Rice Supplement Essay

Rice University 2017-18 Application Essay Question Explanations

The Rice supplement is as basic as vanilla ice cream until the final prompt, so prepare to think outside the box on this one.

The Requirements: 2 essays of 150 words; 1 essay of 250 words; 1 image

Supplemental Essay Type(s): Activity,Why

Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (150 word limit)   

There’s basically no way for us to make this classic Activity essay prompt any clearer. This is your shot to take a deep dive into your resume, so make it count! A few *hair flip* expert tips for selecting the perfect activity: First and foremost, make sure your selection will help you tell admissions something they don’t already know. Make sure you have a story to tell. Secondly – and this is basically implied in our first tip – pick something you haven’t already written about! If you devoted your Common App personal statement to your journey as a member of the debate team, you might want to highlight your summer job or your experience running cross country in this essay. Aim for balance: if your other essays have focused on leadership, use this as a chance to to tell a story about teamwork. And of course, if you’ve earned any notable honors or awards in any of your activities, this is the perfect time to shine them up and show them off.

With the understanding that the choice of academic school you indicated is not binding, explain why you are applying to that particular school of study. (150 word limit)

Consider this the prologue to your Why essay (coming up next). To nail both of these questions, set aside an hour or so to get cozy with the Rice website and read up on your academic school and other aspects of student life. Doing all of your research at once will allow you to tell a cohesive story about yourself, while also ensuring that your essays aren’t redundant. Pour all of your academic focus into your answer to this question. What do you love about your chosen major? If you’re interested in the Visual and Dramatic Arts program, can you describe the unique opportunities you’ll find at Rice University? What resources are available to undergrads and how will they guide your craft? If you’re undecided, think about what makes Rice the ideal environment for academic exploration. How do you plan to hone in on the perfect major? The more detail you include, the more admissions will learn about you.

How did you first learn about Rice University, and what motivated you to apply? (250 word limit)

Keep the rich details flowing in this classic Why essay. Demonstrating a deep level of knowledge will show admissions that you’re a serious applicant. Even if you hadn’t heard of Rice before your guidance counselor suggested it, take the time to reflect on what makes you excited about the prospect of being a student there. The question itself hints at the structure you should follow: narrating your journey from first inkling to application. Without lingering too long on your decision-making process, highlight the aspects of a Rice education that speak to you; no detail is too small. Think about your ideal day from what you’d grab at the dining hall, to your ideal study space, to the clubs you’d join in you spare time. The more clearly you can imagine yourself on campus, the more evident your fit will be to admissions.

In keeping with Rice’s long-standing tradition (known as “The Box”), please share an image of something that appeals to you. See the Help Section for more information.

The final piece to Rice’s supplement isn’t an essay at all. Rice understands that a picture is worth a thousand words (or so we’ve been told). So instead of having you write a thousand words (which sounds exhausting), Rice University is asking you to upload a picture of something that appeals to you. When brainstorming which image to choose, think about your goals and passions. If you’re hoping to declare an English major, maybe your photo of choice is the Pulitzer Prize. If you are hoping to develop your business management skills at Rice, maybe you want to share the photo your mom took of you devouring pizza at student-run The Hoot this spring. Regardless of which direction you choose to take, what matters most is that your image communicates something hyper-personal, and/or reveals new information about you, your interests or your goals that is not covered anywhere else on your application.

 

 

Rice University Application Essay Prompts

 

Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (150 word limit)

This question is common among universities and requires you to name one extracurricular activity or work experience that uniquely defines you. The prompt has the potential to make your application stand out for reasons outside of the academic realm. Examples of extracurricular activities or work experiences could range from serving as the president of your high school’s local branch of UNICEF to working as a cashier at the nearby McDonald’s.

 

While the activity itself might not hold as much weight, your leadership and accomplishments in the aforementioned activity — that is, what exactly about your involvement in the activity that makes it significant — do. Thus, you should have been involved in the selected activity for some considerable time.

 

The tight word limit ensures that you select the activities that are the most important to you. Especially effective essay topics would be activities that enabled you to step outside of your comfort zone, have some special personal significance, and/or are related to your potential major. Writing on these allows you to communicate something about yourself beyond just your involvement in the activity through this essay, be it your long-term devotion to your desired field of study or your capacity to overcome personal hardship.

With the understanding that the choice of academic school you indicated is not binding, explain why you are applying to that particular school of study. (150 word limit)

This prompt goes hand-in-hand with the preceding question by gauging your academic interests to supplement your extracurricular profile. In addition to elaborating on your general academic interests, we at CollegeVine recommend that you highlight some unique attributes of the corresponding school at Rice to tie your response together.

 

Talk about your specific interest and experiences in the major and area of interest. Unfortunately, with a required response of 150 words, this essay prompt is not long enough to be a fully developed essay like that of the Common Application. Thus, you should be especially judicious in the balance between describing your general academic interests and discussing the finer details of the relevant school at Rice.










How did you first learn about Rice University, and what motivated you to apply? (250 word limit)

“Why our school?” is perhaps the most common prompt seen in college supplements and requires you to highlight specific aspects of the school that appeal to you. Ensure that you do your research and find attributes of the school that connect well with your interests.

 

You could discuss the residential college system, faculty-to-student ratio, and/or top architecture program, to name a few key aspects of the school. Regardless of your selection, you should point out how that aspect has some personal connection to you. In tying personal experiences, accomplishments, and interests into the offerings at Rice, you can make your essay all the more compelling.

 

With a slightly larger word limit, this question enables you to flesh your ideas out more thoroughly than the previous questions. As a result, you have the option of either focusing on one or two attributes of the school that particularly resonate with you or generally discuss multiple aspects that appeal to you. If possible, we at CollegeVine suggest the former to help make your application as unique and tailored to you as possible.

In keeping with Rice’s long-standing tradition (known as “The Box”), please share an image of something that appeals to you. See the Help Section for more information.

The Box is perhaps the most interesting of all the prompts. It allows you to express your identity through an image as opposed to a worded response. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so choose carefully.

 

You could submit a photograph of a family heirloom or a gift given to you as a volunteer at the hospital. By forcing you to choose one image, admissions officers will see your image as a reflection of what is important to you. Thus, use your best judgment and avoid inappropriate images such as those that might reflect any extreme political standing. It would be wise, if possible, to choose an image that was mentioned or described in either your Common Application essay or one of the above prompts, so that the image has some context.

 

If you are looking for more personalized help on your application, consider CollegeVine’s essay editing and application guidance programs. Our team would love to evaluate your application and help you further set yourself apart in the applicant pool!

 






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