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Should I include an arts/research supplement?

TheConfusedKidTheConfusedKid 6 replies9 threads Junior Member
Please pardon me if this seems repetitive on the forum, but I am an Indian student hoping to get into some good colleges in the US. I've been practicing Indian classical music for 7 years, and I also know how to make some good covers on Akai MPK mini. Should I include an arts supplement along with my college application if I am looking to major in CS? And also, what do they mean by research supplements? I have published a couple of apps in the PlayStore, did some projects on robotics/programming, etc. Should I include these as my research supplement? Please help.
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Replies to: Should I include an arts/research supplement?

  • izrk02izrk02 517 replies19 threads Member
    You should submit an arts supplement, it'll make you look more well-rounded. As for the research supplement, this is for research done outside of school (or within school) that can be considered academic in nature. This is mainly for stuff such as Research Papers and studies that students have authored or worked on. I don't think you should submit your apps or projects in this category since they aren't "research".
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  • XtremeBlaze777XtremeBlaze777 152 replies16 threads Junior Member
    Agree with everything izrk02 says. CS students tend to focus only on STEM so having music in their shows that you have a life outside of programming. Research means like full on research papers on actual studies/experiments. While you should absolutely talk about your apps and projects in your supplemental essays and activities, they are not considered as conducting a research experiment.
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  • SJ2727SJ2727 2276 replies8 threads Senior Member
    But also check the policies of your target colleges. Some specifically tell you not to submit things like art supplements unless you are applying for a school which requires a portfolio.
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  • TheConfusedKidTheConfusedKid 6 replies9 threads Junior Member
    So I should record myself singing Indian classical music and some popular English song? And can you sing over karaoke?
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  • izrk02izrk02 517 replies19 threads Member
    @TheConfusedKid Check the requirements for your schools. Some will have really detailed instructions, and some will have loose requirements. I'd suggest finding the school with the strictest requirements and do that, and see if it fits the other schools. You might have to make multiple.
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 1944 replies31 threads Senior Member
    Someone asked an Adcom this at one of our info sessions. She said that, as a non-musician, she passes music supplemental material to a professor at the school’s performing arts college for evaluation.

    So if you are creating very high quality material that a semi-professional would positively comment on, I would submit it. If it’s “my friends all say I’m pretty good”, then I wouldn’t.

    I would say that singing over karaoke probably falls into the latter category.
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  • aunt beaaunt bea 10093 replies68 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    @izrk02
    You should submit an arts supplement, it'll make you look more well-rounded.
    What university do you currently work with?

    I have two friends at two universities in admissions. They have both indicated that they get so much unnecessary material that it becomes a nuisance; they tend to remember the kid that sent a hard-bound copy of a report. Their schools don't have the time for supplemental materials and they get really annoyed if they have to return unnecessary materials.
    Remember that some of the more popular schools get over 80,000 applicants every year. (That's the case for one of my friend's who receives 90K apps per year).
    If they have to take the time to download or accept additional portfolio's, that material takes time away from decisions. Don't annoy the adcoms! If they didn't personally ask for it, don't send it.

    The ONLY exceptions where students are allowed to submit supplemental materials is if the student is applying to the school as ART or MUSIC majors. (NOT minors) Then, in most instances, it is required.

    FWIW every Indian international student has dance or music in their vitae. Before you start producing anything, or thinking that it will give you an advantage, you will need to contact admissions to confirm if they will accept it. I am assuming that most of you are not ART or MUSIC majors?
    edited December 2019
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  • izrk02izrk02 517 replies19 threads Member
    @aunt bea good for your friends, but they are just 2 of thousands of admissions officers. If the school is asking for a supplement, especially in the main application, it means they will accept it. They asked for it, so they should expect to receive them. Only if the school doesn't ask for a supplement, will it hurt, nobody wants something they didn't ask for.
    To OP, do what makes you feel best. If you feel like your application could be improved by an arts supplement (to be fair, most people will send in singing/music), then send it! If the school is asking for it, it can't hurt to send it in if they're asking.
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  • aunt beaaunt bea 10093 replies68 threads Senior Member
    So I noticed that you are a student and cannot represent yourself as a guidance counselor or an adcom.
    I'm a white, female senior. I'm applying . . . . and wanted to know my chances.

    Both adcom friends are at elite universities where many international students apply. They have been in these jobs for years. I have worked directly with students at my high school. I would never advise them of something that I hadn't personally researched or checked myself. My three children went through this process, so I use this information along with my experience with my student applicants to give my opinions here.

    I feel that you need to be honest with other students who are asking for information. If you are yourself an applicant, and can't speak directly about admissions information expertise, then you need to make them aware that you too are a student without experience as an adcom or HS guidance counselor.

    There are at least 3700 institutions of higher learning and they tend to go according to very similar in house rules. Yes, it is two adcoms who see more than 90K apps + 40K apps on their computers.
    That's 130K students whose futures they affect and impact.
    Should I include an arts supplement along with my college application if I am looking to major in CS?
    Proofread before your response: The school didn't ask for it.
    If the school is asking for a supplement, especially in the main application, it means they will accept it.
    Be honest and say: "I am also a student, and I believe:_____".
    These students are asking for honest help. When you respond as though you are an expert, you can cause major expense and time for these students.
    Being snarky is not the way to go.
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  • izrk02izrk02 517 replies19 threads Member
    @aunt bea First of all, this is a shared account. The "student" you're referring to isn't me, the person actually commenting. Also, a lot of schools will have a section that states "Do you intend to submit a portfolio so that your creative talent in one or more fields will be considered as part of the admission process to _____ University?" (this was taken from Columbia's common app). The many options include film, music, visual arts, dance, theater, etc. If the school has an option on the common app or their own application platform for you to upload a portfolio/supplement, they want to see it. It can only be a net gain, not a loss, if they provide a place to upload something. Some of the most popular colleges (all the ivies, Duke, MIT, and Stanford) all ask for optional portfolios, so the argument that it takes away time doesn't really work if the most famous colleges ask for them. Since OP is applying to CS, the portfolio is optional, but it can't hurt to submit, unless they aren't good at whatever they are presenting.
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  • tkoparenttkoparent 310 replies6 threads Member
    I'm sure it depends, but my son did submit an arts supplement with most of his applications, including tape of both theater and musical performances - just a couple of minutes long. He was not applying specifically to either a theater or music department but he wanted to show this aspect of himself as part of his applications. He is Asian, but non-STEM. I can't be sure whether the supplement was helpful, but it certainly didn't hurt him. In your case, if you do this, I think you should try to capture a performance that looks relatively professional, not karaoke.
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  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn 39987 replies2198 threads Super Moderator
    MODERATOR’S NOTE: Since @izrk02 admitted to sharing an account, I’m closing this thread. It’s a violation of the Terms of Service. As this thread demonstrates, it’s confusing to other users.

    The OP is welcome to start a new thread to continue the conversation.
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