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University of Michigan 2020-21 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

University of Michigan 2020-2021 Application Essay Question Explanations

Supplemental Essay Types: Community, Why

1. Everyone belongs to many different communities and/or groups defined by (among other things) shared geography, religion, ethnicity, income, cuisine, interest, race, ideology, or intellectual heritage. Choose one of the communities to which you belong, and describe that community and your place within it.

Required for all applicants. 300 words maximum.

This is a pretty standard community essay and admissions is giving you very specific instructions and launch points, both expected and unexpected, to draw from. You could be a part of an Italian Culture Club or a schnitzel appreciation association, either way, University of Michigan wants to hear about it. So try your best, despite the small space you are given, to answer all parts of this question. Describe the community and then detail how you contribute to that community. The point of this question is to show admissions you will add value and diversity to campus, and that you are a proactive and involved student who will help to build their community.

2. Describe the unique qualities that attract you to the specific undergraduate College or School (including preferred admission and dual degree programs) to which you are applying at the University of Michigan. How would that curriculum support your interests?

Required for freshman applicants. 550 words maximum.

Here is your “why” essay, and it’s a nice, hefty one at 550 words.  Your answer should be mostly focused on the academic offerings: what you want to study, what subjects interest you, and how you will use the resources at your disposal to pursue your professional goals. This is where you prove to University of Michigan that they are a good fit for you and vice versa, and getting this essay right requires a lot of research. You’re going to want to dig deep into the programs that you’re interested in: find classes, professors, even extracurricular activities related to your desired major that interest you. The more specific you can get, the better. Show admissions that you know what differentiates U-M from other colleges and, in turn, you’ll distinguish yourself from other applicants. Finally, don’t forget to connect your own past experiences and accomplishments to the resources you choose to highlight. Paint the picture of where you’ll be found on campus (whether that be the bio lab, math building, or theatre) and what you hope to accomplish.

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