College Essays

Duke University — Supplement

Prompt: If you are applying to the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences as a first-year applicant, please discuss why you consider Duke a good match for you. Is there something particular about Duke that attracts you? (250)

When I stepped onto the Duke campus, I was enthralled by the combination of expansive nature and Gothic architecture; above all, I could feel the school spirit and sense the pride throughout the campus. Our campus guide told us about camping out for tickets to basketball games and I was stunned. How could anyone balance rigorous studies with camping out for tickets to a game? But I came to realize that Duke’s basketball games aren’t just games — they’re an experience that provides bonding with your classmates that will last even after graduation.
I am also drawn to the abundance of programs and opportunities for students to learn, diversify, and gain hands-on experience. Students can take advantage of programs like DukeEngage or conduct research with professors to develop deeper-level experiences. Personally, I’m aiming to join the pre-med program and I found Duke’s balance of a liberal education with a health professions advising program distinct from other universities in helping students become better physicians. In addition, the low student to faculty ratio allows students to easily engage in dialogue with their professors during office hours and discuss any open positions in their labs. This would help me become better prepared for medical school. The multitude of opportunities Duke offers and the unity of the school in every activity is amazing. Thus, I am eager to join the excitement and become one of the Blue Devils, screaming my head off with friends during the games.

Tips For Writing:
When writing a college supplement, especially a prompt discussing unique parts of the university, you want to make sure to address aspects that are very specific to that university. Anything very generic will not impress the admissions counselors and will prompt them to think you just copy-pasted something. I would definitely recommend participating in a campus tour and researching the university to better understand the college and all the programs they offer. I structured my essay around both the campus and the educational aspects of the university. That encompasses a more diverse view of the university, showing not only your interest in their academics, but also their campus/social life. Within the academics section, I specifically focused on my intended path (premed) and mentioned some aspects of Duke that would be particularly important and beneficial for that path. In addition, I believe that one of Duke’s most important characteristics is its school spirit — their basketball games are especially energized. If you’re applying to Duke, an emphasis on that in your essay would show great attention to Duke’s overall vibe and your desire to join in.

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