Wake Forest Supplemental Essays 2023-24 – Prompts and Tips

September 13, 2023

wake forest supplemental essays

Admission is highly competitive at Wake Forest University, a mid-sized private school in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. They accept only one-fifth 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 four of every five 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 four optional essay prompts (which we highly recommend answering) 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 2023-24 admissions cycle along with our brainstorming/writing tips.

2023-2024 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.

Wake Forest Supplemental Essays (Continued)

2)  List five books you’ve read that intrigued you (title and author). (OPTIONAL)

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.

Note: You’re provided with individual text boxes for each book and author, and you’ll need to select whether or not they were required reading.

3) Tell us what piques your intellectual curiosity or has helped you understand the world’s complexity. This can include a work you’ve read, a project you’ve completed for a class, and even co-curricular activities in which you have been involved. (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.

Alternatively, you could discuss how something you’ve read or an experience you’ve had—academic or extracurricular—helped you understand the world’s complexity. Given the extremely tight word count, you’ll need to be as specific as possible. 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

Wake Forest Supplemental Essays (Continued)

4) Dr. Maya Angelou, renowned author, poet, civil-rights activist, and former Wake Forest University Reynolds Professor of American Studies, inspired others to celebrate their identities and to honor each person’s dignity. Choose one of Dr. Angelou’s powerful quotes. How does this quote relate to your lived experience or reflect how you plan to contribute to the Wake Forest community? (OPTIONAL, 300 words)

Firstly, you’ll need to select one of Dr. Angelou’s quotes, which will involve some research. The quote you choose isn’t as important as how well you’re able to connect it to your own experiences and goals, so don’t worry about whether your quote is popular or more obscure. Whether you choose “I am grateful to be a woman. I must have done something great in another life” or “If I am not good to myself, how can I expect anyone else to be good to me?” or “I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn,” be inspired by Dr. Angelou’s wisdom and use that inspiration to communicate something important about your experiences, background, values, or perspective. In addition, researching the context of the quote might give you even more inspiration.

5) Give us your Top 10 list. (The choice of theme is yours.) (OPTIONAL)

This is a fun opportunity to share something genuinely unique about yourself and/or your interests. Perhaps you want to showcase your sense of humor, your love of music, your obsession with Titanic documentaries, your favorite coding languages, your extensive sneaker collection, or your best Scrabble words, among many, many others. The sky is the limit here! We’d also recommend sharing a brief “why” for each item on your list to further highlight your personality.

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 assistance with your Wake Forest supplemental essays?

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.