To give admissions officers a well-rounded, authentic picture of you, use this essay to highlight new attributes about yourself, different from those highlighted in your Common Application Essay.
This helps readers better picture you on their campus, which is always a plus.
A few key points to think about when writing this essay (considering it’s for Harvard).
First, the school tends to value community involvement/passion development over pure academic success.
, then you will be on your way to answering this prompt effectively.
The second part — “the ways in which your circumstances have influenced you” — in particular is key; while taking the time to explain your unique circumstances is important to beget a full understanding of what happened, it is even more critical that you link your experience to who you have become today.While in theory that means you could submit a 57-page dissertation as your Harvard supplement, in practice what we’ve seen is that most successful Harvard essays tend to be anywhere from 500-700 words.A good guideline to follow is that your essay should be about a page long when written in 12-point Times New Roman font, single-spaced.Each year, students are confused by Harvard’s assertion that its essay is optional.To clear the air, at College Vine, we advise our students to take every opportunity available to showcase themselves on their applications.Second, you want to try to convey some sort of curiosity to Harvard — whether that curiosity is academic, intellectual, extracurricular, or philosophical.Harvard students, for the most part, are really passionate about something; you want to convey how you will also contribute to that pool.Harvard encourages its students to be well-rounded and driven, ready to take on a rapidly changing globe.Ask yourself: What types of internship opportunities, research projects, curriculum styles, and activities within Harvard interest me?For this prompt, be specific in terms of how your experience changed your outlook.For example, if you choose to write about how you moved 13 times over the past 17 years, don’t just plainly state that changing residencies repeatedly throughout high school changed many aspects of your life.