a year ago
Harvard prospective students

Additional Essay prompt

I want to write an additional essay in my Harvard application. I'm struggling with which prompt to choose. I want to tell them how I came to love the stream in which I would like to major from harvard. Which prompt should I choose??

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Accepted Answer
a year ago[edited]

Think about how you would answer the prompt "Why did you choose this stream?" and from one of the below categories to help frame what unique takes/perspectives you can use to convey your idea. Then you can apply your story, using one of these 4, to one of the 3 overarching prompt areas below

1- a big moment that changed your perspective or introduced you to your anticipated stream (POSITIVE) can be a teacher who showed you, a museum trip, etc.

2 - a big moment that changed your perspective or introduced you to your anticipated stream (NEGATIVE) can be an accident, traumatic experience, or sudden harsh realization, etc.

3 - "Ray of light" a person who inspired your interest (POSITIVE) mom, dad, teacher, friend, etc.

4 - "challenge" an experience you're going through or have moved on from, can be bullying, a negative experience (see #2) internal struggle, etc.

Now that you have an idea of WHAT you could tell Harvard about how you chose your stream, the following prompts or ones similar help convey your intentions without making it SUPER obvious, as well as creating a unique and original aspect of an ordinary explanation.

Prompts that would fit any of these 4 categories;

1 - overcoming a challenge (how it's shaped you, how you fought through it, how it has changed you, unusual life circumstances, or other variations) This is a good choice because it allows them to see your dedication and past experiences, both of which are valuable perspectives when choosing during admission. It also lets you imply your passions and talents without being arrogant and brash.

2 - Extracurriculars (how could you contribute to our society, describe a certain experience, how have your passions pushed you forward) This is a good choice because it supports your overall area of academic interest while showing that you're a well-rounded applicant who has experiences that differentiate you from others and shows that you're more than your grades.

3 - Diversity and/or differences (who's helped you along the way, unusual circumstances, challenging situations, discrimination,) This is a good choice because it gives something to the college. Being diverse or having a different or unusual background is something they get to brag about, which they are ALWAYS looking for. Even if you think you're not that diverse, EVERYBODY faces difficult situations throughout their life, no matter who you are. Bending this situation or diversity to a "woe is unto me" approach is also a good hack, letting them know WHY you need/want to go to this school even if your lacking such-and-such.

Hope these help!

If you have any more questions, I'll be glad to offer any advice.

Cheerios, (and lucky charms)


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Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


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