New for the Class of 2023: Supplemental Essay

Beginning with the fall 2019 application cycle, first year applicants will be asked to submit a supplemental essay in addition to the Common Application or Coalition Application Personal Essay. This supplemental essay will allow you to further express your interest in your academic area of choice. While we don’t want to limit you from fully expressing your ideas and responding to our supplemental essay question, we recommend that you keep your response to around 250 words.

Writing Supplement Prompt:

  • Tell us about something that really sparks your intellectual interest and curiosity and compels you to explore more. It could be an idea, book, project, cultural activity, work of art, start-up, music, movie, research, innovation, question, or other pursuit.

Once you complete the supplemental question, you will be considered for the appropriate merit scholarship for the division to which you are applying. As you write your supplemental essay, you should keep in mind that it will be used by the scholarship committees in selecting the scholarship winners. Therefore, you may wish to craft your response within an academic framework.

If you indicate an interest in the Beyond Boundaries program on your application for admission, you will be asked to respond to a different prompt.

Writing Supplement Prompt for Beyond Boundaries:

  • Many of our students broadly explore the connections of our schools and community before declaring a major. The Beyond Boundaries Program equips students to make a difference in a complicated world where challenges do not come pre-packaged as the territory of a single discipline. Tell us what great challenge you might want to explore and how you would pursue a solution in an interdisciplinary way.

To get to the writing supplement, log into your Common Application account and add Washington University in St. Louis to “My Colleges.” Then click on the “Writing Requirements” tab with your “Dashboard” to find our College Questions and Writing Supplement.

You must first reply to the question “Do you wish to be considered for a special program?” in the College Questions section in order to see the prompt for the Writing Supplement.

Common Application Dashboard

For Coalition Application users, log into your account and add Washington University in St. Louis to your Colleges. Our supplemental essay will be found in the “Application Questions” section:

Coalition Application

Coalition Application

How long should the WashU supplemental essay be? We require 250 words. The word allowance on the Common Application and Coalition Application forms is 500 words. This is to give you flexibility and to ensure your essay is not cut off. We are not telegraphing that we actually want a longer essay. We do not expect a 500-word essay and you will not receive “extra credit” for writing a long essay. Say what you would like us to know in around 250 words, use a few more or a few less as you wish. Let your story be the length it is.

Remember – Our team is here to help you through the application process!

Please don’t hesitate to call our office with any questions or concerns at (800) 638-0700 or (314) 935-6000!