William and Mary Application Essay Prompt
Beyond your impressive academic credentials and extracurricular accomplishments, what else makes you unique and colorful? We know nobody fits neatly into 500 words or less, but you can provide us with some suggestion of the type of person you are. Anything goes! Inspire us, impress us, or just make us laugh. Think of this optional opportunity as show and tell by proxy and with an attitude. For additional context, check out the William & Mary Admission Office video message.
A “tell us anything about you in any way” essay, this prompt is giving you a chance to express parts of yourself that may not be present in the rest of your Common Application. The playful tone of the prompt also gives you the freedom to take risks without fear of repercussions; it is fine (and encouraged!) to think outside the box for this particular essay. Do not feel as though you need to write in traditional paragraphs.
Rather, you can choose to write in lists of quirky “favorites” with brief explanations for each one (favorite flower, favorite song to sing in the shower, favorite Pokémon). You could write a Petrarchan poem or a rap about an aspect of your character. Write a letter to your future college roommate or your future self. Keep in mind that the medium you choose for this essay can reveal a lot about who you are, so take time to think about creative ways with which you could present yourself to W&M.
If you choose to write in a more traditional format, consider making the content of your writing less orthodox. That being said, do not force yourself to be creative or choose a quirky topic that you do not care about. What admission officers want to see is another side of you; they just want to get to know you better. So whatever topic you think can help them understand you, write about!
Still, try your best to choose something about yourself that sets you apart from other applicants. Are you really interested in jellyfish, having read hundreds of pages about different species and traveled to observe them in their natural habitat? Were you the first person in your family to try skydiving? Did you create a startup with a couple friends? The ideas and beliefs floating around in your head are unique to you — show the College of William and Mary why you will be an irreplaceable part of campus culture.
- A quote that has shaped who you are and who you want to be
- Which color you would use to describe yourself and why
- The one object you can’t live without and why
If you are stuck and having trouble coming up with a topic idea, we suggest going to other institutions’ Common App supplements for ideas. The University of Chicago comes out with quirky, innovative prompts each year, which offer more creative ways to reveal aspects of your personality. Don’t overthink this prompt: simply choose a topic you’re passionate about!
With these tips, you hopefully have a better understanding of how to write the College of William and Mary’s supplemental essay. As always, do not hesitate to reach out to CollegeVine consultants for further advice!
If you thought the College of William and Mary was just a small college in the suburbs of Virginia, you couldn’t be more wrong. The College of William and Mary has over 300 years of history and fun facts you probably never knew! Whether you’re considering applying or are already enrolled, here are 10 fun facts about W&M you won’t want to miss!
1. Founded in 1693, the College of William and Mary is the second oldest institution of higher education in the United States after Harvard University.
2. Comedian Jon Stewart graduated from W&M in 1984. Surprisingly, he actually started off as a chemistry major before transitioning to psychology.
Bonus fun fact: He also played soccer for William & Mary!
3. Every couple at College of William and Mary will have gone to the crest of the Crim Dell bridge and shared a kiss! Legend has it that those that do will be together forever.
4. Though an unofficial tradition, students of W&M partake in their own style of a “triathlon”, which includes streaking, jumping over a wall, and swimming across a pond. Many students do it in parts, and also do it while naked.
5. Completed in 1700, The Wren Building is the oldest academic building in the U.S. that is still be used today.
6. Three U.S. Presidents attended College of William and Mary: Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, John Tyler.
7. As one of oldest higher education institutions, the College of William and Mary was the first to do many of the things, such as establishing the honor system (1779), teaching political economy (1784), and having the elective system of study (1779).
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8. College of William and Mary is one of the 8 Public Ivies, which also includes UC Berkeley, Miami University OH, Michigan, UNC - Chapel Hill, UT - Austin, UVA and University of Vermont.
9. Mike Tomlin, head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, played college football at William and Mary. When the Steelers own the Super Bowl in 2009, Tomlin became the youngest head coach to win the Super Bowl, and still holds that record.
10. Founded in 1776 in College of William & Mary, Phi Beta Kappa was the first Greek letter collegiate fraternity. It still remains as the oldest academic honor society.
Are you looking to apply to College of William & Mary? Make sure to search through profiles of students accepted to see essays, stats, and advice. See how they got in, and how you can too!
About The Author
Frances was born in Hong Kong and received her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University. She loves super sad drama television, cooking, and reading. Her favorite person on Earth isn’t actually a member of the AdmitSee team - it’s her dog Cooper.