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It’s a jungle out there, but we don’t need to tell you that. You’ve been scouring websites clicking on words like “Requirements”, “Apply”, and “Unicorns” (oh wait, no, that was us) trying to see if your dream schools require supplements. It’s exhausting, but you’re not the only one out here looking out for lions, tigers, and bears. We’re here too and we know the corners where supplements are hiding.
Usually, you can find the supplements in one of two places. If your school is on the Common App, they should be available under each school. But be warned: Occasionally schools wait to release their supplements until after the Common App release date (Aug. 1), so don’t simply assume that if a supplement isn’t listed that one isn’t required. Another mistake to avoid is checking the “Writing Supplement” section, seeing an essay, and thinking your search is over. Many schools also have additional essays in the “Activities” or “Academics” section. In fact, some schools even have an “Additional Information” section that is populated with required short answers.
If your school is on the Coalition, you will need to fill out the standard logistical information first in order to access the essays. So type in your address, mom’s name, dog’s name, whatever it is they want! Then head over to the essay section and look in there. Your safest bet is to comb through the entire application to make sure there are no supplements waiting to jump out at you the night before the deadline when you’re ready to submit.
The second source for the supplemental prompts is the school websites. This is the most reliable place to find information about a school’s supplemental essay requirements. The prompts are often listed in the “Admissions” section, or on a school’s admissions-specific blog. In many cases schools release their supplemental essay questions well in advance of the Common App live date, so keep your eyes peeled and your ears perked. The admissions section of school websites is also the place you want to look for essay questions if you’re applying to a school that isn’t affiliated with the Common Application.
Finally, if you’ve exhausted those methods, you can take a look at our supplemental essay guide, where we have breakdowns of essay prompts for over 100 schools. You might even find some useful info while you’re browsing!