2022-23 University of Michigan Supplemental Essays – Prompts and Tips
In forming the Class of 2025, the University of Michigan received over 80,000 applications, an all-time high. For historical comparison, there were under 24,000 applicants at the turn of the millennium. Therefore, it is safe to say that more students desire to become Wolverines in 2022 than ever before in the school’s 200+ year history. This greatly impacts the importance of the UMich supplemental essays.
The acceptance rate at UMich has fallen all the way down to 18%/ However, this figure is typically twice as high for applicants who reside in the state of Michigan. If you are an out-of-stater or international student, you’ll need to bring even more impressive credentials than your in-state peers. Speaking of credentials, overall, the median SAT for current Wolverine undergrads is 1450, 77% placed in the top decile of their high school class, and the average unweighted GPA is 3.8. If you possess statistics above those marks, you have a great shot of one day donning the maize and blue. However, you’ll still want to find ways to stand out against the intense competition.
(Want to learn more about How to Get Into UMich? Visit our blog entitled: How to Get Into the University of Michigan: Admissions Data and Strategies for all of the most recent admissions data as well as tips for gaining acceptance.)
Through its two essay prompts, the University of Michigan supplemental section still affords applicants an opportunity to showcase what makes them uniquely qualified for admission. Below are the University of Michigan supplemental prompts for the 2022-23 admissions cycle. The College Transitions team also offers tips about how to address each one:
2022-2023 University of Michigan Essay Questions
1) Everyone belongs to many different communities and/or groups defined by (among other things) shared geography, religion, ethnicity, income, cuisine, interest, race, ideology, or intellectual heritage. Choose one of the communities to which you belong, and describe that community and your place within it. (Required for all applicants)
This can be done well whether you are talking about an ethnic, religious, or neighborhood community. It could even be a group of individuals who gather for a club, sport, or service project. Most applicants to the University of Michigan are involved in at least one “community”. You are the captain of a team, the editor-in-chief of your school paper, the president of a club… but don’t just rest on those laurels—instead, bring your involvement to life. Use your writing ability to show what type of community member you are rather than merely telling.
You can also discuss how you have engaged with your high school local/community. Further, you can share have learned from interacting with people of a different ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual identity, etc. Draw on past evidence of your commitment to being a positive force in your community and speculate how that is likely to manifest on the University of Michigan’s campus. You should research and cite UMich student-run organizations and/or local nonprofit groups. The Michigan admissions committee now desires to understand precisely how you will contribute to their campus community of 31,000+ undergrads. Drawing the link between your past efforts and future aims is critical here.
For example, if you dedicated many hours working with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout high school, it will be most impactful if you express your commitment to joining UMich’s chapter of Best Buddies in the future.
2) Describe the unique qualities that attract you to the specific undergraduate College or School (including preferred admission and dual degree programs) to which you are applying at the University of Michigan. How would that curriculum support your interests? (Required for all applicants)
In some ways, this is your quintessential “Why Us?” essay, but UMich is particularly interested in hearing about why the curriculum in your desired academic department is attractive to you—not so much about your love for the football team or the beautiful campus. Below are some quick tips for writing an essay that will help your admissions cause:
- Cite specific academic programs, professors, research opportunities, internship/externship programs, study abroad programs, student-run organizations, etc.
- State why your chosen program is the perfect fit for you and why you are the perfect fit for it.
- Show evidence of how your past/current academic endeavors/achievements will carry over onto UMich’s campus.
- What special academically-related talents and passions will you bring to the University of Michigan? What contributions will you make?
You’ll want to dedicate time to researching more about your prospective college/department and what makes it truly world-class. The more specific you can get here, the better your UMich essays will be!
How important are the University of Michigan supplemental essays?
Michigan deems two factors as “very important” in evaluating a candidate. These are the rigor of your secondary school record and GPA. The UMich essays—both the general Common App essay and the Michigan supplements—are rated as “important”. They sit alongside standardized test scores, recommendations, character/personal qualities, and first-generation college student status.
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If you are interested in working with one of College Transitions’ experienced and knowledgeable essay coaches as you craft your University of Michigan supplemental essays, we encourage you to get a quote today.
Dave has over a decade of professional experience that includes work as a teacher, high school administrator, college professor, and independent educational consultant. He is a co-author of the books The Enlightened College Applicant (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016) and Colleges Worth Your Money (Rowman & Littlefield, 2020).