Don't think you have to write many essays because you're using the Common App? Think again!

Less Time. Less Stress. Better Essays.

The Common App has 1 required essay question, but many of the participating colleges also require supplemental essays, which are different for each college. So if you are applying to 7 colleges, you can easily have more than 20 essay questions! We provide each college's Common App supplemental essays organized in one easy place, as well as each college's program-specific, special applicant, and scholarship questions, most of which are not listed on the Common App. Our goal is to help you avoid rushing to finish essays you discover too late  or missing deadlines altogether!

Common Application Supplemental Essay Examples

Here are just a few Common App colleges with many supplemental essays (some of these numbers may change as we update for 2016-2017):

  • USC has 2 required essays and 10 short-take essays, and has 33 program-specific essays (no, we're not kidding)
  • Syracuse has 4 required essays and 6 program-specific essays
  • Tufts has 3 required essays
  • Penn has 1 required essay and 7 program-specific essays
  • Macalester has 1 required and 2 optional essays, plus 1 special applicant essay
  • Carleton has 2 required essays
  • Yale has 2 required essays and 5 short-take essays, plus 1 program-specific essay and 1 special applicant essay
  • Caltech has 5 required essays and 1 optional essay
  • Princeton has 3 required essays and 1 optional essay, plus 1 program-specific essay and 2 special applicant essays
  • Michigan has 2 required essays and 2 program-specific essays
  • UCLA has 2 required essays and 2 optional essays and, ahem, 18 program-specific essays (yes, we're serious)

Successful Essay Tips.

TIP 1 - Program-Specific Questions Are Good For You: While the many program-specific questions seem daunting, they help you discover different programs that may appeal to you and even help you get accepted. For instance, maybe you never considered applying to Cornell's School of Hotel Administration, but after seeing that program's essay questions on College Essay Organizer, you realize that this program might not only be right up your alley but also is going to help you gain the competitive admissions edge because of your special talents and background related to the hospitality industry.

TIP 2 - Optional Means Opportunity: When a college asks you a question and says it's optional, think of it like a parent asking you to do your chores; you don't have to do them, but if you don't, you're probably not going to get the keys to the family car that weekend. Optional questions present you with the opportunity to convey your passions and interests to people eager to learn more about you. Use such space wisely, and it can make all the difference.

TIP 3 - A Problem Well Organized Is A Problem Half Solved: You can spend several hours organizing all your essay questions in one clear document (which you know you'll never actually do) and hope that you locate all the hard-to-find supplemental, program-specific, optional, and scholarship questions — and then try to figure out how many original essays you need to write (and on which topics) to make this a quick and simple process. Or you can get started now for FREE and let College Essay Organizer do it for you instantly. You're applying to college now — time to start using your brain.


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Rachel, Accepted to the University of Pennsylvania