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How to Respond to the 2023/2024 Brandeis University Supplemental Essay Prompt

Brandeis University is a private research university located in Waltham, Massachusetts. Founded in 1948 with a mission to provide education to everyone, Brandeis has become a prominent liberal arts college. If this university is at the top of your list, keep reading to learn how you can best respond to the Brandeis supplemental essays!

A little history before we start…

Before you start on your Brandeis supplemental essays, it’s a good idea to get some background on how the school started. This way, you can make connections in your essays that connect you and Brandeis on a deeper level. 

Founded by Louis Dembitz Brandeis, the first Jewish justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Brandeis University is steeped in history. Since opening their doors in 1948, Brandeis has accomplished a lot. In 1961, Brandeis achieved Phi Beta Kappa accreditation, a prestigious honors society that began in 1776. Only 10 percent of colleges or universities ever receive this accreditation. In addition, Brandeis is home to the Heller School for Social Policy and Management. The Heller School was one of the first educational institutions to make a connection between social policy and social welfare.  

The Brandeis prompts

Prompt #1

Brandeis was established 75 years ago to address antisemitism, racism, and gender discrimination in higher education, and today, the university remains dedicated to its founding values of inclusivity and justice. How has your educational experience shaped your perspective on these values? (250 words max.)

This prompt is simple and straightforward, but it does ask you to think back through a lot of material. Your educational experience has been over a decade long by the time you graduate high school. So, let’s start simple with a quick inventory of your educational experience. Think about what schools you’ve attended, what years of school stick out the most to you, or about specific subjects or teachers you had that really shaped you. 

Now, let’s take a closer look at which of those experiences may relate to the subject matter that Brandeis asks about in the prompt. Keep in mind that they’re asking to hear about an educational experience, which means that you can talk about something that happened inside the classroom, outside of it on a field trip, or through any other avenues that you have learned through. 

The most important element to this prompt is that you take time to think about your answer. It’s easy to talk about how you studied slavery in history class and it was of course horrific to learn about, but that won’t tell the admissions committee much about you. Try to get personal and really dig in!

International students only prompt

What excites you the most about being an international student at Brandeis University? (250 words max.)

If you’re not an international student, then you don’t need to worry about answering this prompt. However, if you are an international student, this question is an important part of your application. You may want to roll your eyes about answering another prompt, but this can be a really great opportunity. You have not one, but two places where you can let the admissions department get to know you!

And because this prompt is there for them to get to know you, you don’t have to worry about answering this prompt wrong, because there is no right or wrong answer! So, certainly take your time thinking about this question, but don’t let it stress you out! Answer honestly and with a lot of excitement, as those things should certainly come through!

Key Takeaways

Key Takeaways

Key Takeaways

Frequently asked questions about Brandeis supplemental essays

Do colleges care about supplemental essays?

Yes, colleges care a whole lot about supplemental essays! You should certainly not believe any notion that says supplemental essays aren’t important. You should budget a good amount of time in your college application process to not only respond to them, but also read articles just like this one and seek advice from parents and trusted teachers!

What is the most common college supplemental essay?

As you’re filling out college applications, you may start to notice that some of the questions are quite similar between applications. It’s quite common for colleges to ask questions about why you are choosing them or what extracurricular activities have been important in your life. This doesn’t mean that you should use the same answers for every college, but it can be helpful to notice these patterns in prompts.

What should you not say in a supplemental essay?

Your supplemental essays should be genuine and honest. Avoid just telling the reader things and try to really show what you are talking about. Showing instead of telling can make your article much more engaging and can help foster a much stronger connection with an admissions counselor.

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