Flash of Brilliance: Should college applications require supplemental essays?

YES

Applying to college is a stressful time for seniors, and supplemental essays are a chance for the Admissions Office to see the student for who they are. Students applying to schools that have required writing pieces can reuse them, so they don’t need to spend hours working on 500-word, extra essays. Students should write about themselves and what makes them unique. Colleges are able to learn about a life story, a learning disability or even a health issue through one’s essays.  As these events shape us into who we are, this could be a factor as to why we are choosing a certain path in life. Personally,I want to study medicine because my grandma passed away from cancer, and the effect this had on my family is something I want to share with the admissions department. Through the Common and Coalition Applications, students have the opportunity to share a personal experience with the admissions council depending on the colleges to which they are applying. An essay does not necessarily prove that a student has what it takes to be the perfect “fit” for the school, but it shows the experiences that made an applicant the person that they are today. One cannot simply get to know a person by their grades, but they can by their story, which supplemental essays help individuals share.

-Remi Schwartz

 

NO

When applying to colleges via one of the general applications (traditionally through Common or Coalition), students are required to write a personal essay about themselves and how they have been shaped to be the person they are today. This allows colleges to get to know the student and see if he or she will be a strong “fit” for the school based on one essay. Students can dedicate time and effort into their personal essay, which most colleges require, instead of having the additional worry of supplementals. Colleges are academic institutions, so one’s rigor, grades and schooling are important when accepting a student; however, the one personal essay is enough to showcase their personality. Supplemental essays are unnecessary additions to the application process and students should not be required to complete them. Schools are getting more difficult to get into every year, so they are looking for the best, academically, when deciding which students to accept. Although classes do not equate to everything in terms of acceptances, it is an important factor when admitting students as it helps the schools ensure the student will be successful when taking college level courses. Seniors have enough stress applying to schools and seeing all their hard work through high school determine their future, so they don’t need the additional hardship of supplemental essays.

-Alexis Epstein

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