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Elon University 2017-18 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

Regular Decision: 

Elon University 2017-18 Application Essay Question Explanations

The Requirements: 1 essay of 500 words; 1 optional additional info essay

Supplemental Essay Type(s): Additional Information, Oddball

The task here is simple: help Elon admissions officers get to know you better. No weird prompts, no extensive lists. Just write one extended essay that tells admissions something they don’t already know. Elon is one of the few schools that uses the Coalition application platform exclusively, so this could be a prime opportunity to recycle your Common App personal statement if it’s markedly different from your Coalition essay. If you’re starting from scratch, remember to think strategically about choosing a prompt that will illuminate an aspect of your personality that doesn’t show up elsewhere on your application.

Your essay should be approximately 500 words. Reminder: Only ONE essay is required


College applications are often about listing achievements. We want to know what matters about you that doesn’t fit into a simple list or a box on this application. What counts in your life that’s not necessarily an obvious, quantifiable accomplishment?

This catch-all prompt is a great option for applicants who feel wary of (or uninspired by) the oddball prompts to come. Elon recognizes that students have lives and interests beyond their academics and extracurriculars, and they want to hear about them! So dive in: write about something admissions couldn’t glean from any other part of your application. But don’t forget, you should still frame your story as an accomplishment of some kind. Think about times when you felt you had a small victory. Maybe it was the time you felt like a great friend after you convinced the school cafeteria to offer gluten-free tortilla chips so your friends with Celiac Disease could have some too. Perhaps teaching six year-olds to swim at camp every summer didn’t win you a trophy or supply you with an awesome stat for your activity resume, but it did fill you with pride and happiness. (Hint: this prompt is somewhat similar to Common App prompt 5, so check out our guide for more info.)

“Nature vs. Nurture” is one of the most debated arguments in history. Reflect on your identity and describe how concepts described in the “Nature vs. Nurture” debate have influenced who you are today.

The key to this prompt is the part where it says: “Reflect on your identity.” It would be easy to get mired in the abstract aspects of this debate or focus on stories of family members who have influenced you. But at the end of the day, this prompt wants to know about your identity and how you have become the person you are today. Maybe you’re sure nurture is stronger than nature because your mom has taught you how to be a more empathetic and open-minded person and it doesn’t come naturally to you. Maybe you’ve applied these skills to your internship at a local non-profit. Or maybe you think nature plays more of a role than nurture, since you find yourself excelling in math and golf just like your grandfather (who you’ve never even met).

Social media provides immediate access to a wealth of news, ideas, and opinions. Given all of the information you consume, tell us one particular issue you really care about and why. How do you see yourself as an agent for change?

This prompt begins with an assumption: you, a millennial, consume lots of information about the world around you every day, both online and off. Does this sound like you? Are you an avid reader or late-night redditor? This could be the prompt for you, but keep in mind the specifics. Elon wants to know that you are the type of person who can identify a problem, come up with a solution, and execute. Developing your problem solving skills will help you way beyond college and admissions wants to know you are ready to use your talents and smarts to do some good in the world. First, tell admissions about an issue you care about. It could be dog homelessness, global warming, poverty, police brutality, gender equality, you name it. Then, tell admissions how you see yourself contributing to positive change surrounding that issue. Hopefully, you’re already taking steps to combat this problem, and if so, tell admissions about that. (Note: this prompt is eerily similar to Common App prompt 4, and Elon isn’t on the Common App! If you’re running short on time, this could be a prime opportunity to recycle your personal statement! Otherwise, check out our written and video guides!)

If there is anything about your background or personal experience that you feel would be helpful for the Admissions Committee to know as we evaluate your application, please write an optional personal statement below (no more than one page, please). (1,000 words) This should not be an additional essay as it will not be evaluated as such.

This is the classic additional information essay. Do not write an essay and submit it to admissions unless there’s something really important you feel you need to address. Some of these important topics might include an unusual drop in your GPA sophomore year, a gap year, or a criminal record. Do not recycle a community essay you wrote for another school just because you think it’s excellent. Admissions only has so much time to spend with each application, so don’t stretch the limits of their attention unless you think some aspect of your application requires additional context.

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!
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