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Auburn University 2020-21 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

Please note: the information below relates to last year's essay prompts. We are going to update this guide with the prompts for 2021-22 as soon as they become available. Check back soon!

Auburn University 2020-21 Application Essay Question Explanations

Requirements: 4 essays of 100 words each
Supplemental Essay Type(s): Short Answer, Community, Activity

Auburn University asks applicants to respond to four wordy prompts in 100 words each. In order to stand out, you’ll need to write succinct, brief responses that pack a punch!

Auburn University has a strong institutional mission of service and community. Briefly describe a group, organization, or community that you have been involved with.
How long have you been involved with this community?
What was your role?
Did you seek assistance or additional information to expand your understanding of and ability to contribute to this community? (100 words)

Due to the very limited word count, we recommend you get strategic about how you want to answer this prompt. Try to answer the core of the questions throughout your response, rather than simply listing off facts. Admissions has likely already reviewed your activity list, so take this opportunity to give them insight into your community service experience that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to glean from your application. Maybe you want to focus on the relationship you developed with one of the kids you tutor or the art of holding water cups at just the right height for 5k runners to grab as they speed past on a charity run. Don’t hesitate to get creative with your approach. It’s always easier to cut down your response than to add more.

 

Briefly describe a situation where you or someone else was not being treated fairly. What did you do at the time and why? Would you do anything differently if that same situation occurred today? Has this event impacted or changed who you are now and if so, how? (100 words)

The admissions department at Auburn University wants to accept students who aren’t afraid to stand up for what they believe in or challenge the status quo, but you don’t have to be a protest organizer to impress admissions here. It can be just as bold to address internalized biases with your parents or to request discrimination training for teachers at your school after an insensitive remark in class. Ultimately, the key to writing an excellent response to this prompt is in the details. Don’t just tell admissions about something bold or brave you’ve done recently; tell them why you did it and maybe even share how you would like to continue to challenge the status quo in the future. Finally, don’t forget to reflect on how the event in question changed who you are. Admissions loves them some self-reflection!

 

Describe a strong interest or passion of yours.
How long have you had this passion, and why does it interest you?
What have you learned about yourself through your involvement in this activity; how will this knowledge benefit you as a student at Auburn?
Did you have a mentor, support person, or someone who encouraged your interest in this area, and if so, how?
Cite a specific goal you achieved and how you achieved it. (100 words)

What would your life be mundane without? Elaborate on an activity or passion you are super excited about or is unusual for someone your age. Your response should reflect your priorities and how you process the world around you, as well as answer all aspects of the prompt at hand. Do you go to Civil War reenactments on the weekends that fuel your love for history and battle trivia? Did these weekend adventures also reveal your interest in performance? Do you take care of stray pets that, one day, you hope to save through veterinary work? What is it about animals that makes you want to dedicate your life to saving and healing them? Did you inherit your animal love from your dad who used to work as a farmhand? Use your experiences to tell admissions something about you they wouldn’t already know. What gives your life meaning? Why do you wake up in the morning? What are you working toward?

 

Describe an example of a situation where you were given a directive or decision that you disagreed with.
What was your role in this situation; were you in a leadership role, a position where others looked up to you, or a contributing member of this group?
How did you communicate with others about this decision?
What was the outcome? Would you do anything differently? (100 words)

Engaging others in meaningful conversations about issues that are important to you can be incredibly intimidating, and the Auburn University admissions committee knows this. Nevertheless, we have all experienced standing up for what we believe in some capacity, so comb through your memory to identify a time when you had an uncomfortable conversation with coworkers, family members, or even your best friend. Maybe your boss told you to lie by omission to a customer. Did you voice your discomfort? Were you able to clearly communicate your perspective? Perhaps your camp counselor advised you to do something that you just didn’t feel was right. How did you broach the subject and what was the outcome of your conversation? You don’t need to have changed company policies or even someone’s mind to impress admissions here. You just need to show that you’re not afraid to speak up about important issues and engage with those who may have different opinions than you. College will present you with a plethora of opportunities to meet and interact with people who live by different moral codes. Show Auburn that you’re game to learn, listen, share, and grow.

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