It’s no surprise to us that University of Michigan is a very popular school amongst prospective students. Wolverines enjoy top-notch academics, a great college town, football, and a uniquely-balanced social life for such a high-ranking university. This past year, nearly 60,000 people applied for about 7,000 spots. That number might seem intimidating, but granted each kid we’ve ever helped with the Michigan application has gotten in, we are confident in our method:
Good grades and good test scores are extremely important here, but the essays are really the pièce de résistance. For those who didn’t make it to AP French, that means the essays are almost everything.
The Michigan supplement has three essay questions. The good news is, they haven’t changed in forever, so you can know what to expect ahead of time. The bad news is, they haven’t changed in forever, so your response better be unique and well-executed.
Essay #1: Be Passionate
If you could only do one of the activities you have listed in the Activities section of your Common Application, which one would you keep doing? Why? (Required for all applicants. Approximately 100 words)
You know that kid from elementary school who sat at the front of the class, brought the teacher an apple every day, and complimented them on their selection of assigned reading? That kid was a brown-noser and while the teacher may have bought it, the rest of you rolled your eyes. For this essay, don’t be a brown-noser. There’s no need to be overly-serious and write about what you think the admissions counselor wants to hear. Think of this admissions counselor as the young, cool teacher who genuinely wants to see you be passionate about something, and who’s going to roll their eyes if they think you’re just sucking up. Show them you are passionate. Maybe you’re a huge movie buff and you can’t wait for the Ann Arbor Film Festival. The point is, show them that you care about something.
Essay # 2: Get Creative and Specific
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.
For this essay, don’t get too attached to the categories listed in the prompt. You arguably belong to many more communities than just those nine, so try to list out a few others. Maybe you and your best friends waited in line to buy the Harry Potter books every time a new one was released and now you want to pursue a literature major. Get creative.
Categories like “religion” can feel really broad. After all, many of these identities are ones in which you’ve developed a lifetime of stories and relationships. Get specific. Remember, there’s no wrong answer here. It’s all about how you build a compelling and well-executed narrative.
Essay #3: Do Your Research
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?
You have been learning how to do research since your very first book report on earthworms. Now is the moment to let your research skills shine. First, you’re going to want to craft a narrative. Perhaps you used to diagnose your teddy bears with various illnesses when you were a kid and you’ve wanted to study Public Health ever since. That’s your narrative.
Now your job is to the fortify that narrative with research. Again, you are built for this--you’ve been doing it since your first science fair, so the only way you’re going to blow it is by being lazy. Go deep into the depths of Michigan’s website. Find out everything there is to know about, not only the academic offerings and the professors, but also the extracurriculars. Talk about how you’d like to volunteer with the School of Public Health group hosting interventions and trainings for communities affected by the Flint Water Crisis. Talk about how you’d like to help a specific professor with their research. The point is, show them that you’re dedicated by virtue of the fact that you’ve done your homework.
The University of Michigan application is our speciality. If you’d like to hear more about how we’ve helped 100% of our applicants get in, reach out to us here.