Are you looking for Princeton supplemental essay examples? You're in the right place. In this blog, we share five different Princeton supplemental essay examples to help you prepare for your own supplemental college essays. Whether you are applying to Princeton itself or another prestigious and highly competitive institution like Brown or Stanford, it is important that you ace your college essays. 

Most of the top colleges have a holistic admissions process, which is why they often require supplemental college essays in addition to your personal statement. These essays tell them a bit more about the person behind the grades and extracurriculars. It also allows them to evaluate your writing skills and get a sense of your personality. All of these things can significantly affect their decision to offer you admission, put you on the waitlist or reject your application altogether.

Reviewing different college essay examples is a great way to learn how to write a college essay because it teaches you how to tackle different types of prompts and gives you a better idea of what is expected from your essay. So, without much further ado, let's take a look at a few outstanding Princeton supplemental essays. 

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Article Contents
9 min read

Princeton supplemental essay example # 1 Princeton supplemental essay example # 2 Princeton supplemental essay example # 3 Princeton supplemental essay example # 4 Princeton supplemental essay example # 5 Princeton supplemental essays example # 6 ( short answer questions) Conclusion FAQs

Princeton supplemental essay example # 1

Prompt: As a research institution that also prides itself on its liberal arts curriculum, Princeton allows students to explore areas across the humanities and the arts, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. What academic areas most pique your curiosity, and how do the programs offered at Princeton suit your particular interests? - 250 words.

My record for solving the New York Times crossword puzzle is 12 minutes 45 seconds. That was three years ago, and I am still trying to beat it. 

I have always loved puzzles. The kind of puzzle doesn't matter much to me - whether it is a jigsaw puzzle, a rubrics cube, a crossword puzzle, or a mathematical equation. I simply enjoy having something in front of me that requires solving, and once I pick it up, I can't put it down until I solve it.

I believe that this love for solving problems is what got me interested in maths in the first place. I find it fascinating that we can use maths equations to understand complex concepts like time and space and solve problems in various areas like engineering and economics.

I have been intrigued by mathematics since my first algebra class in middle school because it is the key to figuring out some of the world's most complex puzzles. I have participated in summer programs for high school students where the focus was on applied mathematics and enrolled in an introduction to applied Maths course at my local community college in order to build a strong foundation. 

I am excited to learn about all the different ways we can use maths to solve puzzles in various disciplines, and I believe that the flexible and interdisciplinary nature of the maths program at Princeton would allow me to explore this interest in a way that no other school can. (250 words)

Princeton supplemental essay example # 2

Prompt: Please describe why you are interested in studying engineering at Princeton. Include any of your experiences in, or exposure to engineering, and how you think the programs offered at the University suit your particular interests. - 250 words.

"Which NASA are you talking about?" I asked my Princeton tour guide while struggling to pick my jaw back up from the floor. 

She chuckled and asked me which NASA I thought she meant. 

This exchange occurred last summer when I visited Princeton's Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering labs. I was excited to learn that students from the Princeton Rocketry Club had been instrumental in designing tools for the space program. I couldn't believe that undergraduate students were getting to contribute to the exploration of space. 

While I was excited to hear about this, I was definitely not surprised. One of the many reasons I am interested in pursuing my aerospace engineering degree at Princeton is that the program gives students a chance to explore, research, develop and invent independently. 

I have been working on a solar sailplane glider since last summer, and I am confident that with the knowledge and guidance that I will receive from the great minds at Princeton, I can use my senior year independent project to develop this project further. My aim is to improve the functionality of solar-powered airplanes, and I know that no other school can give the tools and facilities to do that. 

Lastly, I truly appreciate the fact that Andrea Goldsmith, the current dean of the school of engineering and applied sciences, is not only a brilliant mind but a woman who understands what it is like to be a woman in STEM.  (241 words)

Princeton supplemental essay example # 3

Prompt: Briefly elaborate on an activity, organization, work experience, or hobby that has been particularly meaningful to you. - 150 words.

When I first saw the flyer for community garden volunteers, I was confused. I didn't know we had a community garden, and more importantly, I didn't understand what a community garden was. That said, I had been looking for ways to get involved in my community, and I was intrigued. 

Two years later, I am one of the program's coordinators. I have gotten to work alongside people I might have never met otherwise, and they have taught me about giving back, gardening, and more. One of my favorite volunteers, Marjorie, an older lady with pink streaks in her greying hair who loves to tell me stories about the sixties, has even taught me how to cook the best collard greens I have ever had. 

I now understand that the community garden is there to grow food for the neighborhood and unite us by giving us a common goal. (148 words).

Princeton supplemental essay example # 4

Prompt: At Princeton, we value diverse perspectives and the ability to have respectful dialogue about difficult issues. Share a time when you had a conversation with a person or a group of people about a difficult topic. What insight did you gain, and how would you incorporate that knowledge into your thinking in the future? -250 words.

I joined the Youth Collaboration Program at the end of my junior year of high school. It is a program that students from different schools in the city can apply for, and a select few are chosen to represent youth interests within the local government. I wanted to participate in the program to gain insight into the inner workings of local government and get practical experience.

What I did not realize is that this program is a collaborative enterprise and melting pot of ideologies, faiths, ethnic backgrounds, and socio-economic classes. Although I learned a lot from the program, I learned even more from the other students who participated in the program. We all shared our experiences with the representatives and each other. I particularly remember David talking about his cousin's body being stuffed into the trunk of a car after a gang killed him. 

After that, my notion of normal would never be the same. I wondered how something like that could happen a few blocks away and not even make the news. It led to one of many difficult conversations that I have had with my friend David about how living in a relatively wealthy neighborhood can be insulating and can make us unaware of the struggles of those less fortunate than us.

My experience in this diverse program taught me about confronting privilege and considering other people's experiences when approaching conversations or issues -especially political ones. I believe it has also made me a better, more empathetic listener. (250 words)

Check out this infographic for college essay writing tips:

Princeton supplemental essay example # 5

Prompt: Princeton has a longstanding commitment to service and civic engagement. Tell us how your story intersects (or will intersect) with these ideals. – 250 words.

I started listening to French music a few years ago when I learned that it could help improve my vocabulary. That is how I came across a song called "Lettre à la Maison Blanche," in which the singer essentially begs the white house and the United Nations to help with the situation in Rwanda. The song was so touching that I googled the singer and found out it had been written about the Rwandese genocide. 

This led me to read about Rwanda and the fantastic progress that it has made as a nation since the end of the genocide. I was especially impressed by the country's efforts to conserve wildlife in the Nyungwe forest, which is one of the world's most biodiverse areas. As a volunteer for the Wildlife Conservation Society(WCS), I was able to spend last summer in Rwanda helping with WCS' education and outreach initiative.

It was one of the most enriching experiences that I have ever had. Not only because I am passionate about climate change but also because I got to travel, discover new cultures, and practice my French. This experience motivated me anew to keep working towards sustainability.

I would love to join the efforts of the students who run the many sustainability programs at Princeton. I am especially interested in the Princeton Environmental Activism Coalition (PEAC) and the Princeton Conservation Society, as I believe that my experiences with the WCS have given me the tools I need to be an asset to those teams. (250 words)


Princeton supplemental essays example # 6 ( short answer questions)

The Princeton supplement requires students to provide some additional information about themselves. Students are required to answer the three questions below in 50 words or less. We recommend using as many of those 50 words as possible. You’re given space for 50 words for a response that could easily be one or two words, so take advantage of that space. 

Since these are not typical essay questions, you can play around with the format a little bit ( like in the example below) and get creative. Your responses to these questions should be honest but written with the audience in mind. Remember that the aim is to stand out and tell the admissions committee who you are. So stay away from generic answers, showcase your personality and highlight your strengths.

We recommend reaching out to a college essay review service if you have doubts about your answers or are unsure how to use these questions to showcase your strengths. 

Now, here are a few examples to give you a better idea of how to tackle these short answer questions:

What is a new skill you would like to learn in college?

I started writing my bucket list on my 16th birthday, and one of the items on my list is to learn how to speak at least five languages. I speak English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. While in college, I'd like to learn Italian too. (43 words)

What brings you joy?

I derive joy from many things, including but not limited to the following:

·        The smell of new books

·        Warm chai lattes

·        Color-coordinated closets

·        Extended metaphors in rap music

·        That eureka moment when you solve a puzzle

·        Gilmore Girl re-reruns

·        Dancing toddlers

·        Musical sing-alongs ( especially Les Misérables)

·        Funny puns

(49 words)

What song represents the soundtrack of your life at this moment?

At this moment, I feel content and grateful. I just ate a delicious meal with my family and then proceeded to win 3 UNO games despite my brother's cheating. So, if I were in a movie, I'd want the soundtrack to play Toast by Koffee right now. (47 words)

Working on your Common App essay or personal statement too? Check out this video for tips:


Writing college essays is not easy, and the Princeton supplemental essays can be especially challenging. It is important that you give yourself enough time to research and plan before you start putting pen to paper for these essays. There is no golden template for college essays. The key is ensuring that your essay tells a story and teaches the admissions committee about you. This is especially important if you are trying to get into college with a low GPA. 

Make sure you use specific examples from your background and experiences and include detailed information about the school to show the admissions committee that you are interested in this school in particular, not just any highly ranked institution.

If you want your Princeton supplemental essays to be as impactful as possible, you should consider investing in college admissions consulting so that you can benefit from the services of a college essay advisor. They can guide you through the brainstorming, researching, writing, and editing process to ensure you submit compelling essays that will stand out and help you beat the competition, even if you don't have perfect stats. 


1. How hard is it to get into Princeton?

Getting into Princeton requires a very strong application. Last year, the school had an acceptance rate of 4.3%, meaning that for every 100 applications received, only about four students were offered admission. So it is fair to say that getting into Princeton is no easy feat.

2. How many essays does Princeton require?

In addition to the Common App essay, Princeton requires undergraduate applicants to submit four supplemental college essays, one graded written paper, and answer three short questions.

3. How do I make my Princeton essays stand out?

You can make your Princeton supplemental essay stand out by having a strong introduction, including specific details about the school's programs or majors, and showing instead of telling. If you're not sure how to do this naturally in your essay, we recommend reaching out to a college essay advisor for assistance.

4. Do I need a college essay advisor?

You do not need one, but we recommend working with one if you want to maximize your chances of writing the best essay possible. As admission professionals, essay advisors can provide insight that the untrained eye can't.

5. What is the Princeton graded essay?

Princeton no longer requires applicants to submit the optional writing section of the SAT or ACT. Instead, it asks applicants to submit a one or two-page paper, essay, research paper, or essay exam from one of their academic courses that a teacher graded. 

6. What type of student does Princeton look for?
7. What GPA do I need to get into Princeton?

To be a competitive applicant for Princeton, you need a GPA of 3.9, as that is the current entering class' average.

8. How important are supplemental college essays?

Your Princeton supplemental essays are an integral part of your application. There are students with perfect stats who do not get in because of poorly written essays, so do not underestimate their importance.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

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