University Of Michigan Essay Advice - Homework for you

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University Of Michigan Essay Advice

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University of michigan essay advice

Essays Tips
  • Do not use titles.
  • “Have something to say instead of having to say something.” Write about something that’s actually interesting to you, that you actually would like to talk about.
    • This is a harder and a more demanding task than actually writing the essay. How many essays have you written? How many essays have you written about yourself?
  • "Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth, without caring two pence how often it has been told before, you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it." - C.S Lewis

Admissions Officer Psychology

Admissions officers are interesting people who are bored and maxed. They want to read interesting essays. They want to find interesting people to populate next year’s freshman class. If you are an interesting person, they want to get to know you. If you’re not an interesting person, start working on it (hint: the 1st step is asserting that you are, in fact, an interesting person. Then start pretending you are one.). The beauty of the fact that they are looking for interesting people is that once you have become an interesting person, you simply have to be yourself in your essays. You don’t have to pretend anything.

Quotes from “An Interview With a College Admissions Officer” (listed in Essays That Worked for College Applicants 70 66 71 ):
  • "Sometimes it seems that there are only 4 types of essays: the 'class president' essay, the 'I lost and learned' sports essay, the 'I went to Europe and learned how complex the world is' essay, and the good old 'being yearbook editor sure is hard work' essay." [Additional comment: for engineering applications, there also is the potentially platitudinous 'I liked building stuff as a kid. I wanna do engineering. ' essay.]
  • That said, if you can pull off a clean, fresh, original take on any of these topics, it can work superbly. In general, just avoid clichés. (Avoid them like the plague. They are as old as the hills.)
  • "I wish students would realize that when they write they should have something to say. They should try to present their values and priorities by writing on the subject that really means something to them, because other than the essay, all I have is a bunch of test scores and activities: 10,000 sets of numbers and facts. I'd like to be able to see beyond that. I want to see what makes someone tick."
  • "Being offbeat or daring is usually a plus, as long as the student stays in control of his writing. The essays which are most effective seize a topic with confidence and imagination. Too many applicants treat their essay like a minefield. They walk around on tiptoes, avoiding anything controversial. Of course, the essay comes out two-dimensional, flat, and boring. It seems like many essays have been read, proofread, and re-proofread until all the life has been sucked out [see How to un-gut an essay 72 67 73 ]. I wish kids would just relax and not try to guess what the admissions committee is looking for. As soon as they start playing that game, they're going to lose. The essay won't be from the heart, and it won't work. " [I disagree to some extent; you should try to get into the heads of the admissions committee, but then write what they actually want -- don't do the opposite and let it paralyze your writing]
  • "The great essays -- good writers discussing something of personal importance -- stick out like diamonds in a coal mine. When we're sorting through the last few hundred applications, an essay that sticks out in an admissions officers mind has got to help the applicant who wrote it."
  • "How important is it to be good writer. Writing style tells you a lot about the way a person thinks. I like when a student brings a sense of style to a piece, as a good essayist or editorial writer would do. I've always advocated reading the essays of E.B. White as a means of preparing for writing the essay. I also suggest that students read the editorial pages of the local newspaper. But we never discount the student who writes a simple, even awkward, essay which is sincere and moving.

That's why I urge students to write as they would in a diary or a letter to a friend. When you write a letter, you may ramble, but when you're finished, your letter sounds like something you would really say. " [see How to un-gut an essay 74 68 75 ] Good college essays
  • Creatively and/or powerfully answer the question. but don't let the fact that you have to do so hinder you in portraying yourself. The prompt is a blank slate for you to write something that you want to write about. Chances are, something that you actually want to write about actually answers the question.
  • Honestly and personally present personal traits, thoughts, values
  • Convey a positive attitude
  • Are compelling and specific, with a powerful introduction into thought-provoking conclusion relevant to the entirety of essay
  • Are focused and concise, but not narrow or robotic. Approximate max length: 2 pages doublespaced
  • Have a unified voice.

A good college application portrays all of your most important positive facets and hints at more.

What is voice and how to get it?

From the day I started writing things longer than a sentence in approximately first-grade, I have found it effortless and natural to engage what I later learned to be called my "writer's voice." That reveals that it's not a trait you need to develop through years of study. instead, I think it's a natural ability that every speaking person has and uses, but that some fail to port into their writing. People try to write for prompts, people try to be objective, people mistakenly resign themselves to the idea that "good writing" can't be spoken from the self, personal. In the midst of talking, they neglect to engage person behind "I." It's really easy to do this, you just have to stop thinking about the prompt and start thinking about writing an interesting essay about a fascinating self observation for fun, like you'd post in your blog, and then begin writing. The result will be something that is the precursor to a fully voiced college essay.

*Note: UC (University of California) essays matter less than statistics, at least for raw admission. The same cannot be said for Regents scholarships, candidates for which are automatically selected from top applications.

Dream: "If I went to MIT (your school here) I would. "Good question for applicants to ponder: if you could go to MIT for a day, what would you do? This is the basis of (It's like if I ran the zoo !)

How to un-gut an essay

Do not write like a dead fish that was robotic to begin with. [Link to interview with admissions officer] Instead of talking about yourself and the things you did (and invariably sounding like an arrogant prig), reveal through vivid and specific examples why the things you like to do are awesome.

Doing it right: “ Imagine playing chess while simultaneously running a marathon with a pack of wolves pursuing you. The game is called Squash and it’s a sport for multitaskers.”

MIT student 2015

The same applies to larger essays; and while no rule is absolute – the only absolute goal in college applications is the intended impression – these are good guidelines for maintaining the vivacity of your essays.

Consider the difference between these 2 variants of the following intro paragraph. The former is specific and immediate, but blatantly self-aggrandizing and purely descriptive of actions that transpired. It doesn’t go beyond the circumstances discussed. The latter, however, without any direct quotes manages to achieve a comparable level of immediacy plus a distinctive personal voice backed with a mildly self-deprecating and philosophical tone:

Doing it wrong (pompous and denotative): " I 'm available all summer."
" I 'm interested."
" I 'm in!"
" I would love to do this, [John]. I 'm ready to go!"
With these enthusiastic words, a cadre of brilliant high school computer scientists pledged their support of an "interesting idea" I had proposed: I was going to hire them .
todo: [Link to essay –UC]

Doing it right (subtle, humorous, and humbly philosophical [Note: humility must be employed judiciously; avoid shortchanging yourself]):
“I never intended to hire anybody. In fact, I never sought to obtain employment myself. I was too busy having fun with computers to be bothered with any of that. But as soon as you know how to hit "ctrl-alt-delete," it seems everyone wants tech support, and one thing leads to another.”
Common App Main 76 69 77

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The goal of Sudoku is to fill in a 9×9 grid with digits so that each column, row, and 3×3 section contain the numbers between 1 to 9. At the beginning of the game, the 9×9 grid will have some of the squares filled in. Your job is to use logic to fill in the missing digits and complete the grid. Don’t forget, a move is incorrect if:

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  • Tip 1: Look for rows, columns of 3×3 sections that contain 5 or more numbers. Work through the remaining empty cells, trying the numbers that have not been used. In many cases, you will find numbers that can only be placed in one position considering the other numbers that are already in its row, column, and 3×3 grid.
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University of Michigan Questions

University of Michigan Questions

U-M supplemental essay questions for the 2016-2017 Common Application:

Essay #1 (Required for all applicants. Approximately 250 words.)

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.

Essay #2 (Required for all applicants. 500 words maximum.) FRESHMEN APPLICANTS

Describe the unique qualities that attract you to the specific undergraduate College or School (including preferred admission and dual degree programs) to which you are applying at the University of Michigan. How would that curriculum support your interests?

Essay #2 (Required for all applicants. 500 words maximum.) TRANSFER APPLICANTS

Describe the unique qualities that attract you to the specific undergraduate College or School to which you are applying at the University of Michigan. How would that curriculum support your interests?

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University of Michigan Essay #2 - College Confidential

University of Michigan Essay #2

I would really appreciate any comments on my U of M supplemental essay #2, it's still in it's beginning stages but any and all critiques are welcome!

Describe the unique qualities that attract you to the specific undergraduate College or School (including preferred admission and dual degree programs) to which you are applying at the University of Michigan. How would that curriculum support your interests?

I have always had a passion for science, however I had never concluded how I wanted to pursue this passion upon graduation until my sophomore year in high school. During my sophomore year I became exposed to a fresh and inspiring field of science– chemistry. I was awed by the broad spectrum of information chemistry covered; from the way light is produced to the production of the food on our plates, chemistry began to explain the physical world around me through a completely new perspective.
As a result of my curious nature, I decided to join the New Jersey Chemistry Olympics team the following year to further advance my interest in chemistry through research. Intrigued by the artistic aspect of chemistry, from the precise structures of molecules to the vibrant colors of complex ions and precipitates, I only found it fitting to join Event 7— Info Search. In this event I was required to research and calculate precise bond angles, hybridization, bond length, resonance, structure, and relative atomic size of a large, complex molecule, Rivastigmine. Having acquired this knowledge through my own research, rather than from a teacher in the classroom, gave me a unique satisfaction in that I was able to build upon my existing knowledge of chemistry through my own thought, questioning, research, and experimentation.
This experience has helped me narrow down my passion for science to not only a passion for chemistry, but also for research. At University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, I hope to take this passion and curiosity and apply it not only in the classroom, but also in the laboratory. University of Michigan’s Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) would help me further my passion for research by partnering with University of Michigan researchers to conduct real experiments to help broaden my perspective on the physical world around me. Judging by the student tasks and responsibilities from previous UROP projects, students are not simply used as laboratory assistants, but rather as actual researchers who get to conduct real research ranging from the study of thin films using positronium annihilation lifetime spectroscopy to ultra intense laser analysis. The Michigan Research Community also permits select students to attend the National Conference for Undergraduate Research (NCUR). Such an opportunity would be instrumental in furthering a solid network of connections that would be beneficial later on in my professional career as well as developing valuable presentational skills.
At University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, I aspire to build upon the information I learn in the classroom, developing new perspectives and discovering more about the physical world around me.

Advice for Writing the - Why us? Essay

Advice for Writing the "Why us?" Essay

Kim Lifton, President of Wow Writing Workshop. joins us today to address the often misunderstood "Why us?" essay. The "Why us?" essay is a unique opportunity in the college application. Colleges want to know you are a good fit for their school and have a real understanding of it. Read on to learn more about how to do a good job demonstrating what colleges really want to know.

Many schools ask students to respond to a prompt like one of the following:

University of Michigan . Describe the unique qualities that attract you to the specific undergraduate College or School (including preferred admission and dual degree programs) to which you are applying at the University of Michigan. How would that curriculum support your interests?

Tulane University . Please describe why you are interested in attending Tulane.

New York University . Whether you are undecided or you have a definitive plan of study in mind, what are your academic interests and how do you plan to explore them at NYU?

Tufts University . Which aspects of Tufts’ curriculum or undergraduate experience prompt your application? In short, “Why Tufts?”

I just read a beautiful story from a student answering the “Why College X?” prompt for a Big 10 university.

Full of descriptive details about the school’s location and football stadium, the story painted a vivid picture of the long drive to and from the school in the family car with his dad, an alumnus. This boy was clear he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps; he was comfortable inside of the stadium; he was certain he would feel at home at this university.

Unfortunately, this story did not answer the prompt.

Every year, Wow Writing Workshop’s college application essay experts review many stories just like this one. We send these stories back to our students with tips to help them answer the question, and also stand out in the crowd.

For some reason, this is one of the most difficult prompts for students to answer, even though it is specific.

To get our students started on this prompt, we tell them to consider what they want the college to know about them that is not evident from the rest of the application package. After that, think about what colleges might want to know about their prospective students. How do College X’s curriculum, clubs and campus life support your interests? Why are you a good fit?

Our friend and colleague, Dr. Rebecca Joseph, a professor at California State University and founder of the mobile app, All College Application Essays. likes to put it this way: “This essay is your date with the college. They know how great they are; tell them why they should date you.”

We understand that this task can be difficult -- even for students who spent their childhoods wearing sweatshirts emblazoned with their parents’ favorite college logos. Most students have no idea what a school may offer academically, socially or culturally. The prompt is also challenging for students who want to tell admissions officers how much they love the big city, how badly they want to escape their small towns, or how much they love the old buildings on campus.

Unfortunately, this is not what admissions officers want – or need – to know. They want to know why you are a good fit on campus, whether you have the chops to succeed academically, if there are clubs and activities to support your interests, and if you are likely to graduate from this institution.

“Focus on what makes us unique and why that interests you,” said Calvin Wise, the Associate Director of Admissions for Johns Hopkins University. “Do your research, and articulate a multi-dimensional connection to the specific college or university.

“We do not want broad statements (the brick pathways and historic buildings are beautiful) or a rehash of the information on our website (College X offers a strong liberal arts curriculum),” Wise added. “All institutions have similarities. We want you to talk about our differences.”

We regularly check in with admissions officers from small liberal arts colleges, elite universities and state institutions. We’ve found that regardless of size, status or essay prompt, they all offer similar tips on all college essays:

  • Don’t over-think it.
  • Tell us what you want us to know about you; not what you think we want to hear.
  • Answer the prompt honestly with a story about you.
  • Make sure your story is focused and written in your own words and your own voice.

You’ll find all sorts of advice online about writing admissions essays; much of it inaccurate or confusing. As you near the end of your college application process and put the finishing touches on your essays, be careful whose advice you follow, and make sure you know your sources.

Wow’s 6 Tips for writing the “Why College X” supplement

1. Answer the question.

2. Write about what interests you.

3. Make sure you get the name of the school right in your essay.

4. Copy descriptions from the college website.

5. Tell the school you bleed its colors or have been attending football games there since you were a toddler.

6. Tell them how great they are; they already know.

Kim Lifton is president of Wow Writing Workshop. You can read Kim’s blogs and get useful writing tips by signing up forWow’s newsletter. Wow is also onFacebookandTwitter. Check theirscheduleto sign up for webinars and workshops on college admissions essays. Remember this: The college essay subject is YOU; the topic is secondary.

This Year - s University of Michigan Admission Requirements

University of Michigan Requirements for Admission

What are University of Michigan's admission requirements? While there are a lot of pieces that go into a college application, you should focus on only a few critical things:

  • GPA requirements
  • Testing requirements, including SAT and ACT requirements
  • Application requirements

In this guide we'll cover what you need to get into University of Michigan and build a strong application.

School location: Ann Arbor, MI

Admissions Rate: 33%

If you want to get in, the first thing to look at is the acceptance rate. This tells you how competitive the school is and how serious their requirements are.

The acceptance rate at University of Michigan is 33%. For every 100 applicants, 33 are admitted.

This means the school is very selective. If you meet University of Michigan's requirements for GPA, SAT/ACT scores, and other components of the application, you have a great shot at getting in. But if you fall short on GPA or your SAT/ACT scores, you'll have a very low chance of being admitted, even if you meet the other admissions requirements.

University of Michigan GPA Requirements

Many schools specify a minimum GPA requirement, but this is often just the bare minimum to submit an application without immediately getting rejected.

The GPA requirement that really matters is the GPA you need for a real chance of getting in. For this, we look at the school's average GPA for its current students.

Average GPA: 3.82

The average GPA at University of Michigan is 3.82 .

(Most schools use a weighted GPA out of 4.0, though some report an unweighted GPA.

With a GPA of 3.82, University of Michigan requires you to be near the top of your class. and well above average. Your transcript should show mostly A's. Ideally, you will also have taken several AP or IB classes to show that you can handle academics at a college level.

If you're currently a junior or senior, your GPA is hard to change in time for college applications. If your GPA is at or below the school average of 3.82, you'll need a higher SAT or ACT score to compensate. This will help you compete effectively against other applicants who have higher GPAs than you.

SAT and ACT Requirements

Each school has different requirements for standardized testing. Most schools require the SAT or ACT, and many also require SAT subject tests.

You must take either the SAT or ACT to submit an application to University of Michigan. More importantly, you need to do well to have a strong application.

University of Michigan SAT Requirements

Many schools say they have no SAT score cutoff, but the truth is that there is a hidden SAT requirement. This is based on the school's average score.

Average SAT: 2041 (New: 1430)

The average SAT score composite at University of Michigan is a 2041 on the old 2400 SAT scale.

On the new 1600 SAT. this corresponds to an average SAT score of 1430 .

This score makes University of Michigan Strongly Competitive for SAT test scores.

University of Michigan SAT Score Analysis (New 1600 SAT)

The 25th percentile New SAT score is 1350, and the 75th percentile New SAT score is 1520. In other words, a 1350 on the New SAT places you below average, while a 1520 will move you up to above average .

Here's the breakdown of new SAT scores by section:

SAT Score Choice Policy

The Score Choice policy at your school is an important part of your testing strategy.

University of Michigan has the Score Choice policy of "Highest Section."

This is also known as "superscoring." This means that you can choose which SAT tests you want to send to the school. Of all the scores they receive, your application readers will consider your highest section scores across all SAT test dates you submit .

Click below to learn more about how superscoring critically affects your test strategy.

For example, say you submit the following 3 test scores:

Even though the highest total you scored on any one test date was 1300, University of Michigan will take your highest section score from all your test dates, then combine them to form your Superscore. You can raise your composite score from 1300 to 2100 in this example.

This is important for your testing strategy. Because you can choose which tests to send in, and University of Michigan forms your Superscore, you can take the SAT as many times as you want, then submit only the tests that give you the highest Superscore. Your application readers will only see that one score.

Therefore, if your SAT superscore is currently below a 2210, we strongly recommend that you consider prepping for the SAT and retaking it. You have a very good chance of raising your score, which will significantly boost your chances of getting in.

Even better, because of the Superscore, you can focus all your energy on a single section at a time. If your Reading score is lower than your other sections, prep only for the Reading section, then take the SAT. Then focus on Math for the next test, and so on. This will surely give you the highest Superscore possible.

Download our free guide on the top 5 strategies you must be using to improve your score. This guide was written by Harvard graduates and SAT perfect scorers. If you apply the strategies in this guide, you'll study smarter and make huge score improvements.

University of Michigan ACT Requirements

Just like for the SAT, University of Michigan likely doesn't have a hard ACT cutoff, but if you score too low, your application will get tossed in the trash.

Average ACT: 30

The average ACT score at University of Michigan is 30. This score makes University of Michigan Strongly Competitive for ACT scores.

The 25th percentile ACT score is 28, and the 75th percentile ACT score is 32.

Even though University of Michigan likely says they have no minimum ACT requirement, if you apply with a 28 or below, you'll have a very hard time getting in, unless you have something else very impressive in your application. There are so many applicants scoring 30 and above that a 28 will look academically weak.

ACT Score Sending Policy

If you're taking the ACT as opposed to the SAT, you have a huge advantage in how you send scores, and this dramatically affects your testing strategy.

Here it is: when you send ACT scores to colleges, you have absolute control over which tests you send. You could take 10 tests, and only send your highest one. This is unlike the SAT, where many schools require you to send all your tests ever taken.

This means that you have more chances than you think to improve your ACT score. To try to aim for the school's ACT requirement of 32 and above, you should try to take the ACT as many times as you can. When you have the final score that you're happy with, you can then send only that score to all your schools.

ACT Superscore Policy

By and large, most colleges do not superscore the ACT. (Superscore means that the school takes your best section scores from all the test dates you submit, and then combines them into the best possible composite score). Thus, most schools will just take your highest ACT score from a single sitting.

We weren't able to find the school's exact ACT policy, which most likely means that it does not Superscore. Regardless, you can choose your single best ACT score to send in to University of Michigan, so you should prep until you reach our recommended target ACT score of 32.

Studying for the ACT instead? Want to learn how to improve your ACT score by 4 points?

Download our free guide on the top 5 strategies you must be using to improve your score. This guide was written by Harvard graduates and ACT perfect scorers. If you apply the strategies in this guide, you'll study smarter and make huge score improvements.

SAT/ACT Writing Section Requirements

Both the SAT and ACT have a Writing section that includes an essay.

University of Michigan requires you to take the SAT/ACT Writing section. They'll use this as another factor in their admissions consideration.

SAT Subject Test Requirements

Schools vary in their SAT subject test requirements. Typically, selective schools tend to require them, while most schools in the country do not.

University of Michigan has indicated that SAT subject tests are required for SOME applicants. Typically this means that applying to certain majors or colleges within the school requires SAT subject tests, and others don't. Read further to see if you'll need to submit SAT subject scores.

Typically, your SAT/ACT and GPA are far more heavily weighed than your SAT Subject Tests. If you have the choice between improving your SAT/ACT score or your SAT Subject Test scores, definitely choose to improve your SAT/ACT score .

Final Admissions Verdict

Because this school is very selective, strong academic scores are critical to improving your chances of admission. If you're able to score a 2210 SAT or a 32 ACT or above, you'll have a very strong chance at getting in.

For a school as selective as University of Michigan, rounding out the rest of your application will also help. We'll cover those details next.

But if you apply with a score below a 2210 SAT or a 32 ACT, you unfortunately have a low chance of getting in. There are just too many other applicants with high SAT/ACT scores and strong applications, and you need to compete against them.

Admissions Calculator

What are your chances of admission at University of Michigan?

Chances of admission with these scores:

Here's our custom admissions calculator. Plug in your numbers to see what your chances of getting in are.

Note: This is only an estimate for the average student, based on data collected from thousands of students. Other factors in your application may come into play, such as extracurriculars and recommendation letters.

How would your chances improve with a better score?

Try to take your current SAT score and add 160 points (or take your ACT score and add 4 points) to the calculator above. See how much your chances improve?

At PrepScholar, we've created the leading online SAT/ACT prep program. We guarantee an improvement of 160 SAT points or 4 ACT points on your score, or your money back.

Here's a summary of why we're so much more effective than other prep programs:

  • PrepScholar customizes your prep to your strengths and weaknesses . You don't waste time working on areas you already know, so you get more results in less time.
  • We guide you through your program step-by-step so that you're never confused about what you should be studying. Focus all your time learning, not worrying about what to learn.
  • Our team is made of national SAT/ACT experts. PrepScholar's founders are Harvard graduates and SAT perfect scorers. You'll be studying using the strategies that actually worked for them.
  • We've gotten tremendous results with thousands of students across the country. Read about our score results and reviews from our happy customers .

There's a lot more to PrepScholar that makes it the best SAT/ACT prep program. Click to learn more about our program. or sign up for our 5-day free trial to check out PrepScholar for yourself:

Application Requirements

Every school requires an application with the bare essentials - high school transcript and GPA, application form, and other core information. Many schools, as explained above, also require SAT and ACT scores, as well as letters of recommendation, application essays, and interviews. We'll cover the exact requirements of University of Michigan here.

Application Requirements Overview
  • Common Application Accepted
  • Universal Application Not accepted
  • Electronic Application Available
  • Essay or Personal Statement Required for all freshmen
  • Letters of Recommendation 1
  • Interview Not required
  • Application Fee $75
  • Fee Waiver Available? Available
  • Other Notes Audition for School of Music, Theatre and Dance; portfolio for School of Art and Design recommended for some freshmen
Testing Requirements
  • SAT or ACT Required
  • SAT or ACT Writing Required
  • SAT Subject Tests Required for some
  • Scores Due in Office 1
Coursework Requirements
  • Subject Required Years
  • English 4
  • Math 3
  • Science 3
  • Foreign Language 2
  • Social Studies 3
  • History 3
  • Electives 1
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