What are your chances of acceptance?

Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
Duke University
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

How to Write the Clark University Supplemental Essays 2023-2024

While founded in 1887 as the first all-graduate institution in the United States, today Clark University welcomes over 2,000 undergraduates interested in studying at a small university grounded in the liberal arts and a belief in the power of hands-on learning outside of the classroom, including through research and internships.


It is important that your essays reveal insights about you as a person and what you value about Clark beyond generic attributes (such as a low student-to-professor ratio or reputation for providing significant research opportunities to undergraduates). Carefully research the school before writing any of your essays so that you can reference specifics and demonstrate your deep affinity for what Clark has to offer.


Read these Clark essay examples to inspire your writing.


Clark Supplemental Essay Prompts


All Applicants


Prompt 1: Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (250 words)


Prompt 2: Clark is known for being a rigorous academic climate that is also equally committed to being a kind, supportive, and inclusive community. Choose one of the following prompts to help us to get to know you better. (150–300 words)


  • Option A: Please describe a time in school where someone helped you become a better learner and/or a better version of yourself.
  • Option B: Think about the communities to which you belong and that have shaped you. Tell us a story about one such community and how it influences what you will bring to the Clark community.


Prompt 3 (optional): If there are any inconsistencies within your academic record that you would like to explain, please do so here. (100–200 words)


Prompt 1 

Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (250 words)


This is the classic “Extracurricular Essaythat you’ll likely encounter at more than one school of the schools you are applying to. The Common App activities section provides basic facts about your extracurricular pursuits, however this essay allows you to provide compelling emotional context for one of your activities.  


Since you only have 250 words to bring one activity or work experience to life, pick one that has been influential in your personal or academic growth and showcases substantial commitment on your part. You should share how this activity has shaped you and potentially even set you on a path you plan to pursue at college. 


For example, if you choose to highlight your experience as a counselor at a summer technology camp for inner-city youth, go beyond a description of the program, a list of your responsibilities, and an account of time spent there. Explain why you chose the experience, how it has affected you as a human being, and how you have—or plan to—put this priority into action.


  •  You may have chosen to work at the tech camp due to your love of computers, but the experience sparked a commitment to help level the technology playing field for students from all economic backgrounds. In fact, you are now interested in majoring in economics and interning with an editor at Economic Geography, Clark’s revered journal that publishes original research related to geographic drivers and implications of economic processes. And you are interested in pursuing the five-year Accelerated B.A./Master’s Program in Community Development to pursue a career in urban development. (Good news: 30% of undergraduates enroll in Clark master’s programs on full scholarship.)


  • Or the tech camp experience heightened your understanding of the difficulty for children with learning differences and inspired you to explore a career in computer game design to help children with learning disabilities. Share your excitement about the world-renowned Interactive Media Design program at Clark’s Becker School of Design & Technology. Consider using an anecdote to accentuate your points. For example, to explain the genesis of your interest in developing computer software to accommodate learning differences, share the story of the relationship you developed with a disruptive camper and how your personal attention got him to open up about his difficulty reading text-based directions and encouraged you to develop pictorial directions to help him succeed.


Taking your extracurricular involvement a step further to include how you plan to continue pursuing this passion on Clark’s campus (like the above examples did) will set your essay apart from the rest. Admissions officers will see how you have not only benefited your local community, but how you could benefit the Clark community, which is always the goal of a supplemental essay!


Prompt 2, Option A

Please describe a time in school where someone helped you become a better learner and/or a better version of yourself. (150–300 words)


The university prides itself as a community of “thinkers, doers, and problem-solvers—compassionate people tackling some of the world’s biggest challenges.” Given the school’s reverence for a supportive community, be sure your essay highlights a compelling anecdote and how you will pay this positive experience forward at Clark. When you think community, think college community as well as the community of the city of Worcester, Massachusetts where Clark is located. 


  • For example, you could share a story of how your tennis coach helped you recognize and address the physical and mental factors contributing to your performance slump. Because of this experience, you were inspired to study sports psychology in college. Combining concepts and techniques you learn in class with the motivational tactics your coach used, you hope to coach fellow Clark athletes during your off-season. 


  • Perhaps a peer tutor who took the time to meet with you every week throughout your sophomore year helped you grasp complex physics concepts. This student encouraged you to become a peer tutor in Spanish, given your proficiency in languages. After gaining a feeling of satisfaction and pride when your mentees succeed, you decided you want to explore teaching as a profession.


  • Maybe a school guidance counselor’s adept delivery of a bystander intervention training program changed your perspective of what it means to do your part as a member of a community. Now, you are motivated to join other Clark students to lead Youth Outreach Worcester workshops for middle and high school kids and help students create a more positive environment around them.


Prompt 2, Option A

Please describe a time in school where someone helped you become a better learner and/or a better version of yourself. (150–300 words)

This prompt has two main purposes. First, Clark wants to understand the communities that have been influential in shaping your identity, values, and worldviews. Then, based on your experience and connection to these communities, Clark can infer how you might interact with, contribute to, and enhance the Clark community. They’re interested not just in what you’ve done or experienced, but in how those experiences will translate to your future as a Clark student.


Tips on Choosing a Topic:


  • Reflect on communities you’ve been part of. Remember that community can mean many things. They can be based on a culture, common interest, language, family, geographical location, personality trait, physical ability, or more.
  • Choose a community that had a tangible impact on you. This impact could be instilling a value, introducing you to a hobby or passion, or even challenging you in significant ways.
  • Consider how the skills, values, or insights from this community might be beneficial to the Clark community.


Mistakes to Avoid:


  • Being too generic: Be specific about how this community impacted you and how you see that playing out at Clark. Make sure to reference specific resources at Clark that you see yourself contributing to.
  • Missing the connection: Ensure that you make a clear link between the community you describe and what you will bring to Clark.


Examples of Approaches:


  • A student was a member of her high school robotics team and was the only girl on the team. This caused her to feel self-conscious until a new robotics team assistant advisor joined who was a woman. The advisor’s mentorship gave the student confidence, and she started speaking up more and even became the head programmer. Because of this experience, she wants to revitalize the Women in STEM club at Clark, which hasn’t been active for a few years, to do outreach to high school robotics clubs and mentor students there.


  • While radio may seem obsolete to some, this student is passionate about radio’s ability to reach broad audiences. When he learned that the top radio shows in the US are mostly conservative talk shows, he decided to start working at a local progressive talk show to help engage younger listeners and expose them to different viewpoints. Thanks to his efforts, the show gained over 500 listeners under 25 in his small town of 60,000 people. At Clark, he wants to run his own progressive commentary radio show on ROCU, the school’s internet radio station.


Prompt 3, Optional 

If there are any inconsistencies within your academic record that you would like to explain, please do so here. (100–200 words)


If you feel as if your grades and test scores accurately reflect your personal abilities, skip this essay prompt. You should also skip it If you feel as if your grades and test scores could’ve been better, as most students in hindsight feel they could have earned better grades. Be aware that beginning with the class enrolling in Fall 2013, Clark has made the submission of standardized test scores an optional part of the admissions process. You do not need to submit them if they don’t accurately reflect your performance in the classroom.


However, if you have one outlier grade that would appear bizarre to an admissions counselor, explain the circumstances that caused you to earn the grade you did. Additionally, if there are extenuating circumstances that have seriously hindered your academic record, share them. These can run the gamut from enduring a serious concussion that kept you out of school, working a full-time job after school and on weekends to help support your family due to a parent’s death, or coping with severe mental illness before finding a health regimen to overcome depression. 


Remember, all students your age have had their high school education interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. If you choose to share a pandemic-related explanation for an academic issue, be sure it is substantive, such as a prolonged hospitalization of a family member or lingering, debilitating COVID symptoms you’ve experienced. Even if your circumstances were not as drastic as the ones mentioned above, reference them if you believe they are necessary to accurately communicate your story. 


Where to Get Your Clark Essays Edited


Do you want feedback on your Clark 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!

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Our college essay experts go through a rigorous selection process that evaluates their writing skills and knowledge of college admissions. We also train them on how to interpret prompts, facilitate the brainstorming process, and provide inspiration for great essays, with curriculum culled from our years of experience helping students write essays that work.