In the most recent admissions cycle, Johns Hopkins University admitted fewer than 5% of regular decision applicants into the Class of 2026. The overall acceptance rate was 9%. As a school that rejects thousands of applicants each year with 1500+ SATs and impeccable transcripts, those hoping for a positive result at JHU need to find additional ways to shine in the eyes of the admissions committee. The Johns Hopkins supplemental essay is one such opportunity.

(Want to learn more about How to Get Into Johns Hopkins University? Visit our blog entitled: How to Get Into Johns Hopkins for all of the most recent admissions data as well as tips for gaining acceptance.)

Given that 19 of every 20 RD applicants to Johns Hopkins University are ultimately unsuccessful, you need to do everything you can to stand out amidst a sea of uber-qualified teens from around the globe. Through its one mandatory essay prompt, Johns Hopkins University’s supplemental section still affords applicants an opportunity to highlight what makes them uniquely qualified for admission. Below is Johns Hopkins’s supplemental prompt for the 2022-23 admissions cycle. Additionally, you’ll find our tips on how to write a winning composition.

Johns Hopkins Essay Prompt #1

Founded in the spirit of exploration and discovery, Johns Hopkins University encourages students to share their perspectives, develop their interests, and pursue new experiences.

Use this space to share something you’d like the admissions committee to know about you (your interests, your background, your identity, or your community), and how it has shaped what you want to get out of your college experience at Hopkins. (300-400 words)

JHU is inviting you to share more about your background/identity/community through the lens of how that will impact your experience at the university. At the core, this prompt is a “Why Us?” essay which comes with the typical pitfalls you’ll want to avoid. We don’t want to label these as “mistakes” (there is nothing inherently wrong with them). They just don’t add any needle-moving value, which is, of course, the only goal when you are applying to a school as selective as Johns Hopkins.

Common components of a generic “Why Johns Hopkins?” essay

  • Fawning over the beautiful campus (it is quite beautiful, but they already know that).
  • Johns Hopkins is top-ranked, prestigious, and has a great reputation. Again, they know!
  • Too many generic expressions of feeling. For example, “It has been my dream since I was a little kid to attend Johns Hopkins.”
  • Recycled statements from your other “Why Us?” essays that come across as stale, impersonal, or worst of all–irrelevant/inaccurate.

How to write a winning “Why Johns Hopkins?” essay

How will you take advantage of Johns Hopkins’s immense resources both inside and outside of the classroom?

  • Cite specific academic programs, professors, research opportunities, internship/externship programs, study abroad programs, student-run organizations, etc.
  • Make sure to address why Johns Hopkins is the perfect fit for you. Also state why you are the perfect fit for Johns Hopkins.
  • Show evidence of how your past/current endeavors will carry over onto Johns Hopkins’s campus community.
  • What special talents and passions will you bring to Johns Hopkins?

Examples of items to include in a “Why Johns Hopkins?” essay

Examples of items that quality “Why JHU?” essays touch upon include:

  • More than 3,000 international students from 121 countries are on campus so you have a truly global experience.
  • 450 student organizations exist on campus and 80% of undergrads are involved.
  • A bevy of intriguing study abroad opportunities are available through JHU.
  • 60% of students have a double major or minor.
  • Hopkins is one of the top schools for undergraduate research
  • You may wish to contribute to HURJ, the school’s undergraduate research journal.
  • A 6:1 student-to-faculty ratio and small class sizes (almost three-quarters of sections have fewer than 20 students) allow for meaningful interaction with professors.
  • Hopkins leads all U.S. schools in research and development spending. They have produced a range of incredible discoveries from landing the first spacecraft on an asteroid to cataloging 80% of the proteins in the human body.
  • They offer 260+ courses of study.

Of course, these are just some of the thousands of possible features that could be part of a successful essay. However, we sincerely hope this helps your brainstorming session take flight!

How important are the essays at Johns Hopkins?

Johns Hopkins University considers six factors “very important” in evaluating a candidate. The essays are among them. In addition to the essays, Johns Hopkins gives the greatest consideration to the rigor of an applicant’s secondary school record, GPA, standardized test scores, recommendations, and character/personal qualities.

Want Personalized Essay Assistance?

If you are interested in working with one of College Transitions’ experienced and knowledgeable essay coaches as you craft your Johns Hopkins supplemental essays, we encourage you to get a quote today.