haverford supplemental essays
Haverford College – Roberts Hall (1983)” by roger4336 | CC BY-SA 2.0.

Haverford Supplemental Essays

Interested in applying to Haverford College? Well, the Haverford supplemental essay is a crucial part of your overall application. As one best colleges in Pennsylvania, Haverford is a highly selective school. Admissions officers will use each Haverford essay to gain a deeper understanding of who you are, and how you’d be a good fit for Haverford. Therefore, it’s important that each Haverford supplemental essay stands out and communicates your unique voice. Indeed, the Haverford essay is the best opportunity you have to speak directly to admissions officers, so be sure to take them seriously! 

This guide will outline the 2023-24 Haverford essay prompts and provide specific guidance on how to write each Haverford supplemental essay. We’ll break down both of the Haverford College supplemental essays to help you understand each prompt better. While the Haverford admissions process may be intimidating, we’re here to help! Keep reading to learn how to write your best Haverford supplemental essay. 

Haverford College Admissions: Quick Facts

Haverford College Acceptance Rate: 14%–U.S. News ranks Haverford College as #21 among the best liberal arts schools in the nation. 

Haverford College Essay Requirements

  • 2 (~150-200 word)  school-specific essays 

Haverford Application: Students can apply to Haverford via the Common App, Questbridge Application, or Apply Coalition with Scior. No matter the platform, all applicants must submit the writing supplement. 

Haverford Application Deadlines

  • Early Decision: November 15
  • Early Decision II: January 5
  • Regular Decision: January 15

Haverford Essay Tip: Be sure to read through the full Haverford Honor Code before tackling the Haverford essay prompts. The Honor Code provides great insight into Haverford’s values and priorities. Referencing the Honor Code in your Haverford supplemental essay will show that you’ve done your research!

Please note that essay requirements are subject to change each admissions cycle, and portions of this article may have been written before the final publication of the most recent guidelines. For the most up-to-date information on essay requirements, check the university’s admissions website.

Does Haverford have supplemental essays?

Yes! There are two Haverford College supplemental essays students must complete. We will detail the Haverford essay prompts later in this guide. It’s important to note that supplemental essays help colleges determine if you would be a good fit for their campus. They also serve as an excellent opportunity for you to highlight your passions and goals. Each Haverford supplemental essay should complement your application and illuminate what drives your academic interests. Each Haverford essay is meant to add personality to your overall application, so carefully crafting your Haverford supplemental essay is key! 

How many essays does Haverford require?

haverford supplemental essays

There are two required Haverford essay prompts for prospective students. Each Haverford supplemental essay has a word limit of 150-200 words, so it’s important to be concise with your answers. The limited word count may lead you to believe it won’t take much time to complete your Haverford College supplemental essays. However, given the competitive Haverford acceptance rate, it’s important to give yourself plenty of time to write each Haverford supplemental essay. Your Haverford essay is the only opportunity you have to summarize your interests, which is invaluable information for admissions officers. Don’t wait until the last minute to complete your two required Haverford College supplemental essays – start early! 

Additionally, applicants will need to complete the personal statement on the application platform of their choice (Common Application or Coalition Application). The prompt you respond to will vary depending on the platform, however, keep in mind that this essay isn’t college-specific. Therefore, you may end up sending this same essay to various colleges–unlike the school-specific supplemental essays. 

Haverford Supplemental Essay #1

haverford supplemental essays

The first Haverford supplemental essay allows you to elaborate on your major of choice or a special interest that drives your curiosity: 

Haverford College Supplemental Essay Prompt #1

Tell us about a topic or issue that sparks your curiosity and gets you intellectually excited. How do you hope to engage with this topic or issue at Haverford? (Please limit your response to 150-200 words.)

This Haverford essay allows admissions officers to better understand your intellectual interests and how you’ll utilize the resources at Haverford. One may consider this a “Why Haverford” essay, as the prompt wants to know how Haverford will help in your academic pursuits. Your Haverford College supplemental essays should illuminate your goals concerning Haverford–and this essay allows you to focus specifically on your academic interests. 

This Haverford supplemental essay allows you to reference Haverford’s values and priorities, as well as their expectations for their students.  As outlined in the Haverford Honor Code, each student must complete a Senior Thesis as part of their Haverford requirements. This Haverford essay can help you detail to admissions officers what you might write your Senior Thesis about, as well as help demonstrate your excitement to study at Haverford. 

Of both the Haverford essay prompts, this essay allows you to highlight specific classes, programs, and resources available to Haverford. As we’ll detail in the next section, it’s important to do your research before writing this Haverford supplemental essay. Keep reading to learn how to answer this Haverford essay! 

How to answer Haverford supplemental essays

Before writing this Haverford supplemental essay, be sure to conduct extensive research on Haverford’s programs and majors. You can read articles on Haverford from Forbes and the CollegeBoard, as well as explore Haverford’s website. The essay prompt wants you to detail a specific topic or issue, so it’s important to talk about more than just your intended major. 

If you have a major in mind, research the required classes at Haverford–this may help you narrow down which topics or issues you find most interesting. For example, if you plan to study biology, try to focus your essay on an even more specific topic. For example, you might write about genetics, anatomy, or animal conservation–whatever genuinely interests you and motivates your studies! Your Haverford essay will have a lot more personality if you detail your interest or experience with one issue, rather than why you’re generally interested in your major. 

Articulating your passion

Once you have your topic or issue, spend the first part of your Haverford supplemental essay explaining why you’re so passionate about it. For example, if you’re interested in studying genetics, really explain why. Did you attend a compelling class lecture or work on an intriguing project? Did you read an interesting book or essay, or watch an informative TV program? Try to pinpoint the exact point when you became interested, and detail this for the reader. 

After you’ve set the stage and detailed your topic or issue, mention 1-2 resources at Haverford that will help you pursue your interests. What classes are you looking forward to taking? Which professors do you want to work with? Are there special programs or research opportunities within your intended major? This can be a great time to mention the Senior Thesis and demonstrate that you’re familiar with the Haverford Honor Code!

As with both of the Haverford College supplemental essays, this prompt has a short word limit. You’ll have to comprehensively answer all parts of the prompt concisely. Starting your Haverford essay early will help you streamline your response, as you’ll have time to edit and perfect your answer. When it comes to responding to the Haverford essay prompts, it’s important to let your personality shine. 

Haverford College Honor Code Essay

haverford supplemental essays

The second Haverford supplemental essay is focused on the Haverford Honor Code, which can be found here. The prompt reads: 

Haverford College Honor College Essay Prompt

We have highlighted for you some of the values that shape the Haverford community. What are some of the values you seek in your next community? How do Haverford’s values, as demonstrated through our Honor Code, resonate with you?

As you think about how to answer this question, you might draw from how you have been influenced by other communities you have been a part of, experiences you may have had within your communities, or opportunities you have had to shape or even change your communities. (Please limit your response to 150-200 words.)

The Haverford College Honor Code essay can be considered an extension of the first Haverford essay prompt Similarly, it reads as a “Why Haverford” essay. For students wondering how to get into Haverford, this essay can be a great place to demonstrate how well you’ll fit in on campus. Many colleges have this kind of cultural diversity essay, which is specific to their school and campus community. This Haverford supplemental essay aims to understand how you’d engage with your peers. 

This kind of “Why Haverford” essay allows you to get specific about how you envision your life on campus. The Haverford College Honor Code essay also allows you to provide more context to your background and the importance of community. This is great insight for Haverford admissions officers. 

Both of your Haverford College supplemental essays will help shape the admissions officer’s perception of who you are and what you value. If you’re feeling stuck, don’t worry! We’ll detail how to tackle the Haverford College Honor Code essay in the next section!

How to write Haverford supplemental essay

haverford supplemental essays

The Haverford College Honor Code essay is a great opportunity to explain how you connect with Haverford’s values and why you’d be a good fit for their campus. The first step in writing this Haverford supplemental essay is to read the Honor Code thoroughly. You can find the Honor Code directly above the writing supplement on Haverford’s website–so, you know it needs to be referenced in your essay! But, we’ve also written it below:  

Haverford College Honor Code

Academic Freedom

The Honor Code fosters an atmosphere emphasizing academic integrity, collaboration over competition, and the cultivation of intellectual curiosity. Differences and disagreements are respected, valued, and embraced, and open discourse is seen as fundamental to the academic endeavor.

Student Agency

The Honor Code upholds a culture in which students are deeply trusted to take substantial ownership of their education and to profoundly shape and define the Haverford community. Student ownership is reflected in self-scheduled exams, the fact that every student completes a Senior Thesis, shared responsibility for the residential experience, and, of course, in oversight of the Honor Code itself.


The Honor Code establishes a caring and collaborative environment for living and learning, where the community experience plays a central role in one’s education. The inherent value of every community member is recognized, and diversity in all respects—including diversity of background, experience, and perspective – is nurtured, celebrated, and embraced.

Leadership and Engagement

The Honor Code allows every student to find and develop their own voice, to practice ways of improving community and acting on issues of importance, to learn methods of problem-solving and conflict resolution, and to examine the ways they can and will impact the world beyond Haverford.

The Haverford College Honor Code essay wants you to connect personally with the Honor Code, detailing how you’ll embody these values once on campus. Read through the Honor Code and pick 1 or 2 values to focus on. For example, if you have a passion project you’re eager to work on, consider writing about Student Agency or Leadership and Engagement. By choosing something that connects your interests to the larger Haverford community, you’ll have a strong foundation for your Haverford supplemental essay. 

Out of the two Haverford essay prompts, this one is more community-focused. Community can mean many things so don’t feel limited. Think through the communities you’re a part of, such as your family, school, classes, and extracurricular activities. While this essay can be categorized as a cultural diversity essay, making it personal is important. The prompt wants you to detail what values you’re looking for in your next community, so it’s crucial to think through where you’re coming from. 

What do you appreciate about the communities that you’re a part of? Have you seen examples of your community coming together to help someone? Have you worked to improve your community in any way? Has a classmate, teacher, or mentor helped you in some way? Thinking of an example to highlight will help anchor your Haverford supplemental essay as well as make it feel more personal. 

Consider an example

Let’s look at a specific example. Sally wants to highlight Leadership and Engagement in her Haverford supplemental essay. She remembers she helped organize a school fundraiser. Sally can detail how her community united for the cause and how she hopes her Haverford community will display the same level of care and consideration. She can then discuss how she connects with the Leadership and Engagement value in the Honor Code, focusing on how her experiences reinforce Haverford’s commitment to the community. 

This prompt is similar to a “Why Haverford” essay as well. Therefore, be sure to draw clear connections between your experiences within the community and how you’ll find community at Haverford. Research different student clubs and organizations you’d join or discuss how you’ll build community within your major. As with both Haverford essay prompts, the word count is limited. Working to streamline your responses will ensure you answer all aspects of the prompt while showing off your personality and writing style!

Does Haverford care about essays?

haverford supplemental essays

While it’s hard to say exactly how the Haverford College supplemental essays factor into the admissions process, as a liberal arts school, it’s safe to say the essays are an important part of the application. Indeed, the focus on Haverford’s Honor Code and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in each Haverford essay prompt showcase how important the Haverford essay is. The Haverford essay prompts can help you understand what Haverford is looking for in its students: someone who is intellectually curious and committed to fostering community on campus. 

Your Haverford supplemental essays should work together to help demonstrate why you’re a good fit for Haverford. Your essays should strengthen your Haverford application and should aim to make a good impression on the admissions officers. While Haverford may not have a straightforward “Why Haverford” essay or cultural diversity essay, the Haverford essay prompts encourage you to focus on these themes. That being said, if you’re wondering how to get into Haverford, writing your best Haverford supplemental essay is a crucial step!

Additional information about Haverford College

Research is crucial to writing your Haverford College supplemental essays. So, we’ve compiled some resources to help you get started. The How to Get Into Haverford guide is a great resource to guide you as you complete all of the Haverford requirements to the best of your ability. 

We also recommend looking through the Haverford College blog. The blog is a great place to get inspiration for your Haverford supplemental essay as you can read about the events on campus. Getting a sense of Haverford’s campus life is a great way to learn about the Haverford student experience. 

Haverford College is one of the best liberal arts colleges in the United States and offers a unique educational environment. As a small, suburban school, Haverford may not be the best fit for every student. It’s important to understand why you’re interested in Haverford – and communicate that in your Haverford supplemental essay. Take a look at our guide on the best colleges in Pennsylvania to compare what Haverford has to offer. 

Researching Haverford’s academic programs is crucial in writing your Haverford essay, so be sure to read about your intended major thoroughly. With such small class sizes, Haverford’s educational environment is focused and personalized. Read what you can about interesting student projects, research, or the overall curriculum. 

Overall, your Haverford College supplemental essays will benefit greatly from the research you conduct. Try to cultivate a deep understanding of Haverford’s student life and academics. Through each essay, show how your experience will help you achieve your goals. Your Haverford essay should be focused and detailed. You can start your research well before your senior year, so don’t delay! 

Haverford Supplemental Essays: Final Takeaways

As part of your Haverford requirements, you will need to complete two mandatory supplemental essays. These Haverford College supplemental essays will help admissions officers understand your goals, motivations, and values. We’ve compiled five key takeaways for you to keep in mind as you begin to write each Haverford supplemental essay: 

Haverford College Supplemental Essay Takeaways

Research, research, research! 

As we’ve outlined, Haverford has a unique educational structure and small class sizes. Communicating exactly why you think this would be a great fit for you is crucial to writing a stellar Haverford essay. Knowing why Haverford is the place for you comes from doing plenty of research. 

Be careful with your word count 

250 words go quickly, so you must use every word carefully. Set the stage for your essay within 1-2 sentences. Make sure you’re answering the prompt completely, while also providing enough details for the reader to understand your experiences. This can be super tricky, so starting early is key! 

Look at your essays from a bird’s eye view 

While you might write them separately, the admissions officers will read your essays together. It can be helpful to think of them as two parts to a single assignment. Make sure they complement each other well. 

Be specific 

If you want your Haverford essay to stand out, use specific details about your life and experiences. This will help them shine. No matter your intellectual interests, be prepared to dive deep into why they interest you–the more specific, the better! 

Edit and get feedback

Every great essay started as a first draft. You must build in enough time to edit and get feedback on your essays. This will ensure that you’re submitting the best versions possible. Ask teachers, mentors, or even family members to read over your essays. Carefully consider any feedback they have–sometimes another perspective is all we need! 

Admissions officers use the Haverford essay to gain a better sense of who you are as a person, so they should accurately present your unique personality. Your essays are an extremely important part of your application, so be sure to use them to show off the best parts of you! And, remember, if you need help, CollegeAdvisor offers personalized guidance on college essay writing.

haverford supplemental essays

This essay guide was written by senior advisor, Jess Klein. Looking for more admissions support? Click here to schedule a free meeting with one of our Admissions Specialists. During your meeting, our team will discuss your profile and help you find targeted ways to increase your admissions odds at top schools. We’ll also answer any questions and discuss how CollegeAdvisor.com can support you in the college application process.