Supplemental Essays or Questions – What to do when a college reaches out for more information.
Hello folks. Today we will be talking about the steps to take when a college reaches out to a student for supplemental essays or questions. It’s fairly common for colleges to do this during the evaluation process. It is almost always a good sign, since it reaffirms their interest in you as a candidate. We will discuss how to make the most of the continued interaction.
What is an Additional Information Request Letter
Pro-Tip: Check your application portals once a week to stay updated on the status of your application, and to respond to any time-sensitive requests like supplemental essays.
Colleges will reach out for more information. Either through a format of supplemental essays or simple questions. For example, UCLA may take a talent/skill or academic achievement you mentioned earlier in your application and ask you to share more information about it. Be it on the level of your achievement, depth of participation, or passion for the particular area, they want a more detailed explanation of its impact on you. UCSD may ask about personal circumstances that have significantly impacted your ability to achieve or succeed academically. Then, even follow it up with a question on how your experience has prepared you to overcome personal challenges that may occur as a student at UCSD.
It’s always best to answer these prompts straight forward – not storied like personal statements. The first tip we have is to provide updates on engagements outside of class. For example, what have you learned for fun recently? Which grous or organizations have you been a part of, and how has your engagement gone since applying?
Pro-Tip: Unless told otherwise, do not repeat what you already wrote in your application or supplemental essays.
It’s generally good to refrain from putting anything down if there are no updates or developments since applying. But, do not underestimate activities outside of class you’re doing in your free time.
Next, emphasize and elaborate on any significant challenges. Things you may have you encountered in your path to academic success on your supplemental essays. This can include family circumstances, personal circumstances, and even the learning environment with classes going virtual. Do not be afraid of telling a “sob story.” They want to know what is genuine. And what affected your ability to perform academically.
Pro-Tip: Follow up your story about obstacles with HOW you overcame it and HOW you are now.
This provides the reader with a sense of security and confidence that you are now ready for their university life.
Letters of Recommendation
Students need to submit a letter of recommendation when requested for. This gives colleges another point of view about who you are in the classroom and in the school environment. These recommendations usually come from a counselor, teacher, employer, religious official, etc.
Pro-Tip: Ask someone who’s written one for you before.
Though, you might have to tell them to change the name of what they’re recommending you for.
Pro-Tip: Provide talking points.
When you answer college questions or a supplemental essay, provide key talking points. this essay can set you up nicely for any future interviews. This also allows for control over what’s written about you.
Change in Application Status
Whether you’re deferred from Early to Regular or you’re waitlisted, there are many different kinds of status changes to your application that can occur. Here are a few examples:
Being Deferred from Early Action/Decision to Regular Decision
This happens when a college likes you but not enough to accept you in the Early Round. They are waiting for a larger pool to compare you with before making a final decision.
Being Waitlisted for a class
This happens when a college likes you but has run out of space in terms of who they’ve accepted. Now, it’s the waiting game. For you, it means waiting for colleges’ final decisions. For colleges, it’s waiting for students’ final decisions on where they’ll enroll.
In the case of being deferred or waitlisted, draft a letter of continued interest to send to the college admissions office (via email). This should reaffirm your interest in enrolling. Use this opportunity to also provide any updates on your life or activities since applying.
It happens. Move on. But for the stubborn, there may be a way to appeal. In the event you wish to appeal a rejection, check the college’s policy and procedures. If there is no policy or set procedure, put together a formal packet of information. Include a personal statement and new information that might shed light on your candidacy to prove they made a mistake.
Supplemental essays and questions recap & conclusion
- Additional Information Request
- Supplemental essays and questions
- Letters of Recommendation
- Change in Application Status
Always remember, it is a good sign when a college reaches out to you. Stay calm and respond with gratefulness and professionalism. We hope that this provides some valuable insight into how to release some of the stress you may have while making your college application profile even stronger.
We specialize in youth mentor programs and college counseling. From 8th grade to 12th, we have you covered for any stage in your high school career. We can coach you in applications, questions and in supplemental essays. Schedule a free consultation with us here.
See you soon!