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Master the Five-Paragraph Essay
The five-paragraph essay is one of the most common composition assignments out there, whether for high school or college students. It is a classic assignment because it presents an arena in which writers can demonstrate their command of language and punctuation, as well as their logic and rhetorical skills. These skills are useful not only for classroom assignments and college application essays, but even in the business world, as employees have to write memorandums and reports, which draw on the same skills.
Mastering the five-paragraph essay is doable, and here are some tips.
Components of a Good Essay
The five-paragraph essay lives up to its name, because is has five paragraphs, as follows: an introductory paragraph that includes a thesis, three body paragraphs, each which includes support and development, and one concluding paragraph.
Its structure sometimes generates other names for the same essay, including three-tier essay, one-three-one, or a hamburger essay. Whether you are writing a cause-and-effect essay, a persuasive essay, an argumentative essay or a compare-and-contrast essay, you should use this same structure and the following specifics.
Keys to Introductory Paragraphs
Any introductory paragraph contains from three to five sentences and sets up the tone and structure for the whole essay. The first sentence should be a so-called hook sentence and grabs the reader. Examples of hook sentences include a quote, a joke, a rhetorical question or a shocking fact. This is the sentence that will keep your readers reading. Draw them in.
What Makes a Thesis Statement
The last sentence should be your thesis statement, which is the argument you are going to make in the essay. It is the sentence that contains the main point of the essay, or what you are trying to prove. It should be your strongest claim in the whole essay, telling the reader what the paper is about. You should be able to look back at it to keep your argument focused. The other sentences in this paragraph should be general information that links the first sentence and the thesis.
Content of Supporting Paragraphs
Each of the next three paragraphs follows the same general structure of the introductory paragraph. That is, they have one introduction sentence, evidence and arguments in three to five sentences, and a conclusion. Each one of them should define and defend your thesis sentence in the introduction.
The first body paragraph should be dedicated to proving your most powerful point. The second body paragraph can contain your weakest point, because the third body paragraph can, and should, support another strong argument.
Concluding Paragraph Tips
Your concluding paragraph is important, and can be difficult. Ideally, you can begin by restating your thesis. Then you can recall or restate all three to five of your supporting arguments. You should summarize each main point. If you have made similar arguments multiple times, join those together in one sentence.
Essentially, in the concluding or fifth paragraph, you should restate what your preceding paragraphs were about and draw a conclusion. It should answer the question: So what? Even if the answer seems obvious to you, write it down so that your reader can continue to easily follow your thinking process, and hopefully, agree with you.
A Note on Compare and Contrast
Let’s look a little more closely at the compare-and-contrast essay, which is a very common assignment. It can be a confusing one due to the terms used. Comparing two items is to show how they are alike. Contrasting two items is to show how they are different. One way to approach this essay is to make a grid for yourself that compares or contrasts two items before you start writing. Then, write about those characteristics. Do not try to write about both. The name of the essay is actually misleading.
Keep these pointers in mind when you need to write a five-paragraph essay, and your end result will be clear in its argument, leading your reader to the right conclusion. Often, that conclusion is to agree with you, and who doesn’t like to be right?
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10 Great Essay Writing Tips
Knowing how to write a college essay is a useful skill for anyone who plans to go to college. Most colleges and universities ask you to submit a writing sample with your application. As a student, you’ll also write essays in your courses. Impress your professors with your knowledge and skill by using these great essay writing tips.
Prepare to Answer the Question
Most college essays ask you to answer a question or synthesize information you learned in class. Review notes you have from lectures, read the recommended texts and make sure you understand the topic. You should refer to these sources in your essay.
Plan Your Essay
Many students see planning as a waste of time, but it actually saves you time. Take a few minutes to think about the topic and what you want to say about it. You can write an outline, draw a chart or use a graphic organizer to arrange your ideas. This gives you a chance to spot problems in your ideas before you spend time writing out the paragraphs.
Choose a Writing Method That Feels Comfortable
You might have to type your essay before turning it in, but that doesn’t mean you have to write it that way. Some people find it easy to write out their ideas by hand. Others prefer typing in a word processor where they can erase and rewrite as needed. Find the one that works best for you and stick with it.
View It as a Conversation
Writing is a form of communication, so think of your essay as a conversation between you and the reader. Think about your response to the source material and the topic. Decide what you want to tell the reader about the topic. Then, stay focused on your response as you write.
Provide the Context in the Introduction
If you look at an example of an essay introduction, you’ll see that the best essays give the reader a context. Think of how you introduce two people to each other. You share the details you think they will find most interesting. Do this in your essay by stating what it’s about and then telling readers what the issue is.
Explain What Needs to be Explained
Sometimes you have to explain concepts or define words to help the reader understand your viewpoint. You also have to explain the reasoning behind your ideas. For example, it’s not enough to write that your greatest achievement is running an ultra marathon. You might need to define ultra marathon and explain why finishing the race is such an accomplishment.
Answer All the Questions
After you finish writing the first draft of your essay, make sure you’ve answered all the questions you were supposed to answer. For example, essays in compare and contrast format should show the similarities and differences between ideas, objects or events. If you’re writing about a significant achievement, describe what you did and how it affected you.
Stay Focused as You Write
Writing requires concentration. Find a place where you have few distractions and give yourself time to write without interruptions. Don’t wait until the night before the essay is due to start working on it.
Read the Essay Aloud to Proofread
When you finish writing your essay, read it aloud. You can do this by yourself or ask someone to listen to you read it. You’ll notice places where the ideas don’t make sense, and your listener can give you feedback about your ideas.
Avoid Filling the Page with Words
A great essay does more than follow an essay layout. It has something to say. Sometimes students panic and write everything they know about a topic or summarize everything in the source material. Your job as a writer is to show why this information is important.
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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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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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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!
Related CollegeVine Blog Posts
The Admissions Strategist
How to write the university of michigan essays 2020-2021: the incomparable guide (examples included).
Located in Ann Arbor, the University of Michigan is a college with a long-standing history of rigorous academic programs and successful alumni.
There are over 40,000 students that attend UM, pursuing degrees in one of 250 programs.
- The University of Michigan has an acceptance rate of 28%.
If academic prestige is at the top of your criteria for a school, look no further.
According to the “Rankings, Facts & Figures” page of the UM website , the college has some astounding achievements under its belt:
- #1 Public University For Your Money
- 97%+ students return after freshman year
- Top 25 University Worldwide
If you’re not convinced yet, check out the Ann Arbor arts scene and sprawling University of Michigan campus.
Take a tour to see what life would be like at Michigan. You might be ready to pack your bags, but you’ll have to apply to get it in first!
The University of Michigan Supplemental Essay Requirements
The University of Michigan does not host its own application but gives prospective students the option to apply via the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success Application or Common App .
- Both of these application options require standard essays in addition to Michigan-specific essays.
You can check out our thorough guides to the standard Coalition essays here and those for the Common App essays here .
For the Michigan supplemental, you will be required to answer two relatively lengthier questions that are labeled as “Essay #1” and “Essay #2.”
They should have more structure than a short answer question. You’ll also notice that the word count limit is significantly larger than other supplemental essays.
Essay #1 (Required for all applicants. 100-300 words.) 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. Essay #2 (Required for all applicants. 100-550 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?
Click above to watch a video on how to write Michigan Supplemental Essays.
Brainstorming the University of Michigan Supplemental Essays
You’ve finished listing your activities in the application? Great. Now it’s time to play pretend. We need to exercise your brainstorming muscles.
Think about all of the activities in which you participate and then to choose the only one you could not give up.
- For example, if you are a musician, then pick one instrument and one associated activity you can describe.
Furthermore, if you are a classical pianist, you could describe how long you have been playing, why you intend to keep playing, and a major competition you have won or recital you have performed.
But it’s so hard to choose! While that’s true, remember this is a hypothetical scenario.
In a real situation, you might never give up soccer because it’s your ticket to a free ride to college.
You might not be financially stable enough to give up this opportunity.
- However, in a hypothetical situation, you might give up soccer because you feel more passionately about your work with the Future Business Leaders of America and would like to one day own and operate your own design-a-sneaker store.
To narrow down your options, first ask yourself these questions:
- How long have I been participating in this activity?
- Am I still an active participant?
- Do I hold a leadership role in any of these activities?
- Do I have a role model or mentor who has influenced my life through my participation in this activity?
- Have I grown (as a person, player, musician, etc.) over time while participating in this activity?
- Do I feel passionate about this activity?
To narrow the list down further, ask yourself why you would or would not keep specific options.
- This means that you will need to be precise in your description and use descriptive language to highlight your experience.
The questions above point you in the direction you need to go when writing your essays.
- An activity in which you have participated in for several years, have established yourself as a leader, worked with mentors, and have grown in some fashion could make a powerful essay.
When thinking through this brainstorming exercise, provide only enough context about your activity so that a reader will understand what it is.
- You would have to provide more information about competitive bottle flipping than for a well-known activity like marching band.
- Also, you want to save the majority of your words for describing why you would choose this activity above the others.
Use emotional language and specific examples when describing what the activity means to you.
- For example, you might explain how far you’ve come from having been a shy student who was interested in politics to becoming outgoing with your peers and well-versed in national political discourse.
- Allow your writing to tell your story.
The purpose of this essay is for you to begin thinking about your story. Clarity will lead to better writing, so take the time to figure out your storyboard.
Michigan Supplemental Essay #1: You and Your Community
Essay #1 (Required for all applicants. 100-300 words.) 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.
As outlined in the prompt above, a community can be defined in many different ways.
In this essay, you are tasked with writing about one of the communities or groups you belong to “and your place within it.”
Since you are undoubtedly a part of many different communities, first brainstorm every community/group that you belong to. The prompt offers these ideas as a start:
- Intellectual Heritage
Your community can be large (the United States of America) or it could be small (residents living on Pomegranate Street).
- What you have been able to contribute to your community is just as important if not more important than what the community has done for you.
Perhaps you mentored younger students, helped coordinate meetups, or aided in putting together a makerspace.
Whatever it is you did for your community, make sure you highlight how it made a difference from the status quo.
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What’s important here is to write, write, write.
You may find that while trying to come up with these examples, one may not have initially occurred to you on first reading.
Here are some additional examples of communities:
- Military families
- Teen court volunteers
- High school community
- Geocaching community
- African-American community
- Second-generation American community
Once you know what community you want to write about, it’s time to start thinking about how you fit into that community.
- If you feel like you’re more of an outsider than a participant, you may need to choose another option.
- The essay itself should find a good balance between describing the community and your role.
The idea of community is incredibly close to our sense of identity and purpose in life.
- Therefore, it’s okay for this essay to be personal and emotionally descriptive .
- It should not read like a textbook.
- It is a real and rich experience you are sharing with your readers and should be treated that way.
When describing your community, you might talk about the members, the place where you get together (be it a physical place, online, or more spiritually abstract), the goals or ideals of your group, and so on.
- For example, if you are writing about the bird-watching community in your town, you would highlight that it is made up of both expert professors and interested average citizens.
- You might meet up at the bird sanctuary and go on hikes all over the county in smaller groups.
- The goals of your community are to enjoy these beautiful creatures while also working together to protect them and create ideal conditions in which they can prosper.
- Then, you would describe your role in the community and, perhaps, what being a part of that community means to you.
- To continue our example, you might write about how you were introduced to the group because your mother is an ornithologist and you would tag along as a kid.
- Now you participate in the community through your own volition by organizing fundraising events and managing the group’s social media account.
- It doesn’t matter that you have no interest in ornithology as a career. You grew to love the community and will be a lifelong participant.
For this essay, you have a limit of 300 words.
Remember to balance describing your community and your role in order to create a compelling story.
If you briefly describe your role and focus only on the community at large, your readers will miss out on the opportunity to learn more about you as a person (and, by extension, you as a potential student).
Michigan Community Essay Examples
Michigan community essay example 1:
I have always known that soldiers and veterans are the people who have sacrificed for our country. Yet, I have undervalued them since they were of no consequence in my life. After my dad signed me up (read: forcibly volunteered) to assist a night game of bingo at the NY VA, I did not know I would be joining a new family. While distributing snacks, the patients constantly asked me about my well-being and personal stories. As I volunteered more, I met new family members. I cleaned wheelchairs and gathered them from the parking lot to ensure the wheelchair supply was always sufficient for visitors. Through this, I gained an appreciation for the precise care it took to transport family members and ensure they felt at home after surgery. Admittedly, I grow impatient when tasks are not moving at my desired pace, but if I was taking care of sick family members, I knew I had to change. Seeing the struggle it took for a family member to get into a wheelchair and retrieve his oxygen tank helped me realize that I had to develop patience and composure. At the VA, I became a grandson, who learned how to take accountability for his actions. I discovered communication skills that will help me become closer with those of different backgrounds. My VA family has molded me to connect with and lend a helping hand to new families. The Edward Ginsberg Center at your school is a platform that will allow me to leverage and expand my skills in community engagement. I can see myself taking on a leadership role, engaging in service, and continuing to contribute to the VA and other communities through the Community Leadership fellows program.
Michigan community essay example #2:
Generation Z is my community. The teens and young adults of the world, stereotyped as the generation that can’t do anything other than look at a phone. The laziest generation. The most self-centered generation. I see another side of this generation, though. Generation Z is a community with the power to change the world by noticing problems in the world and raising awareness. Gen Z is filled with ambitious dreamers who aren’t afraid to stand up and speak out. My community consists of young people globally speaking truths of power. Greta Thunberg is only seventeen, but has raised global awareness about the dangers of climate change. My place in this community is as someone who has noticed a global crisis regarding blindness and how easily it can be prevented. In 2018, I flew to Honduras to volunteer in a hospital and travel to rural villages across the country to set up clinics to screen for cataracts and distribute reading glasses. I observed the cataract surgeries that I had funded by fundraising in the U.S. Each surgery only costs $50, but the villagers cannot afford it. As someone in danger of going blind someday, it broke my heart to know that so many people were suffering and couldn’t afford the care that they needed. Though I was only sixteen, I took on the mentality of many other determined Gen Zers: I can fix this. My work with Unite for Sight didn’t end with my trip to Honduras. I hope to continue to fix this issue by figuring out how to bring the price of the surgery down and make it more available to the public. I hope to make other Gen Z kids proud by taking initiative on a project that I am passionate about that will create lasting change.
Michigan community essay example #3:
As my entrepreneurial fervor grew during my first three years of high school, I found myself feeling disjointed from my peers and looking for a community that would nurture my startup fever. When she noticed my budding interest, the head of a local incubator invited me to apply for their accelerator program. I initially felt unsure, but I gave it a shot, and as time went on, I felt as if I were transported to Ancient Athens during every Monday session. As a program meant to help individuals jumpstart and accelerate their businesses, the incubator prompted participants to think Socratically. We questioned and debated every preconceived notion regarding startups: how to conduct proper market research, when and why to shut down, and even whether a humanitarian venture could also be a profitable one. Our oratories were not dull, 10-minute long PowerPoints followed by the occasional golf clap; they were action-packed, 60-second elevator pitches accompanied by a barrage of inquiries and suggestions about statistical logos and story-telling pathos. Through numerous congregations within the polis, I gave a fellow participant the conviction to pursue his business of educating students on the college recruiting process, emphasizing how all of my friends loved athletics and wanted to go D1. In return, he helped me see that the biggest problem with teens wasn’t always finding opportunities; it was being ready and professional enough to capture it. Despite channeling Alexander the Great’s cutthroat competitiveness at the beginning, our group personified Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates in the end, as we considered each other’s ventures and employed our own ethos to help one another. We didn’t all have to be our own Homers — our Iliad and Odyssey were the cumulative success of all of our companies, forged by the collaborative intertwining of our stories.
Michigan community essay example #4:
Months of endless preparation have culminated in this very moment. Standing on the bema, I look down at my Star of David necklace, smiling. Today, I will become a Bat Mitzvah. Today, I will officially become an adult in the eyes of my community. The global Jewish community is diverse, yet connected through our heritage and values. Integral to Jewish teachings is the responsibility to perform tikkun olam , which are acts of kindness performed to improve the world. This principle has been a driving force in my life, influencing my actions, shaping my decisions, and connecting me with my heritage. I have found my niche within the Jewish community through the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization. BBYO connects Jewish teens locally and globally, providing them with a platform to engage in social action in the spirit of tikkun olam. As the leader of my local BBYO chapter, it is my goal to create programming that highlights charity, where all who join leave feeling enriched and inspired to do good on their own. BBYO has ingrained in me an important aspect of tikkun olam: giving back is not equivalent to donating material items. Rather, it can be in the form of guidance, demonstrating care, or providing others with new perspectives that enhance their life. Thus, my chapter promotes a variety of programs such as creating Mother’s Day baskets for domestically abused women in shelters, but also spending time with the elderly in our neighborhoods and encouraging others in random acts of kindness. The Jewish community will always be my home. Within it, I have found young, Jewish leaders empowered to create a difference through tikkun olam . Together with my peers, my community has the ability to create positive change in our neighborhoods, countries, and throughout the world.
Michigan Supplemental Essay #2:
Essay #2 (Required for all applicants. 100-550 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?
The University of Michigan not only offers a wide array of degree programs but also strongly believes in the power of education to create informed and influential citizens.
Before writing this essay, you should perform significant research on the programs for which you are applying.
- It will be apparent to the admissions committee whether or not you took the time to learn about these programs.
- A potential student who has invested time in searching for the program that is perfect for her interests will be much more likely to write an authentic and convincing essay.
You may already know what degree programs you are interested in, but you might also be a part of a large group of students going to college that has no idea.
- If this is the case, determine which fields you are most interested in that you would also feel comfortable writing about.
The easy part of writing this essay is describing the university’s degree programs.
What’s more challenging is linking your interests to the curriculum.
- Perhaps you are interested in the University of Michigan’s nursing program. You have always been interested in science and medicine and participated in HOSA (a group for future health professionals) all four years of high school.
- You also studied abroad one summer and have become even more interested in global health as a potential career path.
- In this essay, you want to talk about your experience with HOSA and your dream of becoming a nurse.
- You also want to discuss that study abroad experience and how you would be interested in applying for a minor in “Population Health in a Global Context” offered by the nursing department.
- You also intend to participate in study abroad in college.
The key to this essay is specificity.
As much as possible, you should provide concrete examples of your experiences, interests, and career/college goals.
Perhaps you are interested in studying computer science and engineering because, after all, the University of Michigan has the co-founder of Google as a notable alumnus.
- Do the background research into the department of interest and look at the course description as well, and the capstone project expected of students.
- You should have demonstrated interest from high school, perhaps a science fair project, advanced classes, or a summer research internship.
- Let that set the foundation for the reason you want to pursue, say, in this case, computer science, and then highlight which classes will help you further your career aspirations.
- This will not be set in stone, but you need to demonstrate that you have some coherent plan.
Allow your excitement and passion to shine through your writing. The admissions committee wants to understand more about you and why UM is the perfect fit for you (and vice versa).
Why Michigan Essay Example
I was 5 when I sat in the stands of the Crisler Center, watching my dad receive his MBA from the University of Michigan. The person my dad has become, as a father and manager at Chrysler Motors, has inspired me to pursue computer science at U-M. As my passion developed, I joined the Cars Club (CC), in which we build fuel-efficient cars. A major experience included wiring trailer lights so that we could transport our newly built vehicles. As a newcomer to wiring, I measured and drilled holes, connected lighting, and combined wiring with hardware. The first step to wiring was running the length of the wire throughout the trailer. In order to feed the wire, I used a dipstick to pull and stretch the correct colored wires to corresponding locations of the trailer. Although my back ached with pain after lying under the trailer for an hour, I enjoyed drilling holes and connecting the wires to the lights. Eventually, the finished trailer was used to transport the team’s fuel-efficient car. CC is very similar to your Supermileage team, a club I got to see at the Wilson center and one I will join thanks to my interest in engaging in hands-on experiences with prototypical vehicles and technologies. Using my experience in CC, I aim to collaborate with highly capable students to develop the solution to fuel economy issues. Another student organization that I will join is Code M, which will help me spread knowledge about computer science and engineering while learning through a collaborative environment and corporate events. I witnessed the culture and diversity of U-M at the MMSS camp, where I took the course Math and the Internet. During this course, I learned about cryptography, error correction code, and wiring logic gates by creating truth tables. A major class project required the creation of logic diagrams and wiring of logic gates to make a part of a “computer” that sends messages to Twitter. This was an arduous process, as I had exposure to neither making logic diagrams nor wiring in this context. However, the hands-on and interactive experiences that Professor Mark Conger provided, such as drawing and explaining logic diagrams, helped me grasp the concepts. In addition, I worked on public and private key encryption and sent messages to decode using ASCII, the modulo operation, and the Euclidean algorithm. The interactive style of the classroom encouraged me to ask Professor Conger for help on how to find the mod of numbers with large exponents. Professor Conger’s creative “magic” card game taught me binary, which helped me absorb challenging material. The environment at U-M gave me the tools to thrive. I envision myself at U-M College of Engineering computer science classes, considering my experience with programming websites that automate Pythagorean theorem calculations. Computer Architecture, Introduction to Artificial Intelligence, and Advanced Embedded Systems are courses I will take in order to learn more about the applications of computer science. Using the knowledge from these classes, I will contribute to Mcity’s research and undergraduate research programs like SURE and SROP projects. Likewise, my goal is to contribute to the research on autonomous vehicles conducted by Ford and U-M in tandem. Seeing all of U-M’s initiatives, I know I can advance the automation of sustainable technologies at your school.
Conclusion: University of Michigan Supplemental Essays
It’s a good idea to type your answers in a word processor instead of directly into the application box.
This way, you can see all of your text at once and use a built-in spell check tool before copy and pasting your essays into the application.
Once you have a solid draft, read your work aloud and make revisions as you go. Finally, have a peer or adult read your writing for clarity and any grammar errors.
Essays are never perfect in the first draft. These strategies will help you polish your application until it shines.
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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, 4 top tips for university of michigan supplemental essays.
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.
Feature Image: Ken Lund /Flickr
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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How to write the university of michigan supplemental essays.
Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University
Ready to learn how to write the University of Michigan essays? This guide has all the information you need.
The college admissions process can be pretty lengthy. If you’re applying to the University of Michigan , you need your transcripts, SAT or ACT scores, and letters of recommendation. You’ll also be required to write essays .
The Michigan University supplemental essays make up the meatiest part of the application. Here, you show the admissions committee different sides of yourself than your grades and test scores reveal. The essays can add tremendous value to your application and highlight your candidacy.
This comprehensive guide will teach you all about the University of Michigan supplemental essays. We’ll discuss their purpose, offer tips to create your own masterfully, and give some examples of University of Michigan supplemental essays. If you want to boost your chances of acceptance to the University of Michigan, read on!
Purpose of the University of Michigan Supplemental Essays
The U Michigan supplemental essays are a way to humanize your application. You get to show the admissions committee how your experiences have shaped you.
While the rest of your application components are essential, your grades and test scores don’t show the admissions committee the person behind the numbers and accolades.
Questions vary year by year for the University of Michigan supplemental essays. Examples of question topics include:
- Your background and community;
- Instances that you’ve overcome adversity;
- How going to a school will help you realize your aspirations;
- How your acceptance would improve the school’s culture and community.
The purpose of these essays is to demonstrate your character and individuality concisely. You want to show the admissions committee who you are beyond numbers and scores. The best way to portray yourself authentically is through creating impactful essays.
What Are the University of Michigan Supplemental Essays?
The University of Michigan requires that all applicants write two supplemental essays regardless of what program they want to enter. Remember that you still need to complete an essay as part of the Common Application or the Coalition Application.
Any school’s supplemental essay prompts can vary from year to year, but most will revolve around similar themes. Below are some examples of Michigan supplemental essay prompts :
1. "Everyone belongs to many different communities and/or groups defined by (among other things) shared geography, religion, ethnicity, income, cuisine, interest, race, ideology, or intellectual heritage. Choose one of the communities to which you belong, and describe that community and your place within it. (Required for all applicants)"
2. "Describe the unique qualities that attract you to the specific undergraduate College or School (including preferred admission and dual degree programs) to which you are applying at the University of Michigan. How would that curriculum support your interests? (Required for all applicants)."
Below we will outline our top tips to ensure your essay makes you stand out from the crowd. Read further for examples of Michigan supplemental essays.
6 Tips for Crafting the University of Michigan Supplemental Essays
The supplemental essay prompts can feel tricky because of their broadness. However, these top tips will help you flawlessly execute essays that captivate the reader. You’ll be able to demonstrate why you should be accepted into any program at the University of Michigan.
1. Brainstorm Your Narrative
Although you must use the assigned topics, you can still choose the narrative you present. For the first prompt, identify any communities you belong to, and describe how you fit into each.
You likely belong to more than one community, and that’s okay. When you finish compiling your list, you can identify which narrative you have the most compelling content to write about. This will likely be your winner.
For the second prompt, consider why you want to go to the University of Michigan. This prompt warrants some research. You’ll want to figure out how your chosen program will help elevate your future career and aspirations. Alluding to specific courses or your program’s purpose and outcomes can help demonstrate your seriousness and commitment to UMichigan.
2. Create An Outline to Keep Yourself on Track
Creating an outline helps you stay on track and prevents you from straying from the story you set out to tell. Your outline doesn’t have to be perfect (remember that no one else needs to see it but you). Think of it as a safeguard and reminder to make sure that you hit all of the critical elements that you want to in your essay.
How you create your outline is up to you. Some people prefer bullet points, writing out the first and last sentence of your paragraphs. Some prefer a more visual format, such as a mind map.
3. Think About Your Introduction
Think of your introductions as equivalent to a first meeting. This is your chance to make a stellar first impression. Your introduction should hook the reader in from the beginning and not let them go until they finish your essay.
An excellent way to immerse the reader from the beginning of your essay is to start in the middle of the action. You can drop the reader right in the middle of a personal anecdote that supports the prompt. Some candidates may also use their introduction to set up a scene or the background they will explore later in their essay.
4. Craft the Body of Your Essay
The body of your essay is where you continue your story in rich detail that builds on the narrative you set out to tell in your introduction. For the first prompt, you may add more details about the community you’re a part of, how it shaped you, and what you’ve learned from your experiences.
In your second prompt, the body of your essay may entail more information on why you want to apply to a specific program. You can discuss how attendance at the University of Michigan can support your passions and career goals.
Some writers can get lost in the body of their essays. If you feel that you’re shifting off track of the story you want to tell, return to your outline. Consider and accept that more pertinent ideas to your story may arise as you write.
5. Finish Off With a Bang
The conclusions of your essays are the last thing that the admissions officer will read. You should leave your reader satisfied and that the conclusion is the perfect place to wrap up your story neatly.
In the conclusion, look toward the future. The conclusion may also be an excellent place for you to reiterate how your experiences have changed you for the better. Get specific about how the University of Michigan can positively impact your life.
6. Edits, Edits, Edits, and More Edits
Even if you were the best writer in your class, your first draft likely wouldn’t be perfect. Editing, revision, moving sentences around, and switching out words and punctuation are a part of the revision process.
While it’s a good idea for you to look over your work the first few times you make edits, a second pair of eyes is an invaluable asset. Sometimes, we get so close to our work that we become blind to errors that another reader would point out right away.
You want to make sure your essay is the best it can be. An admissions consultant’s fresh perspective and knowledge of undergraduate application processes can take your essays from good to masterful.
University of Michigan Supplemental Essay Examples
Excellent essays can help you stand out in the admissions process and show why you’re a fantastic candidate. Below you will find UMich supplemental essay examples to give you an idea of how to create meaningful essays.
Essay Example #1
The University of Michigan essay excerpt below addresses the first prompt, asking you to “Choose one of the communities to which you belong, and describe that community and your place within it.”
“The bus took ten minutes to get home this time, not the usual thirty. This wasn’t my home, but it would essentially become just that."
"The Morristown Neighborhood House is a center that provides a free and safe after-school environment for local children…" While there were various summer options, I felt that there couldn’t be a better choice than signing up to be a camp counselor at the Nabe."
"The kids became family; through sarcophagus art projects, writing practice, Xbox tournaments, implicit bias discussions, and trips to the park, they became the little siblings I never had. When I brought in ice cream for all of them on my birthday, I was showered with hugs. No foreign exchange trip could outdo that. I am a member of many communities based on my geography, ethnicity, interests, and talents, but the most meaningful community is the one that I never thought I would be a part of…"
"On that first bus ride to the Nabe, I never saw it coming.”
What Made This Essay Successful?
This essay immediately immerses the reader in the writer’s narrative. The writer demonstrates how they integrated into a community and forged meaningful relationships with the children at the camp.
This essay shows the writer’s initiative to contribute to their community. It also demonstrates their impact on a group while in a leadership position. The writer’s story is short but impactful and shows that they have a strong spirit capable of contributing to their community and, hopefully, the University of Michigan’s.
Essay Example #2
The following essay excerpt addresses the University of Michigan’s second supplemental essay prompt:
“Describe the unique qualities that attract you to the specific undergraduate College or School (including preferred admission and dual degree programs) to which you are applying at the University of Michigan. How would that curriculum support your interests?”
“In my junior year microeconomics class, my teacher extensively explored the ways in which people from different socioeconomic classes were affected by our economic system. I was frustrated by the ways our country forces those living in poverty to spend the little money they have on taxable goods. I began to empathize with them…"
"Those lessons inspired and motivated me. I had always looked at economics as nothing more than an analysis of business models and resource allocation. I began to see it as a way to fix fundamental problems in our society, from examining the effects of healthcare expansion on crime and poverty rates to studying how shifts in our political climate affect how our country’s financial process will change. I now see economics as a way to help those in need in my country and throughout the world."
"I volunteered after school for Representative Dingell and had the opportunity to attend numerous events hosted by the Ford School…"
"I want to begin my studies at the University of Michigan in LSA to gain a foundation in economics and political science-related courses. After my first year, I hope to gain admission to the Ford School. The connections that LSA and Ford have to Poverty Solutions solidified my interest in the University of Michigan. If I attended these schools as an undergraduate student, I would be able to assist with research on the causes and ramifications of poverty…"
"The range of schools working in connection with Poverty Solutions is evidence of the University’s devotion to civic engagement. I would be able to participate in groundbreaking research regarding issues I am interested in; I would have the ability to study poverty and ways to stunt or alleviate its effects in other countries…"
"I want to join the University of Michigan’s legacy of innovators. I want to be part of the LSA community, studying economics and political science. I want to attend the Ford School and understand how policy in America and abroad has an effect on global poverty. I want to be involved with the Poverty Solutions Initiative, conducting groundbreaking research on the ways we can reform our financial system to better serve the lower and middle classes.”
This essay wastes no time getting to a vital issue that the writer wants to address. The writer explains in detail what classes and causes motivate them. They explain what they aspire to do in the future, and how their extracurricular activities align with their goals.
This essay demonstrates that the writer has done their research and knows what path to take to achieve their goals. Best of all, the writer illuminates how admission to the University of Michigan can help them work toward their goals of a brighter future.
The University of Michigan is looking for leaders who want to impact the world and their community through positive change. This essay’s conclusion perfectly outlines what the applicant wants to do.
UMich Supplemental Essay FAQs
Still have questions about how to write the University of Michigan essays? We’ve got you covered.
1. Besides the Supplemental Essays, Are There Other Essays I Need to Write?
Yes, you will need to write another essay in addition to the supplemental essays. When you apply with the Common Application or the Coalition Application, you’ll need to select one prompt to respond to from a list .
2. How Important Are the UMich Supplemental Essays?
The University of Michigan essay section is a crucial part of your application. Remember that “Unlike test scores and transcripts, the college admissions essay[s] offers students a chance to showcase their personality.”
The admissions committee reviews college applications holistically, meaning that every part you submit counts toward their decision. Your essays are a way to inject life into your application and show the human behind the scores and grades. Don’t be afraid to show who you are; it can help you rightfully claim your seat at the University of Michigan.
3. How Long Should the Essays Be?
The best way to go about deciding the length of your essay is remaining within 100 words of the word count. If there is no word count, generally 1-2 pages is acceptable. Just make sure not to include any unnecessary information and double check the brief for instructions.
4. What Tone Should My Essays Convey?
You don't want to sound too stiff and formal, nor do you want to fill your essay with slang —you want to shoot for conversational yet friendly and professional. Make sure that your voice shines through unedited!
5. Are There Any Program-Specific Additional Essays?
You only need to write an additional essay if you’re applying to the University of Michigan School of Education. The prompt is “Discuss where you would like to teach and/or the types of students you would like to teach and how you developed this commitment.”
6. What’s the Best Thing I Can Do in My Essay?
In your essay, be honest, concise, and coherent, and make sure that your reader can easily digest and follow your narrative. While you still want to sound like you, don’t be afraid to flash your intellect, and be sure to include vibrant details and anecdotes that bring your essay to life!
Write Your Future with the UMich Supplemental Essays
The University of Michigan is a great school to complete your undergraduate degree. Now that you know a lot more about what you should write in the supplemental essays, you can feel empowered knowing that you have the knowledge to deliver stellar pieces of writing.
Don’t forget the purpose of the University of Michigan’s supplemental essays and the top tips to ensure your writing is polished. With this information, you can undoubtedly capture the admissions committee’s attention. Go forth knowing that you have the tools to submit the best supplemental essays and give yourself the best chance of acceptance!
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University of Michigan 2023-24 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide
University of Michigan 2023-24 Application Essay Question Explanations
The Requirements: One essay of 300 words, one essay of 550 words
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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