Harvard Supplement-definiton of Optional

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Discus: College Admissions: 2002 - 2003 Archive: November 2003 Archive: Harvard Supplement-definiton of Optional
By Jimjunior (Jimjunior) on Sunday, November 09, 2003 - 06:26 pm: Edit

The Harvard Common App supplement says that writing another essayis optional. Just how optional is it? Will it hurt me if I choose not to write it?

By Sidestoner (Sidestoner) on Sunday, November 09, 2003 - 08:16 pm: Edit

I'd write the essay. Unless Harvard is like your tenth choice, which I doubt.

By Steffie1212002 (Steffie1212002) on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 06:44 pm: Edit

I didn't write an optional essay. Just make sure your first essay is good. :D Quality, not quantity.

By Sidestoner (Sidestoner) on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 06:49 pm: Edit

Steffie: That's too bad, I think they mean "optional" in the same sense that applying is "optional."

By Canadian_Idol (Canadian_Idol) on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 07:38 pm: Edit

I wrote the two essays and wrote a mini-essay for the activities question in the common app.

By Metz (Metz) on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 07:45 pm: Edit

A Dartmouth adcom (in "A is for Admission") said that it was literally optional. You really shouldn't do it unless you have a really good reason to. It won't hurt your chances to not do it. Of course that was for Dartmouth, but I doubt it would be different for Harvard.

By Tweety620 (Tweety620) on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 09:19 pm: Edit

IT IS OPTIONAL! Unless it is really good, don't send it. Thats what a Harvard adcom said to me, and my counselors say the same thing

By O71394658 (O71394658) on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 09:28 pm: Edit

Some books say that you shouldn't do it unless you have something to say. Other books say it isn't really optional.

By Steffie1212002 (Steffie1212002) on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 11:15 pm: Edit

Er, put yourself in the adcom's shoes. Do you REALLY want to read another essay? Not unless it will shed something drastically new or amazing about the applicant, which 99% of the time, doesn't happen. Most essays are self-serving pieces of garbage... just from CC, I've counted about 10 that talk about how math has changed my life, how working with kids has made me a better person, blahddy blahddy blah.

By Chasgoose (Chasgoose) on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 12:10 am: Edit

If I decide to do the "optional" essay I will probably just take their suggestion and submit a list of books I have read over the past 12 months. I feel that that sort of list would give a better example of the kind of person I am than an additional essay. Plus I really don't want to have to write another essay because I need that like I need a hole in the head with the ridiculous workload at my school, not to mention the other college essays (which I tend to be a perfectionist about and spend ludicrous amounts of time on) I have to write. I would much rather not go insane this year than get into Harvard.

By Jimjunior (Jimjunior) on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 02:58 am: Edit

well, right now I am leaning towards not submitting it, although I might do that list thing because I already have the list for Columbia's app

By Canadian_Idol (Canadian_Idol) on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 05:42 pm: Edit

Well actually, my optional essay DID contain information that I wanted the adcoms to know. If you are given a chance to better represent yourself as a unique individual, why not take it?

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