Strategizing the Wash U in St. Louis Supplemental Essay 2020-2021

Padya Paramita

Strategizing the Wash U in St. Louis Supplemental Essay 2020-2021

Washington University in St. Louis is a perfect option if you’re looking for a school in the Midwest that has consistently been ranked among the Top 20. This university can provide you with a collaborative environment and the chance to explore your goals through one of their four undergraduate schools: the College of Arts and Sciences, the McKelvey School of Engineering, the Olin Business School, and the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts. Whether your choice of major is something standard or one of their unique choices like Bioinformatics, Fashion Design, or The Business of Sports, it’s time to elaborate on how you’ve explored your passion through your response to the Wash U in St. Louis supplemental essay 2020-2021.

Wash U offers only one supplemental prompt for its applicants - hoping to gauge how you explore your academic interests beyond the required textbooks and course curriculum. You need to show admissions officers the unique perspective you would bring to Wash U, and how you would contribute to the classroom. To help brainstorm your answer, I’ve outlined the prompt, the dos and don’ts of your response, and some additional tips that guide you through writing the Wash U in St. Louis supplemental essay 2020-2021.

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Prompt for the Wash U in St. Louis Supplemental Essay 2020-2021

In about 250 words, tell us about something that really sparks your intellectual interest and curiosity, and compels you to explore more in the program/area of study that you indicated. It could be an idea, book, project, cultural activity, work of art, start-up, music, movie, research, innovation, question, or other pursuit.

The first and only prompt for the Wash U in St. Louis supplemental essay 2020-2021 helps their admissions officers determine the depth of your academic pursuits beyond what you’ve already put down in the Common App. A couple of things to remember when it comes to choosing your initial academic area are that since Wash U has specialized colleges for different fields, your choice of major can get more specific than just “art” or “biology.” If you take a look at the majors and programs page, you might notice that within Biology, Wash U offers majors in “Microbiology,” “Neuroscience,” “Genomics/Computation,” and “Ecology/Evolution.” The more narrowed your choice, the better you can explain to the reader how the topic of your essay relates to your specific aspiration within a field.

For selecting the topic itself, remember that your goal in writing the Wash U in St. Louis supplemental essay 2020-2021 is to stand out from your peers. Wash U has left it pretty open for you - you could write about an article, or you could discuss a whole book series! If you wish to major in Film and Media Studies, and your interest in the field was sparked by a very well-known movie that other peers might write about, don’t choose it. At the same time, avoid any topic you guess your reader might be looking for if you’ve never engaged with it. If you’ve got an unusual view on why you think an indie film changed your perspective on the world of cinema, that should be the angle you’re taking. In fact, even a future film major doesn’t have to write about a movie at all. If you were more inspired by a lecture you attended or an internship you participated in, that’s what could make your response more memorable and authentic than other film applicants who write about movies. 

Since a 250 word limit is quite restricted, you don’t have a lot of space to go into the nitty-gritty details of your selection itself. The Wash U in St. Louis supplemental essay 2020-2021 is meant to complement your college application. So the main focus should be on you. How did you first come across the book (or music or business or question)? How does it inspire your academic interests? Do you have a particular way of viewing the material that admissions officers might not be able to anticipate? How would your view on the subject be different had you never encountered it personally? Talk about ways in which your specific curiosity about topics in your prospective major aligns with the book (or movie or idea or project or work of art). 

If you have space you could tie in your answer to Wash U. Even though it would be nice to tie it to the school, make sure your answer doesn’t turn into a why Wash U essay.

In this podcast episode, writing expert Nikki Champlin from Yale and the Iowa Writers' Workshop gives her tips for strategizing your supplemental essays:

Additional Tips for Writing the Wash U in St. Louis Supplemental Essay 2020-2021

  • If you’ve Answered Common App Personal Statement Prompt 6, be Careful! - Washington University in St. Louis uses the Common Application. Since admissions officers will see your personal statement alongside your Wash U in St. Louis Supplemental Essay 2020-2021, make sure your topic doesn’t overlap with what you’ve written. You should especially be cautious if you’ve addressed personal statement prompt number 6 - “Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?” If you’ve answered this prompt, and connected it to your academic interest, you need to find a second piece of media, event, or experience which still continues to spark your curiosity, but doesn’t overlap with your first essay. Remember that admissions officers don’t have a lot of time and won’t appreciate repetition from the same story.
  • Do your research! - It’s a given that before you sit down to write any supplemental essay you conduct thorough research on the college. Even though there’s no explicit “Why Wash U” question, to successfully write the Wash U in St. Louis supplemental essay 2020-2021, you need to know about the academic departments and courses in order to figure out how your topic relates to the major. For further reading, you can also check out this blog by Alyssa Reiman, a Graduate Coach at InGenius Prep discussing what she loved about the school, its community, and campus! Reading through student reflections is a helpful way to inspire your own writing and think deeper about what you’re looking for from your college and academic journey.

Wash U might be on your radar if you’re looking for specialized academic programs in your field of choice. Taking advantage of the Wash U in St. Louis supplemental essay 2020-2021 is certainly a good way to solidify how your interest in the discipline has developed, and help make a strong and lasting impression on the admissions officers.

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