Coming up with essays for your college application can be hard, which is why reading over several Georgetown supplemental essay examples will help you greatly in composing your own series of essays. How to write a college essay can be dreadfully tricky, even with expert college essay tips, so being able to look at the final result of the handiwork of others can boost your confidence and make your own writing and re-writing processes much more enjoyable, relaxed, and open.
This article will cover the Georgetown supplemental essays, providing examples for each before wrapping up with a short section on general tips, as well as specific essay tips for Georgetown.
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The Georgetown Supplemental Essays
All Georgetown applicants will be required to write one short essay (1/2 page) and two additional essays (1 page each). The first two are the same for all students, but the third depends on which program you are applying to; these requirements are contained within the prompts.
Length: approximately 1/2 page, single-spaced
Prompt: “Briefly discuss the significance to you of the school or summer activity in which you have been most involved.”
With this prompt, Georgetown is looking for something significant that indicates why you will be an excellent addition to their school. Pick an activity that shows off several good qualities in yourself. You might have something that showcases your leadership, good nature, sense of humor, and ability to adapt, for instance. Read our sample answer for an example of how to do this.
—Sparks literally fly, igniting the kindling, and bringing us one step closer to ghost stories and s’mores – my fire is the first one lit among the cabins, and there are cheers from the kids under my supervision. I can remember being one of those young campers, watching my counsellor make a fire. Now, I get to be the fire-maker, and it’s fun and thrilling to pass on the knowledge I have because of this camp.
The camp, named Camp Karha, is set in the forest, right on a lake, and it is as secluded and majestic as a person could ever want. I spent my summers here as a boy, and now, as a teenager, it is my summer job and obsession. I can’t wait to return every year. A big part of that involves pushing myself to learn more outdoor skills and imparting that knowledge to the campers.
Woodcraft is wonderful. There’s something truly special about taking raw materials and shaping them – often with nothing more than a pocketknife – into the tools we need and want, or just woodcarving little creatures and toys. I love being able to show the campers how to safely engage in woodwork.
Other skills I get to share include how to find your way in the woods, knot tying, canoeing, foraging, and a small amount of woodlore. But best of all is the art of making s’mores, telling stories around a fire, and getting to welcome these kids into places that we have lost touch with: nature and community. This is time they spend away from cell phones and video games and concrete, and that’s a wonderful experience.
While camping, I work on deepening my own knowledge of woodcraft, survival, and self-reliance. These basic, utilitarian skills are very useful, and their principles are surprisingly transferable to other activities in life, so I relish the opportunity to learn more about them. I have found woodworking to increase my focus, patience, and spatial reasoning skills, which are just some of its benefits.
In honing and whittling these skills, I hope to take the relaxation, drive, and adventurous fun of Camp Karha with me everywhere I go, including to Georgetown.
Length: approximately 1 page, single-spaced
Slightly longer, in this essay, Georgetown is expecting you to more fully describe yourself and what you think you can contribute to the diversity of the school, which they consider important.
Prompt: “As Georgetown is a diverse community, the Admissions Committee would like to know more about you in your own words. Please submit a brief essay, either personal or creative, which you feel best describes you.”
I’m eight years old. I love to sit outside and watch the stars at night. Even when I cannot see them, I still look up and hope they are there, looking down on me. The universe fills me with wonder, and I wonder if I will ever go up there some day.
I’m twelve, and somebody has told me that we are all made of the same star-stuff, just specks of gold and carbon that exploded out of nova-blasts – echoes of the Big Bang and the forces of physics. I hear this, and I wonder how people can be so mean to each other. I wonder this because of what happened to me last year.
I’m eleven, and I’m walking home from the bus stop, and I get called a word that I have never heard before. When I ask my mom what it means, she starts to cry, and I think I’m bad. I get as much of the truth as she thinks I can handle: some people don’t like us because of some stupid differences in our skin color. It’s almost a year later to the day that my science teacher tells me about the exploded stars and all the pieces that make up humanity and I wonder why anybody is angry at anybody else for being different; we’re all the same.
I’m sixteen, riding in the back of a cop car because I was at a protest that got out of hand. All the messages I’ve been learning for the last five years come ripping back into my head, about the kind of trouble I can get into because of perception, not reality. I think about how we’re all just stardust, about how we’re the same, and I start laughing thinking about how me and the cop are the same, and he thinks I’m on dope. Later on we get everything cleared up; I’m lucky that nothing happens that will go on my permanent record. I was just in the wrong place, at the wrong time, and thanks to some CCTV footage, the cops know that and I’m okay.
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I’m seventeen, talking to a guidance counsellor about where I’m going to apply for school. I haven’t known what I’ve wanted to be. A scientist studying the Big Bang? A police detective looking for justice instead of judgments? Or an evolutionary biologist who spends his life figuring out how we go from stardust to mammals with delusions of grandeur.
Later that year, still seventeen, I think back along the trail that brought me here and I think about my meeting: my best grades are all in science class, my guidance counsellor says. She says that I’m a shoo-in for a science program, eligible for several STEM-oriented scholarships. I think about the stars and tell her in another meeting that I’d like to be an astrophysicist and go to work for NASA.
In February – still seventeen – I’m at NASA, because my guidance counsellor knows somebody who knows somebody, and these human connections light up like neural pathways and take me to an internship for the coolest institution on the planet. I’m as proud of my name tag as anything else I’ve achieved in my life.
Maybe someday I can go up to the stars and look down and see where I’ve come from and where I might go. I’d like that. I hope I can make that journey via your wonderful institution.
I’m sorry I haven’t answered your question. You wanted me to talk about myself and my diversity, but if the stars have taught me anything, it’s that no matter how different we are, we’re all the same, and there is no such thing as diversity at all.
The third essay requires a response to a specific prompt related to the school at Georgetown to which you are applying. We have provided one sample response here as an example, pertaining to the prompt for Georgetown College applicants.
Prompt: “What does it mean to you to be educated? How might Georgetown College help you achieve this aim? (Applicants to the Sciences and Mathematics or the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics should address their chosen course of study).”
Length: approximately 1 page, single-spaced.
It’s impossible to be educated but necessary to try.
Education is a process, through which a person can move forward in their understanding – of other persons, of themselves, of the universe and natural world, and of life. Any one of these subjects is vast and overwhelming enough to provide a lifetime of potential learning, never reaching the fullness of understanding in any one category. “Mastery” of a subject is therefore ironic at best, if not an absurdist joke.
I don’t mean to say that a person cannot develop expertise or understanding; rather, “to be educated” is perhaps a stray goal. To “be educated” is not an achievement in the past tense, but a state of being – an active condition.
People change, as do the times we live in, as well as our total understanding of the universe. How can we truly finish learning? This is an integral part of my personal philosophy, and this philosophy is what drew me to apply to Georgetown’s Faculty of Language and Linguistics in the first place.
The FLL is described as follows: “… fostering international understanding is particularly embodied in the teaching and learning of other languages and cultures…” This is exactly what I am driving at: continuous understanding and a constant vigilance with respect to personal education are necessary. I hope to achieve that through studies with the FLL.
I hope to major in Classical Greek and make a study of the texts and ideas that shaped Western civilization. But, in keeping with the spirit of my philosophy, and the philosophy and telos of the FLL’s program, I also want to take courses in Arabic.
While these are by no means the only cultural origin points in our world, they are major centers of Eastern and Western thought, and learning about both simultaneously will help me understand more of our globe than I could with either language by itself.
I have already studied the stories of Greek and Arab cultures, albeit through translations, and I look forward to learning about these cultures in their own words. I have a job with a travel agency, and I hope to make pilgrimages to Greece and the Middle East to witness firsthand the birthplaces of so much of our modern civilization.
Ultimately, I would like to become a teacher to share my findings with students and to benefit future generations with this fusion of humanity.
Of course, I will never be educated – past tense – but I will continue to allow myself to be educated. I am being educated and will be educated by all I encounter. I believe this process is true now, as I learn from ancient texts and my teachers. I believe it will be true when I travel to other countries and learn from the land and the people of those countries. I hope it will still be true when I am a teacher, even on the verge of retirement, learning from my students how to educate myself and keep up with the times.
To be educated is impossible, but being educated is a lifelong gift.
Other School-specific Essay Prompts
One of the following prompts will replace the Georgetown College prompt if you are applying to one of these schools. While we have not provided examples for these, we wanted to make sure you still had access to the prompts.
Length: approximately 1 page, single-spaced.
General Essay Writing Tips and Tips for Georgetown’s Essays
Use a standard essay writing format, composed of an opening paragraph, a “body” of three or four paragraphs, and a conclusion of one or two brief paragraphs. Keep in mind that Georgetown has two main essay lengths: half-page and full-page. You’ll need to shorten or lengthen each section accordingly. For example, if you’re writing your full-page essays, you can have a regular, full paragraph introduction. But, if you’re writing the half-page “short” essay, you should reduce the text to succinct and short paragraphs.
The opening, how to start a college essay, needs to set up the rest of the essay by introducing the subjects you will be writing about and providing the reader with a “hook” sentence to kick it off. This hook must be arresting, to the point where even a non-Admissions Committee member would want to keep reading. Check out college essay introduction examples for some additional help in writing your introduction.
The body of the text should consist of several paragraphs that support your main point. Stick to one or two key ideas so that you can build your essay around them. You don’t have a lot of space to talk about your points, so you should make the most of the room you do have.
Working on your Common App essay or personal statement too? Check out this video for tips:
The conclusion at the end should wrap up whatever you “promised” your reader in the opening paragraph. If you spoke about a particular struggle you had, for example, you need to “pay that off” at the end.
There is an additional section in the Georgetown application, which asks any applicant to “Please indicate any special talents or skills that you possess.” Note that this is not expected to be an essay; simply list the skills, abilities, talents, or anything else that you can do that are not apparent from your other answers, essays, and resume.
The word limit for Georgetown essays is loose. By restricting you to a half page or whole page, they are essentially telling you that you don’t need to worry precisely about how many words or characters you’ve typed up. That doesn’t mean you can ramble or go over the limit! You need to respect limits, even if they aren’t as precise as a character count.
What you should focus on is being a good writer who gets their point across efficiently. Show your readers that you don’t need 1,000 words to say something. The half page should be approximately 325 words, and the whole page should be somewhere around 650. Obviously, there is wiggle room, but respect your readers’ time and give them a polished piece.
Read up on as many expert college essay tips as you can so you can deliver the best essay you have in you.
Check out these college essay examples to help you with your own writing.
With these ideas and prompts under your belt, you’ll be able to strike off on your own essay writing journey with confidence.
2. What is meant by “creative essay”?
This means that you don’t need to stick to a standard genre or style. You might try writing in blank verse, rhyming couplets, metaphor, or as a story. If you are going for a creative essay, feel free to explore different ways to express your thoughts. Do keep clarity in mind, however; you don’t want to run completely amok and wind up focusing so much on creative expression that you forget to include clear points to convey your message to the admissions committee.
1. What are the word limits for Georgetown’s supplemental essays?
Georgetown’s limits are given in terms of half or full pages, not words. They are to be typed and single-spaced. The instructions use the word “approximately,” which means that whether you fill a page with many shorter paragraphs or only a few longer ones, you’ll be “correct” and within the limit. The limit is flexible.
Err on the side of fewer words, because brevity is the soul of wit – so runs the received wisdom – and if you can write up a swift, effective essay, that’s better than rambling on without saying much. Although Georgetown doesn’t have a word count, they will still expect tight writing.
3. If I submit my essay and want to change it later, is that possible?
This might differ from school to school, but essays submitted through the Common App can be modified after submission. With Georgetown, this is done through the Application Change Form. In the case of a replacement essay, note that you need to include the prompt, and the previous essay will still be read in addition to the replacement. In other words, try to be as certain as possible before you click the “submit” button.
4. How important are Georgetown’s supplemental essays?
Very important. Your transcripts and high school resume might tell the admissions committee who you are in terms of raw numbers, but essays can tell them so much more. Essays reveal your character and show off your uniqueness. Take advantage of this opportunity and express your unique, individual self. This is invaluable, as it allows you to bring something more than pure numbers to the table.
5. Are Georgetown’s supplemental essays graded?
No. They aren’t about grades; they’re about introducing yourself to the admissions committee. If you work hard and follow expert advice, these essays will show you to be the ideal candidate and somebody the committee wants to meet – but grades aren’t entering into it.
6. Do schools use the same essays?
Schools often have very similar essays. A good idea is to figure out all the essays for every school you’re applying to and then see if some overlap. You can save a lot of time if you can tweak secondary essays from one school so that they will be tailor-made for another. However, if you do this, be careful to ensure that every detail is accurate for each school, including any mention of the school’s name or programs!
7. How many schools should I apply to?
We encourage you to engage with at least four and up to ten schools to increase your chances and focus enough time on each application without feeling overwhelmed.
8. Can I talk about a time I failed in an essay?
It’s better to talk about a time you learned, and grew, as a result of failure. Discussing failure alone is of no value but talking about failing and coming back from that failure stronger and with lessons demonstrably learned for the future will show you in a very positive light, indeed.
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