Looking at Stanford supplemental essay examples is a great way to prepare for your own college supplemental essays. Even if you are not planning on attending Stanford University, you will find that reviewing different college essays will help you learn how to tackle various types of essay prompts so that you can learn to write a better essay. If you are applying to Stanford or any other prestigious university, like the Ivy League Schools, you will need a compelling essay to improve your chances of admission.

Every year, universities like Stanford get thousands of applications from students with good grades and strong extracurriculars, and only a few of them get admitted. In fact, last year, Stanford had an acceptance rate that was just under 4%. If you want to stand out and be part of those few students who get an offer of admission, you will need to write a college essay that stands out.

Reviewing different college essay examples can help you do that. So take a look at the X outstanding Stanford supplemental college essay examples that we share in this blog. We also share a few tips to help you ace your college essays and tackle tricky topics like the notorious Stanford roommate essay. 

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Article Contents
6 min read

Stanford supplemental essay example # 1 Stanford supplemental essay example # 2 Stanford supplemental essay example # 3 Tips for tackling the Stanford roommate essay Stanford supplemental essay example # 4 Conclusion & Writing tips FAQs

Stanford supplemental essay example # 1

Prompt: The Stanford community is deeply curious and driven to learn in and out of the classroom. Reflect on an idea or experience that makes you genuinely excited about learning. (100 – 250 words)

My mother loves to tell me that I was born in a garden. It's not exactly true. Her water broke in our backyard garden, and she didn't feel the need to hurry to the hospital. It's my grandmother who came home from work and found her in the middle of the garden that finally convinced her that her tomatoes could wait while I - the baby she needed to give birth to - could not.

She blames those few minutes for my obsession with agriculture, but I believe it stems from watching her care for her garden. I remember watching her plant seeds as a child and being amazed when actual food started growing out of the ground within a few weeks.

I started helping her out in her garden when I was a child, and we volunteered together for the local community garden. As I grew up, I became more curious about agriculture. I started asking questions in school and researching independently to learn more. It led me to the national agriculture summer program for high school students, where I got to learn more about the technical aspects of food production and distribution.

That experience reaffirmed the decision that I have made to learn about agricultural economics and sustainability. I am genuinely excited to learn what we can do to improve the current processes in order to make things better for future generations. I believe that Stanford's sustainability program is the best place for me to do that. (248 words)

Stanford supplemental essay example # 2

Prompt: Tell us about something that is meaningful to you and why. (100 – 250 words)

"Not thanking is Witchcraft, Annie. You have to thank people for their effort". Those are my grandmother's words. She often reminds me that the profoundly traditional Shawna people of Zimbabwe, where she and my parents were raised, believe that not thanking is witchcraft more often than I can remember. 

As a child, I loved my grandmother but thought she was very annoying. She speaks very little English, and my Shawna is not very good, so sometimes it's hard to understand her. She also loves to tell me stories about the village she grew up in, which I have never seen and will likely never see because, according to her, the foreigners have built shopping malls where it was. 

I started appreciating my grandmother when I began learning about oral history in class. It occurred to me that although I was born and raised in the US, I am a Zimbabwean American and most of my connection to my culture comes from her. She always made it a point to cook traditional foods like Sadza for my siblings and me, speak to us in Shawna even when she knew how to say it in English, and teach us about our culture. 

My relationship with her and the stories she shares with us have allowed me to connect with my heritage, and they prompted my interest in African history and cultures. So I'd like to wrap up this short essay by thanking her for teaching me and thanking you for considering my application. (250 words)

Wondering how to get into a top college with a low GPA? Check this out:

Stanford supplemental essay example # 3

Prompt: Virtually all of Stanford's undergraduates live on campus. Write a note to your future roommate that reveals something about you or that will help your roommate—and us—get to know you better. (100 – 250 words)

Dear future roommate, 

The first thing you need to know about me is that almost every song is "my jam". You will probably start rolling your eyes every time I say, "ouh, that's my song" by the end of our first week together. Don't worry; I won't take it personally. I will also try not to sing or hum loudly, but I know this will be a serious challenge, so if I get carried away and disturb you when you're studying or just having some quiet time, let me know, and I will stop. 

I hope you're a music lover too so we can listen to some great records together. Yes, you read that right. I said records because I have an old-school record player and a great collection of vinyls that has a bit of everything, including Kendrick Lamar, Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Frank Sinatra.

If music is not your thing, then I'm sure we'll find something else to bond over. I also enjoy reading, shopping, and defending the superiority of DC comics over marvel. I also enjoy trying new things, so I hope you'll be open to introducing me to one of your hobbies. I'm willing to try anything that doesn't involve horses. I know that they are cute and majestic, but one of them scarred me for life, and I am kind of scared of them now. 

I look forward to telling you the whole story one day soon and learning about you. 


Jane Doe

(249 words)

Tips for tackling the Stanford roommate essay

Many students find the Stanford roommate essay especially difficult to write because it is so broad and a bit more personal than most college essays. When tackling this prompt, you should remember that even though the admissions committee will be reading this essay, it needs to be written as if it were addressed to a peer. By asking you to write to your college roommate, they have given you a writing assignment, and you need to follow instructions. So your tone should be a bit less formal but still courteous. It would also be best to avoid focusing on academia in this essay.

This particular prompt gives you a chance to humanize your application so take advantage of that. Many students approach this essay the same way they do the "tell me about yourself" interview question, but this is not the same thing. This essay should focus more on providing the admissions committee with an authentic portrayal of your character and personality. You can't share everything in 250 words, so we recommend making a list of everything you'd want to share with an actual future roommate and then narrowing it down to the three or four things that are most meaningful to you.

Check out this video for more college essay tips:

Stanford supplemental essay example # 4

Prompt: Virtually all of Stanford's undergraduates live on campus. Write a note to your future roommate that reveals something about you or that will help your roommate—and us—get to know you better. (100 – 250 words)

Dear future roommate, 

Contrary to popular belief in my home, I cannot wait to meet you! 

There are thirteen people in my house on most days. That includes my parents, eight siblings, grandmother, and two cousins. Most of them assumed that I would have opted to live on my own so that I could have some peace and quiet. I can see why they'd think that, but the truth is that while I enjoy doing many things on my own- like curling up on the couch with a good book and some ginger tea or drawing- I also enjoy being around people. 

One of the reasons I am excited about college is that I get a chance to try new things and meet new people. I like to explore and learn about different cultures, so I hope you'll feel comfortable telling me about where you're from and teaching me about your culture. I am Senegalese-American, and I hope that I'll get a chance to introduce you to some Senegalese food because it is delicious, and I think everyone should try it at least once. 

I don't cook very often, but I love food, so I look forward to checking out all the different restaurants on and near campus. I love to spend Saturday nights on the couch with good company, great takeout, and a good movie. If that sounds like a fun night to you, then I think we will get along just fine. 



(246 words)

Conclusion & Writing tips

Your supplemental college essays can significantly impact the admissions committee's decision, so it is important that you do everything you can to write an essay that will not only be attention-grabbing but will also add value to your overall application. This is especially important if you are hoping to get into college with a low GPA.  So, here are a few tips to help you write a more compelling essay. 


1. How hard is it to get into Stanford?

Last year, only 3.9% of the students who applied to Stanford were offered admission, so it is fair to say that it is a highly competitive school. You will need an outstanding application to get in. 

2. Is Stanford one of the Ivies?

Many assume that Stanford is an Ivy League School, but it is actually not. It is, however, one of the most prestigious universities in the United States and the entire world.

3. How important are essays for Stanford?

Do not underestimate the importance of your college essays. Every year, Stanford gets applications from thousands of students with high GPAs and impressive extracurriculars. Your essays give the school a chance to find out what else you bring to the table.

4. How long should my Stanford supplemental essay be?

These essays are relatively short. You’re between 100-250 words.

5. What is the Stanford roommate essay?

One of Stanford's oldest and most well-known supplemental essay prompts asks students to write a letter to their future roommates. It is one of the essays that students often find challenging.

6. What should I write about in the Stanford roommate essay?

Your roommate essay needs to be about you! This essay is supposed to tell the admission committee what you are like as a person, what interests you, and what you can contribute to the Stanford campus. So, talk about your hobbies, habits, and interests outside of academia.

7. How do I make my Stanford supplemental essay stand out?

You can improve the overall quality of your essays by having a strong opening, using specific examples, showing instead of telling, and ensuring that your essay is error-free. If you're not sure how to do this, reach out to a college essay advisor for some assistance. 

8. How should I start my college essay?

We recommend starting your essay with a "hook" or something catchy like an anecdote, a gripping or funny fun fact about you so that you can grab the reader's attention from the very beginning.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

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