How to Answer Columbia Supplement Essays 2022-2023
Columbia offers distinctive supplemental essay prompts, featuring three short-answer questions and three list questions with word limits of 200 or less that provide a great opportunity to demonstrate research and creativity within constrained parameters.
List questions require applicants to name courses, clubs, professors and research opportunities that interest them. Be wary of responding with generic answers that could apply to any college.
1. List Question
Columbia supplemental essays 2022-2023 call for short answers pertaining to community and your chosen major, as well as an unusual list question. As one of the premier universities worldwide, Columbia’s essay prompts provide an exceptional chance to set yourself apart from an equally talented pool of applicants.
If the task of responding to list prompts seems daunting, we suggest seeking assistance from one of our expert coaches for brainstorming and writing assistance. They can guide your responses with care while still adhering to word limits while helping you show your personality or insight with limited space.
Columbia requests your favorite books and media as the starting point for its first list prompt. Many students shy away from including graphic novels or comics in their lists; however, these works are great ways to demonstrate the diversity of interests you hold while intellectually expanding yourself. For the second list prompt, however, feel free to add any other form of media you enjoy, but remember this isn’t the place for explicit material or offensive references!
When choosing the appropriate format, we also suggest experimenting with various forms. You can compose your list either using paragraphs or bullet points; separate your items using commas or semicolons; no italicizing or underlining book titles is necessary; nor are author names, subtitles or explanatory remarks.
At its core, these questions seek to uncover who you are outside of academics and how media shapes your identity as an individual. Therefore, essays that demonstrate creativity and reflectivity tend to perform better than ones which simply repeat information given.
As you craft your answers, remember that standing out is more important than being correct. If your answers sound like they came from another writer, chances are Columbia’s admissions officers won’t make an emotional connection with them.
2. Short Answer Question
Columbia offers applicants an innovative set of supplemental essays that challenge them to produce lists instead of more conventional essays. These supplementary essays aim to give the admissions committee an understanding of your academic interests and how they might fit with what their school offers, unlike more conventional essay prompts such as those at other schools. Though Columbia may seem straightforward when compared with others supplemental prompts, their list questions must still be approached carefully in order to be answered successfully. We will discuss best ways of answering list-style prompts in this blog post along with providing tips and strategies on writing strong supplementals!
Columbia’s short answer questions ask you to name required readings from courses you enjoyed most during secondary/high school experience and movies, shows, albums, museums or lectures that have entertained or fascinated you the most. While these may be broad topics for answers, children applying to Columbia tend to be highly cultured individuals who can make diverse and creative selections rather than sticking strictly to “serious” choices.
The last short answer question can be the most challenging to respond to, since it requires you to detail what you value most about Columbia University. It differs greatly from similar prompts used by other schools (such as “what do you value most about our college” and “describe your ideal college community”). Therefore, remember that answering this query means providing answers that demonstrate why Columbia stands out as a place where intellectual interests can flourish. For more advice and help answering Columbia’s Supplementary Essay Prompts contact us for a complimentary consultation session today!
3. Community Question
Columbia University supplemental essays (the “community question” and the “ideal college community list”) are designed to give admissions officers a sense of who you are outside your academic and extracurricular pursuits. With this question, the school wants to understand what values you put onto communities, as well as how you might contribute towards building them.
Here, it would be beneficial to list the different communities you belong to — be they school, family, work, church or neighborhood – before discussing how you contribute and plan on continuing doing so in the future for each one of these.
Please remember that there is no single correct response; what matters is showing your thoughtfulness about this question and being able to convey that. Admissions officers will recognize your effort, enabling them to assess the depth of your interest in their programs.
4. Academic Area Question
This question stands out from the usual Columbia supplements by asking you to list your academic interests. This provides an ideal opportunity to convey who you are as an academic-oriented individual, yet be careful not to simply list random hobbies and activities – this prompt allows admissions officers to witness first-hand your intellectual curiosity that fuels decisions and will enrich their community.
The key to writing an effective essay on intellectual interests and your chosen academic track is striking a balance between showing that you possess diverse interests while showing that you’re excited by them. To do this, consider where your interests have stemmed from – for instance did traveling with your military family ignite your appreciation of foreign languages, or Covid-19 pique your curiosity in public health? Once you’ve pinpointed their source, talk about how these interests continue to be pursued: taking related courses, reading related books or attending relevant conferences/seminars/talking to experts in your chosen area of study.
Last but not least when answering this question is your vision for future pursuits. It is essential to emphasize that while you may have many interests, Columbia stands out by having faculty and programs specifically related to those pursuits. This presents an excellent opportunity to show you possess enough maturity to choose your academic pursuits and a clear idea for developing them over time.