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)

A Guide to University of Michigan’s ‘Your Community’ Essay

This article is a first-person account by Robert Crystal, a CollegeVine livestream contributor. You can watch the full livestream for more info. 


What’s Covered:



The University of Michigan asks all applicants to respond to its second prompt, which is about the different communities in your life. In this article, we will break down the prompt and go over the purpose behind your writing. By doing this, you can apply what you’ve learned to your own writing as you write your essay for the University of Michigan. 


Prompt 2: “Everyone belongs to many different communities and/or groups defined by, among other things, shared geography, religion, ethnicity, income, cuisine, interest, race, ideology, or intellectual heritage. Choose one of the communities to which you belong and describe that community and your place within.”


Breaking Down the Prompt


For this prompt, you have a 300-word limit to craft your response. This essay fits into a very popular type of essay known as the community essay. Colleges ask you to write about the different communities you are a part of to gain a better understanding of who you are as an individual. The point of all application essays is to provide information about yourself so the college admissions officers can build a better portrait of who you are outside of the classroom. Your grades and test scores are important to understanding who you are as a student but essays are all about your personality.


The University of Michigan is a university that prides itself on the openness and the connection of its community, both between students on campus and between the university and the city of Ann Arbor. For this reason, admissions officers at the University of Michigan want to read about how you’ve contributed to your community. This will give admissions officers a better idea of how you will impact their college community. 


Defining Your Communities 


The University of Michigan’s admissions officers want to learn about the type of person you are outside of the classroom so they can understand how you will fit into its student body. Through this essay, they will decide if you are the type of person they want at their university. To best respond to this prompt, make sure you are answering all their questions. 


Start by defining the different types of communities you are a part of. There is a lot of flexibility in defining what a community is. As stated in the prompt, your community does not only have to be geographical, ethnic, racial, or societal. Your community can be any group that you feel like you belong to and share something in common with. This community can consist of any individuals who share interests with you, such as sports, academic passions, extracurricular activities, or even a tight group of friends who have life values. 


The Purpose Behind Your Essay


In this essay, focus primarily on your contributions to the community you’re involved in instead of just describing the community itself. This is important because the purpose behind this prompt is to convey who you are and the values or interests you hold. Writing about your community is how admissions officers will gain this information about you. 


During every application cycle, admission officers want to create a well-rounded student body. Each applicant admitted to the University of Michigan fits a certain role in the college community. The university needs to admit applicants who want to run for the student body, compete on the women’s rugby team, or play cello in their orchestra. While you’re writing your response, keep in mind that your goal is to convey how you will fit into the University of Michigan’s student body. 


Tips for Writing Your Essay


Start your essay with a hook to keep your reader engaged. Admissions officers read many essays every day during application season, so you must capture their attention early on. With this community essay, you don’t want to spend too much time describing the community itself as this will dilute the impact. Your reader doesn’t need to know how many times you met with your community each week or the type of food served at each meeting. Instead, focus on how your community impacted your values and perspective on life. You’ll also want to focus on the impact you had on this community. 


All your writing should be immersive. You want your reader to feel like they are a part of your story and share the same emotions you have toward your chosen community. This is the best way to get admissions officers to understand who you are.