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Everything you need to know about the 2021-22 University of Michigan Supplemental Essay

by Will Geiger, on Jul 24, 2021 5:35:32 PM

The University of Michigan, located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is the flagship public university in the state of Michigan and has over 46,000 students. Though you might be most familiar with the University of Michigan’s Wolverine football and basketball teams, the university is one of the finest public institutions in the world! It’s also a very popular destination for out-of-state students.

As a highly selective university, the University of Michigan has high standards in their admission process—and that includes the admission essays. University of Michigan accepts both the Common App and the Coalition Application. In addition to the personal statement, Michigan requires three additional supplemental essays. For the 2021-2022 admissions cycle the University of Michigan supplemental essay prompts are:

University of Michigan Activities Supplement

University of Michigan Community Supplement

University of Michigan Academic Interest Supplement

Keep on reading to learn more about the essential strategies for writing successful supplemental essays for the University of Michigan.

University of Michigan Essay #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?If you could only do one of the activities you have listed in the Activities section of your application, which one would you keep doing? Why? (up to 100 words)

With just 100 words, you want to draw your reader in, show yourself in action, and reveal how the activity has made an impact -- on you or others. Your brief story should focus on a moment—a specific, contained instance in time—when you made a decision or something changed for you. It’s easy to slip into generic language when you’re writing an essay, but focusing on a unique moment from your own life will ensure your writing is authentic. Your brief story will be just a few sentences, showing the reader a specific moment with specific details, description, and even dialogue. Next, you should reveal how the activity helped you make an impact and why you want to keep doing it in college. Remember, this is only 100 words, so every single word needs to count!

Next Steps for University of Michigan Supplemental Essay #1:

  1. Think of reasons why you want to go to the University of Michigan. Identifying an activity that reveals one of those reasons. 
  2. Focus on one specific moment from that activity.
  3. Use Story2 to build these moments into powerful stories

Looking for on-demand help with your college admissions essays? Create a free Story2 College account!

University of Michigan Essay #2

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. (up to 300 words)

At its heart, this prompt is asking you to share your personal story and where you came from. Spend some time reflecting upon the various communities that have been part of your life: they could include your place of worship, your neighborhood, a specific club, or your cultural heritage. Think broadly and list all of the communities that you are a part of--and then pick one or two to focus on in this essay. Select moments that show your role within that community. When choosing a moment, you should focus on one that illustrates your character, personal commitment, or contributions to the community.

Next Steps for University of Michigan Supplemental Essay #2:

  1. Brainstorm the communities that you are part of.
  2. Pick one or two communities, and connect specific moments that highlight your role within the communities.
  3. Use Story2 to build these moments into powerful stories

University of Michigan Essay #3

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? (up to 300 words)

This final essay prompt is all about your academic interests and how they align with the opportunities available at the University of Michigan. First, you’ll need to decide which specific college or school at the University of Michigan you will be applying to. Next, identify a story from your life that is connected to your intended academic pathway. Draw the reader into your academic interests right from the start of your essay. Finally, to bring it all together, discuss specific University of Michigan programs you'll study or participate in. This could include particular classes, professors, research opportunities, or a specific interdisciplinary program or educational approach.

Next Steps for University of Michigan Supplemental Essay #3:

  1. Pick your intended college or school at the University of Michigan
  2. Identify potential moments—specific, contained instances within a broader academic experience—that are connected to your academic interest
  3. Use Story2 to build these moments into powerful stories
  4. Include specific opportunities that you hope to take advantage of at the University of Michigan

Learn from four successful admissions essays and expert advice on why they worked!

Back to main Supplemental Essays post.

For more info about college admission and scholarship essays and interviews, sign up for self-paced courses and our award-winning StoryBuilder writing platform FREE at story2.com/college. Want to stay up to date on the latest tips and resources? Follow us @story2 on Instagram!

Will Geiger is co-founder of Scholarships360.org. A graduate of Wake Forest and Penn, Will was previously Senior Assistant Director of Admissions at Kenyon College where he personally reviewed over 10,000 admissions applications and essays and oversaw the merit aid program; Associate Director of College Counseling at a high school in New Haven, Connecticut; and Marketing Manager at Story2.

Topics:college admission

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