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Summer before Senior Year timeline?

penn2023penn2023 Registered User Posts: 48 Junior Member
When is the appropriate time to begin supplementals for college apps? Should students write responses to last year's questions prior to the August 1st release date in hopes that the questions remain the same or should they wait until the questions are formally announce? I don't want to end up leaving things to the last minute when I could have been starting now.

Does anyone with either personal or second-hand experience have advice?

Replies to: Summer before Senior Year timeline?

  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 38,336 Super Moderator
    The supplements (other than for UChicago) usually do not change. If your schedule allows, particularly if the college has already announce that the supplements are not changing, knock yourself out. If unsure, complete the rest of the application first, since most info will transfer over once the Common App opens 8/1.
  • ninakatarinaninakatarina Registered User Posts: 1,409 Senior Member
    I am a parent in the same boat, but what I've gotten from reading past threads is "it depends".

    If a college supplemental is something like "Why do you want to go to our college?" it is probably safe to start writing those now.

    Some colleges are notorious for changing up their questions fairly drastically each year. UChicago and Pomona were two that I read about. If your college has oddball prompts, chances are that they change their supplemental year to year and you should probably wait to write those.

    Your best bet is to spend time on a good solid personal essay and jot down a bunch of ideas for each college on your list who has a 'why us' essay.

    Of course you can't really go wrong writing a good personal essay. Some of the prompts make good jumping-off points to structure any essay on, like Stanford's "write a letter to your future roommate" essay. If you're stuck for ideas on what to write about and you have free time, the writing practice could be valuable and you could get some good material that can inform the essays you'll eventually be writing.
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