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Regular Decision Deadline: Jan 15
The Requirements: 3 essays of 100 words each
UMass Amherst’s supplement asks one question with two prompts: why here? It’s the most classic question around, and the 100 word limit really lightens the load. The key to this simple supplement is budgeting your information wisely to ensure that each essay you write is not only distinct, but reveals something totally new to admissions. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: a straightforward supplement is an indication that your answers should be impeccable!
It doesn’t get simpler than this: why here? Although the word limit is tight, the key to any successful Why essay is good old fashioned research. So set aside a little time to pore over the UMass website and figure out exactly what aspects of the school excite you most. You’ll want to keep your explanation top line, but personalize it with specific details about the clubs, departments, and other opportunities you hope to take advantage of. Consider the physical as well as social and scholarly aspects of the school. Maybe you like that it’s close to home. Or maybe you’re all about moving to a remote location very far away from where you currently live. If you’re a language buff, maybe that linguistics department is calling your name with a side of study abroad. But don’t go too crazy on the academics, you’ll have time to go deep on your scholarly interests in the next essay, and as we said, space is tight. What do your particular choices and interests say about you as a person? What do they say about UMass Amherst? How do you and UMass fit together?
This is a classic Community Essay, through and through. Where do you come from? What has shaped you as a person and how has that made your perspective unique? What traditions or aspects of your community would you like to share at UMass Amherst? What you address can be a larger cultural community or as specific as your community theater troupe. Address the role that your community plays in your life, then consider why your particular background or experience within this community will enrich UMass Amherst’s campus. How will it help inspire and/or inform others? What is important to you and how will your experiences in communities bring something of value to the community at UMass Amherst?
We told you to save the academics for later! Now you can get into it about why you love a certain subject. Most importantly, though, you will want to explain why you want to study it at UMass Amherst in particular. Where do your interests link up with the work of a particular professor or program? Maybe you still covet the rock collection you started in 5th grade and have your eye on UMass Amherst’s geology program. And maaaaybe you’ve been looking for a way to share your passion for mineral formations with the world, which is what makes the earth science teaching track absolutely ideal for you. Drill down to the details that sync up with your passions and interests. And if you’re undecided, that’s okay too! Immerse yourself in the course catalog and rejoice in your many options. Can you describe how you would explore different subject areas? What makes UMass Amherst the perfect place to discover your passion?