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How to Write the JHU Supplement Essay 2015-2016

Situated in Baltimore, Maryland, Johns Hopkins University is consistently ranked as one of the Top 20 schools in the nation. Due to its many reputable majors (the Education, Biological Sciences, and Pre-med programs come to mind), JHU is a popular choice for busy seniors creating their college lists. Although its acceptance rate of 17% is more generous than that of other Top 20 schools, you will still want to write as strong of an essay as possible to increase their chances of hanging with the Blue Jays. Luckily, JHU’s app isn’t too difficult, and coupled with tips from CollegeVine, you’ll find this app to be a breeze.


Johns Hopkins University was founded in 1876 on a spirit of exploration and discovery. As a result, students can pursue a multi-dimensional undergraduate experience both in and outside of the classroom. Given the opportunities at Hopkins, please discuss your current interests—academic or extracurricular pursuits, personal passions, summer experiences, etc.—and how you will build upon them here. (300-500 word limit)

While its inclusion of Hopkins-specific details make it seem unique, at its core this prompt is ultimately still asking for a basic “Why X School?” essay. Therefore, be sure to explain what your interests are and how you fit into JHU. There are many ways to do this. One strategy is to write about a single topic (academic or extracurricular) that you are particularly passionate about in great detail. Then, after explaining its profound effect on you, you could dive into how you can nurture your passion at Johns Hopkins, especially through X program, Y club, and/or Z professor’s work. Regardless of what style of essay you write, the most important thing in answering this prompt is to make sure that you can draw parallels between your participation in high school and the opportunities available at Johns Hopkins. Admissions officers are very eager to see students who are already motivated and driven to take advantage of the resources at their new school. Thus, make sure to spend some time researching JHU so that you can be specific in your examples of ways that you can benefit from JHU or—bonus points—ways that JHU can benefit from you.

One final piece of advice—please, please realize that the school is called Johns Hopkins University, not John Hopkins University. It would be rather unfortunate for you to realize immediately after sending your application that you have been overlooking a letter in the name of your “dream school.” The admissions office at JHU most likely gets this misspelling all the time, and they’re probably tired of it. 

With these tips, you should be well on your way to writing the perfect JHU Supplement. Best of luck from the CollegeVine team!


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