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The Requirements: 2 essays of up to 150 words each
The University of Minnesota’s brief supplement asks you to envision your life on campus, both as a student and community member. The only way to do that, dear students, is to learn about the school. So set aside some quality time to gather information any way you can: campus visit, phone call with a professor, or even reading through the school website. So prepare to read our guide and then set aside a good hour or so to get your research on.
We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again. The three steps to writing a good Why essay are research, research, and research. Spend some quality time on the school website (or visit campus, if you can) and get to know the University of Minnesota beyond the basic facts and figures. In this case, you’ll want to focus on your major (or majors) of choice. Learn all about the department, faculty, notable alumni, and any special programs or opportunities for undergrads. Jot down the details that excite and appeal to you. At the end of your research sesh, you should have a good constellation of information that will show admissions exactly why you and the University of Minnesota were meant to be. And don’t be afraid to get enthusiastic and share some of your personal story. Maybe your family’s tendency to move around has made you think a lot about what makes a house a home, and the University of Minnesota’s Housing Studies program provides an ideal outlet for your musings. To get this essay right, you need to go beyond listing the reasons you like the program, and make a compelling case for exactly why you and your program of choice are a match made in heaven.
This so-called optional question is absolutely not optional. It’s essentially a secondary Why essay (rolled in with a Community essay) and an ideal opportunity to tell admissions a little bit more about yourself and commitment to the school. Luckily, 150 words amounts to a slim paragraph. Not to mention the fact that diversity-centered Why and Community essays like this one are becoming increasingly common. In other words, it’s very likely you’ll be able to recycle an essay you wrote for another application, which we highly recommend for optional questions. Just make sure you meet the correct word limit and swap out any school-specific details. And, as always, aim to tell admissions something new. Focus on an aspect of your background that you haven’t yet covered elsewhere on your application.
Despite the relatively tight word limit, you’ll make this essay memorable by packing it with personal details. Any research you conducted for the first prompt will definitely come in handy here as well. But at the end of the day, this essay is about your background, so think about the most defining communities in your life, from your family and school, to your fellow cellists or Harry Potter fans. How has a key community or affinity impacted the person you are today? By pushing you or sheltering you? Use your research to envision your life on campus. Could you be someone that would benefit from leaving a protective bubble? Or you might you enter the University of Minnesota community hoping to raise awareness about a particular issue? Or is this a new opportunity for you to find like-minded individuals?