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    How to Respond to the 2023/2024 Syracuse University Supplemental Essay Prompts

    Cece Gilmore By Cece Gilmore
    Cece Gilmore

    Cece Gilmore is a Content Writer at Scholarships360. Cece earned her undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from Arizona State University. While at ASU, she was the education editor as well as a published staff reporter at Downtown Devil. Cece was also the co-host of her own radio show on Blaze Radio ASU.

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    Reviewed by Bill Jack
    Bill Jack

    Bill Jack has over a decade of experience in college admissions and financial aid. Since 2008, he has worked at Colby College, Wesleyan University, University of Maine at Farmington, and Bates College.

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    Edited by Maria Geiger
    Maria Geiger

    Maria Geiger is Director of Content at Scholarships360. She is a former online educational technology instructor and adjunct writing instructor. In addition to education reform, Maria’s interests include viewpoint diversity, blended/flipped learning, digital communication, and integrating media/web tools into the curriculum to better facilitate student engagement. Maria earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Monmouth University, an M. Ed. in Education from Monmouth University, and a Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) from the University of Pennsylvania.

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    Updated: December 1st, 2023
    Students ask questions at Syracuse University, a school with supplemental essays

    Orange you glad Syracuse University only makes applicants respond to one Syracuse supplemental essay? We sure are! Syracuse University is located in Syracuse, New York and is home to the adorable “Otto the Orange” mascot.

    The Syracuse University supplemental essay prompt

    Syracuse asks applicants to respond to only one “Why us” Syracuse supplemental essay question. Although this makes your life easier because you do not have to respond to one million other questions, this means the supplemental else is your one opportunity for demonstrating why you are a good fit for Syracuse.

    But don’t worry! Read our guide on how to answer the Syracuse supplemental essay question and you will be sure to excel! 

    Essay question

    Please be sure to respond to both parts of the following question:

    Syracuse University is a place that seeks to be welcoming to all – and has been since our founding. Explain why you are interested in Syracuse University and describe a personal experience in which you persevered through adversity, rejected discrimination, learned a lesson, or were inspired by the courageous actions of others and how you will apply what you learned to our community in a positive way. (250 words max.)

    This is a typical “Why us” college essay with two parts. To begin, you should brainstorm and research thoroughly before answering this question. Think of what immediately comes to mind when thinking about what draws you to Syracuse University. Afterwards, you should spend some time exploring on their website and jot down a few notes with the following in mind:

    • Is there a particular minor you are intrigued by? 
    • Weird traditions you think you would have fun participating in?
    • Study-abroad experiences that you haven’t seen at any other college? 

    Once you have accumulated this list of aspects of Syracuse University that interest you, it is time to select 1-2 main things that you want to hone in on. Remember, you also want to simultaneously reveal bits of your personality and interests. Therefore, selecting something that truly interests you is key. For example, you can select something that aligns with your intended major such as a particular course or internship opportunity offered.

    Part II of the prompt

    It is now time to address the second part of this question. Think of a personal experience that you can speak on in regards to this prompt. How do you see yourself contributing to a diverse, inclusive, and respectful campus community because of your personal experiences?

    This question highlights Syracuse’s core principals. Therefore, admissions officers really want to see that you can align with these principals easily. Asking yourself a few questions is always a good way to start. Here are a few to consider:

    • How will you help Syracuse remain diverse?
    • In what way would you model inclusiveness on campus? 
    • How do you demonstrate respect for the beliefs of others that might differ from your own?

    Once again, you want to make sure this is tying back to your first half of your response. For example, you can discuss a particular science course you are interested in taking at Syracuse because you want to become a doctor in the future. You can then discuss how the lack of female support in the medical field needs to be changed and you hope that you can create a safe space for female’s studying to become doctors at Syracuse.

    The most difficult part about this prompt is that it has a 250 word maximum, as you will likely want to write more than what you have space for. Getting your thoughts onto the screen and answering both parts of this question should be a breeze for you! 

    Final thoughts on responding to the Syracuse University supplemental essays

    Think about how you made a difference in any of your current communities. How much did that contribution demonstrate or serve as an example of how you could contribute to Syracuse in a similar way? The important thing is that you seamlessly tie everything together within this response. With 250 words to share why you are interested in and how you will contribute to the Syracuse community, every word counts. Outlining, brainstorming, and researching prior to writing your response is key!

    Next steps after applying to Syracuse University

    Once you have finished writing your Syracuse supplemental essay, what should you do? You should have a trusted adult or classmate read over your essay to make sure there are no silly mistakes. In addition, they should be checking that you are answering the prompt thoroughly. 

    Once your essay has been read over and approved by at least one other person – it is time to submit your application! Congratulations! You are one step closer to becoming a Syracuse student!

    Now that your application is submitted, be sure to check your email, Syracuse portal and any Syracuse social media accounts to stay updated on any changes in your application’s decision. Good luck to you in your future endeavors! 

    Also see: How to show demonstrated interest in a college

    Additional resources

    Curious about what looks good to colleges? We have a guide for that. Wondering whether you should send your SAT/ACT scores? We have a guide for that. Wondering what a High SAT score is? We have a guide for that! We know how stressful it can be navigating the college applications and admissions process and are here to help! Whatever questions you may have, be sure to check back with us for answers.

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