We’ve got some admission essay advice to share with our readers from the Dean of Admissions at Tufts University, Lee Coffin. Are you someone who thinks that the supplemental essays for each college aren’t important components of your application to a highly selective college like Tufts? Think again. As Coffin so states with respect to Tufts’ supplemental essays, “But here’s the thing: these ‘extra’ writing samples are really valuable. Quite often, the answers you provide to the three questions on the writing supplement to the Common App are my favorite part of the application. Why? Well, when you ‘engage the supp,’ as one of my colleagues likes to say, you add a jolt of voice to the admissions mix of grades, test scores, and recommendations. When it’s done well, your persona floats to the surface where we can see it and appreciate it.”
That’s precisely right. Supplemental essays are a distinct opportunity for applicants to share their unique voice with college admissions officers. It’s their chance to add that “jolt of voice” to the application, as Lee Coffin puts it. Coffin goes on to say, “The supplemental questions pay a dividend for you as well as for us as they spotlight your voice. While the data tells us who will be successful in a Tufts classroom the voice of all those qualified applicants shapes the vibe of our undergraduate community. By design, the Tufts’ writing supplement coaxes you towards a fuller, original interpretation of your best self: funny, cynical, kind, athletic, messy, romantic, daydreamer…whatever! There’s no ‘right answer.'”
Students who don’t treat the supplemental essays seriously will not stand out in a highly selective applicant pool. These essays must be outstanding. They must not be trite and poorly written, as the vast majority of essays submitted to highly selective colleges are. Think yours aren’t? You’re probably not the exception to this rule.
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