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How to write 2021-2022 Stanford supplemental essays

by Story2 Staff, on Jul 24, 2021 1:23:05 PM

Before you begin, take some time to think about why you actually want to go to Stanford. Yes, it’s a fantastic, gorgeous campus near San Francisco and Silicon Valley, but there are plenty of great schools in places with great weather. In your eyes, what’s unique and special about Stanford? And from the admission committee’s perspective, what’s unique and special about you? When writing your supplemental responses, your job is to uncover this uniqueness.

Jump ahead to:

Read on for our tips on answering the supplemental prompts for the Stanford 2021-2022 application! 

Ready to complete your personal statement next? For tips on crafting a great personal statement and examples of what that looks like, check out our guide to personal statements! 

Stanford question #1: The Stanford community is deeply curious and driven to learn in and out of the classroom. Reflect on an idea or experience that makes you genuinely excited about learning. (100 - 250 words)

Use this prompt to show what you genuinely get excited about! Write down ideas or experiences that have made you want to learn more. Is there a certain class you took, book you read, author you met, or any other thing that has made this impact? Once you have your idea, focus on a moment that shows a turning point in your love for learning. Remember that many other students might have a background similar to yours, with the same set of experiences. However, the moments that make up those experiences are always unique to you! One more tip: try to make the essay specific to Stanford; what classes do you hope to take? How will you continue your learning at Stanford? The goal is for admissions officers to be able to see you as the student you are now and the student you can be at Stanford. 

Stanford question #2: Choose between the two prompts and answer in 100 - 250 words:

1. Virtually all of Stanford's undergraduates live on campus. Write a note to your future roommate that reveals something about you or that will help your roommate—and us—get to know you better.

Start by making a list of all the things you might want a future roommate to know about you. Then, home in on the things that show readers who you are without you having to tell them. Think beyond “I’m tidy” or “I stay up late.” These qualities may be true and important to you, but readers can’t glean much about your character from them! Instead, think about why you’re tidy or why you stay up late. What’s your truth behind these qualities? How can you share that truth with more of the details and perspective that make you unique? Another thing to think about is what you would bring to a dorm room with a roommate. For me, I bring a lot of oreos, shoes, and stories. I’m also always ready to show my roommate a new song or to listen with open ears. Be honest! Stanford wants to know the real you. 

2. Stanford’s community is an essential part of the undergraduate experience. We come from all walks of life, share our own traditions, take care of one another, and think of ourselves as family. How do you define family and what contributions have you made to yours?

Knowing where you came from helps Stanford admissions readers know where you’re going and what you’ll do in the future. Start by thinking about your family: what roles do you have? What contributions have you made, big and small? Think of honest, real ideas that reveal your character and your unique meaning of family. 

Stanford question #3: Tell us about something that is meaningful to you, and why? (100 - 250 words)

This may be the toughest prompt, because it’s so open-ended. But that’s what makes it such a great opportunity! What do you really care about? Why? And what should readers learn about you as a result? It's a good idea to show yourself doing something, not just thinking about what matters.

Go back to main Supplemental Essays post.

Ready to perfect your personal statement next? For tips on crafting a great personal statement and examples of what that looks like, check out our guide to personal statements!

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Topics:college admissions