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The University of Michigan is one of the highest-ranked universities in the nation and is therefore a popular choice for many students, especially those in Michigan and the Midwest. At present, U-M's got a relatively low acceptance rate of just 20% .
If you're planning to apply to this coveted university, then you'll need to know how to write your best University of Michigan supplemental essay possible . Read on to learn what the University of Michigan supplemental essays entail and to get some advice on answering the various prompts. We also give you real University of Michigan essay examples and general tips for producing a great college essay.
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What Are the University of Michigan Supplemental Essays?
All applicants to the University of Michigan are required to submit two supplemental essays in addition to a personal statement written in response to a prompt in the Common Application.
So in total — and regardless of your major — you'll have to write three University of Michigan essays.
Although you'll have several prompts to choose from for your Common App/Coalition App essay, you'll only get one prompt for each University of Michigan supplemental essay (meaning you don't get to choose a prompt).
Here are the University of Michigan essay prompts you must answer for the 2022-2023 supplement:
Essay 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; minimum 100 words/maximum 300 words)
Essay 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; minimum 100 words/maximum 300 words)
Each University of Michigan supplemental essay has its own maximum word limit, with Essay 2's limit (550 words) being a bit longer than Essay 1's (300 words). For both essays, you must write at least 100 words.
The University of Michigan Essay Prompts, Analyzed
Now that we've gone over the basic essay requirements, let's take a closer look at each University of Michigan supplemental essay and how you can answer the prompt effectively.
University of Michigan Supplemental Essay 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; minimum 100 words/maximum 300 words)
This essay prompt wants to know what makes you unique and what community you see yourself as belonging to. In other words, you're being asked to write a diversity essay , which focuses on you as an individual and what you have contributed to and gained from your specific community.
Through this essay, the University of Michigan admissions committee hopes to learn more about your values, goals, hardships, and achievements. This is why it's important to be your authentic self . Admissions officers will definitely be able to tell if you are exaggerating or making things up. Avoid trying to sound like someone else — write about what's important to you personally.
The prompt gives some examples of possible communities, but here are some more:
- Your gender identity
- Your sexual orientation
- Your school
- Your neighborhood
- Your disability
- A rare or strange talent you have
- A particular club or organization you are a member of
- Do you have any distinct characteristic that has defined you for much of your life? (This could be your ethnicity, race, or religion, for example.)
- How would other people describe you? Ask your family and friends.
- Do you have an uncommon or unique skill, interest, or experience?
Once you know what community you've chosen to write about, think about how this community has influenced you and your goals .
For example, maybe you grew up in a military family and had to move to new states and countries a lot as a child. You could discuss how this experience was isolating at first but how you eventually came to know other kids in military families, developing a sort of support network. Now you credit your experiences with moving with helping you learn to adapt quickly to new environments.
One compelling way you can let readers learn about your experience with your community is by telling your story through a specific anecdote , conversation you had, challenge you faced, etc.
You should also mention how you see your role in this community now . Has this role changed over time, or not? Why do you suppose so? For instance, maybe you used to be ashamed of your Navajo heritage but since having met other Navajo people your age, you now consider yourself a proud advocate for Native Americans and other indigenous groups around the world.
Finally, show, don't tell . Use imagery and realism to grab your readers and make them feel what you felt, see what you saw. Literary devices can help you more clearly describe your experience(s) with your community.
University of Michigan Supplemental Essay 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; minimum 100 words/maximum 300 words)
You've got a higher word limit for this second University of Michigan supplemental essay than you do for the first one, so be prepared to dig deeper into your topic.
With this essay prompt, you're being asked, "Why U-M?" In other words, you need to write a "why this college" essay , with a focus on how the University of Michigan will be a fantastic fit for you and your academic goals.
Here, you're told directly what to write about: the "unique qualities" of the specific school/college at U-M to which you're applying. This means you could focus on traits such as these in your essay:
- Specific classes U-M offers that you're interested in taking
- A required curriculum that appeals to you in some way
- A particular professor you're excited to work with
- A lecture series or other program your school/college/department puts on
- A certain building, lab, or campus facility you can't wait to use
- Extracurricular activities or clubs related to your major or academic interests
- Career advice and internship opportunities (e.g., what's offered via the LSA Opportunity Hub )
With this essay, you'll need to be extremely specific to be effective . The admissions committee wants to see that you know what distinguishes U-M from other equally renowned universities and that you have a clear idea of how you'll take advantage of the benefits offered here to further your own intellectual and professional pursuits.
You should also talk about what you hope to do and accomplish at the University of Michigan . For example, perhaps you're planning to major in Korean and are eager to attend the Nam Center for Korean Studies' Colloquium Series so you can get a better grasp of the kinds of topics currently being addressed by academics in the field of Korean studies.
If you're not sure what to write about, browse your college/school's official U-M web pages to get a feel for what types of amenities, events, activities, classes, and support it offers undergrads.
You can also try asking current students or recent graduates about their experiences at Michigan and what resources, classes, and/or professors they recommend. Reddit and College Confidential are two good places to look for student opinions.
As you write, take care to avoid overly general descriptions— focus instead on what makes U-M stand apart from other schools you're applying to .
2 Real University of Michigan Essay Examples + Analysis
Sometimes seeing a real essay can give you a better idea of how you can approach and work on your own statement. Below we give you two University of Michigan essay examples written by a real admitted student , along with analysis as to what makes them work.
University of Michigan Essay Example 1
This first essay example is from a student on Reddit who was admitted to U-M in early 2018 (for the academic year starting in fall 2018). It is in response to prompt #1 above.
"Alice, I'm-I'm trans," he stammered.
My school's theatre group is an ever-expanding Ohana; to quote Disney's Lilo and Stitch , "Ohana means family, and family means no one gets left behind."
While this movie had over-prepared me for laser-beaming alien invasions, there was nothing about helping someone come out. Nevertheless, this was the person with whom I laughed, cried, and held hands through curtain calls; this was no alien, but a sibling. He was family.
Although theatre kids love performing for an audience, more importantly, we share an unconditional love for one another. Arriving in Pennsylvania as an international transfer student, I found myself twice removed from Hill's popular social scene, and it was the theatre company who welcomed me without ever questioning my self-worth. They became the anchor of my tempest-tossed first year; in them I found a home.
Thus, when my friend came out to me, I could only give him the love that I once received. When our cast misused his pronouns and name, I corrected them. Together, we transformed gender-specific roles into gender-neutral ones so everyone could partake in our productions. Off-stage, I held him as he grappled with his family's reaction. I grew into an advocate for queer students, both within the theatre company and at school as the co-president of Hill's gay-straight alliance, a position that I have held for two years. I look out for the "othered", lost, and lonely; I welcome them to a family that will never leave them behind.
Here's what makes this University of Michigan supplemental essay work:
- It's got an interesting hook. Starting the essay with a real quotation from someone close to the applicant gives us a real, unfiltered look into this student's life and how she interacts with those in her identified community.
- It's unapologetically honest. The student explains how she, too, has struggled with making friends and how the theatre company—her newfound community—ultimately helped her to feel welcome. In return, she actively supports her friend and goes out of her way to advocate for gay and transgender rights through her school's gay-straight alliance. She clearly cares very deeply about others.
University of Michigan Essay Example 2
This next essay example is from the same student on Reddit who got into U-M in early 2018. It is in response to prompt #2 above.
"Could Freud's theory of Eros and Thanatos apply to civilizations, especially with regard to their domination and subservience?" I asked, Niccolò Machiavelli's The Prince in my hand. Having spent the first two months of senior year reading political treatises, poems, psychological and anthropological works in a History course, this was the first time these texts intersected in my mind. Suddenly, history assumed a completely new form. No more was it only a series of discrete events, but it had blossomed into all the knowledge that this world had to offer, and my desire to explore humanity in multiple ways, instead of restricting myself to only one avenue, would similarly flourish at Michigan's College of Life, Science, and the Arts due to its emphasis on interdisciplinary learning.
As a child of a trilingual mother, I have grown to appreciate integrative learning: to explain how the world worked, my mother employed English and Russian, languages that she knew of, where Vietnamese failed. My initial hunger to overcome these linguistic boundaries has risen since to social and humanitarian ones as well, for as there are words without equivalents, there are communities whose disenfranchisement are unparalleled and cannot be resolved without understanding the history of civil rights worldwide. I will attain such a global outlook in LSA's Residential College program. With its smaller class size and emphasis on communal learning, the program and the varied experience of my fellow RC students will open my eyes to issues I have yet to undergo.
As a future activist, I will harness my education to benefit marginalized groups in underdeveloped, post-colonial countries. As a Social Theory and Practice (STP) and International Studies double major with a specialization in Comparative Culture and Identity (CCI), I will critique and analyze the role of institutions in the global context of behavioral expressions. These skills facilitate the execution of policies that will empower disenfranchised citizens to overcome their legal and economic struggles. Courses such as "Intergroup Conflict and Coexistence: Religion, Ethnicity and Culture" will equip me with important tools with which I can drive social change. Moreover, STP offerings, particularly "History and Theory of Punishment," allow me to craft an education aimed at creating legislations and organizations that will address the social inequality of ethnic and religious minorities in former colonies in Southeast Asia. Finally, I will tie this knowledge to reality by pursuing an STP Honors thesis.
Outside of the classroom, I can pursue the optiMize challenge and devise practical solutions to the issues that impoverished communities face in Vietnam; with my intersectional perspective, I can provide a fresh outlook and facilitate our work with various demographics. I will also lend my voice to the Tab Michigan as an opinion writer, borrowing from my own experiences, having grown up at the twilight of cultures and languages. Furthermore, given my love for performing arts, I will take part in 58 Greene, specifically for its multicultural focus, and MUSKET/UAC. In regard to affinity groups, I plan to join BiLateral, since I want to network with other bisexual members of the community, as well as raise awareness on Michigan's campus about ourselves. As a Wolverine sibling, I will employ my interdisciplinary lessons and hands-on work to make a difference on the Ann Arbor campus and in the world.
- It's extremely specific. The student not only makes telling connections between her love of interdisciplinary learning and desired major, but also name-drops specific classes she wants to take, explains how she'll take advantage of the optiMize challenge, and talks about specific groups she'd like to join. There's absolutely no doubt this student has done her research and is truly passionate about attending Michigan.
- It flows well. The entire essay follows a clear arc, starting with an anecdote of the applicant's first time she managed to make connections between different topics she was studying, and moving on toward her interest in the interdisciplinary offerings at U-M and how they can help her become a future activist.
How to Write a University of Michigan Supplemental Essay
Tip 1: use specific details and examples.
The key to writing an amazing University of Michigan supplemental essay is to write clearly and specifically so that the admissions committee can really feel your passion and understand what makes you the person you are today. After all, your ultimate goal is to tell a compelling story that will leave a mark on your readers.
So don't write vaguely —litter your essay with names, places, dialogue, and images. At the same time, try to stay focused by presenting an easy-to-follow story and logical structure.
For essay 1, for instance, you'll be way more successful if you home in on a specific community you're part of and what it's done for you, rather than trying to cram in tons of details about other communities you relate to. Pick one central topic for each essay, and stick with it.
Tip 2: Be Your Authentic Self
Another tip is to be completely and unapologetically honest in your University of Michigan essays. Write in a voice that's completely and utterly yours and concentrate on a story, person, event, or moment that means a lot to you personally—not what somebody told you to write about, even if that topic sounds more "impressive." So if you want to throw in a joke, go ahead and do it!
Just be sure to avoid the following in your essay , as doing any of these can make you seem lazy, inappropriate, arrogant, or plain unlikable:
- Typos or errors in spelling, grammar, and/or punctuation
- Overused quotations or clichéd analogies —writing something such as "It was raining cats and dogs" will make your essay come across unoriginal and bland
- Inappropriate events or stories —your U-M essay is not the time to write about something illegal or highly immoral you did!
- Anything outright rude or impolite —for example, don't attack the U-M admissions officers or write something mean about someone at school
Tip 3: Don't Repeat Anything You've Written in Other Essays
One of the tricky problems with writing your University of Michigan supplemental essays is that you need to ensure you're not having too much overlap in your essays , especially between your supplemental essays and your Common App/Coalition App personal essay.
While it's OK to have a little bit of overlap in general content, try to select essay prompts so that you're focusing on different (but still equally important) parts of yourself.
For example, because U-M requires a diversity essay as part of its supplement, you'd probably be better off not choosing the first Common App prompt (which is also about communities and your background).
Remember that the admissions committee wants to get a complete, holistic picture of who you are , so take care to incorporate all major (but different) aspects of yourself in your University of Michigan essays.
Tip 4: Edit and Proofread Before You Submit
Lastly, make sure to edit and proofread each University of Michigan supplemental essay you write before you submit your application.
Once you have a rough draft written, put it away for a few days. Then, take it out again and look it over with a fresh set of eyes. Check for any areas that are unclear, out of place, or irrelevant, and edit as needed.
Keep doing this process until you have a fairly clean rough draft and then give it to somebody you trust, such as a parent or teacher. Have them give you feedback on the content and structure of your essay; they should also look for technical errors.
Once your essay is almost ready to go, give it one last proofread. You should now have a fantastic University of Michigan supplemental essay!
Want to learn more about the University of Michigan? Then check out our Michigan admission requirements page , where we give you everything you need to know to get into this famed school.
Though the University of Michigan is not an Ivy League school , it's considered to be a Public Ivy. Learn what this means and why Michigan qualifies for this honor in our guide to Public Ivies .
Applying to other schools in Michigan or the Midwest? Then check out our essay-writing guides for Michigan State University , the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign , and Notre Dame .
Want to write the perfect college application essay? Get professional help from PrepScholar.
Your dedicated PrepScholar Admissions counselor will craft your perfect college essay, from the ground up. We'll learn your background and interests, brainstorm essay topics, and walk you through the essay drafting process, step-by-step. At the end, you'll have a unique essay that you'll proudly submit to your top choice colleges.
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Hannah received her MA in Japanese Studies from the University of Michigan and holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California. From 2013 to 2015, she taught English in Japan via the JET Program. She is passionate about education, writing, and travel.
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August 8, 2022
Tips for Answering the University of Michigan Supplemental Essay Prompts [2022 – 2023]
The University of Michigan is a large (over 40,000 students), predominantly residential campus located in the small city of Ann Arbor. This well known school has an outstanding reputation for research, academic rigor and athletic spirit—it is often referred to as a public-Ivy. It offers a non-binding Early Action option with an application deadline of November 1st and accepts either the Common Application or Coalition Application with no preference. In the university’s efforts to gain a deeper understanding of the sort of student you might become at the University of Michigan, your application will ask you to write a main essay for whichever application type you select, as well as three supplemental essays.
Before you begin writing, take the time to research and identify what appeals to you most about the school . Consider location, athletics, academic programs, residential colleges, professors, particular clubs, study abroad programs, and anything else that attracts you to the University of Michigan. These responses are your opportunity to share more about yourself to make the strongest possible case for both your potential fit with the school and for the ways in which an education at UM will prepare you for the future.
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Below are some suggestions to help you address the supplemental prompts.
The University of Michigan supplemental essay questions
University of michigan supplemental essay #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; 1,500 character limit )
If you have applied to other selective schools, you are likely to be familiar with this sort of “diversity” prompt . What they are getting at is your personal story and how you might relate with others of similar and different life experiences. While there might be some overlap in how these communities/groups are defined, try to focus on the precise intersection that shapes your sense of identity. Describe how each factor contributes to who you are and how you engage with the world around you. Your story does not have to be exotic ; it just needs to reveal your sense of self-awareness, of both the world you come from and your place within it. Diversity is essential to the University of Michigan, as showcased on its website: “U-M is committed to creating a campus environment of equity and inclusion where students, faculty, and staff with diverse backgrounds live, learn, and work together.” As you tell your story, consider how you will contribute to and benefit from this diverse atmosphere. How might you connect with other students, faculty, staff and the community at the University? Do your research and consider specific ways you can get involved.
University of Michigan supplemental essay #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; 2,750 character limit )
This is another opportunity to demonstrate that you’ve done your homework and identified distinctive aspects of the program at the University of Michigan. You must communicate what appeals to you and how the specific program/curriculum will prepare you to achieve your goals. If you are undecided, you can speak to your areas of interest and how you might explore them at the University of Michigan. Consider the 14 different undergraduate Schools and Colleges it boasts to determine which might be the best prospective home for you. Be sure to notice that many programs at the university do not require application until your second year of college. Most students at the University of Michigan are admitted to the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA) for their first year of study, while others (business school students, for example) go through the Preferred Admission process while still in high school, which allows them sophomore entry to a particular School/College provided they meet certain academic conditions.
If you are applying to a School/College that predominantly admits new classes via Preferred Admission (e.g., Ross School of Business), it is critical that you decide now, while still a high school student, which School/College you’re targeting; it can be difficult to transfer from one School/College to another after your first year of study, even with exceptional grades. Review the degree/graduation requirements—what do you find attractive or what might be beneficial to you about this particular school? Why is this specific school such a good match for your interests, learning style, or ultimate goals? Provide details and support your statements with reasons why a particular program or School at the University of Michigan is the ideal place for you !
School of Education applicants only
Discuss where you would like to teach and/or the types of students you would like to teach and how you developed this commitment.
This is a question asking as much for information about your teaching future and desires as it is for your teaching history and your passions and skills up to the present. Be sure to demonstrate past experience, passion, and values that are all relevant to the field of teaching, as well as relatively specific goals and reasons behind them.
Final thoughts on applying to the University of Michigan
As a school that accepts the Common Application , the University of Michigan is committed to a holistic review of your application materials. This means it takes all aspects of your application into account. Don’t miss your opportunity to stand out among your peers; provide a genuine sense of your character through your essay responses!
To provide some context for where you might stand, of the 79,743 students who applied to enter the class of 2025 at the University of Michigan, 16,071 or about 20% were offered admission. The interquartile (middle 50th percent) ranges for SAT scores were between 1400 and 1540. For ACT scores, they ranged from 32 to 35. The average entering GPA was 3.9 on a 4.0 scale. This is a competitive applicant pool.
While keeping these statistics in mind, take a moment to relax and plan. Make sure you meet all deadlines and allow yourself adequate time to write and revise your essays . Consider the best way to communicate your personal experiences, convey your interests, express your enthusiasm for learning, and demonstrate how and why the University of Michigan is the best place for you!
If you’re applying to the University of Michigan, you already know you’re up against tight competition. Don’t be overwhelmed. Get the guidance of an experienced admissions specialist who will help you stand out from a highly competitive applicant pool so you can apply with confidence, and get accepted! Click here to get started!
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2 University of Michigan Essay Examples
The University of Michigan is an outstanding research institution, known for its school spirit and large alumni base. Based in the picturesque city of Ann Arbor, students at UMich are surrounded by city culture, urban nature trails, as well as outstanding students and professors. UMich is a “most selective” school, so you’ll need strong essays to help your application stand out from tens of thousands of applicants.
In this post we will share two essays real students submitted to the University of Michigan. We will also walk through what each essay did well and where they could be improved to give you inspiration for your essays.
Please note: Looking at examples of real essays students have submitted to colleges can be very beneficial to get inspiration for your essays. You should never copy or plagiarize from these examples when writing your own essays. Colleges can tell when an essay isn’t genuine and will not view students favorably if they plagiarized.
Read our University of Michigan essay breakdown to get a comprehensive overview of this year’s supplemental prompts.
University of Michigan Essay Example #1
Prompt: 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)
This summer I coached my first junior basketball team in two years, the Thunderdragons. From the beginning, this team of “misfits” was different from any I’d coached before. We were the only rookie team in the league and most of our players had no sports experience, while our opponents had spent years building chemistry together.
The beginning of the season was a disaster. At practice, whenever I demanded attention and tried to demonstrate drills, the kids were unfocused and didn’t show interest in the sport. Unsurprisingly, our games went much like practices, with opponents often defeating us by over 20 points. This pattern continued for weeks. I felt I wasn’t doing my job correctly, and began to lose confidence in my own coaching abilities.
Out of desperation, I finally voiced my frustrations to the team. Heart-to-heart, I asked them why they weren’t respecting me as a coach, and more importantly, never putting in 100% effort. Fortunately, they empathized with my reasoning and from then on, effort and attentiveness were never a problem. Our season culminated in a playoff game, playing a team featuring older, experienced players. We fought hard, bringing the game down to the wire, making me the proudest coach even in the face of defeat.
Though our season ended that day, I experienced one of the most gratifying feelings I’d had in high school. Not only could I visibly see the growth in all my kids’ basketball talent, ability, and maturity, but every single parent personally thanked me for coaching their kids and more importantly, instilling a love for the game and team sports in general. I’d formed a community myself, one that consisted of my new little brothers who viewed me as a role model, and one I hope to lead to the championship next season.
What the Essay Did Well
This essay has a very solid story that is a great response to the prompt. The reader can very clearly see the community this student was a part of (junior basketball) and the role they played within it (coach). Not only that, we get a sense of the type of leader this student was and their passion for teaching and the sport.
There is a very simple, yet effective structure to this essay that makes it extremely easy to follow—albeit a bit predictable. The student gives us an overview of the team in the beginning, explains the challenge they experienced, how they overcame the obstacle, and then they end with a reflection. While this isn’t necessarily a creative or exciting structure, it allows the student to share their story in a clear fashion.
Another positive aspect of this essay is the community this student chose: coaching a basketball team. Many students feel trapped when they encounter a community prompt if they don’t have a unique cultural background, but this essay is a perfect example of how you can write about anything! As long as you explain the essence of your community and its meaning to you, admissions officers will be happy to hear about any group you are part of.
What Could Be Improved
This essay is a good foundation, but it could be strengthened with a more sophisticated structure and by showing, not telling. In terms of the structure, rather than following a traditional story arc, this student could have started the essay with the playoff game at the end of the season and then once they hooked the reader, they could have gone back and explained how far the team had come. Or they could have used a vignette structure to show the growth from practice to practice, game to game.
As for showing and not telling, there are many sentences in this essay that could be far more engaging and descriptive.
For example, “ At practice, whenever I demanded attention and tried to demonstrate drills, the kids were unfocused and didn’t show interest in the sport,” could be “ ‘Circle up!’ Impatiently dribbling the ball waiting to demonstrate a three-pointer, I watched as 15 boys casually sauntered over, too engrained in an Iron Man vs Hulk debate.”
Another example would be switching “ We fought hard, bringing the game down to the wire, making me the proudest coach even in the face of defeat,” to something like, “ 36 to 33! I couldn’t help the smile that spread across my face as we took the lead in the final minutes. The squeaking of the court as they pivoted to throw the ball to each other was music to my ears.”
University of Michigan Essay Example #2
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? (550 words)
An aspiring trilingual clinical psychologist, I am drawn to the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts because it’s loaded with opportunities to build me into a scholar with a heart for service.
As a Psychology major and Spanish minor, I will satisfy my pursuit of academic excellence with LSA’s inexhaustible course offerings. Curious how songwriting helps me remember difficult words, I’ll find the answer from Psych 211-002: Mind, Music, and Community. As I learn what music does to the human mind through this exciting experiential course, I hope simultaneously to brighten the day of local seniors and children by playing the flute for them. While I will continue to explore indigenous cultures through the mythology my Latinx friends tell me outside of class, I look forward to examining these communities from an academic standpoint through Spanish 472 – Indigenous Societies. The combination of oral traditions and classical texts will deepen my knowledge of, and appreciation for, Latin American countries’ indigenous roots. Because of the variety of offerings LSA provides, I’ll get to zoom in on my specific topics of interest in psychology and Hispanic cultures.
An advocate for pursuing academic excellence, not perfectionism, I hope to join the Chang Lab to investigate how race and culture give rise to perfectionism, applying my knowledge in Psychology to advance the science of well-being. With our common ethnic background, I’m especially intrigued by Dr. Chang’s studies regarding the Asian community. After gaining more research experience, I will write an honors thesis with Professor Nestor Lopez-Duran to research mental illness treatment. I want to develop a new form of psychotherapy combining ASMR and talk therapy, and I hope that our research contributes to this cause.
Joining the Residential College will be the cherry atop my LSA sundae. Beyond the courses, alumni network, and research opportunities, I’ll get to share my opinions and consider others’ in small classrooms. I can’t wait to take the residential college writing seminar Psychology of Creativity and join the language lunch table to practice speaking Spanish outside the classroom. As someone who sought out native speakers to talk incessantly in Spanish about mythology, I hope to find other Spanish lovers at RC with whom I can practice my language skills. I will also participate in the Multicultural Psychology in Argentina program, traveling to Buenos Aires to learn the Argentine perspective on mental health. This cross-cultural exchange is crucial in helping me build an empathetic mindset as a clinical psychologist, arming me with tools to help people of different cultural backgrounds.
This student has clearly done their research on UMich! They come across as focused, dedicated, and passionate because of the details they include across multiple disciplines and opportunities. However, despite including many UMich resources, it doesn’t come across as name-dropping because the student elaborated on each point.
Telling the reader things like, “ The combination of oral traditions and classical texts will deepen my knowledge of, and appreciation for, Latin American countries’ indigenous roots,” and “ I want to develop a new form of psychotherapy combining ASMR and talk therapy, and I hope that our research contributes to this cause, ” helps us appreciate what this student values and hopes to accomplish with a UMich education.
Ultimately, this essay gives a very strong impression of the reader. Right from the first sentence, they refer to themselves as “ An aspiring trilingual clinical psychologist,” and every subsequent idea builds on that. Whether they are discussing psychology, Spanish, or their Asian heritage, we walk away from the essay knowing that all three of these are important to this student’s identity, making them much more memorable.
While this essay shows a high level of research and interest in the school, it would benefit from more of a focus on the student—after all the point of your essay is to convince UMich to admit you . In the ideal essay, descriptions of UMich programs and self-descriptions should weave together to form a seamless trajectory. If this student were to rework their essay, they could organize their paragraphs according to their values or interests, rather than organizing them by the type of UMich program that they are discussing (i.e. coursework, research, extracurriculars).
- Paragraph 1: What the student values about Psychology and how UMich courses and the honors thesis program can support those values
- Paragraph 2: Why the student believes Psychology must be supplemented by studies of race, ethnicity, and culture and how UMich’s Spanish programs and Chang lab would advance that belief
- Paragraph 3: How the student thinks it is important to simultaneously use the academic setting and social/residential setting to advance their interests and goals (still regarding the interactions between psychology and culture!) and how a Residential College would accomplish this
These paragraphs would help the UMich facts to make more sense and feel less random (because readers would know why they matter to the writer), while also giving the writer more depth
Where to Get Your University of Michigan Essays Edited
Do you want feedback on your University of Michigan essays? After rereading your essays countless times, it can be difficult to evaluate your writing objectively. That’s why we created our free Peer Essay Review tool , where you can get a free review of your essay from another student. You can also improve your own writing skills by reviewing other students’ essays.
If you want a college admissions expert to review your essay, advisors on CollegeVine have helped students refine their writing and submit successful applications to top schools. Find the right advisor for you to improve your chances of getting into your dream school!
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How to Write the University of Michigan Supplemental Essays 2023-2024
September 25, 2023
Dubbed as "the Harvard of the West," The University of Michigan—Ann Arbor has built a reputation as one of the most academically competitive institutions in the Midwest. With an acceptance rate of 18.2%, it's no surprise that over 83,000 students vied for admission this year. As the #1 public research university and the #2 public school in the U.S., Michigan offers a highly sought-after education. To distinguish yourself from the sea of applicants, it's crucial to showcase why you're an ideal fit through the University of Michigan supplemental essays 2023-2024.
Being a lifelong U-M football fan won't suffice when faced with such a staggering number of applications. You'll be competing against countless exceptional students. That's why I'm here to guide you through the prompts for the University of Michigan supplemental essays 2023-2024. I'll delve into each question, provide insights on crafting your response, and offer valuable tips to help you thrive in this process.
University of Michigan Supplemental Essays 2023-2024
Prompt 1 (required: 300 word limit), 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. .
The University of Michigan is interested in your involvement with communities that you’re a part of in high school. From the question, you can see that “community” isn’t limited to a club or organization. Your response to the first question can reflect on the food your family makes, or you can talk about your hometown. No matter what you write about, make sure you focus on your place within this community. It’s easy to spend all 300 words describing your community when the admissions officer really wants to hear about you! You don’t necessarily have to talk about your race or cultural background either. Your community could be your group of friends who are all passionate about baking! As long as you are able to position this community as impactful and important to you personally, it’s fair game for this essay. Admissions officers want to know how you will fit into their community and contribute to the school—so don’t take this prompt lightly!
Prompt 2 (Required: 550 word limit)
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.
This is the longest of the supplemental essays and perhaps the most important. This is U-M’s version of the “why do you want to attend this school” essay.
With approximately 275 majors and 14 undergraduate schools and colleges, the University of Michigan can be a great fit for many types of students. Make sure you’re researching the exact school within UMich that you hope to apply to. You might be interested in the College of Literature. Science, and the Arts (LSA), the largest college on campus in terms of majors and enrollment. Or, you have your eyes on the College of Engineering, which boasts an amazing program with 17 different specializations. There’s also the Ross School of Business, the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, and the School of Art and Design.
Spend time looking through the different colleges and the majors within them. What kind of research opportunities do they provide? Who are some of the faculty? The more specific you can be about what aspects of the program interest you, the better. Regardless of your choice, your answer should focus on the specific resources within the college that you have chosen, your specific interests in the major you are applying for, alongside how the school will help you reach your future goals. Don’t forget to demonstrate why you in turn are going to be a strong fit for the college of your choice.
Additional Tips for Writing the University of Michigan Supplemental Essays 2023-2024
Now that you’ve taken a look at the prompts , here are a few tips to help your brainstorming process:
- If You Get an Early Start, You Can Apply Early Action: If you have time, why not start working on the University of Michigan supplemental essays right now? Unlike Early Decision programs, Early Action does not bind you to UMich, so you are free to apply to other schools. Applying EA will allow you to receive your admissions decision sooner, which may relieve some application season stress
- Remember to Connect Your Answers to Yourself : While it’s pretty easy to fill up a page with everything appealing about UMich, remember that the University of Michigan supplemental essays are designed to get to know you. Your answer to the question does not have to be extremely deep or existential if such a theme has no relevance to you. You need to write two essays that will help make you memorable: avoid writing about cliché features that have a hundred other essays and brochures about them.
Crafting strong and compelling responses to the University of Michigan supplemental essays is essential to stand out from the competitive pool of applicants. The key to success lies in connecting your answers to yourself and avoiding clichés, allowing your distinct voice and experiences to shine through in your essays. With careful preparation and thoughtful reflection, you can confidently tackle the University of Michigan supplemental essays and increase your chances of securing a coveted spot at this prestigious institution.
If you are looking for a college admissions counselor to help maximize your chances of getting into your dream school, we can help! InGenius Prep has helped more than 6,000 students around the world gain admission into the most competitive schools including Harvard, Yale, MIT, Johns Hopkins, Cornell, NYU, and more. Sign up for a free strategy call today and join the 6,000+ students we've helped get accepted into their dream schools.
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September 11, 2023
2023-2024 University of Michigan Supplemental Essays Prompts
The University of Michigan has published its 2023-2024 admissions essays for applicants to the Class of 2028. And unlike many highly selective schools, the highly-ranked public university has not changed this year’s essay prompts in the wake of the United States Supreme Court ruling outlawing Affirmative Action. So, what are this year’s essay prompts, and how should applicants approach them? Let’s dive in!
2023-2024 UMichigan Essay Topics and Questions
Applicants to the University of Michigan are required to respond to both supplemental essays. For the first essay, the response should be a minimum of 100 words and a maximum of 300 words. For the second essay, the response should be a minimum of 100 words and a maximum of 550 words. Of course, regular readers of Ivy Coach’s college admissions blog know that applicants should use all the real estate students given to tell their stories by going to the maximum word count in all essays !
The two prompts are as follows:
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.
When the Supreme Court outlawed Affirmative Action , Chief Justice John Roberts penned a loophole in the majority opinion. In that opinion, he wrote, “Nothing in this opinion should be construed as prohibiting universities from considering an applicant’s discussion of how race affected his or her life, be it through discrimination, inspiration, or otherwise.” As such, through essays, schools could continue considering race within the context of its impact on applicants’ lives.
This loophole led many schools to adopt supplemental essays for the 2023-2024 admissions cycle asking about an applicant’s community, background, or experience. While worded differently, these prompts generally offer applicants the chance to write about the impact of their race (or faith, the town where they come from, etc.). But this prompt has long been a staple of the University of Michigan supplement. As such, Michigan didn’t need to change it one bit.
And remember, students need not be underrepresented minorities to answer this question powerfully. A community can mean many different things to many different students. It could be a community of mathematicians! The question is intentionally open-ended.
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?
This essay prompt is a straight-up-the-middle Why College essay prompt , and it too has long been a staple of the Michigan application. Michigan wants to know that an applicant loves them and that they love them for the right reasons. Why? Because so many students who apply to Ivy League schools or Ivy League peer institutions also apply by November 1st to Michigan. And why? Because students are allowed to apply to any public school no matter their Early Decision/Early Action choice. So Michigan — fairly we might add — wants to know they’re not being used as a backup.
Thus, how can applicants make Michigan’s admissions committee believe the school is their first choice? That’s easy ! By demonstrating they’ve done their homework on the school. The essay should be filled with specifics that only apply to Michigan on how a student will contribute their singular hook — rather than well-roundedness — to Michigan’s vibrant community.
Just about every sentence of the essay should be tailored to Michigan. If a sentence can apply to another university, it should be deleted. And, no, name-dropping professors or listing classes do not count as genuine specifics. Michigan’s admissions officers weren’t born yesterday. If a student approaches the Why Michigan essay like a game of Mad Libs in which they replace a specific from one school for a Michigan specific, they’ll see right through it.
Instead, students must capture the genuine, enduring specifics of the school — the programs, institutes, culture, traditions, activities, and so much more!
Ivy Coach’s Assistance with the University of Michigan Essays
If you’d like to optimize your case for admission to the University of Michigan, fill out Ivy Coach ’s free consultation form , and we’ll be in touch to delineate our college admissions counseling services for applicants to the Class of 2028.
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UMich Supplemental Essays 2023-24 – Prompts and Tips
July 25, 2023
In forming the Class of 2027, the University of Michigan received over 87,000 applications, an all-time high. For historical comparison, there were under 24,000 applicants at the turn of the millennium. Therefore, it is safe to say that more students desire to become Wolverines in 2023 than ever before in the school’s 200+ year history. This greatly impacts the importance of the UMich supplemental essays.
The acceptance rate at UMich has fallen all the way down to 18%. However, this figure is typically twice as high for applicants who reside in the state of Michigan. If you are an out-of-stater or international student, you’ll need to bring even more impressive credentials than your in-state peers. Speaking of credentials, overall, the median SAT for current Wolverine undergrads is 1450, 77% placed in the top decile of their high school class, and the average unweighted GPA is 3.9+. If you possess statistics above those marks, you have a great shot of one day donning the maize and blue. However, you’ll still want to find ways to stand out against the intense competition.
(Want to learn more about How to Get Into UMich? Visit our blog entitled: How to Get Into the University of Michigan: Admissions Data and Strategies for all of the most recent admissions data as well as tips for gaining acceptance.)
Through its two essay prompts, the University of Michigan supplemental section still affords applicants an opportunity to showcase what makes them uniquely qualified for admission. Below are the University of Michigan supplemental prompts for the 2023-24 admissions cycle. The College Transitions team also offers tips about how to address each one:
2023-2024 University of Michigan Supplemental Essay Questions
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)
This can be done well whether you are talking about an ethnic, religious, or neighborhood community. It could even be a group of individuals who gather for a club, sport, or service project. Most applicants to the University of Michigan are involved in at least one “community”. You are the captain of a team, the editor-in-chief of your school paper, the president of a club… but don’t just rest on those laurels—instead, bring your involvement to life. Use your writing ability to show what type of community member you are rather than merely telling .
UMich Supplemental Essays (Continued)
You can also discuss how you have engaged with your high school local/community. Further, you can share have learned from interacting with people of a different ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual identity, etc. Draw on past evidence of your commitment to being a positive force in your community and speculate how that is likely to manifest on the University of Michigan’s campus. You should research and cite UMich student-run organizations and/or local nonprofit groups. The Michigan admissions committee now desires to understand precisely how you will contribute to their campus community of 31,000+ undergrads. Drawing the link between your past efforts and future aims is critical here.
For example, if you dedicated many hours working with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout high school, it will be most impactful if you express your commitment to joining UMich’s chapter of Best Buddies in the future.
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)
In some ways, this is your quintessential “Why Us?” essay, but UMich is particularly interested in hearing about why the curriculum in your desired academic department is attractive to you—not so much about your love for the football team or the beautiful campus. Below are some quick tips for writing an essay that will help your admissions cause:
- Cite specific academic programs, professors, research opportunities , internship/externship programs, study abroad programs , student-run organizations , etc.
- State why your chosen program is the perfect fit for you and why you are the perfect fit for it.
- Show evidence of how your past/current academic endeavors/achievements will carry over onto UMich’s campus.
- What special academically-related talents and passions will you bring to the University of Michigan? What contributions will you make?
You’ll want to dedicate time to researching more about your prospective college/department and what makes it truly world-class. The more specific you can get here, the better your UMich essays will be!
How important are they to the admissions committee?
Michigan deems two factors as “very important” in evaluating a candidate. These are the rigor of your secondary school record and GPA. The UMich essays—both the general Common App essay and the Michigan supplements—are rated as “important”. They sit alongside standardized test scores, recommendations, character/personal qualities, and first-generation college student status.
UMich Supplemental Essays – Want Personalized Essay Assistance?
If you are interested in working with one of College Transitions’ experienced and knowledgeable essay coaches as you craft your University of Michigan supplemental essays, we encourage you to get a quote today.
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26 University of Michigan Supplemental Essay Examples (2023)
To get into the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 2023, you have to write strong supplemental essays.
In this article, I've gathered 26 of the best supplemental and Common App essay examples for Michigan.
University of Michigan Admissions FAQ
Here are some answers to common questions regarding applying to UMich.
As one of the highest ranked public universities in the U.S., Michigan has a reputation that makes for a competitive admissions process.
University of Michigan's Acceptance Rate
This past year, a record 79,743 students applied to Michigan and only 16,071 were offered admission.
That gives Michigan an overall admit rate of just 20.15% for the Class of 2026.
University of Michigan Acceptance Scattergram
Here's a scattergram that shows admitted and rejected applicants for Michigan in recent years.
In order to stand out from other applicants, you'll need to write your best supplemental essays. Here you can find 26 examples of Michigan essays that worked.
Since many of Michigan's prompts have stayed the same year after year, these examples answer this year's prompts.
What is Michigan's application deadline for this year?
The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor offers two admissions deadlines for Fall 2023: early action and regular decision.
For this year, Michigan's deadlines are:
- Early Action (EA): November 1st, 2022
- Regular Decision (RD): February 1st, 2023
Some students like transfer students may apply in Winter 2023 or Summer 2023, for which there are two deadlines:
- Winter 2023 RD: October 1st, 2022
- Summer 2023 RD: February 1st, 2023
What are the University of Michigan supplemental prompts for 2022-23?
This year, the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor requires applicants to write two supplemental essays. The first essay is limited to 300 words while the second essay is longer, with a maximum of 550 words.
The Michigan supplemental prompts are:
1. Community Essay (Required for all applicants.)
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. (100-300 words)
2. Why Michigan Essay (Required for all applicants.)
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? (100-550 words)
26 University of Michigan, Ann Arbor EssaysThatWorked
Check out these 26 Michigan essays that worked.
Below you can read example supplemental essays for Michigan, as well as Common App essays from admitted students.
Get inspired and start writing your own successful Michigan essays.
Prompt: Communities and Groups
- 1. Christian Faith
- 2. Horseback Riding
- 3. Youth Court
- 4. Two Sides
- 5. Marching Band Family
- 6. Chinese Christian Church
- 7. Whitman Navigators
- 8. Diverse Community
- 9. The Nabe
Prompt: Area of Study / Why Michigan?
- 10. Education Program
- 11. Business Opportunities
- 12. Engineering at Michigan
- 13. Economics and Political Science
- 14. Michigan Faculty
- 15. Interdisciplinary Learning
- 16. Michigan Opportunities
- 17. School of Kinesiology
Prompt: Extracurricular Activity
- 18. Summer in the City
- 19. Riding Horses
- 20. Restorative Justice
- 23. Speech and Debate
- 25. Soccer Lessons
- 26. Playing Horn
1. Michigan Community Essay: "Christian Faith"
Prompt: 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. (100-300 words)
I am a member of the Grosse Pointe chapter of YoungLife, a non-denominational Christian youth group. However, I wouldn't necessarily consider myself a "Christian."
My relationship with God is exactly that—mine. I sometimes question certain Christian teachings and beliefs, and I'm not 100 percent sure that I am officially any one religion.
This is not only OK, but encouraged at YoungLife; the motto of the organization is "Come as you are." The differences between myself and the person sitting next to me at Sunday Club don't matter there.
Our diverging ideas and opinions, some of which may be about religion itself, become white noise as we sing along with the leaders to start each Club at the YoungLife House. My understanding of Christianity can be polar opposite of that person—my friend—next to me, but we are connected in the Club's universal idea of being yourself and accepting others for doing the same.
I am still figuring out my individual ideologies, and I expect it to take time before I fully understand my feelings. My views may will fall within those of a Christian church, they partially could, or they might not at all. I haven't solved my religious puzzle yet, but I don't feel like an outsider because of it. The people at YoungLife respect my internal journey. They understand that I don't fully understand my religion yet.
2. Michigan Community Essay: "Horseback Riding"
As the first horse walked in for the HJAM hunter derby in May, I sat on the grassy hill overlooking the show grounds with my friends and the “big girls” for the first time. In just a few years, I would be one of the “big girls” that the younger kids would look up to. Brought together by long horse show days highlighted by donkey races in Kentucky, boat days in Traverse City, and “Ride and Drives” in Ohio, the group of riders that compete at the horse shows have become my friends for life.
Starting in the early 2010’s, when all of us rode ponies, everyone began to come out of their shell as we bonded over our love for this sport. Jumping the “kid jumps” until it was too dark, our group became inseparable, and Sundays, the last day of a horse show, became increasingly dreaded as it meant we had to say goodbye until the next show.
Trading in ponies for horses and bows for hair nets, we became engaged in much more mature activities- like water fights and golf cart races. Beginning to conquer bigger divisions and national finals, riding became more serious, however, being surrounded by this community kept it light hearted as we cheered each other on ringside.
Entering into my final junior year as a rider, I have trouble believing that I have become one of the “big girls” as it seems just yesterday I gazed up at my mentors on the hill almost a decade ago. Knowing that the friendships I have made will last a lifetime, I am forever grateful to the early mornings and long nights that brought us together and cannot wait to watch where each of us end up: both inside and outside of the ring.
3. Michigan Community Essay: "Youth Court"
A defining factor of my interests and character is membership to Ontario County Youth Court. Not only have I enjoyed the career exploration, new opportunities, and service aspects of the program, but also the people within it. Youth court provides as alternative path legal path for youth offenders. But also serves the community of members who conduct the trials. This has allowed me to gain an understanding of other people’s situations and circumstances.
After four years of dedicated membership, I have assumed leadership positions within the program. This includes acting as lead prosecutor, along with the elected chair of the Ontario County Youth Court Steering Committee. As chair, I have planned successful member outreach events such as a Halloween party and a career exploration event. By acting as a mentor and providing guidance towards my fellow members, I have encouraged others to develop a passion for youth court and law. Without this community, I would have never discovered my true passion for law, or broadened my understanding of others.
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4. Michigan Community Essay: "Two Sides"
I grew up with big glass doors in my living room, bold doors that opened to a garden on one side and a living room on the other. When you walked outside, you entered an untamed mosaic of bamboo, peonies, lavender, hummingbirds, bees and the occasional free-spirited cat. Grey stepping stones guided you through the mystical garden in a seemingly random fashion. The other side of the doors open up to a different type of community, a community where shoes and dirt weren’t allowed, corners were sharp, and the main odor was all-purpose cleaning spray.
These two worlds were separated by a mere panel of transparent doors. I believe that I am the product of both of them. These two spaces, along with my mother, formed the person that I am today. From the garden community, I learned to be pure and kind, while the indoor community warned me to also stay guarded. I’m reserved, but with a touch of confidence; forgiving but not ignorant; and perseverent yet flexible.
Things used to seem binary; I was either the garden or the room. However, I now believe that I am the living, breathing evidence that maybe life isn’t so one-sided. Maybe some us will realize that one side calls to us, while others will become the glass doors and, instead of standing on either side, experience multiple worlds.
5. Michigan Community Essay: "Marching Band Family"
As I prepared for my freshman year of high school, I was terrified I would never find my place at Grosse Pointe South. But when I started my first marching band camp a month before school began, I found the friends that would form my tightest-knit community for the next four years.
No matter how busy my schedule has become, the six hours I spend each week at marching band have remained a constant throughout high school. These friends have been the most unfailingly kind people I have met at South, and have provided me a place where I feel confident presenting myself authentically to the people around me.
As a section leader this year, I have gained experience as a supporter and motivator. My goal has been to help the underclassmen find the same community in marching band that I did.
This role has taught me a lot about collaboration. My fellow section leaders and I have shared responsibility for the quality of every performance we give and held meetings to discuss ways to improve rehearsal productivity. It has been incredible to see our hard work result in such enjoyable performances for our school and surrounding community.
The Grosse Pointe South Marching Band has become my second family throughout the last four years. I am incredibly grateful for the friends I will miss so much next year, and for the opportunity to provide underclassmen with the same kind and accepting environment that I was welcomed into four years ago.
6. Michigan Community Essay: "Chinese Christian Church"
As you walk onto my church grounds, you would be a little befuddled. What used to be a small one-story home now houses the Chinese Christian Church of Columbia--the former garage/carport is now the sanctuary, the swimming pool has been replaced with the education building, and the old house is now the kitchen and fellowship building. But the most glaring aspect is the separate services, divided by language not time. Our church walks between traditional Chinese culture and contemporary American beliefs. Many of the ABCs (American-born Chinese) and the few Americans join together for the English service, centered around more contemporary worship and disciple-building. The older immigrant population and the Chinese students from the surrounding universities gather for the Chinese service, featuring more conservative worship with hymns and focused on outreach.
Though we are divided by language and cultural barriers, we are joined together with a shared faith. While I call the English congregation home, I occasionally serve on the worship team for the Chinese service and as an interpreter for joint adult and youth events (when the Chinese and English service join together). While I serve in both congregations, my main focus is the children’s ministry where I am a Sunday school teacher and an activities coordinator. Every week, I love walking into the classroom, seeing the happy faces of curious children ready to learn new Bible stories despite their occasional rowdy and disobedient behavior. While the students learn, I share the same search for answers in my faith. With my church being a melting pot of cultures and language, we work to push aside those barriers to be joined together under one faith. Despite the challenges, the tight-knit community that has sprung up from our tiny house church has won my heart.
7. Michigan Community Essay: "Whitman Navigators"
I quit keeping track of how many times I've said "Hi, welcome to Whitman!" after my first Back-to-School-Night. As a member of the Whitman Navigator team for three years, I've greeted a few hundred parents, oriented three classes of freshmen, and built lasting friendships with fellow Navigators and staff. Navigators are Whitman students who lead Freshman Orientation and Back-to-School-Night, as well as give tours to transfer students.
In this capacity, I've worked with our two principals, Dr. Goodwin (now retired) and Dr. Dodd, on building a more welcoming Whitman. The community I love best is that of my high school, Walt Whitman. My place is similar to that of a Walmart Greeter, in that I am the first person freshmen see when they enter the front door. Using my school spirit and three years' experience, I enthusiastically guide these freshmen through their first encounter with this large, and often intimidating, new community.
Last year, I received my first question that I couldn't answer. As a chorus student, my knowledge of the Fine Arts at Whitman is limited; when a freshman asked me about ceramics courses, I paused and pondered. Rather than providing her with false information, I said, "I actually couldn't tell you.
At the end of orientation, I'll refer you to Gianni, a Navigator who took ceramics last year." The closeness of the Navigator community meant that I knew the right person to answer her question. Here I was, answering the freshman's question in a position of authority, when only four years ago I was in her shoes. Navigators granted me the opportunity to help others acclimate to the school, and I developed leadership traits through which I could guide people successfully.
8. Michigan Community Essay: "Diverse Community"
In my hometown, you can hear the cows moo and the tractors hum. The smell of manure might only be overtaken by the fumes of a Ford F-150. Farms line the sides of the roads I take to school. I have lived in rural Carroll County, Maryland my whole life. I have grown to love it. The people are friendly, neighborhoods are safe, and schools are good. However, there is one main issue. Everyone here is white.
While visiting the University of Michigan, I noticed the treelined campus. I pictured myself meeting peers in the dorms and classrooms. I was overwhelmed when I stepped into the Big House. But the thing that stood out the most was the diversity of Ann Arbor. Being in a place where a variety of ethnicities is so prevalent was a wake-up call to what I have been missing my whole life.
The diverse community of the University of Michigan is a place where I could see myself thrive. Being around and learning from people with unique backgrounds has been a rare commodity in my life. Around the age of thirteen, I realized what I had been missing within Carroll County, so I joined a soccer team in a more diverse neighboring county. This team gave me a taste of what life is like away from my rural hometown.
In college I want to belong to a society of people all different from each other. I would be able to learn so many valuable life lessons. University of Michigan is a place where I could share my story, as well as take in the stories of many different people. In college, I want to join a community filled with variety and open mindedness, rather than remaining in my ethnically homogenous past.
9. Michigan Community Essay: "The Nabe"
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 I had previously participated in various service programs, something was different about NH. Whether it was teaching long division or playing a game of chess, the bonds I established with the kids were real, human connections.
It was a privilege to be appointed service coordinator at the end of my junior year. But, I wanted to further immerse myself into “the Nabe.” 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. Bryan, Genesis, Justin, John, Christian, Jason, Jazarah, Jaeden, Steven, Angelique, Isabella... and Yajur.
On that first bus ride to the Nabe, I never saw it coming.
10. Why Michigan: "Education Program"
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? (100-550 words)
Growing up, I always pictured myself as a great teacher as an adult. With the second best secondary education program in the country and an emphasis on the liberal arts and undergraduate education, I am confident that U-M will shape me into the great educator I’ve dreamed of becoming since I was a kid.
Hallmarks of a liberal arts education include teamwork, problem-solving, clear writing, and effective communication. These are also skills that any exceptional teacher needs. U-M offers an unparalleled curriculum that prepares students to successfully run classrooms and obtain Provisional Teacher Certifications upon graduation, exposing students to diverse classes and people in Ann Arbor, and providing them with an invaluable liberal arts education along the way.
Being an effective teacher means connecting with and stimulating all students at its core. The liberal arts foundation I will receive in the College of Literature, Sciences, and the Arts (LSA), married with the experiential education and training the School of Education (SoE) will provide, will mold me into that great teacher—a mentor and role model for any student, regardless of creed—I’ve always aspired to become.
The Teacher Education Preferred Admission (TEPA) for incoming freshmen piqued my interest because the program is the crossroad between the liberal arts and teacher education; two components I was looking for in a college. TEPA will allow me to build a strong liberal arts base in LSA my first two years on campus before entering SoE, while also gaining beneficial experiences in the education field early on.
The education-oriented programs WE READ and Students Empowering Education specifically appealed to me because they will bridge my liberal arts education with my anticipated career as a high school English teacher. Similarly, my Spanish classes will have a practical application in the Ann Arbor Language Partnership, a program that immediately interested me as a potential Spanish minor.
During my first two years as a pre-admit, I'll be supported by my TEPA peers and staff, specifically from my SoE personal adviser. TEPA will take the large campus and make it feel smaller, allowing me to form organic connections with like-minded people and groups that can cultivate my interest in education before entering SoE junior year.
I need a meaningful education to be a meaningful educator. Truthfully, I could go to almost any college to become a teacher, but only schools that synthesize in- and out-of-classroom learning like SoE produce great ones. U-M ranking sixth in the country for undergraduate teaching bolstered my interest in the university and confirmed what I already knew: I will receive an education in LSA and SoE that will change who I am as a person and not just a student, and prepare me to provide the same for others as a teacher.
The great educator I’ve always envisioned myself becoming is one that can inspire without bounds. From my time as a student, I’ve come to realize that a truly influential teacher can work with students who have little in common with themselves and still be impactful. LSA's purposeful and broad curriculum, paired with SoE's hands-on courses and fieldwork, and the additional opportunities available through TEPA, will shape me into that life-changing teacher, for any student who walks through my classroom door.
11. Why Michigan: "Business Opportunities"
Growing up in a community that bleeds maize and blue, the community represented by the University of Michigan has always been one that I could see myself representing as both a student and alumni. From football games at the big house to classes at Ross, each and every opportunity available at U of M represents a piece of my life that I hope to continue to incorporate into my life for the rest of my life.
The opportunity to take courses that allow for enriched experiences in developing a real business is one that I intend to be involved in as soon as possible. I will use this type of class as a way to test my skills and learn where I need to become stronger as a leader and student. Watching others equally driven as me, their tactics that are successful and not successful will imprint on how I attack problems in the future and shape my overall leadership style.
By being involved in the Multidisciplinary Action Projects down the road as a graduate student, I hope to learn firsthand what it takes to run and be involved with real businesses. Firsthand exposure is the best way to learn how to solve problems- especially surrounded by peers who are equally as driven and dedicated as I am.
Filled with students striving for nothing but the best they are capable of is a community that I am certain I will enrich and fit into. By sharing ideas and collaborating together instead of against each other, each and every one of us will contribute to the business world as leaders and innovators.
The University of Michigan is a place I can see myself learning and growing as a leader for the next four years as I intend to use all of the tools at my disposal to become a top business person. The opportunities within the school I will be involved in and the peers that I will work beside only enrich the values of what being a Wolverine mean to me.
12. Why Michigan: "Engineering at Michigan"
The University of Michigan’s College of Engineering has a proactive approach to career path discovery and job search. While I do hope to aspire to a corporate attorney, an engineering degree from the University of Michigan would provide me the advantage of readiness.
U.S News and World Report published an article about challenges law school applicants with STEM degrees face. Number one was the lack of research skills. Michigan Undergraduate Engineering has research opportunities for all undergraduate students. I hope to even take advantage of The College of Engineering (CoE) International Internship Program. The chance to see the world and contribute to the world-class studies conducted by Michigan Engineering students is a unique quality. The article also reported that STEM applicants often lack job experience. Michigan Engineering hosts internship fairs, which even freshman can participate in. By utilizing the opportunity to work in a professional setting, I will be more adapt to presenting myself in a mature and respectable manor in a corporate setting.
Many people are puzzled by my aspirations to become a corporate lawyer with an engineering degree. While I enjoy learning about many areas of study, math and science have always peaked my interest. Like my attraction to law, I am drawn to the definitiveness of engineering specifically. While there is a right and wrong in methods and procedures, there is a chance to be creative; for the end goal is functionality. Law requires critical thinking, problem solving, and the questioning of presented facts and figures. These skills are also encompassed in Michigan Engineering. With a technical understanding of industry and engineering, I will be able to more accurately represent a corporation. Like the professors at Michigan Engineering, I hope to be an expert in my field. At Michigan Engineering, I will be educated by the best of the best. Professors that have been exposed to their fields in every aspect; allowing them to provide the best guidance to students. Instead of just presenting facts and figures in a courtroom, I will be able to understand and explain them.
13. Why Michigan: "Economics and Political Science"
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. How can people pull themselves out of poverty if their government seems to be working against them? More than anything, I was frustrated that I felt powerless to help them in any way.
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. Again and again, I was impressed by the extent of the Ford School’s student involvement in critical issues. Through my work with the Congresswoman, I was able to gain a greater understanding of how different groups of people were affected by shifts in political and economic priorities. My goal is to become a civil rights attorney or study economics as a way to promote sustainable growth in developing nations.
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 by 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. Professor Michael Barr’s research on policy initiatives and our financial system is fascinating from the perspective of a prospective economics major. At the University of Michigan, I would be able to join teams of renowned researchers working toward the betterment of our society and our world.
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. As someone hoping to pursue a career in public service, it is truly incredible to have the opportunity to join a research community specifically geared toward solving problems I am passionate about solving.
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.
14. Why Michigan: "Michigan Faculty"
Riding the elevator to the seventh floor of Haven Hall, my heart was practically leaping out of my chest. I was meeting with Dr. Jenna Bednar of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts Department of Political Science, and as I recalled her credentials- B.A. in Political Science from Michigan, M.A. and PhD in Political Science from Stanford- I felt increasingly out of place. As a junior in high school with limited political experience, I am grateful that she agreed to take time out of her day to meet with me and answer my numerous questions about LSA, Michigan, and political theory.
Upon entering her office, my eyes were drawn to bookshelves full of political literature, from the classics like De Tocqueville and Locke (which I read in a summer college program in 2017), to her own recently published work, The Robust Federation. Encouraged by her broad smile and having just completed an official campus tour, I launched into my questions. Dr. Bednar described the connections she and her students have made at Michigan, through LSA and in general.
This revealed to me that the faculty would take a personal interest in my academic career. We discussed the average class size in LSA and the Department of Political Science, her academic background, and how to survive Michigan winters. Dr. Bednar then brought my attention to the benefits that LSA Political Science gives its students.
For example, as head of the Michigan in Washington program, Dr. Bednar's passion for both political science and education was evident as she introduced me to one of Michigan's most influential academic programs. Although I hail from two miles outside the D.C. border, I aspire to participate in the Michigan in Washington program, to build on my internship of the past year with my delegate to the Maryland General Assembly.
Under his guidance, I conducted nationwide policy research, attended civic association meetings and development forums, and traveled to our state capitol to watch the legislative process unfold. Consequently, an internship at the federal level is my logical next step toward building the foundations of a political career.
Dr. Bednar, upon hearing about my internship with my delegate, suggested that I think about the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program. I believe that this research program offers a unique means of building my understanding of political science. I am eager to apply to the UROP program in hopes of furthering my research skills within the complex political landscape of today. Furthermore, the variety of courses that I can explore as a political science major is remarkable: from "Sports, Politics, and Society", to "Nations and Nationalism," the scope of topics will keep me engaged.
When I sat down with Dr. Bednar, I expected a five-minute chat; I received forty-five minutes of helpful advice, political theorizing, and well wishes. Leaving her office, I felt energized and ready to dive into LSA Political Science right there. Her demeanor helped to build my confidence to boldly seek connections in my search for knowledge. I saw the Michigan difference firsthand, from various undergraduate opportunities for political science, to a universal love for the school from students and faculty alike.
15. Why Michigan: "Interdisciplinary Learning"
My favorite class in high school was also my hardest. It was World Culture/World Literature, an hour and a half each day of seeing history, art, and literature not as separate entities but as intricately connected, one incomplete without the other. I learned to see humanism in Greek sculpture, religious propaganda in the chiaroscuro of Baroque paintings, disillusionment in modern art. Although seemingly unrelated to my STEM-leaning interests, the analytical skills I learned there would prove invaluable in neuroscience research. Connecting electroencephalography results to mechanisms for chronic pain relief wasn’t all too different from drawing links between historical movements and paintings; both required an intimate knowledge of background information and a willingness to take risks, to see new relationships and forge unprecedented connections.
LSA embodies precisely this mentality, fostering interdisciplinary learning and problem-solving. With classes like “Health, Biology, and Society: What is Cancer?”, bridging humanistic and biological approaches to disease, and graduation requirements ranging from Natural Sciences to Race and Ethnicity, LSA prepares students for the real world, where problems necessitate not just single-minded expertise but also a diverse understanding of other factors involved. My internship experience only confirmed the practicality of this perspective; we used mindfulness meditation alongside spinal cord stimulation technologies to treat chronic pain.
This mindset is not confined to learning inside the classroom. The LSA Opportunity Hub is robust, connecting students to internships at Nike, Forbes, and the US Department of Education, among other places. To intern as a research assistant at Mayo Clinic, to use mathematical models to predict brain tumor growth like current Michigan junior Tatum Doyle would be an unequalled opportunity. Her work in incorporating mathematical concepts in medical research personifies the LSA culture, where problems are best solved holistically. LSA’s interdisciplinary approach does not detract from fostering specialization and excellence in specific fields, but adds; its Biochemistry program promotes innovation and independence in its students and is ranked top in the nation.
I remember boiling down cabbage with my dad to make acid/base indicators. In elementary school, my teacher wrote that I had been spending too much time reading animal books and too little time playing with other kids. I loved (and still love) all things living, often marvelling at the complexity of the animal kingdom, the human body, the organs, and the cells that were the foundation for everything else. The first time I read about the process of translation, of rendering mRNA into proteins, my eyes filled with tears; this is what I wanted to do, to apply the chemistry that had defined my childhood to my love of biology.
LSA shares that passion, dedicating a plethora of resources, both intellectual and material, to its Biochemistry department. With equipment like atomic absorption spectrophotometers, classes in Endocrinology, and distinguished professors, the University of Michigan has everything any biochemistry undergraduate student would need, and much more. To research under a PI like Dr. Kopelman, winner of the J. William Fulbright Research Award, would be a dream fulfilled. His work in employing 5-dimensional chemical imaging to visualize and treat tumors does what LSA does best; it uses an interdisciplinary approach to make academic discoveries both relevant and essential in the real world. It is a culture I would be honored to take part in, should I be accepted.
16. Why Michigan: "Michigan Opportunities"
Sweat drips down my face onto homework in front of me.
I just got home from a soccer game; I’m not stressed. This is until I realize I still have a plethora of edits to make on my lab report as well as emails to write for an upcoming NHS event. AND I have three tests the next day.
Although stressful, I enjoy every minute of juggling a variety of academics and extracurriculars. I appreciate all the opportunities my high school offers to me and I take advantage of as many as I can handle. Thanks to my involved years of high school, I have received a great education as well as many experiences I would never trade away.
Entering my senior year and researching universities I may want to attend, there is one question which continuously presents itself. What do I want to major in when I get to college? It is a scary question and I have never known the answer. Despite participating in many extracurriculars such as National Honor Society, Science Olympiad, Math Honor Society, and Future Business Leaders of America, I still have no idea what I want to do with my life.
As a student at LSA, I would be able to use the abundance of resources to explore possibilities for life after college. Since I am one of the many college applicants who has not decided upon a major, a large, liberal arts college like LSA is the perfect place for me to discover more about myself, pursue interests, and find my purpose. I have considered medicine, business, economics, and law. The two courses I have enjoyed the most are biomedical sciences and US History. I am truly all over the map!
With so much variety at LSA, I would be able to change majors or take a diverse group of classes so that I could find what I want to study. LSA is unique from its University of Michigan counterparts because it offers a broader range of departments, majors, and courses. The flexibility at LSA would help me discover what I want my life to be like while supporting me through my journey.
Additionally, LSA provides students with multiple opportunities not found anywhere else at University of Michigan. One program that caught my eye was Michigan Learning Communities. This program appeals to me because having the resources of this large university, yet finding a niche in the community to challenge myself and others, can help me grow as a student and a person. Similarly, the Opportunity Hub at LSA jumped out at me as I researched the University and toured the school. I would take full advantage of the great connections the Opportunity Hub provides, as it could help me find an internship or job offer when the perfect time comes. MLCs, the Opportunity Hub, and the many other programs which LSA offers are the main reasons why LSA would be the best college fit for me.
I was initially drawn to the University of Michigan by the beautiful campus, great athletics programs, unmatched prestige, and massive alumni network. However, as I dove deeper, I discovered LSA, a school that can help me realize my purpose and passions while providing a focused learning environment to lead me to a bright future.
17. Why Michigan: "School of Kinesiology"
Throughout my college search, I had yet to come across the perfect undergraduate school for my interests. The safe pick was always the standard “College of Arts and Sciences” or its equivalent, with the most varied options for me to craft my experience. Something was different about Michigan. I didn’t need to craft my own academic experience at another university when the perfect one was already designed here: The School of Kinesiology’s Movement Science program.
In my house, we never eat scrambled eggs. We eat denatured albumin and yolk proteins served with a sprinkling of sodium chloride; cooking was chemistry, not just a chore. From a young age, my parents have cultivated a sense of curiosity in me. So when I injured my left wrist in the summer before freshman year, it was so much more than just an injury. I researched more into my growth plate dislocation and radial fracture. I got to see the details of the procedure, the recovery process, and the gradual reversion of my X-rays to a normal wrist image. This fascinating journey got me through an otherwise disappointing summer: no basketball and no french horn.
While the seeds were planted during my injury, they didn’t start blooming until I spent a week shadowing Dr. Kesavan Ramanujan in the Royal United Hospital, Bath, England. I realized that the field of orthopedics was a field where I could visually identify a problem, come up with a solution, implement the solution through operation, and help someone progress to full recovery. The gratification on the doctor’s faces when their recovered patients came back to visit them was infectious. While this trip was my first time staying abroad without my family, the biggest takeaway for me was that I had found a career I was truly interested in.
My volunteer work at the Robert Wood Johnson Hospital Physiotherapy Clinic has only strengthened this notion. While my work as a volunteer may be the more routine tasks: making schedules, doing paperwork, cleaning the beds and the gym, setting up hot packs, cold packs, and stimulation pads, I have learned so much about the subtle details of patient interaction through what I absorb from the physical therapists. Even if a PT is having a bad day, they have taught me how important it is to have a smile on your face for the next patient coming through the doors. They have also taught me how much of an intersection there is between teaching and medicine/therapy.
These experiences draw me to the School of Kinesiology, and specifically the Movement Science program. The opportunity to actively engage with skeletomuscular system studies as opposed to solely classroom learning appeals to me, as do the extensive research opportunities. The specialized IONM Intraoperative Neuromonitoring Program-- the only accredited IONM program in the world-- would give me the chance to engage in an exciting, interdisciplinary curriculum that cannot be found anywhere else.
From scrambled eggs to broken bones; from British adventures to lessons learned in the RWJ clinic. Discovering my passion for orthopedics and movement science has already been an exhilarating ride; yet, these have all been just the beginning steps of my journey. I cannot think of a better place to continue than the University of Michigan.
18. Michigan Extracurricular Activity: "Summer in the City"
Prompt: If you could only do one of the activities you have listed in the Activities section of your Common Application, which one would you keep doing? Why? (150 words max)
I would chose to continue my involvement with Summer in the City, a nonprofit that empowers young citizens to revitalize Detroit through beautification and youth engagement, because I believe heavily in the power and potential of two things: Detroit and young people.
At SITC, I can see the difference I’m making through the murals I paint and the kids I play with. With each brush stroke, I am moving the city one step in a positive direction. And with each high five from my “buddy” at the camp, I feel like I am part of the grassroots, youth-driven movement the city needs.
19. Michigan Extracurricular Activity: "Riding Horses"
For as long as I can remember, riding horses has played an integral part of my day to day life. It has taught me more than I could learn anywhere else and truly morphed my character forever. Riding has become a key part of my identity. Spending 30+ hours a week at the barn in addition to nearly 20 weekends of the year at horse shows, it has shown me the impact that long term effort has on success. This time commitment has also allowed me to make close friends that I hope to stay connected with for the rest of my lifetime. Riding has ultimately become more than a sport to me, but rather part of my life: a part of my life that I will treasure for as long as I am alive.
20. Michigan Extracurricular Activity: "Restorative Justice"
With my aspirations to pursue a career in law, I would continue with youth court. Restorative justice is a concept that repairs damages and restores harmony. Instead of merely correcting illegal actions, an offender is integrated back into the community as a productive member of society. As a member, this is the greatest sense of satisfaction. Allowing someone the chance to change truly displays why I have remained devoted to the program for years.
At the University of Michigan, I would continue my restorative justice journey by involving myself in the Office of Student Conflict Resolution. I understand people have faults, which lead to disputes. With my vast experience with a variety of cases, I can assist others in making amends. Therefore, I am hopeful that I would be selected as a Student Resolution Panelist to be further educated on methods and approaches using restorative justice.
21. Michigan Extracurricular Activity: "Nanny"
Working as a nanny has taught me much more than any club or organization could. Growing up with a single mom, I wasn’t always the primary focus: I had to learn how to take care of myself and carve my own path. Now, being a nanny enables me to be a role model and guide for kids whose parents might not have the time or ability to do so. And as the child of a working parent, I’m also aware of the constant stress parents are under.
Not only does being a nanny teach me how to handle the responsibilities of caring for a child, it also allows me to reminisce on my childhood. Whether I’m helping David with his Spanish homework, teaching Edward how to say hi, or finding Leprechaun footprints with William, I can feel the unique impact I’m making on their lives, an impact which is irreplaceable.
22. Michigan Extracurricular Activity: "DECA"
Throughout middle school and my freshman year of high school, I was a mouse. I was terrified of making a spectacle of myself. The first time I walked into a DECA meeting -- one of only five girls in a group of 50, and the only freshman -- I nearly turned around and left.
Since that day, I have earned three medals and been named a state finalist. That mousey freshman would never believe I could receive statewide recognition for a competition that required me to communicate my ideas to strangers. Walking into my first meeting was a huge step outside my comfort zone. Since then, my experiences in competitions have given me a breakthrough in self-confidence, and for that I am especially grateful. Not only has DECA enhanced my high school career, but it has helped me learn to take pride in myself and my ideas.
23. Michigan Extracurricular Activity: "Speech and Debate"
Since September of sophomore year, I have been attempting to persuade everyone and everything, from walls, to friends, to rearview mirrors, to agree with me. Through competitive topics in Speech & Debate, I'm learning how today’s issues affect American teens. From analyzing drug culture and its impact on youth, to assessing politics' role plays in dating, I'm granted the opportunity to broaden my perspective.
In the process, I'm meeting some of the most intelligent and fascinating students at tournaments. The Speech community is a creative outlet where I'm comfortable having my ideas challenged and challenging others. I plan to join the Michigan Debate team, and help coach high school Speech teams in Ann Arbor (my coaches are college students), because I believe that every teenager should be encouraged to critically explore current events, while getting comfortable speaking to inanimate objects, judges, and competitors in the process.
24. Michigan Extracurricular Activity: "EMT"
I love being an EMT. I love the urgency of working in an ambulance, the way my heart quickens and my mind focuses when providing emergency patient care. But most of all, I love helping individuals in my community in a way most other people can’t. As EMT's, we’re endowed with the opportunity to intervene at the most critical points in a person's life, to provide calm and stability in life-or-death situations.
These are moments cemented in their memories, ones that define their conception of hardship and struggle. Every call I run presents a chance to make a permanent difference, from a classmate’s suicide attempt to a stranger’s car accident. By being there and providing compassion within chaos, I cherish the opportunity to positively influence each of my patient's lives. I wouldn’t give it up for anything.
25. Michigan Extracurricular Activity: "Soccer Lessons"
The activity which I am most passionate about and plan to continue is soccer. Soccer has taught me multiple skills applicable to all aspects of life. These include leadership, teamwork, and work ethic. As captain of the soccer team, I have taken away various lessons I can apply in life. For instance, I have improved not only giving constructive criticism, but also receiving it- something which I am still working toward. Similarly, I have learned to be a better teammate, as soccer is reliant on playing together. Most significantly, soccer has brought me a desire to work hard, as being great requires so much more than pure talent. The impact of soccer on my life has created a new challenge for my future. I would like to continue playing because I want to take what I have learned and expand on it, and ultimately teach these lessons to others.
26. Michigan Extracurricular Activity: "Playing Horn"
It started from scratch, in 4th grade band Just me, my horn, and a small music stand Not knowing where, one day, this horn would take me Not knowing it would all be so grand.
I practiced for years, my range did expand I kept working and listening to teacher’s commands I’d keep on improving, as long as I practiced Whenever I got some time on my hands.
Failures have been tough to fully withstand. Each judge’s musical taste is hard to understand. But under the bright lights of Juilliard and Lincoln Center My journey could not have been better planned.
Looking back to where I began I couldn’t have imagined where I would land Only one activity? I’d keep playing my horn You have to play it to truly understand.
What Can You Learn From These Michigan Essays?
If you want to get into the University of Michigan in 2022, you'll need to write great supplemental essays.
Here are 26 Michigan essays that worked for the 2022 supplemental prompts so you can improve your essays.
If you enjoyed reading these Michigan essays, check out essays for other top public universities like UCLA and UC Berkeley
Are you applying to Michigan? What did you think of these U of M essays?
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Princeton Admitted Essay
People love to ask why. Why do you wear a turban? Why do you have long hair? Why are you playing a guitar with only 3 strings and watching TV at 3 A.M.—where did you get that cat? Why won’t you go back to your country, you terrorist? My answer is... uncomfortable. Many truths of the world are uncomfortable...
MIT Admitted Essay
Her baking is not confined to an amalgamation of sugar, butter, and flour. It's an outstretched hand, an open invitation, a makeshift bridge thrown across the divides of age and culture. Thanks to Buni, the reason I bake has evolved. What started as stress relief is now a lifeline to my heritage, a language that allows me to communicate with my family in ways my tongue cannot. By rolling dough for saratele and crushing walnuts for cornulete, my baking speaks more fluently to my Romanian heritage than my broken Romanian ever could....
UPenn Admitted Essay
A cow gave birth and I watched. Staring from the window of our stopped car, I experienced two beginnings that day: the small bovine life and my future. Both emerged when I was only 10 years old and cruising along the twisting roads of rural Maryland...
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University of Michigan Essay Examples (And Why They Worked)
The following University of Michigan essay examples were written by authors who were admitted to University of Michigan (UMich). All names have been redacted for anonymity. Please note that CollegeAdvisor.com has shared these essays with admissions officers at University of Michigan in order to deter potential plagiarism.
For more help with your University of Michigan essays, check out our 2020-2021 University of Michigan Essay Guide ! For more guidance on personal essays and the college application process in general, sign up for a monthly plan to work with an admissions coach 1-on-1.
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?
Given the excellent academic program, the University of Michigan provides a wonderful opportunity for me to learn and grow both as a student and person. During my recent tour of campus, I was excited about the idea that I had the potential to make a mark on this large university. Furthermore, I got the sense that there were many opportunities for me to create a community, excel in a variety of academic and leadership areas, and prepare myself for an exciting and fulfilling career.
I am most interested in the Program in Biology within the College of Literature, Science and the Arts. As an avid life science student with a keen interest in environmental science and biodiversity, I am most interested in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology major. In my AP biology course, for instance, the lab I found most interesting involved animal behavior with response to wet and dry environments. As a student within the Department of EEB, I would be able to learn more about biodiversity and the history of life on earth. The depth and breadth of the curriculum, including classes such as Animals Functioning in Environments and Animal Diversity, would be particularly interesting to me. Another exciting unique opportunity is the University of Michigan’s Biological Station in the Great Lakes region. As a member of a research team, I would be able to examine natural habitats and do lab experiments in the field. I am more than excited to be part of such a scientific community. I am also interested in exploring forest succession and ecosystem processes through the Forest Ecosystem Study. Furthermore, I would be interested in studying abroad during my time at Michigan. One program that interested me was the CGIS trip to the London School of Economics and Political Sciences where I could further my study of biology, but in a new setting. Michigan’s strength of curricular and hands-on opportunities would certainly offer me ways to continue and develop my interest in biology.
Outside of the classroom and field, I would like to share my enthusiasm about biology with like-minded students by joining the Biology Student Alliance and Society of Biology Students. And, while not directly related to biology and ecology, as a Michigan student, I look forward to joining the Michigan Academics Competition. As captain of my school’s Academic team, a Quiz Bowl style trivia competition, I enjoy researching and recalling science (and history) facts. As a biology student, I am confident that I would become one of the biology specialists on the Michigan Academics Competition and Quiz Bowl Team.
Michigan’s incredible opportunities within the Program of Biology would enable me to have access to a world class education. Furthermore, the unique field experience and research opportunities would enable me to make my mark on the University.
Why this University of Michigan essay worked, according to an ex-admissions officer
In this essay, the author begins by praising the University’s academics and then expresses how much of an opportunity it would be to get to matriculate at UMich. They uses energetic words and direct verbs. The sentences exude intention. In the first paragraph alone, this student tells us that they will hold dear an opportunity to attend UMich. They inform us that they will benefit as a person and a scholar and will also give back to the community while on campus.
The author then goes on to tell us what programs they would like to join at UMich. Yet while doing so, the author interjects their own interests, talents and experiences. By doing this, we can clearly see that the author has the curiosity and ability to effectively join these classes and programs. The author renders their own experiences in three dimensions, making it clear that they would be an excellent candidate.
The writer walks us through exactly what they plan to study and how they hope to integrate into the community. This inspires confidence in us as readers.
This student would be an avid contributor to UMich. Though the essay is direct, it has complexity and ends by reiterating that this student intends to make an impact.
I always had a keen interest in numbers, probability, and finance. Early on, I could run numbers quickly: calculating sales tax, analyzing probabilities, and visualizing complex mathematical models in my head. After taking two AP classes in economics and one in statistics, I became increasingly intrigued with the mathematical representations of the different product and labor markets of the economy and modeling statistical outcomes, sparking my desire to pursue a career in that field through preferred action admission to Ross. Thus, I have set my sights on becoming an actuary since risk management is highly intriguing and allows me to use my talents in mathematical and statistical analysis as well as in written and verbal communication. The curriculum at Ross, coupled with the liberal arts requirements, will provide me with the necessary background to pursue my career goals.
At Ross, I will have the privilege of pursuing a Bachelor in Business Administration, providing me with a well-rounded background in management and economic analysis. I am particularly looking forward to the TO 301: Business Analytics and Statistics course taught by Dr. Shimi Nassiri, as it develops the skills of proper statistical and economic analysis and subsequent decision making. As well, it provides in-class experience of analyzing and modelling real data sets. I am also invested in Dr. Nassiri research of more efficient and effective healthcare solutions. As a Hispanic teenager, I feel very strongly about Dr. Shima Nassiri research on health care as it greatly impacts both the Hispanic and other minority communities. I am also eager for the 360° Thinking portion of the Ross curriculum. Particularly, the junior year course MO 300: Behavioral Theory in Management greatly intrigues me. It entails an in depth analysis of societal trends and how to develop creative and efficient responses as a manager. This class would provide a strong foundation for me in the analysis of social sciences and how they intertwine with economics. Additionally, what draws me to Ross is the emphasis on teambuilding and leadership skills which play a crucial role in molding successful business leaders in today’s rapidly changing world economy. My experience as a faculty-selected “Peer Leader” at Manalapan High School has provided a gateway into the fundamentals of leadership, and I look forward to expanding my skills through the unique leadership portion of the Ross curriculum as well as various leadership programs, such as the Leadership Experience Program (LDRx). The opportunity to develop both the tangible and intangible skills, which separate the accomplished leaders from the rest of the pack, will help me to create meaningful relationships both in the business world and the greater world community.
While I expect to learn a great deal at Ross, I feel my upbringing will permit me to contribute to Ross. I grew up surrounded by Latin salsa, spices, sights, and sounds, but that was not all. Since my parents immigrated from Cuba, I grew up with stories of the political and economic struggles my family faced. It is through these stories that I have gained an understanding of the influence of leadership and the importance of economical and statistical analysis to grow an economy. I hope to share my cultural background and perspective as a Hispanic man at Ross.
This essay leaves me with absolutely no doubt that this student belongs on the Ross campus at UMich. He begins very directly by telling us about himself and his skill set. He gives us a brief evolution of his mathematical interests — how they started and where he will direct them.
He has researched Ross, knows one of their leading professors, knows her academic body of work, knows the specific classes, and has made himself a 4 year plan regarding what he will take and to which programs he will add. He very articulately describes this progression. The reader can clearly imagine him as an enthusiastic participant.
Intermittently, this student references how his education will be applied in healthcare and leadership capacities. He also shares his Cuban culture with us, reminding us that he is more than just academics. Finally, he finishes with a proud determination he will be a Hispanic Ross Man. How could we question that?
These University of Michigan essay examples were compiled by the advising team at CollegeAdvisor.com . If you want to get help writing your University of Michigan application essays from CollegeAdvisor.com Admissions Experts , register with CollegeAdvisor.com today.
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University of Michigan Supplemental Essays + Examples
One of the weird things about U Mich’s supplemental essays isn’t really the essays themselves. Rather, here at PenningPapers, we noticed no one gives comprehensive details on how to ACTUALLY write the essay questions. All writing advice, not just for U Mich essays, must tell you how to ACTUALLY approach the essays. Unfortunately, most advice is just too vague.
Take U Mich’s second supplemental essay prompt for instance.
Prompt: “Why do you want to attend the University of Michigan?”
Answer: “To answer this question, you must show why you want to attend U Mich. Just talk about why you want to go! Maybe you have a major that fits their needs. Cool!”
“To answer this question, you must show why you want to attend U Mich. Just talk about why you want to go! Maybe you have a major that fits their needs. Cool!”
U Mich boasts an acceptance rate of 23% and a median unweighted GPA of 3.9 . So, obviously, advice like this doesn’t really need to be said.
If you’re striving to attend a school like this, you probably know basic reading comprehension. So, real advice would be a deconstruction of the essay question and how to approach the University of Michigan supplemental essays in a smart way!
Also, if you’re reading this article to figure out how to write the U Mich essays, you probably are wondering how to write the essays for other schools too.
Some of this advice is applicable to other highly competitive schools too such as Dartmouth, Cornell, Duke, etc. As a side note, you should be looking for articles that deconstruct the questions like I am doing below, and not just giving lazy advice!
Table of Contents
U Mich Community Essay Question
U mich “why us” essay question, optional u mich covid question, u mich school of education essay question.
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) U Mich Undergrad Website
Alright, a few rules here.
You can write about belonging to practically any community unless it demonstrates major red flags. Here’s an example: people who fall under the ENTJ personality trait of the MBTI personality test are part of the “commander personality” community. This is healthy, and they’re good answers. People who harbor resentment for the opposite sex such as the Red Pill, the Pink Pill, and the Incel community have a history of red flags. These are not healthy, and they’re bad answers.
Maybe you as an individual are a good person. It doesn’t matter. From a college admissions strategy perspective, you don’t want to risk compromising your admissions chances because of a community’s bad reputation.
Here are a couple of other good examples of healthy communities to write about in your University of Michigan essay:
- Your personal Dungeons and Dragons community
- The anime community (This can be tricky, but it’s also very interesting. I helped a lot of Asian American students in the SoCal area with these essays. (I also have a guide on this that you should probably check out here. )
- The Kpop community
- Ethnic community
- Religious community
- Atheist community
- Video game community
- Political ideology
- The fanbase for certain people
- Entrepreneurship community
- You and your circle of friends
Okay, once you’ve chosen a community you belong to, you want to achieve these two things.
- Open up to the admissions officers so they can understand you more.
- Demonstrate a character trait that they can see as valuable.
When you’re writing about your community, you’re showing something personal to the admissions officers. This is something that can be quite hard. Obviously, you don’t have to write everything embarrassing about yourself in the University of Michigan essays to get accepted. That’s not what they’re asking. They just want a deeper look into your life as a whole to better understand you.
You can’t do that by just telling them about the surface level of what your community is like. You do this by getting into detail about the intricacies of your experience in your community.
Here are a few examples. Can you differentiate which one gives the admissions officers a better look at the applicant’s community?
“My community is my Future Business Leaders of America club. In the club, my role is the president. I enjoy leading my team and showing everyone the power of entrepenuership, business, and leadership. We host workshops every other day, and we also host weekly lectures talking about the different monetization methods for people who want to start their own business. Our club has 50 students in it. It is very inspiring to see all of them work so hard to aim for their dreams and aspirations. I hope to do the same at the University of Michigan.” U Mich Essay Example Except 1
“It’s Monday morning. Among other things that commonly accompany Monday mornings, other than cold weather and fantasties of the weekend ahead, is my eccentric Vice President: Joe O’Conner. We were walking to the FBLA club meeting early to get the powerpoint set up and print out worksheets. Despite being the President, my thin frame and I barely kept up with the winter wrath. My Vice President on the other hand had the stoic Irish blood keeping him from shivering in the cold. ‘You and me, Dylan! We’re the most iconic duo! We both love the hustle, we live and breathe the grind. The grind never ends! It’s all about that mindset! The grind! The grindset! The…’ Joe was always like that, and I loved him like a brother for it. He was one of those guys who always seemed to be enthusiastic to work on anything. To drive the FBLA stereotype furhter, he had one of those toothy ‘my dad works at JP Morgan’ smiles. In some ways, we’re very different. Joe is much more talkative and extroverted than I. I am much more straightforward and aggressive in startup growth strategies than he is. Nonetheless, we both share a passion for the business and startup ‘hustle’. ‘Dylan, cold as ice. Joe, warm as the sun. They make a great gay couple.’ It’s what our entire team says, and they have for so long that it’s practically stuck with us as an inside joke. That was the thing about FBLA. What people see is the nonstop hustle and grit and sweat and tears. However, what a lot of people don’t see about my club, about my people, is just the amount of love and emotion that goes into FBLA. In our team, I’ve seen…” U Mich Essay Example Except 2
So, which one is the stronger U Mich essay example excerpt?
The second one! Great!
Do you notice how the writing here in the second example shows what the applicant’s experience and personal life in FBLA was like? It doesn’t just scratch the surface, it gets more personal. This doesn’t go for just this essay, but for all of the University of Michigan supplemental essays: admissions officers must see more of your personality. Imagine writing this in a narrative format instead of as a resume! It should be interesting and unique, not just multiple things to check off on a list.
Consider trying to write your essay in a narrative format. This will help you with writing more compelling content that can get deeper than the surface level.
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) U Mich Undergrad Website
Like all “Why Us” essay questions, the U Mich Why Us essay question requires that you demonstrate why you are a good fit for the school.
Think of the University of Michigan supplemental essays as a sorting tool. This question sorts through different students based on their responses. Admissions officers can see what value and worth they can provide to the school depending on what you say, so imagine yourself as an asset.
Some students are applying to the University of Michigan “just for the sake of it”; other people, on the other hand, may want to apply to the school because they actually very much need to attend for the sake of their particular career. In other words, why do you need to attend the University of Michigan more than any other school?
Is your major going to be incomplete without the help of the opportunities that U Mich provides? Does your current state lack the schools and community to support the particular kinds of projects that you want to undertake? Perhaps you would like to tap into the artificial intelligence market and you thought that visiting Silicon Valley would be a great option for that, only to realize that you couldn’t stand the bureaucratic startup nonsense.
One of the things you should avoid is talking about things from the School or College that can be provided at practically any school. If you’re applying for the University of Michigan CSE (Computer Science and Engineering) because you want to take computer science courses that fit your career path, that isn’t going to be strong enough. Remember: most schools have more than enough resources to provide you with the education you need to land a good career.
If you talk about the details of the classes provided in the program as well as the available clubs in the school, then that will be sufficient in answering this question.
Here are some examples
“I want to apply to the University of Michigan CSE because I know that the program has classes that will fit my career in computer science. I have a passion for computer science, and I want to explore more of that passion in the classes available in the program. These will fit my needs, and I will be able to pursue a career in computer science that will be fulfilling.” U Mich Why Us Example Essay Exceprt
“I have a plan to develop ‘x’ in the future as a possible startup. I would be in need of a strong team with the same tempermental proclivities and passion for entrepenuership as I have. However, I will also need to prepare myself with the proper computer science and software development knowledge to create a valuable product for the startup such that it can scale early on to begin with. This plan has bewitched me for the past two years, and I’ve blueprinted its formula in my head and in recent months in an organized planner. The University of Michigan CSE is the perfect program to give me the knowledge I need for the next four years to bootstrap my startup. I know that I cannot work under the pressure of venture capital investments backing up my work, but I can work at my own pace through my own grit and determination without the pressure of others. Thus, I will need everyhing in my arsenal of tools to prepare me for the right jumpstart. The University of Michigan’s classes in ‘x’ and particular the professors and their research in ‘y’ will help me enormously in my goal for achieving my dreams and aspirations.” U Mich Why Us Example Essay 2 Exceprt
Take note of how the first U Mich “Why Us” example excerpt is too vague in its description. It doesn’t really help us paint a good idea of why the person needs to attend the school for certain. We only know, like all other students, that the applicant in this essay wants to get into U Mich because there are good career prospects to be had for his intended major. However, it doesn’t really give a good idea of how the student stands out from the rest as someone who truly needs or deserves it compared to the other applicants. The second essay, on the other hand, does this.
Here’s another thing you want to consider about the U Mich “Why Us” essays. If you’re not specific enough about your plans, it is hard for the admissions officers to take your word for it. Think about this from the admissions officer’s shoes! If you hear someone say that they want to get in because they have hyper-specific details about how they’ll use the resources in the school to achieve their goal, you’ll think that they’re well-prepared and also deserving of attending the school.
Throughout this guide, you’re going to see this pattern repeat itself. All University of Michigan supplemental essays require you to be specific.
Community disruptions such as COVID-19 and natural disasters can have deep and long-lasting impacts. If you need it, this space is yours to describe those impacts. Colleges care about the effects on your health and well-being, safety, family circumstances, future plans, and education, including access to reliable technology and quiet study spaces. The question will be optional and will appear in the Additional Information section of the application. Your response will be limited to 250 words. U Mich Undergrad Website
Compared to the rest of the University of Michigan supplemental essays, we see this one disregarded for some reason. Don’t ignore this one, or at least don’t assume it’s not as important just because everyone else went through their own trouble. In fact, don’t try to be too humble and ignore your struggles for this essay.
The admissions officers won’t think you’re being whiny, trust us! They’ll understand your scenario since COVID has been hard on everyone. (unless, of course, it’s small issues like having to wear a mask every day)
Practically everyone has had issues with COVID-19. Even if you were not affected as much, it’s something that has affected many others. Thus, if you want to approach this essay in a smart manner, you need to be both articulate and specific.
Remember, everyone has their own problems as well. Thus, you can’t just assume that your problems will give you special treatment.
You need to phrase the essay in a manner such that the admissions officers can see how you were disadvantaged, but they also need to believe you. The last thing they want is someone using this opportunity to get away with bad grades or get away with being lazy in their previous quarter.
Let’s take a few examples of good and bad ways to write the U Mich COVID-19 essay question.
“ During COVID-19, I was not able to focus on my studies because of the online learning format. I was not familiar with the software platform, and it was hard to learn how everything worked. Thus, I was unable to achieve the grades and marks that I wished to achieve. When I was coping with the online learning process, I also found it difficult to focus in class. It was easy to get distracted, and staying focused on the material being taught was a challenge.” U Mich COVID Example Essay 1 Exceprt
“ When the COVID-19 pademic hit, it was practically impossible to adapt to the online learning format. Not only was it difficult to learn how the new software and classroom structure would be formatted, but we were essentially set up for a difficult and quite possibly inescapably hard year. The teacher had to learn on their own how to make the classes work, and due to this technical difficulty we could not even process or grade assignements properly. For instance, I had submitted a set of 5 different assignments, but all of them were deemed late not because they were submitted late, but because of the error in the system. The teacher had told me that it was not my fault, but there was not much that could be done to right this wrong. “ U Mich COVID Example Essay 2 Exceprt
One of the important factors of the second except is that it gets into detail about how inescapable the difficulty was. Note that everyone’s struggles during the pandemic are valid. We understand that!
However, there are some disadvantages that are more severe than others. More often than not, we see people writing about their disadvantages in a way that actually does not reveal the whole picture. They only show how it is “sort of” bad, but they don’t show how “truly bad” it can be.
The chance you may be underestimating how much more difficult the pandemic made your academic journey is quite high! Besides, no one wants to look like they’re whining! Nonetheless, if you were disadvantaged due to the pandemic, it is your responsibility to show that in the most accurate way to the admissions officers.
Discuss where you would like to teach and/or the types of students you would like to teach and how you developed this commitment. U Mich Undergrad Website
Of all the University of Michigan supplemental essays, I believe that this one is the most interesting.
If you’re applying for U Mich’s School of Education, you already know the gravity of your field. Your career path is important enough that it will affect the lives of many students around the world. Thus, it makes sense to answer this question not only with passion but also with a well-thought-out plan. You want to approach this essay with the impression that you are someone who takes this career seriously, and you can’t do that without having a well-fleshed-out plan for your future.
Now, here’s the hard part: isn’t every teacher going to be doing the same thing?
Think about it. If you write your University of Michigan supplemental essays well and better than the rest, what happens? You get accepted to the School of Education, get a career as a teacher, work until you receive your tenure, and live comfortably.
If that’s the case for practically everyone, how on Earth are we going to stand out from the rest of the crowd?
Well, we believe it’s in the unique quality of where you plan to teach, who you want to teach, and your journey there. It’s special for everyone, but zero in on the details about what your journey was like getting there. Everyone has a similar path, but everyone also has a unique experience that motivated them to be a teacher.
Here is an example of a good and bad U Mich essay for the School of Education.
“I would like to teach high school students in the Southern Claifornia region, particulary the areas of SoCal that are struggling financially. I witness every day students and parents struggling with the education system. The students are unmotivated and the parents have given up hope. I would like to teach in this area because I once saw the corruption that occured in these areas. The pipeline was clear that students were simply being funneled in and out of an education system that didn’t care about their learning and career. When I made this realization, I wanted to help students and give them my empathy.” U Mich School of Education Example Essay 2 Exceprt
“At 7:30 PM, I start my camera and begin the livestream. I started Coffee Break, a livestream account of me studying along with strangers on the internet, when I started to get bored of video games. After having fallen out of love with the instant gratifcation of games, I started to drift in my interests, and eventually created Coffee Break as a place for other fellow gamers to semi-study and procrastinate together. Funnily enough, this acceptance of procrastinating actually led to people privately messaging me and telling me how much more work they’ve done. Everyone from premed students to high schoolers dreading their pre calculus tests joined the call and took turns playing comfy music while I livestreamed myself working on startup projects and drinking coffee. Funnily enough, after a few months of polling, I found that most of my students actually were from the Bay Area. They were mostly Asian American gamers. We sometimes shared stories of the insane and irrational tutoring businesses that our parents put us through, espeically the toxic capitalist undertones that fueled them. As an aspiring teacher, I want to make a change in this community. Coffee break has motivated me to take a more light approach to education. I would like to teach high school students in the Bay Area, and bring the energy I’ve developed at Coffee Break to ease the educational tension that so haunts the students there.” U Mich School of Education Example Essay 2 Exceprt
In the first essay, we can see the paragraph that answers the question. However, it doesn’t really give us a good idea of what their future plans really are. There is no distinction between the first essay excerpt and that of someone who is trying to find straws to grab at. When writing any of the University of Michigan supplemental essays, you want to show attention to detail. This will make your essay more believable
Take a look at the second one. The second U Mich example excerpt dives into detail about how the applicant decided to pursue their career in education through Coffee Break. They know that they want to work with Bay Area high school students because their experience live-streaming has given them the right exposure to that population and their needs. Think of how your journey to helping students through teaching has manifested itself.
If you’re still struggling to write the University of Michigan supplemental essays and answer the prompts correctly, consider speaking with us for a free consultation . We will get back to you within 24 hours for a free essay review and advice.
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Hot Take: Why the Supplemental Essays of the College Process Have Got To Go
November 16, 2023 , by zara skolnik, opinion editor.
c/o Zara Skolnik
Since starting the Opinion column “Argus Apps,” which is a column that publishes Wesleyan students’ Common App essays and reflections as a way to humanize the college admission process, I’ve given a lot of thought to the factors and implications involved in the college admission process. One of the major aspects to this process is the use of supplemental essays that tend to have prompts like “Why do you want to go here?” “What parts of our curriculum intrigue you the most?” or “What makes you a good fit for our school?” While I do see the inherent value in asking these questions, since they prompt critical introspection, overall, I think they hinder what should be the purpose of the college admission process: authenticity.
First off, my primary issue with the supplemental essays is that they often are written in a way to please the admission officer on the other side, and they aren’t necessarily “from the heart.” For example, the question of “Why us?” is particularly subject to this notion of pleasing. With this type of question, applicants are most likely to answer in a way that flatters the school, and they less often direct the question toward themself or write a personal response. Furthermore, this question can be answered through a 10-minute perusal of the institution’s website by picking out its most salient features and writing about them.
On the note of inauthenticity, I feel that this question, and questions similar, can be better answered in the form of an interview. In order to evaluate if someone is a good match for their institution, I firmly believe that how someone presents themself in writing may not be the best way to really understand who that person is. Through interviewing students about why they want to go to that school, emotion, personality, and values really shine through. Interviews also provide a different modality for applicants to excel in aside from their writing ability. It tests how well someone can articulate their thoughts while also providing insight into who they are as a person. Though interviews may not be for everyone, for some they are a vital way to demonstrate their fitness for a certain college or university.
Personally, I think the admissions process puts so much weight on one’s writing ability when there are other skills that need to be assessed in order to understand why the applicant wants to go to that particular school. We already have the Common App essay as part of the process, so I don’t necessarily see the need to have another writing task as part of the application. A singular essay, in addition to other mediums through which applicants can answer questions like interviews, artistic portfolios, or other creative ways of submitting work, may be better for us all.
All in all, I really admire the fact that Wesleyan doesn’t require any supplemental essays in its application. And no, this isn’t because it means less work; rather, it means putting a greater emphasis on the authentic personality and different modalities of expression of an applicant. High schoolers are complex and multifaceted. Therefore, the college admission process should reflect the three-dimensionality of these applicants, and the way to accomplish this is through providing other outlets of evaluation and expression.
Zara Skolnik can be reached at [email protected] .
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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The Ultimate Guide to Acing the University of Michigan Supplemental Essays 2022/23
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 .
What are the University of Michigan Essay Prompts for 22/23?
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
How to Answer Prompt 1
Before beginning this essay, ask yourself the following questions:
- What can I contribute to a new community?
- What do I bring to the table?
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!
Tip 1: Write down a list of communities that come straight to mind
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!
Tip 2: Write about an informal community
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.
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How to Answer Prompt 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 (550 words).
While this essay prompt is a favorite of many schools, there are two major pitfalls for this kind of essay.
Don’t reuse an old 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.
Summarise don’t copy information from Michigan’s website
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.
Be as detailed as possible
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!
How to Stand Out in Your University of Michigan Supplemental Essays?
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.
How Crimson Can Help You With Your University of Michigan Supplemental Essay
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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Key Resources & Further Reading
- Acing your College Application Essay: 5 Expert Tips to Make it Stand Out from the Rest
- MIT Supplemental Essay
- Harvard Supplemental Essay
- Columbia Supplemental Essay
- Princeton Supplemental Essay
- Cornell Supplemental Essay
- Brown Supplemental Essay
- Upenn Supplemental Essay
- Dartmouth Supplemental Essay
- Johns Hopkins Supplemental Essay
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- How to Tackle Every Type of Supplemental Essay
- 2021-22 Essay Prompts Common App Essay Prompts
- What are the Most Unusual US College Supplemental Essay Prompts?
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