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• a year ago •
Admissions Advice
[edited]

Should I ask the university if I can submit their optional essay after I submit my application?

I applied to Penn State, not knowing they had an optional essay questions, but I already submitted my application. I recently found out from a friend that they do. I’m not sure if it would be smart to reach out and ask if I could possibly send them my essay. I know it’s optional but it would help my chances to get in.

OptionalEssay
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5
@OFHansona year ago [edited]

Unfortunately it may be too late; the school’s establish deadlines specifically for their application pools. However, you did not specify which college, so no one knows whether they have a strict guideline or a more flexible one. (i.e. is it rolling-admission?). I would try to explain, but keep in mind that it will come across as “you didn’t do good research”. You mustn’t be THAT interested if you failed to submit something that crucial—yes, optional essays are everything to adcoms

[🎤 AUTHOR]@AGK1a year ago [edited]

The school is Penn State. Do you think it would be worth taking a risk, or would it be better to just leave it?

@maplecreamcookies
expert
a year ago

How long ago did you submit the application?

[🎤 AUTHOR]@AGK1a year ago

On November 15.

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1 answer

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• a year ago

In this case, the negatives probably outweigh the positives. Penn may wonder: 1) how you missed the optional essays and 2) why it took over a month to reach out. Even if they did say you can submit the essays, it could backfire if the essays aren't strong, or don't provide additional info. (I hope this doesn't sound harsh - I just want to share these different considerations). I wouldn't worry about this at this point and focus on other schools.

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