College Essays

University of Michigan Supplemental

Prompt (University of Michigan) 

Describe the unique qualities that attract you to the specific undergraduate College or School (including preferred admission and dual degree programs) to which you are applying at the University of Michigan. How would that curriculum support your interests? (Required for all applicants; minimum 100 words /maximum 550 words)


My fascination with economics commenced freshman year when I observed my cousin selling and buying stocks. He spent hours researching the interwoven web of possibilities and outcomes of the market. Amazed by his articulated strategies, I yearned for the ability to understand how to interpret the market.

My AP Government and AP Economics teacher, Mrs. Dwyer, preached the everlasting effect of government intervention on the global economy, making it clear to her students that government policies and taxes change the dynamic of our market. Although not a part of the College Board curriculum, she stressed that people in the U.S. believe their votes don’t matter, causing less of the population to vote.

Mrs. Dwyer emphasized that “the more time we spend improving our government, the more time they will spend improving our lives.” Her views inspired me to investigate a disconcerting statistic: only half of eligible voters participated in the last presidential election. To learn more, I ventured into the heart of my community and conducted interviews with families of different socioeconomic status, age, and race. My interactions served as a window into the minds of local voters even before we spoke. For example, while many families in affluent neighborhoods invited me into their homes, eager to discuss political efficacy, lower-middle-class families were more skeptical of my intentions and talked with me through the door. In my study, I found that lower income individuals tended to mistrust outsiders and the government, resulting in disengagement with politics. To address this challenge, I proposed enhancing educational opportunities in lower income communities. By ensuring everyone receives a comprehensive government education, we can empower individuals to participate in the political process.

One of the neighbors I interviewed, an alumni of the University of Michigan, educated me on University Michigan’s goal to help provide access to education for lower income communities. He told me about Kevin Stange, a professor of Public Policy, who is currently conducting research on the improvement of capital investment for K-12 education.We both share the belief that capital investment increases test scores, benefits disadvantaged students, and creates a more knowledgeable society. Moreover, one of my friends attending University of Michigan, an underprivileged student, benefited from the Go Blue Guarantee, which has dramatically decreased his cost of admission, allowing him to pursue his dreams of going to medical school. I am familiar with the University of Michigan’s mission to develop “leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and enrich the future.” Given the university’s initiatives aimed at improving educational opportunities, I am enthusiastic about the prospect of studying under their esteemed professors, an experience that would contribute to my personal growth. 

Since 1817, University of Michigan has prioritized giving its students the best resources and curriculum to succeed in life, which is demonstrated through its strong network of alumni. By completing a dual major in Economics and Political Science, I can study under professors tackling the same issues I am passionate about solving. It would be an honor to become a Wolverine and contribute to something greater than myself.(509 words)

Tips for Writing

The first step you need to take is to know what you’re applying for at the school. University of Michigan is a large university with countless applications to review. The more specific you get on what you plan to study, the more appealing your application will be. Once you choose your interest, research professors, activities, programs offered at the school in great detail. A great way to narrow down your searches is find some program/professor interested in the same thing you are interested in and find their research. Now once you get your base information, start constructing your essays. Begin with a story about the specific thing you’re interested in, how your journey in that field began and what you’re doing yourself to research it. Then expand on how University of Michigan programs/professors offer you the resources and ideas needed to stimulate your knowledge on the topic. Don’t feel pressured on a word limit, write as much as you want as you start your essay. As you progress, revise your essay to fit the word count and cut out anything that doesn’t directly relate to the prompt/your main idea.

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