Check out our Supplemental Essay Guide!
The Requirements: 1 essay of 250-650 words
We know it. You know it. We know you know it. And now you know we know you know it: good research is the key to almost any supplemental essay! And Trinity College is no exception. You have your pick of two topics, but no matter which one you choose, you’ll need to connect your answer back to the campus community.
You’ll notice we’ve conveniently ignored the big, fat “OPTIONAL” at the beginning of the instructions. In our book, there’s pretty much no such thing as an optional essay, and these prompts give you a prime opportunity to show admissions what you’d be like as a student. Trust us, you don’t want to pass it up.
This might seem like a lot to swallow at first, but let’s break it down. Trinity College, located in Hartford, Connecticut, wants to know how you plan on using your education to affect change in both local and global communities. So, essentially, how do you plan on using your higher education to help others? If you don’t immediately envision yourself as an ER doctor in a busy public hospital, don’t worry! (And if you do, we salute you; that’s a great place to start your essay.) Many applicants will likely benefit from doing a little bit of research to kickstart a few minutes of brainstorming.
Spend an hour or so on the school website getting to know the department (or departments) that interests you most. If you’re interested in studio art, what kinds of opportunities does Trinity provide for painters or photographers to engage with the local community? Don’t be bashful about drawing your inspiration from the program; at the end of the day, an essay based on real information about the school will only demonstrate your commitment. What will you draw from the opportunities Trinity offers to students in your field? And how might you leverage that training to continue to do good in the world?
Once again, the grandiose introduction to this prompt makes it seem more complicated than it actually is. In fact, this is almost as close to a catch-all essay as you’ll find on a supplemental application. If you aren’t telling a story about the way you “engage, connect, or transform” some aspect of yourself or the world, you’re doing it wrong #sorrynotsorry. So if the more academic angle of prompt A didn’t appeal to you, or if you have a story you’re just dying to tell admissions, prompt B is where it’s at. Solid topics for this prompt would also probably work nicely with the Common App’s first personal statement prompt, which asks about your background.
Whatever story you choose to tell, you’ll want it to be focused on a community or aspect of your upbringing that has shaped who you are. In other words, provide concrete evidence to demonstrate who you are and who you’ll be at Trinity. No topic is too big or small. You could write about the summer Sundays you used to spend doing crosswords with your grandma, and how you just know you’ll be able to connect with your peers over a shared love of words. Or maybe your memories of your family’s difficult immigration to this country will lead you to get involved with student activist groups or the school newspaper. Whatever you write about, be sure to connect it to some real aspect of Trinity student life. (Good research is the gift that keeps on giving!) With a detailed narrative grounded in research, you’ll easily be able to back your final essay into this prompt and align it with one of Trinity’s core values.