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The Requirements: 1 essay of 250 words and 1 essay of 300 words
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is not going to make you jump through hoops to submit an application, in fact, RPI asks applicants to apply to two of the most common supplemental essay types out there. Let’s dive in!
This prompt is so run-of-the-mill, but that doesn’t mean response should be. In order to impress admissions, you need to not only demonstrate a solid knowledge of what the school has to offer, but also leverage that knowledge to show that you’ve done your homework and thought your decision to apply through. Try to connect your past intellectual pursuits or extracurricular interests to those available to you at RPI. Which departments, majors, and other opportunities excite you? What do you want to learn? Bone up on the professors and notable alumni in your field—is there any research that you’d like to be a part of? Whatever you choose to focus on, make sure your choices reveal something important about who you are, what you value, and who you will become at RPI.
Okay, now for the second most common type of supplemental essay prompt: the activity essay. We recommend writing about an activity that you have not already addressed in depth in your application. If you wrote your Common App essay about your time scrambling eggs at the local diner, focus on a different activity or work experience that reveals a new aspect of your personality. This can be a great opportunity to highlight your leadership skills and any accolades you may have received. Were you elected student body president after a strenuous campaign? Were you asked to take the lead on social media marketing for your neighborhood grocer? No matter what you choose to write about, it should probably be something you’ve either been involved in for a while or put a lot of time and heart into.