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Writing the University of Michigan Supplement Essay

Updated on October 23, 2012

The Essay Prompt (2010-2011)

"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. (Approximately 250 words)" - University of Michigan Common Application Supplement Essay.

Sample Response

Although I never like to define myself by my heritage or my background, my religious affiliation has always been a large part of who I am.  My church congregation has provided a second family and a support network for as long as I can remember.  We are united only superficially by a shared ideology, the bond between the members of the congregation goes back much farther.  Church attendance in my area is culturally mandated, and many families have been attending the same churches for generations.  When I walk in to Sunday services, there is something comforting about knowing that every person in that building genuinely cares about my well-being, and if I ever needed them they would be there.

Show a definite sense of self identity, but make sure you don't sound as though your community is the only thing that defines you.  Colleges want you to be unique, but they also want you to fit in to the diverse campus environment. This University of Michigan Admissions Essay starts very strongly.

University of Michigan Common Application Supplement

Specific Examples!

We have potlucks, socials, and services, each event attended with equal fervor and mass participation.  The actions of the community are dictated by vote, and the congregation is quick to defend its own members and to offer words of encouragement to people who wish to join.  There hardly exists a more inclusive and caring group of people.

You don't have many words, but you must go into detail on the University of Michigan supplement so they know you are not trying to make anything up just for admissions purposes.

The Personal Connection

Part of the problem with a cross generational community is that it can sometimes be hard to develop a personal identity within it. In the back of my mind, every decision and action that I take to improve myself and to gain an education has been with the intent of going back to my church and having people respect me as my own man, rather than as a child of my parents.

Connect everything you have written to a personal observation. How is your Common App Supplement specifically about you?

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