University of Miami supplemental essays; collegeadvisor.com image: a photo of Otto G. Ritcher library on UMiami's campus.

Not sure how to approach the University of Miami essay prompts? With tips from an Ivy League graduate, CollegeAdvisor.com’s guide to the University of Miami supplemental essays will show you how to write strong University of Miami supplemental essays and increase your chances in the University of Miami admissions process. 
For more CollegeAdvisor.com resources on the University of Miami and University of Miami supplemental essays, click here. Want help crafting your University of Miami supplemental essays? Create your free account or schedule a free consultation by calling (844) 343-6272.

University of Miami Essay Guide Quick Facts

  • The University of Miami acceptance rate is 33%—U.S. News ranks University of Miami as a highly competitive school. 
  • We recommend answering all University of Miami supplemental essays with detail and care.

What is the acceptance rate for the University of Miami?

The UMiami acceptance rate is 33%, according to U.S. News. Compared to the UMiami acceptance rate, the national average for college acceptance rates is 68%

What does the UMiami acceptance rate mean? Well, a few things. First, when you build your college list, you should keep the UMiami acceptance rate in mind. It’s important to apply to a combination of “reach,” “target,” and “safety” schools. UMiami would likely fall in either the “target” or “reach” category, based on the UMiami acceptance rate. 

Want to learn more about how to use data like the UMiami acceptance rate to build a college list? Check out our blog articles on acceptance rates, college rankings, and building a college list.  

Demonstrated Interest

Another way to use the UMiami acceptance rate? Think of it as an incentive to write the best University of Miami supplemental essays possible. When schools have low acceptance rates (i.e. lower than the national average) then demonstrated interest (DI) becomes even more important. Colleges use DI to determine how much a student wants to attend their school. If an admissions officer is looking at two similar students (similar GPAs, test scores, extracurricular profile, etc.), often the decision comes down to which student shows greater DI. And, while there are many ways to show DI, one of the strongest is through your supplemental essays. This makes the UMiami supplemental essays even more important. To read more about DI and how it relates to the admissions process, check out this article in Forbes

Given the UMiami acceptance rate, you should pay attention to the University of Miami supplemental essays. The UMiami application process is competitive. While the UMiami acceptance rate is lower than the national average, it shouldn’t discourage you from applying. Strong University of Miami supplemental essays will set you apart from applicants with weaker answers to the University of Miami essay prompts.  

Does the University of Miami require a supplemental essay?

Yes. In addition to the Common App Personal Statement, there is an additional University of Miami essay. Some colleges have more than one essay prompt, but you will not find multiple UMiami supplemental essays. 

Given the UMiami acceptance rate, and since there are not multiple University of Miami supplemental essays, we recommend that you compose a thoughtful University of Miami application essay.  

Need tips on writing your Common App essay? Then, check out our blog article.  

How many essays are required for Miami?

There is only one short supplemental essay for the University of Miami. It may seem easy to tackle the University of Miami essay quickly. However, you should get an early start on the University of Miami application essay. Even though there are not multiple UMiami supplemental essays, you should not leave the University of Miami essay to the last second. This could decrease the quality of your University of Miami application essay and weaken your application. 

This also means that the Common App Personal Statement will play a large role in your admissions results. So, you should ensure you have a strong response to that prompt as well. UMiami will want to know that you are a strong writer, and they’ll also want to see how you have grown throughout high school. Both the Common App essay and the supplemental University of Miami essay let you show those things. Your University of Miami supplemental essay should highlight what makes you unique and how you would enrich the UMiami campus. No two University of Miami supplemental essays will be the same!

The essay matters

Since there are not multiple University of Miami essay prompts, you should approach the University of Miami application essay carefully—especially given the low UMiami acceptance rate. With just one University of Miami essay to write, you don’t have much space to impress your readers. A strong University of Miami application essay can boost your chances against the low UMiami acceptance rate. 

Last year, over 40,000 students applied to UMiami. That means that your readers are evaluating 40,000 University of Miami supplemental essays. With so many essays to wade through, the admissions team will be looking for strong writers who clearly and concisely answer the University of Miami essay prompt. The best University of Miami supplemental essays will draw the reader in with a strong opening anecdote and leave the reader wanting to know more about the student.

What are the University of Miami essay prompts?

In this guide, we will discuss how to respond to the University of Miami essay prompts. As noted, there is only one essay for UMiami, not multiple UMiami supplemental essays. This means that you should put extra effort into your one short UMiami essay. 

You can view the University of Miami application essay question here, on the UMiami website. You can also view it on the Common App website

Below, we will tell you the University of Miami essay question. We’ll also break down how to write the best University of Miami essay possible in order to boost your chances against the UMiami acceptance rate. You want your essay to stand out from other University of Miami supplemental essays by capturing your unique outlook and personality. Although there are not multiple University of Miami supplemental essays, you should spend a good amount of time writing your University of Miami application essay.  

For tips to make your University of Miami application essay stand out against other University of Miami supplemental essays, read on. Remember, admissions officers read thousands of University of Miami supplemental essays each year. This means you should try to set your essay apart from other applicants’ UMiami supplemental essays. 

University of Miami Supplemental Essays – Question 1

The University of Miami’s official mascot is the ibis. Folklore maintains that the native marsh bird is the last to take shelter before a hurricane hits and the first to emerge once the storm passes, making it an apt symbol of courage and resilience.

Considering your ability to control your own motivation and behavior, how have past experiences helped build your courage and resilience to persist in the face of academic and life challenges so that, once these storms pass, you can emerge in continued pursuit of your goals? (Maximum 250 words).

How do I write the Miami supplemental essay? 

The University of Miami essay is a key part of your application. A strong response to the University of Miami essay prompt will boost your chances against the low UMiami acceptance rate. 

Basically, this University of Miami application essay asks you what challenges you have overcome. College can be a stressful place, so UMiami wants to see how you’ll handle the social, academic, and emotional pressures of university life. 

Focus on structure

Start your University of Miami application essay by thinking about structure. With only 250 words, you should structure your essay carefully. The best University of Miami supplemental essays will have three parts: what challenge you faced, how you dealt with it, and how the challenge helped you grow.

First, you must choose a challenge to discuss. Don’t choose something too common or too small, like getting a C on a test. However, you should also avoid choosing a problem too complex to fully address. You only have 250 words for this University of Miami essay question, so try to maximize the impact of each sentence. 

Narrow your focus

The prompt refers to your “past experiences,” so you could choose to discuss more than one experience in this University of Miami application essay. However, you want to make sure you have enough space to address the full prompt. Don’t spend the whole essay discussing many setbacks you have had in your life—instead, keep a narrow focus. 

This essay should discuss a time when you faced a setback but did not let that setback beat you. Admissions officers want to see your resourcefulness, creativity, and problem-solving skills in this University of Miami essay. The prompt wants to see that you “emerge in continued pursuit of your goals.” Make sure you focus on the how and not just the what

After you describe your chosen challenge, explain how you overcame it. Focus on your skills, ideas, and actions. Describe how—in specific terms—you beat the challenge and came out stronger on the other side. You’ll want to show how you learned and grew from your experience. Colleges love to see growth, and UMiami is no exception. 

The long-term effect

The best University of Miami supplemental essays will also reflect on how this challenge affected you long-term. How did this challenge change you? What did you gain from the experience? Think about any skills or traits that you developed from your challenge. Then, in your essay, discuss how you will carry those skills with you in the future. Try to gesture toward your goals; admissions officers want to see that you’re forward-thinking in your response to the University of Miami essay prompt. 

Admissions officers also want to see your creativity and problem-solving. As you start your University of Miami application essay, then, reflect on how you solve problems. How do you address a challenge? Why did this challenge matter to you? What was at stake? Most of all, this essay lets you show what has made you into the person you will be on the UMiami campus. Again, a solid University of Miami essay will boost your chances against the UMiami acceptance rate. 

University of Miami  Supplemental Essays—Final Thoughts

The University of Miami supplemental essay can seem daunting, especially given the UMiami acceptance rate. However, don’t let that discourage you from applying. The University of Miami supplemental essays are a great opportunity to show your readers who you are. 

Want to hear more from UMiami’s undergraduate admissions team on approaching the University of Miami supplemental essay? Check out this video from the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions below.

Given the low UMiami acceptance rate, strong responses to the University of Miami essay prompts can help you succeed if you have a lower than average GPA or SAT score. Use this guide as a step-by-step aid to the University of Miami supplemental essays, and start earlier than you think you should. Strong UMiami supplemental essays will help you stand out against other applicants’ responses to the University of Miami essay prompts. Don’t be afraid to ask for edits from someone; it is helpful to have another set of eyes checking your UMiami supplemental essays for grammar, tone, and clarity, especially given the UMiami acceptance rate. Good luck!


This 2021-2022 essay guide on UMiami was written by Laura Frustaci, Harvard, ’21. This guide to the University of Miami supplemental essays shows you how to write engaging University of Miami essays and maximize your chances against the UMiami acceptance rate. For more CollegeAdvisor.com resources on writing strong UMiami supplemental essays, and on UMiami, click here.

Want help crafting your University of Miami supplemental essays? Create your free account or schedule a free advising consultation by calling (844) 343-6272.