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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Effective Supplemental Essay Strategies?

I need to write quite a few supplemental essays for my college applications. Can anyone provide some sample supplemental essays or advice on how to tackle these essays and make them unique to each school?

7 months ago

When it comes to supplemental essays, it's crucial to tailor your responses to each specific school and showcase your genuine interest in attending that institution. Here are a few strategies to make your essays stand out:

1. Research the school: Delve into the college's website, blogs, social media, and student testimonials to get a sense of what makes the school unique. Think about what aspects of the school's academic, extracurricular, and community life genuinely appeal to you and incorporate that into your essay.

2. Be specific: Avoid generic statements and focus on the distinctive features of the college that excite you. For instance, you might mention a specific program or major offered by the school, or a specific professor whose work you admire, rather than just referencing some general goal you have for college that could be fulfilled at any school. The more specific you can be, the more you'll demonstrate your commitment to the school.

3. Connect to your interests and experiences: Show how your passions and past experiences align with what the college offers. If you're passionate about environmental studies and have been involved in related activities, mention how you're eager to join their sustainability initiatives or take part in a research project with a renowned professor. The key is to align who you are now and how you've become that person with the person you hope to grow into at this specific institution.

4. Reflect on your personal growth: For prompts asking about how you've dealt with challenges or how you envision your future, emphasize your personal growth and learning experiences. Think about how the college's offerings can support your continued development and help you achieve your goals.

5. Write clearly and concisely: Keep your essays focused and well-organized. Admissions officers have to read many essays, so make sure yours is easy to follow and engaging. Avoid repeating information found elsewhere in your application or trying to cram in too many ideas; instead, stick to one or two key points you want to convey.

6. Edit and proofread: After writing your essays, set them aside for a day or two, and then come back with fresh eyes. This will help you spot any inconsistencies, awkward phrasings, or errors. Have someone else, such as a teacher or family member, review your essays for additional input.

7. Take advantage of CollegeVine's resources: CollegeVine offers both free peer essay reviews and paid reviews by expert college admissions advisors, as well as a wealth of free guidance on our blog. We both break down broad categories of common supplemental essays, such as the "Why School?" prompt, and offer guidance tailored to certain schools' specific prompts.

Finally, remember that your supplemental essays should complement your main application essay and provide a more in-depth view of who you are and why you're a good fit for the school, rather than repeating information that can already be found elsewhere. By following these strategies, you'll be well on your way to crafting unique and engaging supplemental essays. Good luck with your applications, and happy writing!

7 months ago

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