Stanford is one of the most revered universities in the globe. Every student dreams of schooling there. But, unsurprisingly, it is one of the most difficult institutions to get into because of the difficult Stanford essay that every student has to craft. Unlike other admission boards, the Stanford admission board does not accept average papers. Instead, the professors on the board want to read a captivating academic essay that articulately reflects who you are.
If you dream of joining Stanford, well, you simply have to craft a winning paper. So how do you write a Stanford essay to win that coveted opportunity? That is why we are here to help. This post is a comprehensive guide designed to help you understand how to write the best Stanford essays.
What Is a Stanford Essay?
Before embarking on the journey of crafting a Stanford essay, it is important to start by asking and answering the question: “What are Stanford supplemental essays?” This will help you to understand the monumental task ahead.
Stanford essays are part of the university’s requirements for admitting students. The university requires you to complete a set of four essays for review before getting admitted. These essay prompts offer you the opportunity to demonstrate your qualifications and personality to win the approval of the admission committee.
The Stanford admission committee believes that although everyone has dreams and aspirations, writing them down and sharing with others is crucial. Indeed, this is the reason why Stanford boasts of globally recognized portraits such as Evans Spiegel, the co-founder, and CEO of Snapchat, and Larry Page, the co-founder of Google, among others. Now, the board wants to hear what your dream is, and if it is great, you will be admitted into the college to edge closer to it. This is why you need to be articulate and speak from the depth of your mind.
Tips to Help You Answer the Stanford Essay Prompts Correctly
A closer look at the process of applying for admission at Stanford reveals that it can be an exhausting process. Many are the times when applicants do not know the topics to cover in the admission essay or how to answer the questions. Besides, students dream of getting a well-defined program but are rarely prepared to start the application with essays. After all, you are not yet admitted. But this is the situation faced by every student who goes through Stanford University. To help you get through, here are some useful tips on how to write Stanford essays and impress the admission committee.
Always be honest when writing the essay: The primary aim of the Stanford short essays is to demonstrate who you are to the admission committee. Therefore, simply tell them. That passion you have about becoming an engineer, a doctor, or pilot and changing the industry is what they are interested in. Your biggest undoing will be trying to mimic someone else.
Make sure your essay is properly structured: Like other essays, it is important to ensure that your Stanford admission essay is carefully structured. Here, the aim is ensuring all your ideas are presented coherently from the beginning to the end. Ideally, your essay should have a captivating introduction, a couple of paragraphs, and closing remarks.
Avoid using clichés: For your Stanford essay to be successful, it is important to avoid using cliches. These are idioms, phrases, and filler words that are used every day. Instead, your essay needs to look authentic and real. The admission committee wants to feel and see you in every word and sentence.
Look at the bigger picture when answering the Stanford essay questions: Although most of the questions look direct, it is better to read them and think about the bigger picture (confines of your academic prospects). Then, answer the question in a way that makes the committee to understand you better in a positive way. Make sure to avoid repetition.
Be precise: The admission essay serves one crucial purpose, to help the committee decide to admit or decline your application. Therefore, you need to be precise and demonstrate how Stanford will catapult you to your desired academic level. If there is any fluff or irrelevant materials, pluck it out.
Take time to learn how the essays are done: This is very important, especially if you are feeling less confident about embarking on the crucial role. Consider reading other top standard essays to see how successful applicants crafted their pieces.
Practice writing the essays: One secret that can help you craft better Stanford admission academic essay is practice. Pick different questions and use this guide to practice writing top quality essays. This will help you to overcome anxiety and develop better writing skills. Then, keep writing and practicing until you get that perfect essay that will get you admitted to Stanford University.
Specific Stanford Prompts: The Mechanics of Getting it Right
Now that we have shown you the crucial tips for crafting a winning Stanford admission essay, we will now turn to specific prompts and how to handle them.
What is the most significant challenge that society faces today
This question is designed to gauge your understanding of current affairs. The secret to getting the right answer is thinking of what disturbs you every day, and the best way to address it. How would you solve the problem?
How you answer this question will give the admission committee a good idea about the things you care about. In most cases, students tend to see problems that are in the line of their careers. For example, a student seeking to pursue history might indicate concerns about countries’ involvement in the affairs of others. Is it justified? Other common concerns might be climate change resulting in high temperatures, declining species diversity in the globe, and extremism.
Make sure to demonstrate how you can offer a solution to the identified problem. This is what the admissions committee wants to read.
What historical moment or event do you wish you could have witnessed?
Notably, this is one of the Stanford essay questions that require short answers. Therefore, you need to be precise and to the point. This question is designed to help the admission committee understand what type of person you are. Like people always say, looking at the past can help to tell what the future will be. Therefore, people are likely to groove their way to replicate great events they would wish to experience.
To move the admission board, it is advisable to try and look for something unique. Here, you do not necessarily have to go with mega-events. Just try to think of events that happened in your area of interest. Think of an event such as the launch of the first book by your dad that you missed because you were unwell. Tell the board how you want to be part of the next event when launching your book.
Tell us about what makes you excited
This is another simple but tricky question. Here, the admission committee wants to know why you desire to become part of the university community. Therefore, you need to demonstrate to the committee why the admission is so special to you. Make sure to weave this with your career goals.
Notably, the admission committee knows that students are not always in their books. Their time away from the books counts a lot to the Stanford community. Therefore, tell the committee about the things that excite you. Let them understand your personality more.
Please account for your last two summers
This question may tempt you to give a direct answer simply. But take a breath and think about it for a second moment. What does the admission committee want from the answer? The committee wants to understand what type of person you are. Instead of telling the committee about great partying moments, although it is still okay, we recommend you to tie the holiday to something meaningful.
The committee wants to understand whether your holiday, your time at Stanford (if granted a chance), and other undertakings in your life rhyme with personal targets. Therefore, consider examples such as demonstrating how you volunteered in a local organization, helped with babysitting, or read an inspiring book.
Because almost all Stanford students stay in the university, what would you tell your future roommate
While other questions on the essay may change, this question is always there on the application. Because this question is directed to your roommate, go ahead and take a more informal and fun tone. Besides, you should also consider the roommate to be approximately your age.
This essay is a chance to demonstrate the different sides of your personality. Demonstrate that you are an all-round person who is fun to live with. For example, do you fancy listening to cool country music and hanging wallpapers?
When answering this question, try to be as specific as possible. For example, if you fancy video games, make sure to tell the committee which video games you like. Leave nothing to the imagination.
What are the best words that describe you?
This is another common question that the admission committee uses to learn more about you. Note that even as you answer the questions, the committee wants to see consistency. Therefore, there is no need to spend a lot of time crafting lengthy descriptions. You simply need to use something like five to eight words. Pick words such as brave, patient, consistent, and loving. These are just a few samples. Select the descriptive words that best describe your character.
When you have a choice, what do you listen to, read, or watch?
Like most Stanford essay questions, the committee uses this question to try and understand learners. Notably, what happens outside the coursework is very important in defining a student’s success. Indeed, some of the most successful people who studied at Stanford University commenced careers from their free time.
There are two ways to answer this question. You can decide to highlight samples of music, videos, and books that you read or demonstrate great cultural events. The trick here is to be specific and align these events to your career. For example, if you say that you fancy a specific video, take the example of Mission impossible, how is it helpful in your career? That connection is what the admission committee wants to see. This means two things:
- Ensure you provide the right information.
- Connect the answer with your career and anticipated success at the university.
What is your hobby?
Everyone has a hobby. Hobbies help people to relax after spending long days at work or in class. The admission committee wants to know what you fancy to do during your free time. In most of the cases, this essay is about 100 words and requires you to be detailed. So, you better be precise and tell the committee about your favorite hobby. Whether you like blogging, reading books, or playing in the field, make sure to demonstrate how the hobby helps you become a better person.
Tell us about something that is meaningful to you and why
Although this question looks simple, it gives students a hard time to answer. It is an open-ended question, which means there are many ways to answer it. Notably, this question comes at the end. Therefore, it is important to ensure you focus on the information that has not been provided elsewhere. So how do you answer this question?
Revisit your mind to look at the subjects you fancy and that you have not given when answering other Stanford essay questions. Think of something like people, memories, or objects that are important to you. The meaningful thing could also be that holiday to the equator with your family, volunteering in a local non-profit organization, or your job.
Tell the admission committee something you had not told them in the rest of the essay.
Stanford Essay Examples
After looking at the main Stanford essay prompts and how to answer them, we are going to demonstrate with a few examples:
Essay example one: “Write a note to your future roommate to help him/her understand you better.”
Do not get astonished if you check my laptop at night and see a doctor examining pawpaw.
I apologize for waking you up. But let me demonstrate. The scene you saw on my laptop is simply my favorite video on Facebook. I happen to suffer from insomnia. So I looked for a solution and got it in this video.
The video helps to provide a calming effect through visual and audio stimuli. It sounds like soft lullaby words whispered to soothe a baby to sleep. The video has impressive movements, and the music is truly soothing. That calming effect gets me to sleep easily no matter how hard insomnia tries to keep me awake.
I believe we will make impressive roommates, and our unique personalities will be enjoyable. Besides, I also know we share great similarities. This is what landed us here at Stanford University.
I also love playing video games. When I get some spare time over the weekend, I like playing PC games. My favorite is Disco Elysium. I also like hiking outdoors in the neighborhood.
I do not doubt that we have a lot in common, and we will make great roommates. We also have a great opportunity to learn from each other, support each other, and grow together.
Looking forward to meeting you,
Essay Example two: “Please tell us something more about yourself in the space below.”
Today, it is about three years after I discovered my passion. Passion is the main driver of my personality. Here, I will showcase my journey to developing this passion. I will capture this in three ways.
Public school setting: When I completed my sophomore year, I decided to continue on my best subject, physics, by joining the AP Physics 2. But I dropped out for lack of spots. My effort to get enrolled did not yield much because of school bureaucracy. The only way for me to continue was skipping AP Physics 2. But this meant I had to miss my favorite subjects, especially pre-calculus. But I agreed and jumped straight to AP Physics C and Calculus BC.
Although I had to put a lot of effort, I learned to develop unwavering confidence that with passion, there is no mountain you cannot conquer. I finally emerged as one of the best students.
Home Life: I live with my mom and two sisters. I am the second born. My mom is a musician and is, in most cases, absent. Her career does not pay much, and we rarely have enough money to meet all our needs. Every week, grandmom sends $300 that we use for most expenses. To me, this is not a source of misery but an opportunity to learn. I am responsible for shopping, cleaning, and clearing the bills. I have learned to become a great planner.
Family life: When my dad sank into alcoholism and left mom alone to take care of us, I had no option but to push myself to the limit. In high school, I had taken a total of accelerated 13 units but had to drop to 4 because I spent most of the time visiting my dad in rehab 50 miles away from home.
Over time, I have learned that no matter the obstacles that lay on the way, there is always a way to conquer them. I do not believe in giving up until I get what I want.
Example Three: “What is the most important thing that matters to you?”
Mom is the most important thing in my life.
“Mom, are you there? Dad, is mom there?” My four-year-old little brother hops up and down the house looking for mom. But he cannot find her. Dad walks over, picks him up, and in 20 minutes, we are at the hospital.
“Look at the beautiful cutie. Please smile to your baby sister,” Dad says. As I walk over to see my new sister, I look at mom and there she is. She cannot move much because a complication developed during delivery, and she had to undergo a CS. Sadly that came after enduring long nine hours of labor.
A week later, mom returned home and recovered fully. That is when she recited the horror; she always goes through during delivery. When I was being born, my mom told me that it was almost a case of life and death. Hours to delivery, complications arose, and she almost lost her life.
“How does a person endure so much pain to bring me into this world,” I asked myself as mom finished narrating the experiences. Since then, I came to appreciate that my mom is no ordinary person. And that is why I decided to pursue medicine at Stanford University so that I can be able to contribute to this great course of motherhood.
I am forever indebted to my mom.
Stanford Short Essays Simplified
This guide has demonstrated that writing winning Stanford essays, although considered by many students complicated, can be easy and fun. The Stanford essay questions require you to focus on yourself and answer them honestly with the bigger picture of your career in the mind. Well, do not try to be someone else; your character and genuineness are what the admission committee is looking for.
Notably, many people still feel inadequate when faced with Stanford essay prompts, even when they have done it rightly. Well, we can understand it because you are dealing with an essay that means so much to your career. The secret to overcoming this fear is looking at Stanford essay examples and practicing as much as possible. They will help you to see how others who were successfully admitted to Stanford did their essays. Therefore, if others wrote their essays and got admitted, you too can do it! This guide and the professional help of essay writers is all you need.