Admission is highly competitive at Wake Forest University, a mid-sized private school in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. They accept only one-quarter of applicants and standards are high. In fact, almost 70% of enrolled students finished in the top decile of their high school class. At a school that rejects three of every four applicants, every aspect of your application needs to shine. The Wake Forest supplemental essays are one such component.

 (Want to learn more about How to Get Into Wake Forest University? Visit our blog entitled: How to Get Into Wake Forest: Admissions Data and Strategies for all of the most recent admissions data as well as tips for gaining acceptance.)

Wake Forest’s one required and two optional essay prompts are “very important” to the admissions process. Therefore, it is vital that all Demon Deacon applicants dedicate a significant amount of time to these short answer questions. Below are the Wake Forest supplemental essays for the 2022-23 admissions cycle along with our brainstorming/writing tips.

2022-2023 Wake Forest Supplemental Essays

1) Why have you decided to apply to Wake Forest? Share with us anything that has made you interested in our institution. (REQUIRED, max 150 words).

This is a pure and simple “Why Us?” essay. For a deeper dive, let’s examine a list of characteristics of a winning “Why Wake Forest?” supplemental essay:

  • Firstly, demonstrate how your goals align with the school’s mission statement. “Pro Humanitate (For Humanity), is a calling to use our knowledge, talents and compassion to better the lives of others.”
  • Then, cite specific academic programsprofessorsresearch opportunitiesinternship/externship programsstudy abroad programsstudent-run organizations, etc.
  • Also describe how you will be an active, contributing member of the academic community at Wake Forest University?
  • How will you take advantage of Wake Forest’s immense resources both inside and outside of the classroom?
  • Lastly, explain why Wake Forest is an ideal-fit institution.

In any “Why Us?” composition, you need to show that you’ve done your homework on a given school. However, it shouldn’t read like you just Googled everything ten minutes before writing the essay. In addition to the pure research element, a lot of the time and skill required in creating a stellar Wake Forest essay will involve connecting the classes, professors, opportunities, etc. of interest that you have uncovered to your distinct values, talents, aims, proficiencies, and future goals.

2) a. List five books you’ve read that intrigued you (title and author). b)Explain how a text you’ve read – fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or literature of any kind – has helped you to understand the world’s complexity. (OPTIONAL, max 150 words).

In the real world, one way human beings connect is through a shared love of stories, true or fictional. In the application world, this Wake Forest prompt can facilitate some level of connection between you and an admissions reader. The goal is not to appear as well-rounded as possible. If you happen to be a person with wide-ranging interests, that’s cool—feel free to share your eclectic tastes. However, if you tend to favor books about Zen Buddhism, the Civil War, or fantasy, for example, it can be great to communicate this primary passion by unleashing a list of five books on that lone topic.

Just make sure to adequately address how these books have helped you to understand the world’s complexity. In just 150 words, you want to explain how your mind expanded through literature. To help you brainstorm, here are some common areas of complexity that can be addressed:

  • Good, evil, and everything in-between
  • Religion and spirituality
  • Fate vs. Free Will
  • Family issues
  • Mental health
  • Love and friendship
  • Identity
  • Issue of race, class, and gender

3) Tell us more about the topic that most engages your intellectual curiosity. (OPTIONAL< max 150 words)

Out of everything on this Earth, what makes you tick? What keeps you up at night? What subject makes you read books and online content until your eyes bleed? This prompt essentially invites you to share a topic about which you are a) an expert and b) extremely passionate. This may be the subject that your friends and family (even those who love you dearly) are getting tired of hearing about every day. You shouldn’t have to think too hard about this topic. Instead, go with the topic that you could easily write 50,000 words about and condense those thoughts down to just 150 words.

How important are the Wake Forest supplemental essays?

The essays are “very important” to the Wake Forest admissions committee. There are only four other factors rated this high in the process. Those are: GPA, class rank, standardized test scores, character/personal qualities, and the rigor of your secondary school record.

Want Personalized Essay Assistance?

Lastly, if you are interested in working with one of College Transitions’ experienced and knowledgeable essay coaches as you craft your Wake Forest 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).