How To Write The University Of Michigan Supplemental Essays

how to write the university of michigan supplemental essays
May 19, 2022
Purpose of the University of Michigan Supplemental EssaysWhat Are the University of Michigan Supplemental Essays?6 Tips for Crafting the University of Michigan Supplemental EssaysUniversity of Michigan Supplemental Essay ExamplesUMich Supplemental Essay FAQsWrite Your Future with the UMich Supplemental Essays

”Mary

Reviewed by:

Mary Banks

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 4/29/22

Ready to learn how to write the University of Michigan essays? This guide has all the information you need.  

The college admissions process can be pretty lengthy. If you’re applying to the University of Michigan, you need your transcripts, SAT or ACT scores, and letters of recommendation. You’ll also be required to write essays.

The Michigan University supplemental essays make up the meatiest part of the application. Here, you show the admissions committee different sides of yourself than your grades and test scores reveal. The essays can add tremendous value to your application and highlight your candidacy. 

This comprehensive guide will teach you all about the University of Michigan supplemental essays. We’ll discuss their purpose, offer tips to create your own masterfully, and give some examples of University of Michigan supplemental essays. If you want to boost your chances of acceptance to the University of Michigan, read on! 

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Purpose of the University of Michigan Supplemental Essays 

The U Michigan supplemental essays are a way to humanize your application. You get to show the admissions committee how your experiences have shaped you.

While the rest of your application components are essential, your grades and test scores don’t show the admissions committee the person behind the numbers and accolades.

Questions vary year by year for the University of Michigan supplemental essays. Examples of question topics include: 

The purpose of these essays is to demonstrate your character and individuality concisely. You want to show the admissions committee who you are beyond numbers and scores. The best way to portray yourself authentically is through creating impactful essays. 

What Are the University of Michigan Supplemental Essays?

The University of Michigan requires that all applicants write two supplemental essays regardless of what program they want to enter. Remember that you still need to complete an essay as part of the Common Application or the Coalition Application. 

Any school’s supplemental essay prompts can vary from year to year, but most will revolve around similar themes. Below are some examples of Michigan supplemental essay prompts

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)"
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 all applicants)."

Below we will outline our top tips to ensure your essay makes you stand out from the crowd. Read further for examples of Michigan supplemental essays. 

6 Tips for Crafting the University of Michigan Supplemental Essays

The supplemental essay prompts can feel tricky because of their broadness. However, these top tips will help you flawlessly execute essays that captivate the reader. You’ll be able to demonstrate why you should be accepted into any program at the University of Michigan. 

1. Brainstorm Your Narrative

Although you must use the assigned topics, you can still choose the narrative you present. For the first prompt, identify any communities you belong to, and describe how you fit into each. 

You likely belong to more than one community, and that’s okay. When you finish compiling your list, you can identify which narrative you have the most compelling content to write about. This will likely be your winner. 

For the second prompt, consider why you want to go to the University of Michigan. This prompt warrants some research. You’ll want to figure out how your chosen program will help elevate your future career and aspirations. Alluding to specific courses or your program’s purpose and outcomes can help demonstrate your seriousness and commitment to UMichigan. 

2. Create An Outline to Keep Yourself on Track

Creating an outline helps you stay on track and prevents you from straying from the story you set out to tell. Your outline doesn’t have to be perfect (remember that no one else needs to see it but you). Think of it as a safeguard and reminder to make sure that you hit all of the critical elements that you want to in your essay. 

How you create your outline is up to you. Some people prefer bullet points, writing out the first and last sentence of your paragraphs. Some prefer a more visual format, such as a mind map.

3. Think About Your Introduction 

Think of your introductions as equivalent to a first meeting. This is your chance to make a stellar first impression. Your introduction should hook the reader in from the beginning and not let them go until they finish your essay. 

An excellent way to immerse the reader from the beginning of your essay is to start in the middle of the action. You can drop the reader right in the middle of a personal anecdote that supports the prompt. Some candidates may also use their introduction to set up a scene or the background they will explore later in their essay. 

4. Craft the Body of Your Essay 

The body of your essay is where you continue your story in rich detail that builds on the narrative you set out to tell in your introduction. For the first prompt, you may add more details about the community you’re a part of, how it shaped you, and what you’ve learned from your experiences. 

In your second prompt, the body of your essay may entail more information on why you want to apply to a specific program. You can discuss how attendance at the University of Michigan can support your passions and career goals. 

Some writers can get lost in the body of their essays. If you feel that you’re shifting off track of the story you want to tell, return to your outline. Consider and accept that more pertinent ideas to your story may arise as you write. 

5. Finish Off With a Bang 

The conclusions of your essays are the last thing that the admissions officer will read. You should leave your reader satisfied and that the conclusion is the perfect place to wrap up your story neatly. 

In the conclusion, look toward the future. The conclusion may also be an excellent place for you to reiterate how your experiences have changed you for the better. Get specific about how the University of Michigan can positively impact your life. 

6. Edits, Edits, Edits, and More Edits 

Even if you were the best writer in your class, your first draft likely wouldn’t be perfect. Editing, revision, moving sentences around, and switching out words and punctuation are a part of the revision process. 

While it’s a good idea for you to look over your work the first few times you make edits, a second pair of eyes is an invaluable asset. Sometimes, we get so close to our work that we become blind to errors that another reader would point out right away. 

You want to make sure your essay is the best it can be. An admissions consultant’s fresh perspective and knowledge of undergraduate application processes can take your essays from good to masterful. 

University of Michigan Supplemental Essay Examples

Excellent essays can help you stand out in the admissions process and show why you’re a fantastic candidate. Below you will find UMich supplemental essay examples to give you an idea of how to create meaningful essays. 

Essay Example #1

The University of Michigan essay excerpt below addresses the first prompt, asking you to “​​Choose one of the communities to which you belong, and describe that community and your place within it.”

“The bus took ten minutes to get home this time, not the usual thirty. This wasn’t my home, but it would essentially become just that."
"The Morristown Neighborhood House is a center that provides a free and safe after-school environment for local children…" While there were various summer options, I felt that there couldn’t be a better choice than signing up to be a camp counselor at the Nabe."
"The kids became family; through sarcophagus art projects, writing practice, Xbox tournaments, implicit bias discussions, and trips to the park, they became the little siblings I never had. When I brought in ice cream for all of them on my birthday, I was showered with hugs. No foreign exchange trip could outdo that. I am a member of many communities based on my geography, ethnicity, interests, and talents, but the most meaningful community is the one that I never thought I would be a part of…"
"On that first bus ride to the Nabe, I never saw it coming.”

What Made This Essay Successful? 

This essay immediately immerses the reader in the writer’s narrative. The writer demonstrates how they integrated into a community and forged meaningful relationships with the children at the camp. 

This essay shows the writer’s initiative to contribute to their community. It also demonstrates their impact on a group while in a leadership position. The writer’s story is short but impactful and shows that they have a strong spirit capable of contributing to their community and, hopefully, the University of Michigan’s. 

Essay Example #2

The following essay excerpt addresses the University of Michigan’s second supplemental essay prompt: 

“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?”

“In my junior year microeconomics class, my teacher extensively explored the ways in which people from different socioeconomic classes were affected by our economic system. I was frustrated by the ways our country forces those living in poverty to spend the little money they have on taxable goods. I began to empathize with them…"
"Those lessons inspired and motivated me. I had always looked at economics as nothing more than an analysis of business models and resource allocation. I began to see it as a way to fix fundamental problems in our society, from examining the effects of healthcare expansion on crime and poverty rates to studying how shifts in our political climate affect how our country’s financial process will change. I now see economics as a way to help those in need in my country and throughout the world."
"I volunteered after school for Representative Dingell and had the opportunity to attend numerous events hosted by the Ford School…"
"I want to begin my studies at the University of Michigan in LSA to gain a foundation in economics and political science-related courses. After my first year, I hope to gain admission to the Ford School. The connections that LSA and Ford have to Poverty Solutions solidified my interest in the University of Michigan. If I attended these schools as an undergraduate student, I would be able to assist with research on the causes and ramifications of poverty…"
"The range of schools working in connection with Poverty Solutions is evidence of the University’s devotion to civic engagement. I would be able to participate in groundbreaking research regarding issues I am interested in; I would have the ability to study poverty and ways to stunt or alleviate its effects in other countries…"
"I want to join the University of Michigan’s legacy of innovators. I want to be part of the LSA community, studying economics and political science. I want to attend the Ford School and understand how policy in America and abroad has an effect on global poverty. I want to be involved with the Poverty Solutions Initiative, conducting groundbreaking research on the ways we can reform our financial system to better serve the lower and middle classes.”

What Made This Essay Successful? 

This essay wastes no time getting to a vital issue that the writer wants to address. The writer explains in detail what classes and causes motivate them. They explain what they aspire to do in the future, and how their extracurricular activities align with their goals. 

This essay demonstrates that the writer has done their research and knows what path to take to achieve their goals. Best of all, the writer illuminates how admission to the University of Michigan can help them work toward their goals of a brighter future. 

The University of Michigan is looking for leaders who want to impact the world and their community through positive change. This essay’s conclusion perfectly outlines what the applicant wants to do.

UMich Supplemental Essay FAQs

Still have questions about how to write the University of Michigan essays? We’ve got you covered. 

1. Besides the Supplemental Essays, Are There Other Essays I Need to Write? 

Yes, you will need to write another essay in addition to the supplemental essays. When you apply with the Common Application or the Coalition Application, you’ll need to select one prompt to respond to from a list.

2. How Important Are the UMich Supplemental Essays? 

The University of Michigan essay section is a crucial part of your application. Remember that “Unlike test scores and transcripts, the college admissions essay[s] offers students a chance to showcase their personality.”

The admissions committee reviews college applications holistically, meaning that every part you submit counts toward their decision. Your essays are a way to inject life into your application and show the human behind the scores and grades. Don’t be afraid to show who you are; it can help you rightfully claim your seat at the University of Michigan. 

3. How Long Should the Essays Be?

Although the University of Michigan doesn’t state the word limit on their website, you should aim for around 250 to 650 words. Use as many words as you need to tell a concise and compelling story. 

4. What Tone Should My Essays Convey? 

You don't want to sound too stiff and formal, nor do you want to fill your essay with slang—you want to shoot for conversational yet friendly and professional. Make sure that your voice shines through unedited! 

5. Are There Any Program-Specific Additional Essays? 

You only need to write an additional essay if you’re applying to the University of Michigan School of Education. The prompt is “Discuss where you would like to teach and/or the types of students you would like to teach and how you developed this commitment.”

6. What’s the Best Thing I Can Do in My Essay? 

In your essay, be honest, concise, and coherent, and make sure that your reader can easily digest and follow your narrative. While you still want to sound like you, don’t be afraid to flash your intellect, and be sure to include vibrant details and anecdotes that bring your essay to life! 

Conclusion

The University of Michigan is a great school to complete your undergraduate degree. Now that you know a lot more about what’s expected of you in the supplemental essays, you can feel empowered knowing that you have the knowledge to deliver stellar pieces of writing. 

If you keep in mind the purpose of the University of Michigan’s supplemental essays and the top tips to ensure your writing is polished, you can undoubtedly capture attention from the admissions committee. If the University of Michigan is your dream school, go forth knowing that you have the tools to submit the best supplemental essays you can and give yourself the best chance of acceptance.

Write Your Future with the UMich Supplemental Essays

The University of Michigan is a great school to complete your undergraduate degree. Now that you know a lot more about what you should write in the supplemental essays, you can feel empowered knowing that you have the knowledge to deliver stellar pieces of writing. 

Don’t forget the purpose of the University of Michigan’s supplemental essays and the top tips to ensure your writing is polished. With this information, you can undoubtedly capture the admissions committee’s attention. Go forth knowing that you have the tools to submit the best supplemental essays and give yourself the best chance of acceptance!

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