How To Write Columbia Supplemental Essays


Columbia University, with its esteemed Ivy League status and prestigious reputation, is a dream school for many students. As part of the application process, Columbia requires applicants to complete supplemental essays, which are an essential component of your application. In this article, we will guide you through the process of writing compelling Columbia University supplemental essays that can help you stand out from the crowd.

Understanding Columbia’s Supplemental Essays

Columbia University typically requires several supplemental essays, and these essay prompts may vary from year to year. To ensure you’re addressing the most current prompts, always check the official Columbia University admissions website. Here are some common themes in Columbia’s supplemental essays:

  1. Why Columbia?: Columbia wants to know why you’re interested in attending their institution specifically. What aspects of the university, such as academic programs, faculty, campus culture, or location, appeal to you? This essay is your opportunity to demonstrate your genuine interest in Columbia.
  2. Academic and Extracurricular Interests: Columbia often asks about your academic and extracurricular interests. You may be asked to discuss your intended major, any research you’d like to pursue, or your involvement in clubs and activities.
  3. Diversity and Inclusion: Columbia places a strong emphasis on diversity and inclusion. You may be asked to write about how you would contribute to or benefit from a diverse and inclusive community.
  4. Unique Talents and Perspectives: Some essay prompts may encourage you to share unique talents, perspectives, or experiences that you would bring to the Columbia community.

Tips for Writing Outstanding Columbia Supplemental Essays

  1. Research Columbia: Before you start writing, research Columbia thoroughly. Understand the university’s core values, mission, academic programs, and campus culture. Tailor your essays to reflect your alignment with these aspects.
  2. Be Specific: When explaining why you want to attend Columbia, be as specific as possible. Mention professors, classes, clubs, and programs that interest you. Show that you’ve done your homework and that your interest is genuine.
  3. Highlight Your Fit: Address how your academic and extracurricular interests align with what Columbia has to offer. Explain why Columbia is the perfect place for you to pursue your passions and goals.
  4. Tell a Story: Make your essays engaging by incorporating anecdotes and personal stories. These can help you connect with the admissions committee on a more personal level.
  5. Emphasize Diversity and Inclusion: If you’re asked about diversity and inclusion, don’t just pay lip service. Share genuine experiences or perspectives that demonstrate your commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion.
  6. Revise and Edit: After writing your essays, revise and edit them carefully. Ensure your writing is clear, concise, and free of grammar and spelling errors.
  7. Seek Feedback: Ask teachers, counselors, or mentors to review your essays. Their feedback can provide valuable insights and help you improve your writing.


Writing Columbia University supplemental essays is a critical part of your application process. These essays allow you to showcase your unique qualities, experiences, and interests. By researching Columbia, being specific, and crafting well-written essays, you can increase your chances of gaining admission to this prestigious institution. Remember, the supplemental essays are your opportunity to stand out and show why you are an ideal fit for Columbia University. Good luck with your application!