While most students spend a large portion of their summers and the fall of their senior years crafting a well-devised and creative Common App essay, they often neglect something that is just as important a piece of the puzzle: the Supplemental Essays that most schools require. While it is true that some schools just require the general Common App essay, most also include supplemental questions that generally fall along the lines of "Why Here?" And, the truth is, if you don't have an answer to that question, maybe you're not applying to that school for the right reasons.
The supplemental essay is one of many places to show real "Demonstrated Interest" as College Admissions officers call it. Schools value students who have not just visited their campuses but have also reached out to individual professors in subjects they are considering pursuing, alumni of the university, and anyone else with a general knowledge of what life on campus is really like. The reason for this is obvious: with more applicants than ever before, universities don't want to waste their time with students who aren't likely to attend if accepted. Furthermore, a lackadaisical attitude about researching the university speaks poorly to a student's ability to do dedicated research in their subjects of choice.
While these supplemental essays do not have to be professional level articles, they should be specific, personal, and vivid. And writing these essays can be a great opportunity to figure out for yourself what schools you really care to attend. So don't neglect writing these supplements, and definitely don't save them for the last minute. Sometimes they make all the difference in the world.
For help with these supplemental essays and the general common app essay, contact us now at firstname.lastname@example.org!