2020-21 Supplemental Essay Guide

What do the supplemental essay prompts really mean, and how should you approach them? College Essay Advisor's experts are here to break them all down.


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College Essay Examples


  • Why did you choose us?
  • What are your career goals & how can we meet them?
  • How would you describe yourself as a human being?
  • Why do you think you would be a good fit at our school?
  • What person in your life has had the most impact on you?
  • If you can spend a day with someone, living or dead, who would it be and why?
  • What is the best advice you have ever received and why?
  • How would your friends describe you?
  • Create your own questions and answer it.
  • What captivates you?
  • What is a book you love?

College Essay Tips

Answer the question & answer honestly

Watch the humor & content

  • Your humor may not match the readers

Show to an English teacher you like

Write it yourself 

  • Not someone else’s ‘significant editing’

Use the essay for multiple schools/scholarships

  • Be sure to make the necessary subtle changes

Don’t repeat yourself

  • List of accomplishments & achievements will already be on the admission application

Write only on weekends

  • You have enough on your plates academically

Don’t exceed the word limit

  • 302 words for a 300 word essay is not okay

Write about YOU!

  • Not the influence or the life-changing event

The challenge essay tips

  • Challenge is not always a crisis
  • Challenges can be too personal
  • Do not overwrite
  • Do not skimp on resolution and reflection--most important
  • Avoid “My challenge is writing this essay”

Sell yourself

  • What do you bring to the college?
  • What do you value?
  • How do you perceive the world?
  • What’s your role in the world?
  • What’s the nature of your interactions with the world?

Write about something important to you or that makes you unique

  • An experience; life-changing event; book; a person; etc.