Demystifying College Admissions Essays

August 3, 2023
June 20, 2023
Kate Sliunkova, Product at Dr. Ivy, MBA & MA in Education

College admissions essays are a fundamental part of your application journey. They offer you a unique platform to narrate your story, voice your passions, and portray your individuality. This blog post is intended to help you understand the various types of essays you may encounter during your application process. We'll discuss their purpose, and also provide some examples of prompts that you might come across.

Personal Statement

The personal statement is your exclusive stage to shine. It provides a platform for you to showcase your personal journey, passions, idiosyncrasies, and strengths. This essay should reflect your life experiences, the challenges you've overcome, and the dreams you're zealously chasing.

Sample Prompts:
  • Describe a personal experience that has significantly influenced your life.
  • Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

Supplemental Essays

Supplemental essays are unique to each college, highlighting your interest in a particular institution. The objective is to demonstrate your specific attraction to the college, be it the distinguished faculty, the dynamic student communities, or the institution's values that resonate with your own.

Sample Prompts:
  • Why are you interested in attending our institution?
  • Describe a time when you made a meaningful contribution to others in which the greater good was your focus.

Diversity Essay

The diversity essay is a testament to your uniqueness. It encourages you to contemplate how your distinctive experiences, background, or perspectives enhance the vibrant mosaic of the student body.

Sample Prompts:
  • How do you believe you can contribute to our diverse student community?
  • Discuss the influence that a diverse background has had on your life.

“Why This Major” Essay

The "Why This Major" essay is a showcase of your academic journey. It's your chance to exhibit your intellectual curiosity and commitment to your chosen discipline, and to delve into your passion for the field, your experiences, and your future aspirations.

Sample Prompts:
  • What inspires you about your chosen major?
  • Discuss how your interest in the subject developed and describe any experience you have had inside and outside the classroom.

Intellectual Curiosity Essay

The Intellectual Curiosity essay delves into the depths of your inquisitiveness. It's about a book that kept you up late because it provoked you, or a complex idea you deconstructed just for the thrill of it.

Sample Prompts:
  • Describe an intellectual challenge that has motivated you.
  • Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

At the end of the day, remember that every essay forms a piece of the intricate puzzle that is your unique application. They each offer a fresh perspective, a different story, and a new insight into who you are. Stay genuine, thoughtful, and let your personality shine through.

Best of luck with your applications! And remember, our AI-enabled Essay Revision tool is here to help you present the best version of yourself. So, let's get writing!