Student-centric advice and objective recommendations
Higher education has never been more confusing or expensive. Our goal is to help you navigate the very big decisions related to higher ed with objective information and expert advice. Each piece of content on the site is original, based on extensive research, and reviewed by multiple editors, including a subject matter expert. This ensures that all of our content is up-to-date, useful, accurate, and thorough.
Our reviews and recommendations are based on extensive research, testing, and feedback. We may receive commission from links on our website, but that doesn’t affect our editors’ opinions. Our marketing partners don’t review, approve or endorse our editorial content. It’s accurate to the best of our knowledge when posted. You can find a complete list of our partners here.
How to Respond to the Williams College Supplemental Essay Prompts
Located in Williamstown, Massachusetts, Williams College is a private liberal arts college with a 15% acceptance rate. This means that it’s important to set your application apart and you can do that by completing the Williams supplements in a stellar way. Keep reading to learn more about the prompts and get tips on how to write your essay.
The Williams prompts
Williams College requires one supplemental essay and a new optional “paper of choice” submission. For this new option, we go over how to choose an essay that’s a reflection of your best self. For a small selective college like Williams, it is always in your best interest to submit any optional materials. It is just one more opportunity to share about who you are as a person. For a deeper dive into the Williams supplemental essay prompts, keep reading!
“As a residential learning community, Williams believes that some of the most important experiences happen while living and learning alongside those different from oneself. Please describe a time when you learned or grew through the process of interacting with someone whose background, identity, lived experience, or perspective differs from your own. (150-300 words)”
Our world is filled with diversity. Not only do people have different nationalities and backgrounds, but also different goals and aspirations. As a result, we can always learn something from someone else, which is what this Williams supplemental essay prompt is about.
College is a time of exploration and pushing boundaries, so be sure to relate what you’ve already learned to what you’ll eventually learn while at Williams. Remember, the admissions office uses this prompt to evaluate whether you will thrive in environments where you’re surrounded by unique ideas and experiences. Try to explain in your essay how you’ve developed in those situations and how you plan on applying it to the Williams community.
Questions to consider:
- How was being around different people made you a better person?
- What can you continue to learn in new environments?
- What do you plan on doing with the knowledge you’ve gained?
Also see: How to write an essay about yourself
“Optional: Williams does not require a writing supplement. However, students who are interested in submitting an example of their written work have the option of sharing an academic paper completed within the last year, ideally 3-5 pages in length. The paper does not need to be graded and can be creative or analytical. Typed is preferable, but we will accept handwritten pieces. Please do not submit lab reports. If submitting this optional paper, please include a description of the assignment or prompt.”
Williams advises their applicants to submit essays that are from the humanities or social sciences, which can include psychology, economics, history, English, and more. Ideally, you should choose an essay that you’re proud of that’s on an interesting topic or has a unique thesis.
Students can work with a guidance counselor or teacher to fine tune their essays before submitting them, especially if they weren’t happy with the grade received. Keep in mind that 3-5 pages double-spaced is about 1500-2500 words. Keep that in mind just in case you have to add or take off a paragraph or two.
Questions to consider:
- How is this paper a representation of you?
- Does this paper enhance your application?
- What makes this particular essay stand out?
Next steps for applicants
Once you’re done writing your Williams supplements, you should complete your FAFSA and CSS Profile. These two applications can come in handy and play a major part in colleges deciding your financial aid package. Williams also offers their applicants a chance to connect with current students to talk about their experiences and answer any questions. Don’t forget to schedule a campus tour as well to get a feel of the campus before you decide to enroll.
Congratulations on finishing up your Williams College supplements! Since this might not be the only school you’re applying to, check out some of these Scholarships360 resources to help out as you prepare for college.