3 years ago
Admissions Advice

Which Ivy Essays never change?

Hi! I am a junior in hs looking to start writing some of my supplemental essays early. But I am aware that some supplemental essays change every year. Are there any supplemental essays that never change? Particularly for the ivies, Duke, and Northwestern?

Thanks so much!



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2 answers

Accepted Answer
3 years ago[edited]

No one here has applied to all these schools twice or more so it would be hard for anyone to know at the top of their head if certain supplemental essays stay the same year after year. I did look at Harvard, Columbia, UChicago and other for my friends this year an they seemed very similar. UChicago has like 7 new prompts every year, but you are allowed to answer any prompt from any previous year.

If you know 100% what colleges you are applying to, you can do this exercise really fast by google searching Yale 2020 Supplemental essays and Yale 2021 Supplemental essays, it will take 5 minutes per school to figure out if the essays are the same or not.

Unless you know for certain the list of schools you are applying to, I think it's out of sequence to be writing supplement essays for Ivys' and Elites early. It would be better for you to figure out how to visit as many schools as possible that you are interested in applying and then figure out what your final list looks like. Only after visiting about 20-25 colleges did I figure out that I needed to eliminate UPenn and Harvard and Cornell because the campuses were not happy places to me. Harvard is like a Public City Park filled with Chinese and Int'l tourists all the time. UPenn gave me mental illness vibes. I felt a sense of isolation and an endless sea (block after block) of oppressive Collegiate Gothic Architecture in Philly which is not happy city to me. And Cornell felt way to far away from culture all the way up in Ithaca NY. On paper, these 3 Ivys' look great. The have a lot of clout! But if I didn't think I would thrive on their campus', I wasn't going to spend 4 years at a school that I wasn't in love with. I felt happier after visiting Vassar, Williams, Wellesley, even Mt. Holyoke then I did at Harvard. Some people will not give themselves permission to be that critical of a schools surroundings because that is perhaps a low priority for them. But I know that I would have wasted a lot of time working on about 1/2 my college list applications, if I didn't take the time to visit them one by one.

My dad told me that a 4 year degree these days cost about the same a Rolls Royce Ghost or a Ferrari 812 Superfast. If you were going to shop for super cars, you'd make sure to take the time, to visit each dealer, test drive each car and ask a lot of questions. I think High School students do not do enough research in advance to really figure out if the college is a good fit for them or not.

Good luck.

3 years ago

Although I can not tell you exactly which essays do and do not change every year, I can tell you that there are repeated themes that occur every year with nearly every college.

Every college has a version of a personal statement, "why us", "why X major", and "how have you grown from a challenge." Although obviously this is not a comprehensive list of all the essays that do or do not vary, you can expect to see a variation of all 4 of those essay prompts at the colleges you will be applying to- especially considering you are going for some of the top schools in the country.

I encourage you to look at the essay prompts given by Common App to get an idea of the essay prompts for 2021-2022. Here is the link: https://www.commonapp.org/apply/essay-prompts

I hope I was able to help! :)

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