Advertiser disclosure

How to Respond to the Howard University Supplemental Question

Attending a historically Black college or university (HBCU) offers the opportunity to experience a unique learning environment. Howard University is one of the most well-known HBCUs in the United States. With a competitive 39% acceptance rate, students applying to Howard should consider submitting the optional Howard University supplemental essay. Keep reading to learn how to wow the admissions office with the best essay possible!

First, a little about Howard University

Established in 1867, Howard University is located in Washington, DC. Since its founding, Howard has awarded over 100,000 degrees in a broad range of fields. Known as a “comprehensive predominantly Black university,” Howard University graduates top Black professionals who major in  architecture, dentistry, education, engineering, law, medicine, music, nursing, pharmacy, religion, and social work. In addition to its impressive academic reputation, Howard university competes in a total of 19 varsity sports. Before diving into the prompt below, take some time to read about the unique history of Howard University. 

The Howard University prompt

Optional: Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. You may express why this activity is important to you, lessons learned from said activity, or any related details that give us more information on your passions, goals and/or experiences. While not required, this section gives our committee further details on your interests outside of the classroom. (250 words max)”

This essay might tempt you to repeat an extracurricular or work experience that you’ve already discussed elsewhere in your application. However, you should strive to write about a different experience that is equally or more valuable to you than what you already shared. 

Try to relate this experience to Howard, whether by connecting a value you’ve learned or an activity that Howard currently has. Don’t forget to be creative and add your own personal flair to your essay. Remember, the reader probably already read your resume, so this essay is a chance to show what makes you the unique person you are!

Questions to consider:

  • How does this experience relate to what you hope to achieve at Howard?
  • What extracurricular or job left the biggest impact on you?
  • What does your experience say about you?

Final thoughts for applicants

Now that you’re finishing up your application, it’s important to keep some things in mind. Your supplemental essay is significant, even if it’s optional, so you should take time to edit it. Ask your peers or teachers to look over your essay to help pinpoint run-on sentences or errors in grammar. 

Also, while you’re waiting for your notification date, you should make sure all your financial aid forms are submitted to your schools of choice. Ideally, you should get your FAFSA and CSS Profile in as soon as possible to maximize your financial aid package. 

Additional resources

Now you’ve got some great tools to write your Howard University supplemental essay! Just in case you need a few more tips, learning about the impact of extracurricular activities might help you with the Howard University prompt. Need to learn some tips on how to start your college admissions essay? We have you covered! Check out our supplemental essay guides for any other schools you might be applying to. Best of luck with your applications!