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The acceptance rate at the University of Michigan is 28.6%, which may seem high compared to the Ivy League, but don't be fooled. The school is very selective—admissions officers review over 65,000 freshman applicants a year. For every 100 applicants, they only admit 29. The University of Michigan Supplemental Essays is the perfect opportunity for you to stand out in your applications!
Some people aspire to study in the Ivy League, but small class sizes and an intimate learning environment aren't for everyone. The University of Michigan is one of the world's highest ranked public state schools, coming in at #25 according to QS Global World Rankings.
University of Michigan’s supplemental essay prompts remain unchanged from last year.
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. (300 words)
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? (550 words) (required for freshman applicants)
Top 3 "Why This School?" Essay Tips
Before beginning this essay, ask yourself the following questions:
By reflecting first, you can put yourself in the mindset of the people reading your essay. Admissions officers will be asking themselves a similar question:
What can this applicant share with the University of Michigan?
For many students, the issue is focus. Nearly everyone belongs to multiple communities (some of which overlap in powerful ways), so choosing just one can be difficult. Therefore, this essay might be more challenging but also more rewarding!
When starting the brainstorming process, do not use your existing extracurricular/activity list. Start a new document or page without any of your other application materials nearby, and take your time writing out any community that comes to mind regardless of its size, location, unity, or widespread fame. This approach allows for some more unrestrained thinking.
For some, the most influential community immediately jumps off the page. If you fall into this category, express that excitement and passion in your essay!
For those who find it more difficult to choose a community, write about a community that might not be considered a "formal" community. Think creatively by reflecting on what you do with your extra time, where your head wanders when you're daydreaming, or who you turn to when you have a bad day. These questions, though more abstract, can make you realize that you belong to communities of people who might not be as visible in your day-to-day life. You might recognize that you daydream in your second language, signifying that you belong to a community of bilinguals. Maybe you visit your grandmother across town when you have a bad day, making you associate certain feelings with her house and neighborhood. These are all communities that can make compelling essays.
Though this essay will take shape in different ways for different people, you mustn't use this essay as an opportunity to brag! You have many opportunities in your application to show off your accomplishments. The essays are not the place. Use this essay to discuss your background, and do it in a way that provides insight into how this community has shaped your character and what it will allow you to contribute to your college community.
While this essay prompt is a favorite of many schools, there are two major pitfalls for this kind of essay.
The first is that students will change the university's name within one stock essay and use it to apply to several schools. Do NOT do that! Your reasons for wanting to go to the University of Michigan should be thoughtful and based on your genuine research. Using broad statements about the "thriving college town" or the size of the student body can be used to describe other places. It does not make a compelling case for why the University of Michigan should accept you.
The second pitfall is when you copy blocks of text from the university's website or promotional materials. Instead of quoting, synthesize why the information they provided is conducive to your future studies.
In this kind of essay, the more detail, the better! Spend that extra time doing your research. If you have friends at the school or have alumni contacts, talk to them. Read everything on the website. Learn about the requirements of the degree programs, the nuances of the school traditions, and the school's values and mission.
Write down the names of specific professors or classes that excite you. Try to imagine which activity groups you might join or the places on campus you might want to visit. This research doesn't take much time, and it will help you get more excited about applying to the University of Michigan! Those who read your application can sense your excitement and tell if you are expressing genuine passion. They will be impressed that you're taking this part of your application seriously.
It is important to note that detail in the essay does not mean you're firmly committed to a specific degree program. If you are unsure what you want to study, choose a college and major that allows you flexibility. Provide reasons for why your indelible curiosity motivates you to continue exploring before settling into a major program.
This essay is important and should help you make a compelling case for why you believe you will grow academically and personally from the University of Michigan environment. Convey that passion in the 550-word space that they provide you!
Want to make an impact on admissions officers? Don't put off the supplemental essay. It's not an afterthought. Spend time crafting your essay responses. Be creative and thoughtful in your answers, highlighting how your experiences are preparing you for the University of Michigan and how you will utilize the school's resources to further your career goals and make a difference during your time on campus.
When you work with one of Crimson's knowledgeable and approachable advisors, you'll receive unique advice specifically for you. Our advisors want to hear about your unique dreams, aspirations, and goals. They get to know you personally so they can help you craft supplemental essays as original and exceptional as you!
Don't forget to proofread! You'll spend a lot of time staring at your responses. Sometimes you won't even see the obvious grammatical errors. After you finish writing, don't look at the essays for a day or two. Then look at the essays again. You might see something you missed before. Finally, ask someone you trust to review your responses for clarity and structure. Make your final edits and turn them in with the rest of your application.
While grades and test scores are important, the University of Michigan takes a holistic look at applications. Your supplemental essays matter more than you may think! They allow you to show your enthusiasm for the school and why the University of Michigan is the best school for you.
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