to choose this area of study? (300 words)
• Consider your application as a whole. What do you personally want to emphasize about your application for the admission committee’s consideration? Highlight something that’s important to you or something you haven’t had a chance to share. Tell us, don’t show us (no websites please). (300 words)
Claremont McKenna College
Does Claremont McKenna College have Supplemental Essays? Yes
Why do you want to attend CMC? (150-250 words)
• One of the hallmarks of a CMC education is the first-year humanities program that all students take in their first year at the College. The program has two components: the Freshman Humanities Seminar (FHS) and the Freshman Writing Seminar (FWS). While each FHS and FWS seminar has a distinctive approach in terms of texts and topics, their pairing gives first-year students a shared academic experience in small, writing-intensive courses that foster critical thinking about a wide range of important issues.
FHS introduces first-year students to some of the crucial questions that human beings face with relation to society and the world. Individual sections are taught by faculty from a range of departments. Past and current topics include:
1. Democracy and Leadership
2. Women in Science
3. Unconventional Thinking
FWS, taught by faculty from the literature department, develops students’ abilities in written and oral communication at the college level. Past and current topics include:
1. Art of the Personal Essay
2. Blackness in American Cinema
3. Post-Apocalyptic Humanity
For the purpose of this essay prompt, pick one FHS or FWS seminar to study at CMC. What part of your personal experience—or your desire to know more about an area outside of your experience—best explains your seminar choice?" (250 words)
Does Colgate University have Supplemental Essays? Yes
Does Colgate University have Supplemental Essays? Yes
Colgate offers applicants the opportunity to lend depth to their application through optional supplemental writing prompts.
• Question 1: A great institution is diverse. It brings students of different socioeconomic backgrounds, races, ethnicities, and religions to campus. Colgate recognizes this and exposes students to a rich variety of perspectives and backgrounds in their educational and social experiences. Tell us in 150-200 words how you have prepared to immerse yourself in a community such as this or how you look forward to growing as a result of your experience at Colgate.
• Question 2: Colgate cultivates a skilled and engaged student body. Through their achievements, our students reflect the University’s reputation as a great place to pursue one’s academic interests. Tell us in 150-200 words about an academic or personal experience that highlights your skill and potential as a Colgate student.
• Question 3: The academic community at Colgate is shaped by the unique talents, character, and personality of each student. Please finish each sentence in 75 characters or less so we can learn more about you.
I am fascinated by…
I want to learn all I can about…
My favorite book is…
My role model is…
In the future, I hope to …
One thing I would change is…
I am most challenged by…
In 5 years, I…
College of William and Mary
Does College of William and Mary have Supplemental Essays? Yes
• Beyond your impressive academic credentials and extracurricular accomplishments, what else makes you unique and colorful? What aren’t we seeing elsewhere in your application? We know nobody fits neatly into approximately 500 words, but you can provide us with some suggestion of the type of person you are. Think of this optional opportunity as show and tell by proxy. (500 words)
Does Columbia University have Supplemental Essays? Yes
• List the titles of the books, essays, poetry, short stories or plays you read outside of academic courses that you enjoyed most during secondary/high school. (75 words)
• We’re interested in learning about some of the ways that you explore your interests. List some resources and outlets that you enjoy, including but not limited to websites, publications, journals, podcasts, social media accounts, lectures, museums, movies, music, or other content with which you regularly engage. (125 words)
• A hallmark of the Columbia experience is being able to learn and thrive in an equitable and inclusive community with a wide range of perspectives. Tell us about an aspect of your own perspective, viewpoint or lived experience that is important to you, and describe how it has shaped the way you would learn from and contribute to Columbia’s diverse and collaborative community. (2oo words)
• Why are you interested in attending Columbia University? We encourage you to consider the aspect(s) that you find unique and compelling about Columbia. (200 words)
• Please tell us what from your current and past experiences (either academic or personal) attracts you specifically to the areas of study that you noted in the application. (200 words)
• In Columbia’s admissions process, we value who you are as a unique individual, distinct from your goals and achievements. In the last words of this writing supplement, we would like you to reflect on a source of happiness. Help us get to know you further by describing the first thing that comes to mind when you consider what simply brings you joy. (35 words)
Does Dartmouth College have Supplemental Essays? Yes
• Dartmouth celebrates the ways in which its profound sense of place informs its profound sense of purpose. As you seek admission to Dartmouth’s Class of 2027, what aspects of the College’s academic program, community, or campus environment attract your interest? In short, Why Dartmouth? (Please respond in 100 words or fewer)
• “Be yourself,” Oscar Wilde advised. “Everyone else is taken.” Introduce yourself in 200-250 words.
Required of all applicants. Please choose one of the following prompts and respond in 200-250 words:
• Labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta recommended a life of purpose. “We must use our lives to make the world a better place to live, not just to acquire things,” she said. “That is what we are put on the earth for.” In what ways do you hope to make—or are you making—an impact?
• What excites you?
• In The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, William Kamkwamba ’14 reflects on constructing a windmill from recycled materials to power electrical appliances in his family’s Malawian house: “If you want to make it, all you have to do is try.” What drives you to create and what do you hope to make or have you made?
• Dr. Seuss, aka Theodor Geisel of Dartmouth’s Class of 1925, wrote, “Think and wonder. Wonder and think.” What do you wonder and think about?
• “Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced,” wrote James Baldwin. How does this quote apply to your life experiences?
Does Davidson College have Supplemental Essays? Yes
• There are just under 4,000 4-year colleges and universities in the United States. Being as specific as possible, what interests you most about Davidson College (250-300 words)
• Davidson encourages students to explore curiosities in and out of the classroom. What is a topic, activity or idea that excites you? Tell us why. Examples may include hobbies, books, interactions, music, podcasts, movies, etc. (250-300 words).
Does Duke University have Supplemental Essays? Yes
• What is your sense of Duke as a university and a community, and why do you consider it a good match for you? If there’s something in particular about our offerings that attracts you, feel free to share that as well. (250-word limit)
We want to emphasize that the following questions are optional. Feel free to answer them if you believe that doing so will add something meaningful that is not already shared elsewhere in your application. Four optional questions are available – a maximum of 2 can be selected.
Please select 0 – 2 optional essay topics. (Respond in 250 words or fewer.)
• We seek a diverse student body that embodies the wide range of human experience. In that context, we are interested in what you’d like to share about your lived experiences and how they’ve influenced how you think of yourself.
• We believe there is benefit in sharing and sometimes questioning our beliefs or values; who do you agree with on the big important things, or who do you have your most interesting disagreements with? What are you agreeing or disagreeing about?
• What has been your best academic experience in the last two years, and what made it so good?
• Duke’s commitment to diversity and inclusion includes sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. If you’d like to share with us more about your identity in this context, feel free to do so here.
Does Elon University have Supplemental Essays? Yes (all five required)
Prompt 1: We’re in your hometown. Where should we go and what should we do? Tell us about your hometown. Our admissions counselors may even take your suggestions when they are in the area! (50 words)
Prompt 2: What three emojis/GIFs do you use most often? Why?
OK, we know not everyone uses emojis or GIFs – so if you don’t, tell us which three you would choose if you did! (30 words)
Prompt 3: You are a superhero. What are your powers?
Be imaginative. What would you do with the powers you choose? (30 words)
Prompt 4: Name three songs from your perfect playlist.
Prompt 5: Tell us your top 5. Take this opportunity to let the admissions committee know more about you. Your top 5 should be something unique to you and give us a glimpse of who you are. Be creative! You may choose any theme for your top 5. Do you love cooking? List your top 5 recipes. Are you enthusiastic about anime? Who are your top 5 characters? Do you watch or participate in a lot of athletic events? Name your top 5 moments. Love to stream; what are you watching? You could even list your top five college tours – as long as Elon is #1! Explain why these are your top 5. (250 words)
Does Emerson College have Supplemental Essays? Yes
• As you know, the academic programs at Emerson College are focused on communication and the arts. Please tell us what influenced you to select your major. If you're undecided about your major, what attracted you to Emerson's programs? Please be brief. (100-200 words)
• Much of the work that students do at Emerson College is a form of storytelling. If you were to write the story of your life until now, what would you title it and why? Please be brief. (100-200 words)
• At its best, how does community benefit the individual, the whole, or both?
Does Emory University have Supplemental Essays? Yes
• What academic areas are you interested in exploring in college? (200 words)
Reflect on a personal experience where you intentionally expanded your cultural awareness. Answer one of the following questions. Your response should be no more than 150 words.
• When was the last time you questioned something you had thought to be true?
• If you could witness a historic event (past, present or future) first-hand, what would it be, and why?
• Share about a time when you were awestruck.
• Which book, character, song, monologue, or piece of work (fiction or non-fiction) seems made for you? Why?
George Washington University
Does George Washington University have Supplemental Essays? Yes
Respond to one of the following prompts (500 words):
• At the George Washington University, our students frequently interact with policymakers and world leaders. These experiences and those of our alumni can shape the future of global affairs. If you had the power to change the course of history in your community or the world, what would you do and why?
• The George Washington University encourages students to think critically and to challenge the status quo. Thus, civil discourse is a key characteristic of our community. Describe a time when you engaged others in meaningful dialogue around an issue that was important to you. Did this exchange create change, new perspectives, or deeper relationships?
Does Georgetown University have Supplemental Essays? Yes
• Indicate any special talents or skills you possess. (250 words)
• Briefly discuss the significance to you of the school or summer activity in which you have been most involved. (Half a page)
• As Georgetown is a diverse community, the Admissions Committee would like to know more about you in your own words. Please submit a brief essay, either personal or creative, which you feel best describes you. (approximately 1 page, single-spaced)
Additional Georgetown University School-Specific Prompts. (Each school-specific prompt should not exceed 1 page, single-spaced)
Does Harvard University have Supplemental Essays? Yes
• Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (50-150 words)
• Your intellectual life may extend beyond the academic requirements of your particular school. Please use the space below to list additional intellectual activities that you have not mentioned or detailed elsewhere in your application. These could include, but are not limited to, supervised or self-directed projects not done as school work, training experiences, online courses not run by your school, or summer academic or research programs not described elsewhere. (150 words)
• You may wish to include an additional essay if you feel that the college application forms do not provide sufficient opportunity to convey important information about yourself or your accomplishments. You may write on a topic of your choice, or you may choose from one of the following topics:
– Unusual circumstances in your life
– Travel, living, or working experiences in your own or other communities
– What you would want your future college roommate to know about you
– An intellectual experience (course, project, book, discussion, paper, poetry, or research topic in engineering, mathematics, science or other modes of inquiry) that has meant the most to you
– How you hope to use your college education
– A list of books you have read during the past twelve months
– The Harvard College Honor code declares that we “hold honesty as the foundation of our community.” As you consider entering this community that is committed to honesty, please reflect on a time when you or someone you observed had to make a choice about whether to act with integrity and honesty.
– The mission of Harvard College is to educate our students to be citizens and citizen-leaders for society. What would you do to contribute to the lives of your classmates in advancing this mission?
– Each year a substantial number of students admitted to Harvard defer their admission for one year or take time off during college. If you decided in the future to choose either option, what would you like to do?
– Harvard has long recognized the importance of student body diversity of all kinds. We welcome you to write about distinctive aspects of your background, personal development or the intellectual interests you might bring to your Harvard classmates.
• For International Students: What specific plan do you have, if any, for using the education you hope to receive? (0-50 words)
Harvey Mudd College
Does Harvey Mudd College have Supplemental Essays? Yes
“Scientific research is a human endeavor. The choices of topics that we research are based on our biases, our beliefs, and what we bring: our cultures and our families. The kinds of problems that people put their talents to solving depends on their values.” – Dr. Clifton Poodry
• How has your own background influenced the types of problems you want to solve, the people you want to work with, and the impact you hope your work can have? (500 words)
• Many students choose HMC because they don’t want to give up their interests in the Humanities, Social Sciences and the Arts – or HSA as we call it at HMC. Briefly describe what you’d like to learn about in your dream HSA class. (100 words or less)
Does Haverford College have Supplemental Essays? Yes
• Tell us about a topic or issue that sparks your curiosity and gets you intellectually excited. How do you think the environment at Haverford, including the framework of the Honor Code, would foster your continued intellectual growth? (250 words)
• Please tell us what motivated you to apply to Haverford and what excites you most as you imagine your Haverford experience. (150 words)
Indiana University (Bloomington)
Does Indiana University (Bloomington) have Supplemental Essays? Yes
• Describe your academic and career plans and any special interest (for example, undergraduate research, academic interests, leadership opportunities, etc.) that you are eager to pursue as an undergraduate at Indiana University. Also, if you encountered any unusual circumstances, challenges, or obstacles in pursuit of your education, share those experiences and how you overcame them. This essay may be used in scholarship consideration. (4oo words)
Johns Hopkins University
Does Johns Hopkins University have Supplemental Essays? Yes
• Founded in the spirit of exploration and discovery, Johns Hopkins University encourages students to share their perspectives, develop their interests, and pursue new experiences.
Use this space to share something you’d like the admissions committee to know about you (your interests, your background, your identity, or your community), and how it has shaped what you want to get out of your college experience at Hopkins. (400 words)
Does Lehigh University have Supplemental Essays? Yes
• How did you first learn about Lehigh University and what motivated you to apply? (150 words)
A compelling characteristic of Lehigh’s community is that our students want to be actively engaged in their learning, their community, and the world. Our students look to make a difference and have a real-world impact. We expect our community to challenge your viewpoint, your naturalized assumptions, and the way that you see the world around you. In the words of Lehigh’s President, John Simon, “The murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis has shaken our nation, and brought into harsh relief the life-threatening, systemic racial injustice that affects the lives of so many every day. Members of our community are angry and fearful, and we will support them...We need to make Lehigh University an actively anti-racist institution. By this, we mean actively speaking out and addressing acts of racism, racist comments, racist practices, policies and procedures.
• What would you want to be different in your own country or community to respond to issues of inequality, inequity, or injustice? (300 words)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Does Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have Supplemental Essays? Yes
• 250 words each:
o Describe the world you come from; for example, your family, clubs, school, community, city, or town. How has that world shaped your dreams and aspirations?
o Pick what field of study at MIT appeals to you the most right now, and tell us more about why this field of study appeals to you.
o We know you lead a busy life, full of activities, many of which are required. Tell us about something you do simply for the pleasure of it.
o At MIT, we bring people together to better the lives of others. MIT students work to improve their communities in different ways, from tackling the world’s biggest challenges to being a good friend. Describe one way in which you have contributed to your community, whether in your family, the classroom, your neighborhood, etc.
o Tell us about the most significant challenge you’ve faced or something important that didn’t go according to plan. How did you manage the situation?
New York University
Does New York University have Supplemental Essays? Yes
NYU was founded on the belief that a student’s identity should not dictate the ability for them to access higher education. That sense of opportunity for all students, of all backgrounds, remains a part of who we are today and a critical part of what makes us a world class university. Our community embraces diversity, in all its forms, as a cornerstone of the NYU experience.
We would like to better understand how your experiences would help us to shape and grow our diverse community. Please respond in 250 words or less.
The New School
Does The New School have Supplemental Essays? Yes
• If you could choose a social issue to impact or change, what would you choose? When addressing this prompt, imagine how your studies and experiences at The New School could help you affect change. (400 words)
• What specific aspects of The New School’s academic programs or community drew you to apply? Please pay particular attention within your essay to the college, program, and/or campus to which you have applied. (400 words)
Does Northwestern University have Supplemental Essays? Yes
• Help us understand how you might engage specific resources, opportunities, and/or communities here. We are curious about what these specifics are, as well as how they may enrich your time at Northwestern and beyond. (3oo words)
Does Pepperdine University have Supplemental Essays? Yes
• Pepperdine is a Christian university where all are welcomed and encouraged to challenge each other in the pursuit of truth. Students, faculty, and staff members from all backgrounds participate in conversations of faith inside and outside of the classroom. Considering that Pepperdine is a Christian university, why are you interested in attending and how would you contribute to conversations of faith on campus? (5oo words)
Does Pomona College have Supplemental Essays? Yes
The Pomona-specific essay prompts for those applying for Fall 2023 admission include an academic interest statement (max. 150 words); a short-response essay (max. 150 words); and a longer-response essay (max. 250 words).
(1) Academic Interest Statement: What do you love about the subject(s) you selected as potential major(s)? If undecided, share more about one of your academic passions.
(2) Short-Response Essay: choose to respond to one of the following three prompts in 150 words or less:
o At Pomona, we celebrate and identify with the number 47. Share with us one of your quirky personal, family, or community traditions and why you hold on to it.
o What item are you excited to bring with you to college?
o Describe a time when you felt empowered or on top of the world?
(3) Longer-Response Essay: choose to respond to one of the following three prompts in 250 words or less:
o In the past few years, is there something you have changed your mind about? Why?
o Reflecting on a community that you are part of, what values or perspectives from that community would you bring to Pomona?
o What strength or quality do you have that most people might not see or recognize?
Does Princeton University have Supplemental Essays? Yes
Activities: Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences that was particularly meaningful to you. (Response required in about 200 words.)
Please respond to each question in an essay of about 250 words:
1.) At Princeton, we value diverse perspectives and the ability to have respectful dialogue about difficult issues. Share a time when you had a conversation with a person or a group of people about a difficult topic. What insight did you gain, and how would you incorporate that knowledge into your thinking in the future?
2.) Princeton has a longstanding commitment to service and civic engagement. Tell us how your story intersects (or will intersect) with these ideals.
3.) Please respond to each question in 75 words or fewer. There are no right or wrong answers. Be yourself!
What is a new skill you would like to learn in college?
What brings you joy?
What song represents the soundtrack of your life at this moment?
Sarah Lawrence College
Does Sarah Lawrence College have Supplemental Essays? Yes
Optional: We know that there may be elements of who you are as a person and student that you may not feel are conveyed fully in the other sections of this application. If you wish to showcase a little more about your particular interest in Sarah Lawrence College, please respond to one of the prompts below.
• Sarah Lawrence students are often described as hyphenates: director-playwright-sound designer, environmentalist-photographer, journalist-linguist, economist-poet. In 250-500 words, tell us about seemingly disparate interests you’ve brought together, or hope to bring together at Sarah Lawrence.
• Students at Sarah Lawrence are asked to design their own research questions and answer them during semester-long projects. In 250-500 words, thoughtfully respond to a prompt of your own creation.
• Sarah Lawrence College’s community places strong value in inclusion and diversity. In 250-500 words, tell us about what you value in a community and how your perspective, lived experiences, or beliefs might contribute to your College community.
• In her 2019 commencement address, Maggie Haberman ’96 told the graduating class “My time at Sarah Lawrence helped me understand the importance of patience, of assuming good faith in others, and of finding truth.” In 250 – 500 words, tell us about a time you spoke your own truth or found the importance in one of the values Maggie describes.
Does Scripps College have Supplemental Essays? Yes
• The Stanford community is deeply curious and driven to learn in and out of the classroom. Reflect on an idea or experience that makes you genuinely excited about learning. (250 words)
• Virtually all of Stanford's undergraduates live on campus. Write a note to your future roommate that reveals something about you or that will help your roommate – and us – get to know you better. (250 words)
• Tell us about something that is meaningful to you and why. (250 words)
• 50 words each:
o What is the most significant challenge that society faces today?
o How did you spend your last two summers?
o What historical moment or event do you wish you could have witnessed?
o Briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities, a job you hold, or responsibilities you have for your family.
o Name one thing you are looking forward to experiencing at Stanford.
Does Swarthmore College have Supplemental Essays? Yes
• 250 words each:
o Swarthmore students’ worldviews are often forged by their prior experiences and exposure to ideas and values. Our students are often mentored, supported, and developed by their immediate context—in their neighborhoods, communities of faith, families, and classrooms. Reflect on what elements of your home, school, or community have shaped you or positively impacted you. How have you grown or changed because of the influence of your community?
o We are inspired by students who are flexible in their approach to learning, who are comfortable with experimentation, and who are willing to take intellectual risks that move them out of their comfort zone. Reflect on a time that you were intellectually challenged, inspired, or took an intellectual risk—inside or outside of the classroom. How has that experience shaped you, and what questions still linger?
o Why are you interested in applying to and attending Swarthmore?
Does Tufts University have Supplemental Essays? Yes
Applicants to the School of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering, and 5-Year Tufts/NEC Combined Degree answer the following two questions:
• Which aspects of the Tufts undergraduate experience prompt your application? In short, “Why Tufts?” (100-150 words)
Now we’d like to know a little more about you. Please respond to one of the following three questions. (200-250 words):
• It’s cool to love learning. What excites your intellectual curiosity?
• How have the environments or experiences of your upbringing – your family, home, neighborhood, or community – shaped the person you are today?
• Where are you on your journey of engaging with or fighting for social justice?
Applicants to the BFA or 5-Year BFA+BA/BS Combined Degree at the SMFA at Tufts answer the following two questions:
• Which aspects of the Tufts undergraduate experience prompt your application? Why SMFA at Tufts? (100-150 words)
• B) Art has the power to disrupt our preconceptions, shape public discourse, and imagine new ways of being in the world. What are the ideas you’d like to explore in your work? (200-250 words)
Does Tulane University have Supplemental Essays? Yes
• Describe why you are interested in attending Tulane University. (5oo words)
• (Tulane values the lessons gained from pursuing an education alongside a student body that represents a wide range of experiences and perspectives and is reflective of our multicultural world. If you would like to share a perspective related to your family, cultural group, sexual or gender identity, religious group, or some other aspect that has shaped your identity, please do so here.)
• If you would like to elaborate on one of your activities, you may do so briefly here. (250 words)
University of Chicago
Does University of Chicago have Supplemental Essays? Yes
Question 1 (Required)
• How does the University of Chicago, as you know it now, satisfy your desire for a particular kind of learning, community, and future? Please address with some specificity your own wishes and how they relate to UChicago.
Question 2: Extended Essay (Required; Choose one)
Essay Option 1
• Was it a cat I saw? Yo-no-na-ka, ho-ka-ho-ka na-no-yo (Japanese for “the world is a warm place”). Może jutro ta dama da tortu jeżom (Polish for “maybe tomorrow that lady will give a cake to the hedgehogs”). Share a palindrome in any language, and give it a backstory.
Essay Option 2
• What advice would a wisdom tooth have?
Essay Option 3
• You are on an expedition to found a colony on Mars, when from a nearby crater, a group of Martians suddenly emerges. They seem eager to communicate, but they’re the impatient kind and demand you represent the human race in one song, image, memory, proof, or other idea. What do you share with them to show that humanity is worth their time?
For other options, see University of Chicago website
University of Miami
Does University of Miami have Supplemental Essays? Yes
• The University of Miami's official mascot is the ibis. Folklore maintains that the native marsh bird is the last to take shelter before a hurricane hits and the first to emerge once the storm passes, making it an apt symbol of courage and resilience. (25o words)
• Considering your ability to control your own motivation and behavior, how have past experiences helped build your courage and resilience to persist in the face of academic and life challenges so that, once these storms pass, you can emerge in continued pursuit of your goals?
University of Michigan
Does University of Michigan have Supplemental Essays? Yes
• Everyone belongs to many different communities and/or groups defined by (among other things) shared geography, religion, ethnicity, income, cuisine, interest, race, ideology, or intellectual heritage. Choose one of the communities to which you belong and describe that community and your place within it. (3oo words)
• Describe the unique qualities that attract you to the specific undergraduate College or School (including preferred admission and dual degree programs) to which you are applying at the University of Michigan. How would that curriculum support your interests? (55o words)
University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill)
Does University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) have Supplemental Essays? Yes
• Choose two of the following prompts to respond to in 200-250 words:
1. Describe an aspect of your identity and how this has shaped your life experiences or impacted your daily interactions with others?
2. Describe a peer who is making a difference in your school or community. What actions has that peer taken? How has their work made a difference in your life?
3. If you could change one thing to better your community, what would it be? Please explain.
4. Former UNC-Chapel Hill employee, community service member, and civil rights activist Esphur Foster once said “We are nothing without our history.” Her words are memorialized on the Northside Neighborhood Freedom Fighters monument. How does history shape who you are?
You’ll complete all of the following fill-in-the-blank responses in 25 words each:
1.) One family, friend, or school tradition I cherish:
2.) If I had an extra hour in every day, I would spend it:
3.) If I could travel anywhere, near or far, past, present or future, I would go:
4.) The last time I stepped outside my comfort zone, I:
5.) People who meet me are most likely to notice, and least likely to notice:
University of Notre Dame
Does University of Notre Dame have Supplemental Essays? Yes
The University of Notre Dame Writing Supplement consists of one (1) essay response to a required question and one (1) essay response to one of four questions you select from a list of options provided. In total, you will write two (2) essay responses. The word count is a maximum of 200 words per essay.
• Notre Dame is a Catholic university, founded by members of the Congregation of Holy Cross, with a mission to educate the hearts and minds of students. What excites you about attending Notre Dame?
Additional Prompts (You choose 1):
• People in the Notre Dame community come from many different places, backgrounds, and walks of life. How is where you’re from a part of who you are?
• Tell us about a time when you advocated for something you believe in.
• If you were given unlimited resources to help solve one problem in your community, what would it be and how would you accomplish it?
• What is the greatest compliment you have ever been given? Why was it meaningful to you?
University of Pennsylvania
Does University of Pennsylvania have Supplemental Essays? Yes
Write a short thank-you note to someone you have not yet thanked and would like to acknowledge. (We encourage you to share this note with that person, if possible, and reflect on the experience!) (150-200 words)
• How will you explore community at Penn? Consider how Penn will help shape your perspective and identity, and how your identity and perspective will help shape Penn. (150-200 words)
• Considering the specific undergraduate school you have selected, how will you explore your intellectual and academic interests at the University of Pennsylvania? (300-450 words)
University of Southern California (USC)
Does University of Southern California (USC) have Supplemental Essays? Yes
Describe how you plan to pursue your academic interests and why you want to explore them at USC specifically. Please feel free to address your first- and second-choice major selections. (Approximately 250 words)
Describe yourself in three words (25 characters).
The following prompts have a 100 character limit:
What is your favorite snack?
Best movie of all time:
If your life had a theme song, what would it be?
What TV show will you binge watch next?
Which well-known person or fictional character would be your ideal roommate?
If you could teach a class on any topic, what would it be?
University of Vermont
Does University of Vermont have Supplemental Essays? Yes
You may submit a response to ONE of the following prompts.
• (Optional) 500 words- Respond to one of the following prompts.
o Why UVM?
o Established in 1978 in a renovated gas station in Burlington, VT, Ben and Jerry’s is synonymous with the ice cream business. The company’s success and unique brand identity are due in part to their one-of-a-kind flavors. Which Ben and Jerry’s ice cream flavor (real or imagined) best describes you?
o Whether they are constructing a robot, a stronger sense of community or an identity, UVM students are builders. What would you like to build?
o At UVM, learning extends far beyond the walls of our classrooms. From student-led organizations, to internships and study abroad experiences, UVM students are encouraged to pursue knowledge in all environments. Describe a time when you’ve learned in a non-traditional setting.
o Communities and organizations are stronger when they value diversity of thought. How do you create meaningful connections or conversations with others when they express opinions that differ from your own?
University of Virginia
Does University of Virginia have Supplemental Essays? Yes
• The first prompt is still tied to the UVA school or college the student selects. We want students to answer the prompt in around 100 words. As always, the boxes on the Common App allow students to go a bit over, so we don’t expect students to write exactly 100 words.
Students will then write responses to two prompts out of eleven options in about 50 words each. Again, the Common App boxes allow students to go a little over the stated limit. Some of these are old favorites and some are new.
• What’s your favorite word and why?
• We are a community with quirks, both in language and in traditions. What is one of your quirks?
• About what topic could you speak for an hour?
• Take us to your happy place.
• You can wake up tomorrow and a skill you already have will become expert-level. What skill is that?
• What is the last gift you gave someone that wasn’t bought with money?
• What website is the internet missing?
• After a challenging experience, how do you recharge?
• Tell us about a place you’d like to share with everyone, but also keep to yourself.
• UVA students paint messages on Beta Bridge when they want to share information with our community. What would you paint on Beta Bridge and why is this your message?
• Tell us about a time when, faced with an opinion or perspective that differed from your own, you responded as an empathetic speaker or generous listener.
University of Wisconsin (Madison)
Does University of Wisconsin (Madison) have Supplemental Essays? Yes
• Tell us why you decided to apply to the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In addition, please include why you are interested in studying the major(s) you have selected. If you selected undecided please describe your areas of possible academic interest. (650 words)
Does Vanderbilt University have Supplemental Essays? Yes
Answer one of the prompts in approximately 250 words:
• Vanderbilt offers a community where students find balance between their academic and social experiences. Please briefly elaborate on how one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences has influenced you.
• Vanderbilt University values learning through contrasting points of view. We understand that our differences, and our respect for alternative views and voices, are our greatest source of strength. Please reflect on conversations you’ve had with people who have expressed viewpoints different from your own. How did these conversations/experiences influence you?
Does Vassar College have Supplemental Essays? Yes
Please select and respond to one of the following prompts in 300 words or less:
• At Vassar, we aim to foster an inclusive community through our philosophy of engaged pluralism. Engaged pluralism is rooted in “the conviction that collaborating across differences is necessary for social transformation and critical for the well-being of any community and its members.” In short, we believe it’s our differences that make us stronger. Tell us a little bit about what makes you unique and what you hope to add to our community.
• Vassar is a diverse community that inspires positive change through open inquiry, deep dives into society’s most difficult challenges, and collaborative problem solving. We care deeply about one another, the communities that have forged us, and the community we build together on campus. Tell us more about the community (or communities) you come from and how it has shaped who you are.
Does Villanova University have Supplemental Essays? Yes
Essay #1: 250 words- Respond to one of the following prompts.
o St. Augustine states that well-being is “not concerned with myself alone, but with my neighbor’s good as well.” How have you advocated for equity and justice in your communities?
o What is the truest thing that you know?
o One of the themes in St. Augustine’s book, Confessions, is the idea of redemption. Tell us your story of being given a second chance.
o In the Villanova community, we believe that we all learn from one another. What is a lesson in life that you have learned that you would want to share with others?
o Augustine’s “Miracles are not contrary to nature but only contrary to what we know about nature.” Tell us about a societal issue that you believe the wonder of technology is well-poised to help solve.
Essay #2: Why Nova? (2022-23)
• Why do you want to call Villanova your new home and become part of our community? (150 words)
Wake Forest University
Does Wake Forest University have Supplemental Essays? Yes
1. List five books you have read that intrigued you. (Spaces have been left for you to include each book’s title and author and mark whether the selection was required or not required.)
2. Explain how a text you’ve read – fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or literature of any kind – has helped you to understand the world’s complexity. (150 words)
3. Tell us more about the topic that most engages your intellectual curiosity. (150 words)
4. Give us your top ten list. (Theme)
Does Wellesley College have Supplemental Essays? Yes
• When choosing a college community, you are choosing a place where you believe that you can live, learn, and flourish. Generations of inspiring women have thrived in the Wellesley community, and we want to know what aspects of this community inspire you to consider Wellesley. We know that there are more than 100 reasons to choose Wellesley, but the “Wellesley 100” is a good place to start. Visit The Wellesley 100 and let us know, in two well-developed paragraphs, which two items most attract, inspire, or energize you and why. (Not-so-secret tip: The “why” matters to us.) (400 words)
Does Williams College have Supplemental Essays? No
Williams does not require a writing supplement. However, students who are interested in submitting an example of their written work have the option of sharing an academic paper completed within the last year, ideally 3-5 pages in length. The paper does not need to be graded, and can be creative or analytical. Please do not submit lab reports. If submitting this optional paper, please include a description of the assignment or prompt.
Does Yale University have Supplemental Essays? No
• Students at Yale have time to explore their academic interests before committing to one or more major fields of study. Many students either modify their original academic direction or change their minds entirely. As of this moment, what academic areas seem to fit your interests or goals most comfortably? Please indicate up to three from the list provided.
• Tell us about a topic or idea that excites you and is related to one or more academic areas you selected above. Why are you drawn to it? (200 words or fewer)
• What is it about Yale that has led you to apply? (125 words or fewer)
Applicants applying with the QuestBridge Application will complete the questions above via the Yale QuestBridge Questionnaire, available on the Yale Admissions Status Portal after an application has been received.
Applicants submitting the Coalition Application or Common Application will also respond to the following short answer questions, in no more than 200 characters (approximately 35 words):
• What inspires you? (200 characters or fewer)
• Yale’s residential colleges regularly host conversations with guests representing a wide range of experiences and accomplishments. What person, past or present, would you invite to speak? What would you ask them to discuss? (200 characters or fewer)
• You are teaching a new Yale course. What is it called? (200 characters or fewer)
• What is something about you that is not included anywhere else in your application? (200 characters or fewer)
Applicants submitting the Coalition Application or Common Application will respond to one of the following prompts in 400 words or fewer.
• Yale carries out its mission “through the free exchange of ideas in an ethical, interdependent, and diverse community.” Reflect on a time when you exchanged ideas about an important issue with someone holding an opposing view. How did the experience lead you either to change your opinion or to sharpen your reasons for holding onto it?
• Reflect on a time when you have worked to enhance a community to which you feel connected. Why have these efforts been meaningful to you? You may define community however you like.