University of Michigan Supplemental Essays 2023-24
Like all college essays, the University of Michigan supplemental essays offer the admissions team insight into who you are and what you’ll bring to campus. Given UMich’s ranking as #3 among public universities nationwide, your UMich supplemental essays are vital to crafting a competitive University of Michigan application.
As one of the best colleges in Michigan and even the Midwest, the University of Michigan attracts students from across the nation. Additionally, with its location in Ann Arbor, Michigan, an excellent college town, it’s no wonder so many students strive to become a part of this buzzing campus community.
With the low University of Michigan acceptance rate, you’ll want to make your UMich supplemental essays stand out. In this guide, we’ll discuss the University of Michigan essay requirements and prompts so that you are prepared to write stellar essays.
UMich Supplemental Essays: Quick Facts
UMich Supplemental Essays: Quick Facts
- University of Michigan Acceptance Rate: 20%–U.S. News ranks University of Michigan as a most selective school.
- Understanding the University of Michigan essay requirements:
- One 100-300 word essay
- One 100-550 word essay
- The University of Michigan Application: UMich exclusively uses the Common App for first-year admission. Be sure to have your supplemental essays and all other application requirements ready when applying.
- Key University of Michigan Application Deadlines:
- Early Action: November 1st
- Regular Decision: February 1st
- *School of Music, Theatre, & Dance students: December
- University of Michigan Essay Tip: Start early when working on your UMich supplemental essays! Through your essays, the admissions team should get a good glimpse of who you are beyond your academic achievements. Remember, the UMich acceptance rate is highly selective, so your University of Michigan supplemental essays have to stand out.
Strong University of Michigan supplemental essays can make a major difference in the admissions process. If you’ve got your heart set on this top university, learning more about the UMich supplemental essays can help you begin your application process.
Does University of Michigan have essays?
Yes! In addition to the Common App personal statement, students applying to the University of Michigan must complete two additional supplemental essays.
The UMich supplemental essays both have a 100 minimum word requirement. However, the maximum word limit varies between the UMich essay prompts, with one essay at 300 words and the other at 550 words. This may seem like a large range, but take each essay step by step.
Before panicking about your word count, make sure that you’ve chosen a compelling topic, interesting anecdote, or moment of personal growth to center on. When you’re finally ready to draft, remember that every word counts. Admissions reads plenty of essays, so don’t just add words without intention. Each word, sentence, and paragraph should serve a purpose.
University of Michigan Supplemental Essays Requirements
There are two required UMich supplemental essays that all applicants must complete. All applicants will respond to the same UMich essay prompts.
As we have already mentioned, the University of Michigan requires students to complete the 650-word max Common App Personal Statement, a 100-300 word Diversity Community Essay, and a 100-550 word Why School Essay.
If you think about it, you really have 1,500 words in total to impress the University of Michigan admissions team. So, plan each University of Michigan essay ahead of time. Be clear and concise in the things you want to say, and get personal with the details you choose to include. You want to make sure you craft a stellar University of Michigan essay that lets your personality shine through. This will help you increase your chances against the highly selective University of Michigan acceptance rate.
The admissions review process
In the selection process, the University of Michigan admissions team looks at the entirety of the application. This includes a review of each applicant’s talents, interests, passions, and skills. By looking beyond grades and test scores, the school admits a widely diverse class of students.
UMich uses a holistic review process. This means that no single element of your application will make or break your admissions odds; rather, the school seeks to understand each applicant as a whole person. So, use your UMich supplemental essays to demonstrate your academic preparation, extracurricular involvement, and desire to pursue excellence in a challenging environment.
UMich Essay #1: Diverse Community Essay
The first of the two University of Michigan supplemental essays may look familiar. Essentially, it’s a diverse community essay. This sort of essay is popular at colleges across the nation.
Here’s the UMich prompt:
UMich Essay #1 Prompt
Everyone belongs to many different communities and/or groups defined by (among other things) shared geography, religion, ethnicity, income, cuisine, interest, race, ideology, or intellectual heritage. Choose one of the communities to which you belong, and describe that community and your place within it.
Why are prompts like these popular on college applications? Well, this question lets you show the admissions team how you may fit into the UMich campus community. How will you help in creating a diverse community? What unique perspectives and experiences will you bring? Basically, this essay is an opportunity to show how you’d enhance the UMich community.
Crafting your response
Firstly, to write a successful response to this UMich essay prompt, you’ll need to identify a community that you belong to. Then, you’ll need to think critically about how you interact with that community. Consider how you have impacted this community and how the community has impacted you. Use this University of Michigan essay to convey, in no more than 300 words, who you are and what you value.
Remember, the University of Michigan seeks to enroll a class with a wide variety of backgrounds, intellectual passions, and interests. Your diverse community essay should demonstrate how you fit into the UMich environment and plan to enrich the student body. So, show that you are a curious, open-minded, and proactive community member.
For tips and tricks on approaching the first of the UMich supplemental essays, check out other cultural diversity and community essay examples.
UMich Essay #2: Why School Essay?
The second of the University of Michigan supplemental essays is another common prompt among universities: the Why School Essay.
Here’s the second University of Michigan essay prompt:
UMich Essay #2 Prompt
Describe the unique qualities that attract you to the specific undergraduate College or School (including preferred admission and dual degree programs) to which you are applying at the University of Michigan. How would that curriculum support your interests?
In this University of Michigan essay, you should tell the admissions team why you want to go to UMich. Don’t just list what you like about the school or restate information on their admissions website. The institution offers more than 280 degree programs across 14 undergraduate schools and colleges. However, you’ll want to focus on specific programs or offerings that excite you.
Do a deep dive and let your educational and extracurricular interests fuel your search. Your University of Michigan essay should demonstrate exactly what has drawn you to UMich and why you belong on campus.
Your Why School Essay should help the UMich admissions officers learn more about you as an individual and what you hope to gain from attending the University of Michigan. However, this essay needs to be specific. What makes the University of Michigan the perfect fit for you?
Do your research
To show your interest in UMich, you’ll need to do some research. As you prepare to write your UMich supplemental essays, reflect on specific aspects of the University of Michigan that align with your educational and career goals. Then, in this University of Michigan essay, use your research to describe your goals and how UMich will help you reach them.
Remember, the University of Michigan is a highly competitive school. So, your UMich supplemental essays have to stand out. The second of your University of Michigan essays should allow the admissions team to get to know you while assessing mutual fit.
If you’re stuck writing your UMich Why School essay, check out these two successful University of Michigan essay examples. Here, you’ll find stellar UMich supplemental essay examples of the Why School essay as well as commentary from a former admissions officer on why each University of Michigan essay worked.
Tips for approaching the UMich Supplemental Essays
We’ve reviewed the UMich essay prompts and what kind of responses they are looking for. If you’re struggling to choose a topic, try to include information that hasn’t been shown in other parts of your application. Don’t shy away from using personal anecdotes and experiences. In fact, the best University of Michigan supplemental essays will do just that.
Additionally, in your UMich supplemental essays, you should highlight goals or passions that motivate you as well as impactful lessons you have learned. These details give life to your University of Michigan essay and help you stand out. However, make sure that you fully answer each prompt while doing so.
Here are 4 tips to write better UMich supplemental essays:
How to Write UMich Supplemental Essays
1. Choose the right topic
Carefully consider what experiences have meant the most to you while thinking about your future educational, career, and life goals. Choose topics that comprehensively answer each of the University of Michigan supplemental essays. However, your passion for your topic should shine through. So, choose themes that genuinely matter to you.
2. Get personal
There is nothing less interesting than reading a surface-level college essay. In your essay, you should craft a story that brings your application to life. Use anecdotes, personal details, and meaningful experiences to paint a picture of who you are. As you do so, demonstrate why you deserve to attend the University of Michigan.
3. Draft your essay
Remember that you’ll likely write multiple rough drafts before you hone in on your final piece. Although you must adhere to a limited word count in your final draft, your rough drafts can (and should!) be longer than the word count. Consider your rough drafts as a place to get all of your thoughts down on paper. From there, you can see what you want to focus on. It’s better to start with more information than you need than to not have enough to begin with!
4. Leave time to edit and revise
Always leave plenty of time for revision. Grammatical errors can be distracting and leave the admissions team with the wrong impression of you. Don’t let grammar and mechanics be the fatal flaw that impedes your admissions odds. Ideally, have a couple of people look over your work before you submit your final essays. In addition to checking for grammatical and spelling errors, your proofreaders can let you know how they perceive your essays. Does your main point come across? Is your personality evident? Get second and third opinions where possible!
Writing your University of Michigan essays can feel daunting at first. However, with these tips and tricks, you’ll be on your way to writing outstanding UMich supplemental essays in no time. And, most importantly, make sure to get your essays and application done by the deadlines!
How to make your UMich Essays stand out!
The best way to prepare to write University of Michigan supplemental essays that stand out is by getting ahead of the game. And staying organized is a great way to do so. Create an application checklist in order to manage your UMich supplemental essays along with your other application requirements.
Standout UMich supplemental essays can make all the difference in the application process. Remember, your University of Michigan supplemental essays should show the UMich admissions team what makes you unique. Convince your reader why you are a highly qualified applicant who deserves admission to UMich. Your University of Michigan supplemental essays should showcase your personality, experiences, and potential contributions. So, make an argument about why you are the perfect fit for the UMich community when answering the UMich essay prompts.
Make sure that your UMich supplemental essays have:
- An authentic and personal writing voice
- Personal experiences, values, passions, goals (be sure to include how these have impacted your personal growth)
- Use of imagery, thoughtful language, strong narrative flow, and storytelling
- School-specific details
And, here are some things to keep out of your UMich supplemental essays:
- Generic or cliche responses
- Information that was already shared in other parts of your application
University of Michigan Supplemental Essays – 5 Takeaways
Let’s go over some final takeaways to keep in mind when tackling the UMich supplemental essays.
1. Start early
Give yourself ample time to develop college essay ideas, write drafts, and review them multiple times. Before starting to brainstorm and draft, you should familiarize yourself with the UMich application and University of Michigan supplemental essays requirements. Take time to review past University of Michigan supplemental essays to gain insight on what the admissions team looks for. You’ll want to make sure you have budgeted enough time to write both required University of Michigan supplemental essays.
2. Do your research
Before you even begin drafting your University of Michigan supplemental essays, you should do your research on the University of Michigan. Your University of Michigan supplemental essays should include school-specific details and demonstrate how the school environment will help you to achieve your goals. The schools you apply to should meet all of your needs. So, spend time looking into their offerings such as majors, internships, student organizations, and campus culture. Use your findings to show that you have invested time and energy into finding the best college for you.
3. Create an outline
In addition to researching the school, you should outline your thoughts and ideas before drafting your essay. Outlines allow you to organize your thoughts, structure your essay, and ensure that your University of Michigan supplemental essays answer the UMich essay prompts entirely. This helps streamline your writing process by clarifying your main points and maintaining focus throughout your University of Michigan supplemental essays. Clarity counts for more than creativity of vocabulary, especially when you’re limited in word count. So, focus on quality over quantity. To write clear and concise University of Michigan supplemental essays, you should narrow your thoughts down to only your strongest arguments.
4. Show don’t tell
Utilize “show” vs “tell” writing. Your UMich supplemental essays should show readers who you are beyond your academic achievements. Stories are more effective at explaining your qualities and passions than statements. What have you done that shows your interests? What examples can you give of your character? Your University of Michigan supplemental essays should paint a clear picture of who you are and why you would succeed at the University of Michigan. Give life to facts and details by using anecdotes and intriguing hooks. This will make your University of Michigan supplemental essays more interesting and fun to read.
5. Proofread and ask for help
The editing phase of writing your University of Michigan supplemental essays is just as important as the writing phase. UMich supplemental essays are evaluated for content and writing style as well as grammar and mechanics. So, you will want to make sure you’ve reviewed your University of Michigan supplemental essays for each component. Having someone else review your essay can make a huge difference. So, make sure you leave sufficient time for this step. However, remember to filter the feedback you get on your University of Michigan supplemental essays. Don’t compromise your own writing style and voice by taking someone else’s notes.
We hope that you have found this guide useful! Remember to revisit this article when you’re in the thick of writing your own University of Michigan supplemental essays. You may also check out this guide on How to Get Into the University of Michigan. Additionally, you can learn more about what it takes to apply to and attend the University of Michigan from a recent alum in this webinar.
If you’re looking for personalized attention when approaching your University of Michigan essays, reach out to our advisors at CollegeAdvisor to help you write the very best UMich supplemental essays. Click here to schedule a free consultation.
This essay guide was written by Bailey Bennett. 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.