Stanford University is keen to understand the depth and breadth of your personality, something that doesn’t reflect in your transcripts. That is why Stanford’s supplemental essays are designed to get to know you beyond the academic data. This is your chance to diversify your application. Show elements of intellectual curiosity, volunteering experience, interdisciplinary learning, reading engagement, and tell them who you truly are as an individual.
What is the most significant challenge that society faces today? (in <50 words)
It is okay to mention the obvious ones as long as you are able to shed light on the ‘why’. Focus on the word ‘today’. Think about present times, rather than historical events. For instance, why is the pandemic the most significant challenge faced by society today? Is it due to the reality of the inequities exposed to us? In that, you could talk about the economic, social, or political inequities. Your answer need not be related to your major, since you will probably be talking about it in the other Stanford essays.
How did you spend your last two summers? (in <50 words)
This is a straightforward question requiring a straightforward answer. With 50 words, all you need to do is mention major activities from the last two summers. Preferably, you need to talk about how you furthered your passion for your major. Generally, students undertake research, an internship, or attend a summer program. On the other hand, you may have been exploring a country, pursuing a hobby, or taking on additional familial responsibilities. All of these fit the bill.
What historical moment or event do you wish you could have witnessed? (in <50 words)
Talk about your beliefs or passions through this one. If you wish you could have been at the time Simone de Beauvoir wrote the ‘Second Sex’ or during Archimedes’ ‘Eureka’ moment, tell why. Remember, this needs to be personal and relevant to you. Do not write something for the sake of sounding cool.
Briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities, a job you hold, or responsibilities you have for your family. (in <50 words)
This could be the essay that diversifies your application. Stanford is keen to put you into context. Who are you outside of the classroom? Are you someone who loves volunteering at an organization every weekend? What drives you to do that? What do you learn from it?
Are you a caregiver to someone in your home/community? Do you lead a reading club? Do you undertake gardening initiatives? Are you part of a cult? Just kidding about that last one. But you get the picture.
Name one thing you are looking forward to experiencing at Stanford. (in <50 words)
This is the shortest ‘why this college’ essay you will ever write. Be crisp and talk about something other than Silicon Valley and Nobel-winning professors (that is pretty cool too though). You can certainly tie in your interests with specific clubs and organizations as well as professors whose research interests match yours. Even though it is a ‘why Stanford’ essay, you need to talk about why you are the right fit for Stanford.
The Stanford community is deeply curious and driven to learn in and out of the classroom. Reflect on an idea or experience that makes you genuinely excited about learning. (100 to 250 words)
This is the ‘intellectual vitality’ essay. Demonstrate your quirks with respect to something you are deeply passionate about. How did you truly pursue something that has come to shape you? Dive as deep as you can. Answers for this could range from undertaking lab-based research or deep reading novels from different countries or participating in tons of debates! It all boils down to your major. Choose a relevant activity that you feel you have taken to its highest level.
Virtually all of Stanford’s undergraduates live on campus. Write a note to your future roommate that reveals something about you or that will help your roommate — and us — know you better. (100 to 250 words)
Did you hear another chance at a ‘Why Stanford’ essay? Yes, you did.
You can use this prompt to talk more about why you have picked Stanford and how it could satiate your academic and extra-curricular interests. You could also talk about your major in this essay. Moreover, feel free to talk about your unique personality and what you would like to share/learn from your roommate.
Tell us about something that is meaningful to you and why. (100 to 250 words)
This could literally be about anything that is meaningful to you – a person, a place, a moment. Anything. Since you are likely to have spoken about your academic interests in the previous essays, try talking about something that is extremely differentiating.
Make sure you do not repeat the same activity in more than one essay.
We hope you find this useful. All the best for your Stanford application!
Writing essays the right way is essential, so showing the top universities you know how to express yourself is critical. So, Working with study abroad consultants, overseas education consultants, or, as more commonly known, college counselors, can help you perfect your essays and show your true self. Ivy Central offers exceptional focus to help you prepare for college admissions throughout the high-schooling years. Start today!