How to Write the Clark University Supplemental Essays 2021-2022

 

Clark University requires all applicants to write two supplemental essays and offers the chance for students to complete one optional essay. 

 

While founded in 1887 as the first all-graduate institution in the United States, today the school welcomes 2,200 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.

 

With a 59% acceptance rate at Clark, 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.

 

Want to understand your chances of getting accepted at Clark?  Calculate your chances for free right now.

 

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

 

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 

Clark is known for being a rigorous academic climate that is also equally committed to being a kind and supportive community. 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 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 gambit 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 Essay Edited for Free 

CollegeVine offers you the chance to participate in our free peer essay reviews. Critiquing another student’s essay helps you understand the mindset of an admission reader, gives you ideas to refine your own essay, and provides a chance for you to help others. 

 

Once you’re happy with your draft of your Clark essay, we highly recommend using our peer essay review tool to solicit feedback that will help you edit your writing to be as impactful as possible. 

 

 

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