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How to Write the UIUC Supplemental Essay 2023-24
  • Oct 2022
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How to Write the UIUC Supplemental Essay 2023-24

28th October 2022

Are you considering attending the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign? Then you've arrived at the right location. If you're applying to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, be sure to check out our tips for writing strong UIUC supplemental essays to improve your chances of admission.

You must include a personal statement with your application to this highly regarded public school. But, to stand out, what should you add to your UIUC essay? Writing the UIUC supplemental essay is an important step in the application process for prospective students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Continue reading to find out what the current UIUC essay prompt is and how to produce an excellent UIUC essay.

One popular question among potential UIUC applicants is "does UIUC have supplemental essays?

Looking for examples of successful supplemental essays for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign?

What Is the UIUC Essay?

As part of their admissions application, all applicants must complete two to three UIUC prompts and one Common Application prompt.

Your UIUC prompt will differ depending on whether you are applying to a major, the UIUC Undeclared Program, or a second-choice major (including Undeclared).

Each response should be approximately 150 words long.

The following are this year's UIUC prompts:

If you're applying to a specific major:

i) Explain in detail an experience you've had in the last 3 to 4 years that is linked to your preferred major. This can be an experience gained through an extracurricular activity, a lesson, or something else.

ii) Describe your personal and/or career goals after graduating from UIUC, as well as how your first-choice degree will assist you in achieving them.

If you're interested in the UIUC Undeclared Program:

i.) What academic interests and strengths do you have? You may also list any majors you are thinking about.

ii.) What are your long-term academic or professional goals?

If you've chosen a second major (including undeclared):

i) Please express your interest in your secondary major as well as your overall academic or career ambitions.

Students must also choose one Common Application essay prompt from a list of options and submit a response.

Topics and Tips for Writing the UIUC Essay

Are you looking for information on the UIUC supplemental essays for the 2022-2023 admissions cycle? Check out our blog for helpful tips and advice on crafting a standout essay to increase your chances of getting accepted to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Because it is the sole personal essay you will write for the University of Illinois, it is a crucial aspect of your application.

This is the sole section of the UIUC application where you can showcase your personality, academic interests, and storytelling abilities.

The purpose of this statement is for UIUC to learn more about you as a person and the traits you will contribute to the school if you enroll.

Furthermore, UIUC provides a YouTube admissions counseling series that includes some valuable videos with instructions on how to write an excellent UIUC essay:

Now that you have a basic idea of what UIUC will be searching for in your application essay, let's go over each one individually.

Myllini Major-Specific Prompt #1

“Explain in detail an experience you've had in the last 3 to 4 years that is linked to your preferred major.

This can be an experience gained through an extracurricular activity, a lesson, or something else.”

This is your moment to demonstrate your enthusiasm for your first-choice major! You have a lot of leeways here: perhaps you took a class that sparked an interest in you, perhaps you joined a club related to the subject, or perhaps you engaged in a related activity.

But be cautious. You only have 150 words, and UIUC wants to know about your experience with your major, not why you chose it in the first place.

This is your opportunity to demonstrate that you are already taking measures toward interacting with your chosen major!

Choose a significant tale for yourself, and remember to be as thorough as you can to give the limits.

Show the UIUC admissions counselors that you are interested in your chosen major and are already involved in it.

Myllini Major-Specific Prompt #2

Describe your personal and/or career goals after graduating from UIUC, as well as how your first-choice degree will assist you in achieving them.

In contrast to the first essay, which asks about your previous experience, this is your chance to dream big and show UIUC what you intend to do with your degree.

Remember to write this as if you've already been accepted to UIUC—they're interested in how you'll represent them in the world!

You only have 150 words, but you can say a lot in that amount of time. If you want to be an aerospace engineer, for example, you should visit the UIUC Aerospace Engineering webpage and relate their specific courses, professors, and extracurriculars to your post-degree objectives.

Perhaps you want to work for NASA, and the UIUC robotics team can help you apply. Be as precise as possible! And demonstrate to UIUC that they are the ideal school for you to attain your objectives.

Myllini Undeclared Prompt #1

What academic interests and strengths do you have? You may also list any majors you are thinking about.

Like Major-Specific Prompt #1, this prompt invites you to describe what you're passionate about and where you shine academically.

Please be specific! Rather than just stating, "I've always been strong at English and I enjoy it," elaborate: perhaps you won an essay contest or your op-ed was published in the school paper.

Perhaps the finest method to connect your outer and inner worlds is to write poetry.

If you have a few majors in mind, make sure to include them here! Even if you're not sure what you want to major in, it's always a good idea to demonstrate that you have a particular goal for your college career.

Millini Undeclared Prompt #2

What are your long-term academic or professional goals?

Like Major-Specific Prompt #2, this question encourages you to describe your ideal future.

Perhaps you are confident that you want to pursue a doctorate in sociology or that you want to serve in the Peace Corps before working for the US Department of State.

The crucial point to remember here is that undeclared does not imply unplanned. Many students have particular career objectives, but they perceive several paths to achieving them.

This is your opportunity to demonstrate your desired future self and how UIUC will help you get there.

Myllini Second-Choice Major Prompt #1

Please express your interest in your secondary major as well as your overall academic or career ambitions.

If you've applied to a second-choice major, you'll just need to answer this question! This prompt should look familiar: you can respond to either Major-Specific Prompt #1 or Major-Specific Prompt #2.

The difficulty here is to demonstrate that your second-choice major is purposeful and relevant to your long-term aspirations.

You're not just picking a minor because you want to get into UIUC in any way, shape, or form.

Consider answering the first prompt if you have a secondary interest that is nearly as strong as your first-choice major.

Consider answering the second if you have a clear professional goal that many majors could contribute to.

Whatever decision you select, make it obvious why UIUC is the ideal institution for your major or career path!

A Real UIUC Essay Example + Analysis

"UIUC supplemental essays for the class of 2023 are available for potential applicants to submit online for consideration."

Here is a real UIUC essay example written by an admitted student to help you get a better idea of what your own UIUC essay might look like.

Remember that this essay was produced in response to an old prompt that is no longer available on the MyIllini application.

However, this essay is an excellent example of how college counselors expect students to discuss their interests and passions.

The prompt is as follows:

“Describe a topic, idea, or concept that you find so interesting that you lose track of time. What draws you to it? When you want to learn more, where do you go? (250–650 words)”

And now for the essay:

The chicken, or the egg? The hours I’ve spent pondering this question are countless. People frequently debate the seemingly simple idea of which came first. To me, it is more than just a question, but an example of how human beings think.

The question of “Which came first?” captivates me because it is a question without an answer. It has been asked for centuries and no progress has been made, but it continues to be brought up. I think this is because humans prefer clear-cut answers. Like in any kind of competition, ending with a tie between teams or individuals isn’t a satisfying conclusion. People would rather the competition continue for extra time than admit there’s no real winner, or in this case, no real answer. So even though it’s obvious there will be no agreement, the debate over chickens and eggs continues.

When people label something a “chicken-egg” situation, it means there is no way to establish the order of cause and effect, again leaving a feeling of uncertainty. But human nature is to seek an answer. The chicken-egg question shows humanity’s inability to accept unfinished business, and this fascinates me the most. People want closure in all aspects of life, and big questions like this are no exception. I think the question “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” is so interesting because people will always try to answer it knowing they will never find a solution. It shows that humans desire understanding above all else.

When I want to learn more about this concept, I turn to my grandfather. He doesn’t have a degree in philosophy or psychology, yet he’s a reliable source on almost any subject given his extensive years spent at the University of Life. With so many experiences under his belt, he understands unanswerable questions much better than I do. “The only truth is uncertainty,” he tells me when I once again dive deep into the possibility of eggs without chickens or chickens without eggs. In his words, the most beautiful parts of life are the questions we can’t answer but spend our whole life trying to.

My desire for answers keeps me thinking about this question for hours on end. I think there are good points to grandpa’s perspective, but as an eighteen-year-old entering college, I don’t know if I can accept that the only answer is no answer just yet. Until I can, I’ll gather my evidence and continue to spend my days wondering whether Aristotle was eating chicken and waffles or omelets for breakfast.

What Makes This UIUC Essay Work?

Are you struggling with how to write the UIUC supplemental essays? Look no further, our expert guide will provide tips and advice on crafting a compelling supplemental essay for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

i) It has a wonderful hook. The applicant begins his or her essay with a well-known philosophical question: "The chicken or the egg?" This draws the admissions committee into the essay by making them think about the question as well. The candidate then studies the question and offers their unique interpretation of what it truly means. "To me, it's more than just a question, but an example of how human beings think," the applicant states at the end of the first paragraph. The applicant demonstrates to the admissions committee that they can interpret complicated ideas and analyze difficult topics by giving their unique take on the chicken vs egg dilemma. These are the characteristics that UIUC wishes to see in their incoming class!

ii) It's concise, focused, and simple to understand: A topic like this one could easily derail the essay, yet the applicant maintains the essay focused by responding to the prompt in precise order. The first paragraph introduces the applicant's favorite idea. The following two paragraphs describe why the applicant finds this thought "captivating" and ties their involvement with the idea to deeper truths about human nature, demonstrating why the applicant "loses all track of time" when discussing it.

The fourth paragraph outlines who the applicant goes to for more information on this subject and what they have learned through discussing it with their grandfather. The applicant concludes the essay with a description of how their approach to the chicken vs. egg debate relates to the type of student they will be at UIUC. This essay is easy to grasp and enjoyable to read because of its straightforward organization, clean style, and astute analysis.

How Could This UIUC Essay Be Even Better?

i) It may be more specific as to why the concept is appealing: Although this UIUC essay is beautifully written and tightly focused, it lacks specificity on why the candidate personally relates to the chicken and the egg question. The candidate does an excellent job explaining what they believe this discussion reveals about human nature but does not elaborate on why that issue is important to them.

ii) It could have a stronger conclusion: While the candidate does an excellent job of tying their essay response to why they will be a good match for UIUC, the ending could do a bit more to demonstrate this. Rephrasing the final paragraph to emphasize how the applicant's response to uncertainty makes them the ideal UIUC candidate could strengthen this essay.

3 Essential Tips for Writing a Great UIUC Essay

To summarize, here are four critical points to consider as you write your U of I application essay.

#1: Do Not Simply List Your Achievements

Some of the UIUC essays prompts may appear to be an opportunity to list all of your outstanding accomplishments at first glance.

But none of these prompts encourage you to do so! Instead, use carefully created tales to showcase everything you have to offer as a UIUC applicant.

The purpose of the UIUC essay is to provide the admissions committee with more thorough and personal commentary on why you chose their institution and why you would be an excellent addition to their student body.

Keep your accomplishments list on your CV. The best way to demonstrate how your life experiences have turned you into the ideal candidate for admission to UIUC is to tell a genuine story.

#2: Highlight Your Passion

While the essay prompts vary in focus, the fundamental purpose of each is to elicit what you're enthusiastic about and why.

What you're aiming to do with each prompt is demonstrate your enthusiasm to the UIUC admissions committee.

In other words, what drives your desire to learn? What is it that drives you the most? And why are you so excited about bringing your ideas, experiences, and personality to UIUC?

By emphasizing your hobbies and passions, you are also demonstrating to the UIUC admissions committee who you are and what is important to you academically and in general.

Take the following methods to help your enthusiasm shine through in your University of Illinois essay:

a.) Give us actual names and utilize visceral details to make us feel as if we're there experiencing and feeling everything with you.

b.) Be truthful—the admissions committee wants to know the real you, and it can only do so if you write in an authentic voice that reflects who you are.

#3: Polish and Proofread

My final piece of advice is to allow plenty of time to polish and proofread your UIUC essay.

Keep an eye out for obvious typos and technical flaws in your rough draft, such as punctuation, grammar, and spelling faults.

Look for any awkward, unfinished, out-of-place, or unclear places as well.

Give your essay to someone else to read after you've edited it on your own, such as a parent, teacher, or tutor.

Request that they make any necessary technical changes and give you feedback on how you can improve the story, cogency, and overall effectiveness.

If you're looking for guidance on how to answer the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's supplemental essays, check out our blog post on "How to Write a Good Answer to Essay Questions" for tips and strategies.

Looking for help with your UIUC Computer Science supplemental essays? Let our team of experienced writers craft compelling and personalized responses that showcase your skills and passion for the field.



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