College Essay Alchemy: A Tour of Supplemental Essay Prompts: 2018 Edition

A review of essay prompts can be a great way to prepare for the writing process. I am supposed to write roughly 650 words but on what?  Of course, you will head straight for the Common Application prompts and prepare to stress out choosing one idea.  But what about reading supplemental prompts and taking a mental walk around other questions colleges are asking students?  A creative prompt may just the spark a fresh perspective or a new insight about yourself.  And, this new idea could go on to inspire your main essay, after you’re well rested and ready to start writing your college essay.

Some of Our Favorite 2018 Supplementary College Essay Prompts


250 words


Short Take: 200 characters (approximately 35 words), to each of the following questions:

Wake Forest University

List five books you have read that piqued your curiosity.

Stanford University

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Choose two of the prompts below and respond to each in 200-250 words.

University of Southern California

Please respond to one of the prompts below. (250 word limit)

University of Chicago

Choose one of the six extended essay options and upload a one- or two- page response