How to Write the University of Rhode Island Essays 2020-2021

Located in rural Kingston, the University of Rhode Island is the flagship public school of the state of Rhode Island. Of the 14,000 undergraduates, 54% are residents of Rhode Island. Since its founding in 1888, this school has been a major research university in the northeast. 

 

URI has an acceptance rate of 70% and ranks #166 in U.S. News & World Report’s National Universities list. The middle 50% SAT range for enrolled students was 1100-1250, and 22-27 for the ACT. URI has been named in the Princeton Review’s Green Colleges list for ten consecutive years. It has invested in a lot of recent construction projects, including a new Engineering Complex and Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences. 

 

While URI does not have any school-wide supplemental essays, certain programs require an additional response to express your interest further. In this guide, we’ll help you think through these supplemental essays, which are a crucial part of your college application. Want to know your chances at URI? Calculate your chances for free right now.

 

Want to learn what URI will actually cost you based on your income? And how long your application to the school should take? Here’s what every student considering URI needs to know.

 

URI Supplemental Essay Prompts

Pharm D.

Applicants to the College of Pharmacy who intend to become licensed pharmacists should select the Pharmacy major (6-year doctorate). They must also include an additional statement (250 words or fewer) explaining their choice of major.

 

Nursing 

Applicants to the College of Nursing must also include an additional statement (250 words or fewer) section explaining their choice of major.

 

Talent Development Program

In order to be considered for this program for qualified RI residents, you must submit a statement in the Writing Supplement section which begins with the phrase: “;I believe I am eligible for the Talent Development Program because… .”; This statement can be no more than 500 words. 

Pharm D.

Applicants to the College of Pharmacy who intend to become licensed pharmacists should select the Pharmacy major (6-year doctorate). They must also include an additional statement (250 words or fewer) explaining their choice of major.

The University of Rhode Island’s College of Pharmacy is ranked first in the Northeast and 11th nationally. One thing to remember is that acceptance to the College of Pharmacy is competitive and depends on both test scores and grades as well as the supplemental prompt. Essentially, this prompt is an example of the classic “Why This Major?” Essay. Mainly, admissions officers for the College of Pharmacy want to read about why you would like to study pharmacology, and specifically why you would like to study it at the University of Rhode Island. When responding to this prompt it is important to add details specific to URI’s College of Pharmacy, which can be found through researching the school on their main website.

 

When answering this prompt, be careful not to list impersonal facts. You should mention your current experiences and interests where appropriate and find ways to connect them to the school beyond just statistics or data. A great way to incorporate school-specific information is by writing about visiting the campus, or about a specific connection you have had with an aspect of the school culture and academic environment. This will help you to better stand out to the admissions officers. 

 

Here are examples of excerpts of potential responses to this prompt:

 

Bad: URI receives almost 12 million dollars in federal funding, so I know I will have ample research opportunities that will allow me to investigate advanced scientific questions. The small student-to-faculty ratio will allow me to work with acclaimed faculty like Professors David Rowley.

 

Good: At URI, I look forward to participating in pharmacotherapy research such as Professor Brian Quilliam’s work with hypoglycemia in diabetes patients. After driving my cousin to the hospital due to a low blood sugar episode, I understand the importance of detecting and identifying this issue, particularly in young adults.

 

The first response mentions the school’s prestige, which is inadvisable because admissions officers are aware of these statistics already and mentioning them can come across as shallow. Furthermore, the rest of the response is general and does not point to any school-specific offerings or name personal connections to the author. While a professor is mentioned, there is no elaboration, so this name-drop may actually harm the applicant’s chances of appearing genuine. 

 

Meanwhile, the second response incorporates a research project specific to URI that relates to one of the author’s life experiences. The author shows rather than telling admissions officers what they are seeking from URI’s pharmacy program. This level of detail is what you should aim for to craft a response that is compelling to admissions officers.

Nursing 

Applicants to the College of Nursing must also include an additional statement (250 words or fewer) section explaining their choice of major.

Admission to the College of Nursing includes admission to the pre-licensure program. The requirements for transfer applicants are a bit different from that of applicants applying to the pre-licensure program, so make sure you’re looking at the correct requirements. This program’s first-year students had a relatively competitive student profile, with a GPA ranging from 3.2-4.0 and an SAT Math score averaging about 592. What this tells us is that scores are NOT what will distinguish you as a first-year applicant. Once again, research what aspects of this program stand out to you, and formulate your personal statement based on that. 

 

This prompt is an example of the “Why This Major?” essay, and is asking why you would like to study nursing, particularly at the University of Rhode Island. Be wary of simply listing out statistics, or discussing the strength of the nursing program. This praise can read as disingenuous and takes up word count that could be put toward strengthening your candidacy. Focus instead on the personal aspect of this prompt as it relates to you. Was there a specific story you remember from your time as a hospital volunteer? Is there an aspect of your community that you want to address through an education in nursing? A strong student can find an overlap between the academic strengths of nursing at URI and the societal implications of the course of study that they are seeking. 

 

A potential applicant could discuss how URI supports cross-disciplinary work by connecting their passion for nursing to engineering, business, or nutrition. They first should mention how their history with this intersection lends them a personal connection to this offering, and then mention specific interdisciplinary courses they plan to take to fulfill their goal of bridging the two subjects. For example, a student who has struggled with an eating disorder might discuss how they want to pursue the nutrition-focused aspects of nursing. They could discuss taking HDF 208: Health and Wellness of the Young Child, as a complement to Nursing courses like NFS 207: General Nutrition, or NUR 433: Nursing of Children. 

 

A research-focused applicant could discuss a project that they would like to join once they are at URI. When taking this approach, make sure not to name-drop a project or professor, but rather, highlight a specific research project and what it means to you personally. Why do you want to join this research project? What do you hope to bring to the team? For instance, a student that was a premature infant, or is close to someone who was, might want to work in Professor Mary Sullivan’s Discovering the Long-Term Outcomes of Premature Birth research lab. They could talk about how their understanding of the societal and medical challenges associated with being a premature baby might offer a unique perspective. 

 

However you choose to approach the prompt, make sure you establish a personal connection and do enough research so that you could comfortably discuss the specific programs you are interested in. This extra effort will help distinguish your application and underscore your interest in URI and the nursing program. 

Talent Development Program

In order to be considered for this program for qualified RI residents, you must submit a statement in the Writing Supplement section which begins with the phrase: “I believe I am eligible for the Talent Development Program because…”; This statement can be no more than 500 words.

The Talent Development Program at the University of Rhode Island is a unique pipeline program that connects underrepresented Rhode Island high school students to the university. A majority of the program’s students are students of color. These students participate in a pre-undergraduate summer intensive that determines their eligibility; then, once they enroll for fall, they receive resources such as academic and individual support from advisors and mentors. In this statement, it can be a good idea to talk more about your past experiences and traits that would make you a good candidate for this program. Think about past experiences that showcase your resiliency and demonstrate how you personally rose above adversity.

 

Another thing to note is to try not to be too vague when describing your past experiences. Keep in mind that for the Talent Development program, a lot of the applicants might have similar backgrounds to yours. Make sure to highlight the ways in which you are a unique fit for this program. For example, have your experiences as a low-income student impacted how you view your education? What sacrifices have you made to get to where you are now? Any experiences that show your tenacity and that you have excelled despite difficult circumstances will help to illustrate how you stand out as an applicant. 

 

An applicant might write about how they had to juggle studying with babysitting their siblings, and how this experience led them to develop superior multitasking and time management abilities.

 

Another applicant could discuss how not having access to a laptop or stable internet connection meant they had to be resourceful when completing schoolwork. They could detail the extra steps they took to complete assignments, such as utilizing the library and other community resources.

 

Another might talk about how helping out with their family’s restaurant took up a lot of after-school hours that other kids usually spent participating in community service and sports, but that this experience allowed them to develop unique hard and soft skills. 

 

Whatever your story may encompass, make sure to add specific details that highlight how you personally dealt with the obstacles you faced. This means not making generic claims like “Growing up low-income meant I often didn’t have the proper supplies to pursue my passions.” Rather, you should mention specific details, like how you performed the school recital in sneakers while your peers could afford ballet shoes. Taking the time to make a well-thought-out response with these kinds of inclusions will resonate more with your readers and really show them why you deserve to be a part of this program in a way that feels organic and genuine. 

 

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