Wait, What? MORE Essays? You Have to be Kidding Me!

You know all about the Common App essay, and you’ve been brainstorming for weeks, months, maybe years about what to write … BUT what you probably aren’t prepared for is the litany of supplemental essays each college requires. Some are short, some are long, all are important. This part of the application process can be frustrating and overwhelming for sure. These days, it’s not uncommon for students to have over twenty individual supplements to write during their application process. Add to this extracurricular resumes, essays about gaps in education, essays about learning differences or disciplinary issues, and you are suddenly staring down an even bigger pile of supplements.

What to do? First, don’t panic. We here at Carnegie Prep are experts in all the ins and outs of the application process, especially when it comes to supporting college supplements. These essays are a great way for each school to get to know you in depth. Even better, you get a chance to “try on” the idea of being enrolled in each school, imagining what classes, majors, and activities you might engage with on campus. And even though some of the prompts might seem drab — (how many times can you possibly be asked about your anticipated course of study???) — they are a great opportunity to create unity and cohesion with your entire admissions presentation.

But they require time, work, and usually several rounds of drafts. Make sure not to leave these until the last second. If you plan on visiting schools this summer, take the time to look up the most recent application questions and keep them in the back of your mind as you visit. Even better, take notes on each college visit — likes, dislikes, impressions, gut reactions. You will be glad to have made the effort when sitting down to write the supplements.

A word to the wise. Even though some supplements may look similar across schools, each one MUST be answered individually. Cutting and pasting is not good enough. Each school has to be directly addressed, even your safety schools. Make the effort and do the research (even virtually), and you will gain a real competitive edge in the admissions game.

Want to know more? Reach out for a consultation with one of our experts.


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