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How to Write the Auburn University Supplemental Essays 2017-2018
Auburn University is located in Auburn, Alabama and touts a total of 22,658 undergraduate students with a 19:1 student-to-faculty ratio. Although the university began as an all-male private liberal arts institution, it is now represented equally by men and women, and international students from 91 countries.
In terms of value, Auburn ranked #2 on the Affordable Colleges Online List of the “Most Affordable Large Public Colleges.” The institution also boasts a D1 sports program with an intense football culture, and its surrounding college town has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top ten best cities to live!
Auburn University Application Essay Prompts
The questions posed on the Auburn application are limited to 2000 characters, which should clock in at around 300 words, depending on the writing style. Although this may seem like a hefty amount at first, this limit is actually quite difficult to achieve when describing yourself as a viable candidate for admission. Being concise is crucial in college applications such as this one, as you are trying to simultaneously convey your personality to an admissions officer, gain their trust as a responsible student, and depict yourself as a forward-thinking go-getter.
This question seems to ask for a list, but as the application itself already asks for a resume, one should be careful when approaching it. Rather than list out every single extracurricular activity you have participated in, you should hone in on perhaps two or three that you have the most passion for, and in which you have spent the most time in. That way, your descriptions will be more informative than those given on your attached resume, helping to bring more depth to your character.
Doing so also gives the admissions readers a more holistic idea about what your typical week looks like and creates a realistic persona of who you are, rather than just a list of things that you do or did. It is advisable that you include activities in which you held leadership positions (noted in the prompt) to present yourself as a responsible student who is up for tasks not necessarily associated with school or participation.
Make sure to address some sort of growth within this experience, and how you continue to learn and discover yourself through these sorts of activities. It is important to note that as you discuss these extracurriculars, you should phrase the response in a way that demonstrates that these activities were beneficial to your growth but that YOU were the one to ultimately drive your growth and understanding of the world and/or yourself.
This question should be approached in a similar fashion as the one above, except using employment experiences. If you have had employment experiences, this is a place in which you can not only divulge the dates of employment and job tasks, but also how you fit into the company and what you did to extend your reach past just your responsibilities. Express that you earned many new (or unexpected) skills associated with the job, and how that can apply to your future either professionally or personally.
This is a chance for you to discuss anything else that might have had a significant impact on you. So long as the experience or information is relevant to your goals and is not expressed in other portions of your application, feel free to respond to this prompt.
For example, if you would like to elaborate on your volunteering at a hospital due to your family’s medical troubles, this is your opportunity to do so. Providing concrete reasons that back up your passions may strengthen your application, as the admissions officers will view you as a more holistic person. However, if you have nothing significant to report, it is perfectly acceptable to leave this section blank.
This is an excellent opportunity to cover something that has not been explained through the first two questions. One of the best approaches to this question would be to hone in on a failure, focusing on what you learned from this failure and how it changed your perspective. This prompt provides a chance to further describe your leadership, decision-making skills, and strategy when facing obstacles.
Essentially, Auburn University and its admissions officers want to know whether you have a goal that you are working towards, and how much thought you put into your future at the university. This is your opportunity to show your extensive research into Auburn’s majors and how your studies will apply to your future life, as well as why you think that major is unique from other majors offered at various colleges. Even if you want to study something that many other colleges and universities offer, you must explain in this section why you think that major program is the best fit for you. In your response, you must identify your goal and align it with specific opportunities at Auburn.
For example, if you were particularly interested in conducting research at Auburn, the university offers a fellowship program that is incredibly unique if you are in the College of Science and Mathematics. This fellowship program allows students to conduct part of their research off-campus and helps connect you to local mentors in case you want to extend your research into the summer and do not want to or are unable to stay on campus. This incredible opportunity is also equipped with funding!
This is another question through which the admissions officers at Auburn want to gauge your interest. You can approach it similarly to other “Why us?” essays, so feel free to check out CollegeVine’s “Why Us” essay guide. Essentially, Auburn wants to understand how you would contribute to the university if accepted, as well as how much you care about being a part of the community. You could write about not only how their motto and/or values align with yours, but how the surrounding college town (as well as the student body) are a great fit for you.
This is the place to let admissions officers know about any extenuating circumstances. Perhaps your grades took a dip one semester because you were ill for an extended amount of time. Perhaps you were experiencing some family issues that took away from your extracurricular activities. Perhaps you were financially unable to attend a certain internship or program. However, approach this section with caution — it is not a place to look for sympathy or pity. This is simply a place to lay out all of your circumstances.
The explanations should be concise and emotions should not be depicted in detail. Simply explaining what was happening at the time and how it affected your performance will suffice. If there were no extenuating circumstances you experienced, feel free to either leave this section blank or write that there were none during your high school experience. You don’t need to respond in an essay or narrative style; simply summarize and be comprehensive.
The Bottom Line
Be creative, expressive, confident, and authentic! Don’t be afraid to challenge perceptions and explain your ideas.
Best of luck, and happy writing!
If you’re applying elsewhere as well, check out our database of essay prompts for hundreds of other colleges!
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