Jan 24, 2018

Part 2: even more 2017-18 essay supplements

University of Richmond
Colleges are currently in the process of rolling out essay supplements for 2017-18. And Erica Riesbeck, senior assistant director of admission for the University of Richmond makes good arguments for starting to work on these essays sooner rather than later.

According to Ms. Riesbeck, the top five reasons for getting to work on Richmond’s supplements now are:
  1. You didn’t get your dream summer job and you have plenty of extra time.
  2. Covfefe. Typos are infuriating and noticeable—build in extra time for proofreading.
  3. Stress relief/parent relief.
  4. Bragging rights.
  5. Free tuition to the first admissible student who applies! NO—just kidding. Richmond promises to review your application for merit scholarships if you apply by December 1.
And the folks at Georgia Tech offer sound advice reinforcing this wisdom:
  • Get started early. Don’t wait until the last minute to complete your essays!
  • Write and edit your essay in a document editor. Once you have the final draft, you can cut and paste it into your online application.
  • Don’t overthink it. It may not be easy to write about yourself, but just write what you feel most comfortable with.
  • Don’t write what you think we want to read. Write what you want to say!
  • Don’t blow off the essay! We wouldn’t ask you to write it if we didn’t find it to be an important way to get to know you, and what you have to bring to Georgia Tech.
Now that the July 4th holiday is past, you can start checking college websites for essay supplements—required and optional. And note that both the Coalition Application and the Universal College Application (UCA) are open for business with individual colleges launching applications (and writing requirements) according to their own timelines.

In addition to those posted yesterday, here are a few additional colleges that have already posted 2017-18 essay supplements:

University of North Carolina
Carolina’s supplement will provide you with four prompts, and you will choose two. Each response will be limited to 200-250 words.
  • Tell us about a peer who has made a difference in your life.
  • What do you hope will change about the place where you live?
  • What is one thing that we don’t know about you that you want us to know?
  • What about your background, or what perspective, belief, or experience, will help you contribute to the education of your classmates at UNC?
University of Michigan
Essay #1 (Required for all applicants. Approximately 250 words.): 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.
Essay #2 (Required for all applicants. 500 words maximum.) FRESHMEN APPLICANTS: 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?

University of Oregon
[T]ell us, in your own unique voice, something about you we cannot find elsewhere on your application. We purposefully do not prescribe any one topic for the personal statement, because we want you to share what’s important to you. If you need some direction, though, a few topics you may consider include your future ambitions or goals, a significant experience that is integral to your personal identity, or a special talent or unique interest that sets you apart from your peers (500 words).

Second Essay (optional; 50–500 words—choose one)

Describe an experience with discrimination, whether it was fighting against discrimination or recognizing your contribution to discriminating against a person or group. What did you learn from the experience? In what ways will you bring those lessons to University of Oregon?
The University of Oregon values difference, and we take pride in our diverse community. Please explain how you will share your experiences, values, and interests with our community. In what ways can you imagine offering your support to others?

University of Richmond
Pick only one:
  1. Sometimes asking the right question makes all the difference. If you were a college admission counselor, what essay question would you ask? Please craft and answer your own essay prompt – in your response, reflect on what your chosen question reveals about you.
  2. How will you use your Richmond Guarantee?
University of Washington
Short response (300 words): Our families and communities often define us and our individual worlds.  Community might refer to your cultural group, extended family, religious group, neighborhood or school, sports team or club, co-workers, etc.  Describe the world you come from and how you, as a product of it, might add to the diversity of the University of Washington.

Optional: You are not required to write anything in this section, but you may include additional information if something has particular significance to you. For example, you may use this space if:
  • You are hoping to be placed in a specific major soon
  • A personal or professional goal is particularly important to you
  • You have experienced personal hardships in attaining your education
  • Your activities have been limited because of work or family obligations
  • You have experienced unusual limitations or opportunities unique to the schools you attended
Vanderbilt University
Briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (150-400 words)

Villanova University
Submit one Villanova Essay (of 250-1000 words) from the three choices below. Please note: the Villanova Essay should have a separate and distinctive response to that of the Common Application Essay.

Option One: At Villanova, we believe that it is our similarities that make us strong, but our differences that make us stronger.  Please tell us about a relationship that you have with someone who is different from you and how that has changed who you are today.
Option Two: “Become what you are not yet”– Saint Augustine
When you daydream, who do you hope to become in the future?
Option Three: Describe a book, movie, song or other work of art that has been significant to you since you were young and how its meaning has changed for you as you have grown.

Virginia Tech
You may respond to up to three of the essay prompts (choose one, two, or three) as you feel they support your individual application. (250-300 words)
  1. What are the top five reasons you want to be a Hokie?
  2. If there is something you think would be beneficial for the Admissions Committee to know as we review your academic history, please take this opportunity to explain.
  3. Our motto is Ut Prosim (That I May Serve). How is service to others important in your life?
  4. We believe strongly in the Virginia Tech Principles of Community and the value of human diversity affirmed therein. Share a perspective or experience related to your culture, age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status that might explain how you will enrich the climate of mutual respect and understanding here.
  5. Virginia Tech is one of six senior military institutions in the country. How will this setting contribute to your college experience?
  6. Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.
  7. Submit an essay on a topic of your choice.
Please note that Virginia Tech will not be accepting the Coalition Application this year. According to admissions staff, the CollegeNet application will go live in mid-August with this new set of essay prompts.

Wellesley College

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 www.wellesley.edu/admission/100) and let us know, in two well-developed paragraphs, which two items most attract, inspire, or energize you and why.

This article originally appeared in Admissions Intel.

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