What are your chances of acceptance?

Your chance of acceptance
Syracuse University
Syracuse University
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 Syracuse University Essay 2023-2024

Syracuse University has one required supplemental essay prompt for all applicants. This prompt asks you to detail your interest in Syracuse University and to describe an experience in which you persevered through adversity, rejected discrimination, learned a lesson, or were inspired by someone else’s courage. You are also tasked with discussing how you intend to apply what this experience taught you to the Syracuse University community.


Since Syracuse receives thousands of applications from academically strong students, your essays are your chance to stand out. In this post, we’ll discuss how to craft an engaging response to each of these options.


Syracuse University Supplemental Essay Prompt


Syracuse University is a place that seeks to be welcoming to all – and has been since our founding. Explain why you are interested in Syracuse University and describe a personal experience in which you persevered through adversity, rejected discrimination, learned a lesson, or were inspired by the courageous actions of others and how you will apply what you learned to our community in a positive way. (250 words)

This prompt gives you a lot of freedom to answer in a few different ways. You could choose to answer with an “Overcoming Challenges” essay, which you can read more about in this CollegeVine guide, or with a diversity essay, which also has a CollegeVine guide. Either way, you will need to incorporate elements of the “Why This College?” essay archetype. So, how are you going to incorporate all of these different elements into just 250 words?


The key here is to be focused and specific. There’s no way to answer all of these questions in such limited space without just making a list, so you’ll want to pick just one of the options listed, and use the “Why This College?” portion of the prompt as your guide. The question opens with what compels you about Syracuse and closes with what you’ll bring to the campus community, so establishing that connection to the school is a crucial aspect to include to make your essay as effective as possible. 


Start by doing some serious research into Syracuse and finding something that interests you or resonates with you. This question is intended to identify and weed out applicants who aren’t serious about attending, so you shouldn’t stop at the website homepage and say that you’re excited about “research.” Dig deeper into student organizations, classes, and undergraduate research opportunities, and other activities that you can use as a launchpad to demonstrate your own character. Some examples of how this might look include:


  • A passion for cars and engineering that led you to the Citrus Racing team, where the collaborative team structure is just as attractive as building and racing cars.
  • Your interest in civil rights and criminal justice has inspired you to join the Cold Case Justice Initiative, to hone your advocacy skills alongside your pre-law education.
  • A love for a hometown natural landmark drives you to pursue the Recreation Resource And Protected Area Management minor, so you can learn how to balance public interest with preserving wildlife.


The more specific your “why” is, the clearer it will be that you’re passionate about Syracuse and that you care about its programs. Not only that, but it will give you a clear beginning for the personal anecdote piece of this prompt, which should connect directly to whatever it is that compels you about Syracuse.


We cannot emphasize specificity enough. Anyone can say that they love Syracuse’s commitment to diversity, so the key is to go deeper—maybe you ran the LGBTQ+ organization at your high school and you want to continue to contribute to a more accepting world by joining Syracuse’s Safe Zone team.


The admissions committee at Syracuse will already be familiar with the University’s programs, clubs, and academics, so don’t spend too much time explaining exactly what you’re interested in. Instead, describe why you’re a good fit for that major or initiative. Choose an anecdote that demonstrates the qualities you’re trying to showcase, ideally one that clearly ties in with your reasons for wanting to attend Syracuse.


Finally, try to end with how you’re going to bring these qualities into the Syracuse community. In the example above of a student who ran her school’s LGBTQ+ organization, she might write about how inspiring it is to see Syracuse put time, energy, and effort into running their LGBTQ+ student center. She could talk about her high school, where the LGBTQ+ club went dormant due to lack of funding, and how hard she had to work to get it up and running again.


In the end, the student in the above example could conclude by describing the organizational skills, leadership experience, and passion that she hopes to bring to Syracuse’s diversity programs. This essay isn’t just about how great of an applicant you are, it’s about helping the admissions committee envision you thriving on Syracuse’s campus, and making the community stronger as you do.


Where to Get Your Syracuse University Essay Edited


Do you want feedback and advice on your Syracuse essay? After rereading your essay 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.