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

    By 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 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 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: November 1st, 2023
    How to Respond to the 2023/2024 Tufts University Supplemental Essay Prompts

    Tufts University is a selective university located in the greater Boston area. With a 11% acceptance rate, it is a selective university. To help increase your chances of admission, your Tufts supplemental essays need to stand out from other applicants. Keep on reading to learn how to best respond to the Tufts supplemental essays. 

    Breaking down the Tufts supplemental essays

    The Tufts supplemental essays ask for specific responses based on the school an applicant is applying to. 

    All Tufts applicants will need to complete a sentence in 100 words or less. If you are applying to the School of Arts and Sciences or the School of Engineering you will have to respond to one of three prompts. If you are applying to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA) you will need to respond to one required prompt. 

    For all applicants

    “I am applying to Tufts because…” (100 words or less) 

    Do your research on Tufts beforehand

    Tufts wants their applicants to be well-informed about all that their university has to offer. Therefore, do your research! Find specific classes, extracurriculars, traditions, and aspects of Tufts campus that makes it stand out from all other universities. 

    You should be spending as much time as possible researching the Tufts website and social media pages to get a good idea of what you are excited about when it comes to Tufts. 

    Make each word count while revealing why you chose Tufts

    This prompt is only 100 words max, which is not a lot of space or time to list everything you love about Tufts. Narrow down your list to a couple of things about Tufts that stand out to you. What you select should be unique and reveal your interests. For example, you can write about being interested in the class “Sociology of Sports” because you are curious about the tough questions facing athletes in modern days. 

    Throughout your response, you should not be simply stating things. Rather, use an engaging narrative to respond. For example, instead of saying you “love the campus,” describe what it is that you admire. Remember, you can always cut back words to make each word count and meet the word count!

    Questions to consider when answering this prompt

    • Why is Tufts the perfect school for you? 
    • How will you contribute to the campus community? 
    • What does Tufts offer that other schools do not? 

    Applicants to the School of Arts & Sciences or the School of Engineering

    There are three prompts given if you are applying to the School of Arts and Sciences or the School of Engineering and you have to select one to respond to.

    Option #1

    It’s cool to love learning. What excites your intellectual curiosity? (200-250 words):

    To answer this prompt, think about one thing that absolutely makes you nerd out! 

    Consider the following questions to help you choose what to write about: 

    • What are you passionate about?
    • Is there something you want to learn more about? 
    • Why are you interested in this thing? 
    • If you could teach a class what would it be about? 
    • What do you want to major in at Tufts? 
    • What is your biggest interest in life? 
    • What subject is your favorite to learn about? 

    Once you determine what interests you would like to discuss in this prompt, think about the “why.” Why are you intrigued by this subject? 

    Throughout your response, you should be narrating a story. For example, instead of stating that you like biology, discuss a time when you were young and watched caterpillars turn into butterflies. Share how since that time, you have been intrigued by the circle of life in insects. 

    Lastly, you should explain how you hope to further pique your interest while studying at Tufts. Be sure to mention specific classes and organizations that interest and excite you. 

    Option #2

    How have the environments or experiences of your upbringing – your family, home, neighborhood or community – shaped the person you are today? (200-250 words

    This prompt is perfect for you if your upbringing greatly influenced the person you are today. To begin this prompt, provide some background. Be sure to discuss what exactly your culture or environment was for context. 

    Once you have established your background, then you should describe how your culture and environment influenced your upbringing. Describe what pieces of yourself were formed because of your unique background. 

    Make sure that you reveal pieces of yourself that are not surface level. Rather, you want to make sure you are being deep and thoughtful in your response. 

    Lastly, connect your culture to Tufts. What do you have to share at Tufts? Be sure to write about how you add to the Tufts’ community. In addition, you can discuss any cultural clubs or events that exist on the Tufts’ campus that you are excited to participate in.

    Questions to consider

    • What aspect of your background is most important to you? 
    • How has your upbringing contributed to your current personality? 
    • How will Tufts help you thrive? 

    Option #3

    Using a specific example or two, tell us about a way that you contributed to building a collaborative and/or inclusive community (200-250 words

    To begin, define what community you are discussing in this prompt! Remember, a community can be anything big or small! For example, it can be a church, a club at school, a neighborhood or a sports team. 

    Once you have described this community, detail how you have built a collaborative and/or inclusive community. Be sure you are telling a clear narrative, first beginning with how you became a part of this community and what the community is. Then, you should describe one or two specific examples of how you made this community inclusive or collaborative. 

    For example, perhaps you joined a recycling club and you helped designate more roles in the club as most members were not a part of helping increase recycling in the school community. Or perhaps at your church you created a youth group to help more like-minded teenagers get more heavily involved in the church. 

    Whatever your community or your actions to make it more collaborative and inclusive, tell your story! Make sure you are painting a vivid picture without forgetting to include your specific contributions to the community. 

    To take it one step further, you should detail what you have learned from this experience and how you hope to take what you have learned with you to your new Tufts community. 

    Questions to consider

    • What is a community you are involved with that is important to you? 
    • How have you made this community more inclusive? 
    • What will you bring to the Tufts community? How will you make it more inclusive or collaborative? 

    Applicants to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA)

    Art has the power to disrupt our preconceptions, shape public discourse, and imagine new ways of being in the world. What are the ideas you’d like to explore in your work? (200-250 words

    Since you are an aspiring SMFA, Tufts already knows you are a creative and artistic person. Therefore, you should describe what type of artist you are. Are you a painter, sculptor, or sketch artist? Those are just a few to start!

    Identify which type of artist you are and what you typically create. If your art has a common theme throughout, share that.  If not, write about where you seek artistic inspiration from and/or what you want to artistically explore at Tufts.

    No matter what you write, remember to bring it back to Tufts. Ask yourself how being  part of SMFA will help elevate your work and maybe even change the world!  

    Final thoughts on the Tufts supplemental essays

    Tufts is looking for unique and ambitious students to join their 11%. Therefore, the most important thing is that you are being authentic throughout your responses. Be sure to always reveal new pieces of information about your personality and interests throughout your responses, and try not to repeat yourself! Good luck during the college admissions process! 

    Additional resources

    Curious on the best way to write a 500 word essay? Struggling to answer the Common App Essay Prompts? Wondering how to write an essay about yourself? Scholarships360 is here to help students navigate the tricky terrain of the college admissions process. Be sure to check out our guides to help! 

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