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How to Respond to the 2023/2024 University of Colorado Boulder Supplemental Essays

The University of Colorado Boulder is a public research institution that focuses on aerospace, biosciences, energy, environmental sciences, and other major areas. If you are interested in becoming a Colorado Buffalo, it’s time to get to work on your University of Colorado Boulder supplemental essay! Writing stellar essays will help you stand out among all the applicants, so keep reading to learn how! 

The University of Colorado Boulder requires the Common App Personal Essay (250–650 words). Students should choose one of the seven essay prompts offered. In addition, students must submit one supplemental essay which we will go over below!

The UC-Boulder supplemental essay prompt

Research and innovation are a huge part of the University of Colorado’s identity. Before you begin writing, read Colorado Boulder’s strategic plan to learn more about them. This will help you tie your future plans with theirs. They want to know how you will fit in and push the University forward. Let’s take a look at the prompt:

“Please share a bit more about your academic interests. What do you hope to study, and why, at CU Boulder? Or if you don’t know quite yet, think about your studies so far, extracurricular/after-school activities, jobs, volunteering, future goals, or anything else that has shaped your interests.” (250 words)

Think of this prompt as a two-part question. Why did you choose your major? Why did you choose their college? As the prompt states, if you are unsure of a major, focus on what you do when you are not in school. If those activities  happen to relate to a possible major, by all means share! The goal is to connect back to UC-Boulder in a way that shows you belong there. 

Questions to consider:

  1. What inspired your interest in the major?
  2. How will Colorado Boulder tie into your future career plans?
  3. What will you bring to the table? 

Why your major?

Write about what you’ve done thus far that relates to your major of interest. Include clubs, classes, summer programs, etc. If someone special  inspired you, write about conversations you’ve had with them or speeches you’ve attended. 

Dig deep into how you will contribute to this career field. Write about the area you’d like to concentrate in and how you envision your future work. Lastly, write about how the University will further your specific interests to begin merging the two questions for this essay prompt. 

Why Colorado Boulder University?

Imagine you are already enrolled. Visualize what your experience would look like attending their college. Include ways you will attribute to Colorado Boulder. Write about how you would better their community. 

Spend some time researching Colorado Boulder to learn more about how you would fit in. Include their specific programs, classes, and learning techniques in your essay that tie your future career plan to your journey to get your degree. 

Think of ways you have contributed to your high school or outside programs and write how you will continue to show these attributions on campus. Don’t only tell them, show them through examples.

See also: College essay primer: Show, don’t tell

Writing tips:

  • Use specific examples of experiences that show your role in the community. At what point did you look around and feel you belong? How has this role shaped you? Get personal. Write about how your role there made a difference. What conflict did you encounter and how was it resolved? You want to make the essay as visual as possible. 
  • Try not to repeat what you wrote on other statements in the application process. You want to share as many qualities as you can with the reader.
  • Sit down and just write. Don’t worry about the word limit on your first draft. Write everything that comes to mind involving your portrayed community. Then, choose your favorite details and re-write a shorter draft. 
  • Connect the skills and values you are writing of with those of  the university. Do they have a similar community that you’d like to join?
  • Be direct. Use powerful sentences that show confidence in yourself throughout the essay. 

Additional resources

Final thoughts for students

When all is said and done, the University of Colorado Boulder supplemental essays are relatively straightforward. Try not to overthink when you begin writing. Your best bet is to write a rough draft without a  word limit. Show your best qualities and skills through examples and write of how you will continue to use them at college. These tips will help you write essays that stand out to Colorado Boulder University. While on your college admissions journey, make sure you apply for all the scholarships you are eligible for as well!

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