Georgetown University Supplemental Essays Guide: 2021-2022

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Not sure how to approach Georgetown University supplemental essays? CollegeAdvisor.com’s guide to the Georgetown essay prompts will show you exactly how to write engaging Georgetown essays and maximize your chances of admission. Need help crafting your Georgetown University supplemental essays? Remember, you can create a free account or schedule a free advising consultation by calling (844) 343-6272.

Georgetown Essay Guide Quick Facts:

  • Georgetown has an acceptance rate of 11.7%—U.S. News ranks Georgetown as a highly competitive school.
  • We recommend answering all Georgetown University supplemental essays comprehensively and thoughtfully.

Does Georgetown have supplemental essays?

Yes. You will be required to answer four Georgetown University essay prompts.

Note: Georgetown does not use the Common App. Instead, you will respond to the Georgetown essay prompts through the Georgetown Application portal. Since the Georgetown application does not live on the Common App, keep a close eye on Georgetown’s application deadlines.

What are Georgetown’s supplemental essays?

The Georgetown essay prompts are found only in the Georgetown application. Your responses to the four Georgetown University essay prompts will discuss your extracurriculars, background, and motivations for attending Georgetown.

Above all, the Georgetown University supplemental essays aim to help admissions officers get to know you. Each of the Georgetown essay prompts is broad, which gives you the freedom to write about who you are with relatively few limitations. Take advantage of each of the Georgetown supplemental essay prompts to maximize your admissions odds.

How many essays are required for Georgetown?

All four Georgetown University essay prompts are required—none are optional.

The first two Georgetown essays are limited to 250 words each. These Georgetown supplemental essays ask you to discuss your extracurricular involvement, talents, or skills. The next two Georgetown application essays—the personal statement and the "Why Georgetown" essay—have one-page and half-page limits rather than word limits.

How do I write Georgetown’s supplemental essays?

So, how should you answer the Georgetown University essay prompts?

In evaluating Georgetown essays, the admissions team looks at both content and writing skill. Essentially, this means it's not just about what you say, but how you say it. Use the Georgetown essay prompts to tell your story, and approach each Georgetown University essay prompt holistically. Since there are four Georgetown University essay prompts, you can illustrate different parts of your identity in different essays. Each Georgetown application essay should tell your readers something new about you.

It may feel overwhelming to complete four Georgetown University essay prompts. However, if you give yourself enough time to plan, draft, and revise your Georgetown supplemental essays, you can help minimize your stress. In fact, using the tips from this guide will show you how to use the Georgetown University essay prompts to your advantage!

In each Georgetown application essay, focus on one experience, event, or element of your identity. Then, introduce it in an intriguing way through a “hook” at the beginning of your essay. Next, provide background and relevant details. And finally, discuss how this has impacted your life, motivations, and relationships with others. In each of the Georgetown essays, relate your stories, background, and discussion to a central message.

In this guide, we will break down each of the Georgetown University essay prompts to help you write Georgetown supplemental essays that will stand out in admissions.

Georgetown Supplemental Essays — Question 1 (Required):

Indicate any special talents or skills you possess. (250 words max.)

This question appears first among the Georgetown University essay prompts. However, if you want to maximize this Georgetown application essay’s impact, you should save it for last.

Before you start writing the Georgetown essays, brainstorm all of them at once. Think about where you might display different parts of your candidate profile. Since this first Georgetown application essay is so open-ended, you can use it to highlight parts of your identity that might not be clear from your other Georgetown supplemental essays. As you approach this Georgetown application essay, ask yourself what's missing from the rest of your application materials.

Avoid lists

When writing, don't just respond to this Georgetown application essay with a list. Rather than briefly mentioning all the talents and skills you have, hone in on one. Select the talent or skill that you haven't discussed elsewhere but is a key part of your identity or background.

Your response to the first of the Georgetown essay prompts can be academic or non-academic; it can also be concrete or abstract. Do you have a unique hobby? A self-taught skill? Are you particularly good at tutoring English language learners? Are you the best skateboarder in your neighborhood?

In your Georgetown application essay, make it clear to admissions officers why your chosen skill matters to you. For instance, you might be a skilled dog trainer with a knack for teaching tricks to your pet Maltese. While you could write an essay simply describing a competition you won, a stronger essay would talk about how your interest in dog training competitions has helped you find community in unexpected places.

Balance is important. So, if your other Georgetown supplemental essays are more serious in tone, use this chance to discuss something more light-hearted. At the end of the day, your Georgetown essays should work together to showcase all parts of your identity.

Georgetown Application Essay Key Questions:

  • Does your essay focus on one talent or skill?
  • Do you discuss a unique aspect of your identity that you don't emphasize in the other Georgetown University essay prompts?
  • Does your essay include why this talent or skill matters?

Georgetown Supplemental Essays — Question 2 (Required):

Briefly discuss the significance to you of the school or summer activity in which you have been most involved. (approximately 1/2 page, single-spaced)

In the second of the Georgetown essays, Georgetown asks about the activity in which you are most involved. Most strong Georgetown applicants have been heavily involved in at least several extracurricular activities. The second of the Georgetown essay prompts gives you the chance to show off how your extracurricular pursuits make you special.

Answer the “why,” “what,” and “how”

This prompt for the Georgetown essays asks you to discuss three key things: why you chose to do your chosen activity, what you've done to show dedication to this activity, and how this activity has impacted your community. Strong Georgetown University supplemental essays will address each of these things. Don't get bogged down in statistics: why you chose to do an activity and the results of your involvement matter more than the sheer number of hours you've spent doing something.

The best Georgetown essays will discuss topics that you haven't already emphasized elsewhere in your application. Use this second Georgetown application essay to offer new insight into your extracurricular life, and be careful not to be repetitive. Additionally, note that the activity that you write about doesn’t need to connect directly to your major. After all, your Georgetown supplemental essays should help admissions officers understand all aspects of who you are, both as a student and as an individual.

In this Georgetown application essay, use your chosen extracurricular to highlight your collaboration and leadership skills. Think about how your extracurricular engagements will inform what you do in the future. While your accomplishments are relevant and important, Georgetown will ultimately admit you based on your potential. You want admissions officers to come away from your second Georgetown application essay with an understanding not only of what you've done in high school but also, of what you will do on their campus.

Think outside the box

In your Georgetown supplemental essays, try to avoid writing about an activity that lots of students could write about such as sports, Model UN, DECA, and volunteering at homeless shelters. Georgetown essays about these topics can feel cliché. That being said, if you have a unique story to tell about one of these topics, tell it. As you craft this essay (as well as the other Georgetown University supplemental essays), make sure that your responses are as unique and personal as possible. Additionally, your Georgetown essays should be vivid, descriptive, and deeply authentic. With that in mind, if you read over your Georgetown essays and feel like someone else could have written them, you might want to rethink your topics.

Successful Georgetown supplemental essays focus more on the applicant than the organization. In other words, don't waste time describing the logistics of your activity or program. Instead, just write about what you did and why it mattered. Write about your actions, leadership, and impact, and balance storytelling with reflection. How can you use your Georgetown application essay to reveal your key values and goals?

Georgetown Essay Draft Key Questions:

  • Is your response to this Georgetown application essay personal and unique?
  • Did you choose to write about one of the activities in which you are most involved?
  • Does your essay focus on you more than the organization or club you describe?
  • Do you avoid repeating details found elsewhere in your application?

Georgetown Supplemental Essays — Question 3 (Required):

As Georgetown is a diverse community, the Admissions Committee would like to know more about you in your own words. Please submit a brief essay, either personal or creative, which you feel best describes you. (approximately 1 page, single-spaced)

As stated above, Georgetown is not on the Common Application or the Coalition Application. As a result, many students reuse their Common App essay for the third of the Georgetown essay prompts. For many students, this is a good choice. In general, applicants tend to spend more time editing and reworking their Common App Personal Statements than any other college essays. So, if you feel like your Common App essay "best describes you," you might consider repurposing it for this Georgetown application essay prompt.

When (and when not) to use your personal statement

That being said, the third of the Georgetown essay prompts does differ from the Common App essay prompts in some notable ways. Often, your Common App essay topic was chosen because it “best describes you.” This Georgetown essay prompt, however, also highlights how Georgetown is a "diverse community," essentially asking how you would supplement this diversity. Remember, the term "diversity" can mean many things. In other words, it doesn't just relate to your cultural background or heritage. Essentially, your third Georgetown application essay should revolve around what makes you unique and what your unique perspective would bring to the Georgetown community.

To maximize your Georgetown University supplemental essays, consider writing a new personal statement if your Common App essay was primarily about academics. You might also edit your Common App essay to emphasize how your diverse attributes will inform your presence on Georgetown's campus.

One more note: Georgetown supplemental essays in response to this prompt can either be “personal or creative.” If you are a creative writer, this is your time to shine! If you have a deeply personal and impactful story, tell it—even if you don't do so in a conventional essay form.

Georgetown Essay Draft Key Questions:

  • Does your response highlight the unique perspective you would contribute to Georgetown’s diverse community?
  • Do you reveal what "best describes you"?
  • Does your essay present a part of your background and experience that you did not already write about for one of the other Georgetown University essay prompts?
  • Does your essay “show” your message more than it “tells” it?

Georgetown Supplemental Essays — Question 4 (Required):

Georgetown University School-Specific Prompts (Each school-specific prompt should not exceed 1 page, single-spaced)

Your final Georgetown essay will depend on which of the four colleges within the University to which you apply. The fourth of the Georgetown supplemental essays essentially asks, "Why Georgetown?"

Most importantly, your final Georgetown application essay should describe why you want to study your major and why at Georgetown. When reading Georgetown University supplemental essays, the admissions committee looks for applicants who accord with the University’s Jesuit values of service, ethics, and global awareness. Also, they want to see that you've considered why Georgetown is the place for you.

Be specific

Effective “Why Georgetown?” essays will make use of the one single-spaced page limit. This essay will typically be around 650 words. The best Georgetown essays will use specific details to articulate a cohesive plan for studying at Georgetown. Research the specific programs, professors, classes, and opportunities that you want to participate in while at Georgetown. Given the specific nature of Georgetown's programs, it's even more important that you know exactly why Georgetown is the place for you.

In your final Georgetown application essay, avoid just writing about location. Many students write about wanting to go to college in Washington D.C., but there are many universities nearby. When writing about D.C., articulate how your engagement with the community will be made possible by opportunities at Georgetown. What makes Georgetown the perfect school for you?

Continue reading this guide for tips on each college’s “Why Georgetown?” essay.

College-specific prompt 1:

Georgetown College: What does it mean to you to be educated? How might Georgetown College help you achieve this aim? (Applicants to the Sciences and Mathematics or the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics should address their chosen course of study.)

This Georgetown application essay prompt depends on a definition—namely, what it means to "be educated." To begin, think about what education means to you—is it academic? Social? Cultural? All of the above? Now, consider how Georgetown's programs can help you educate yourself as a professional and as a community member?

In general, successful Georgetown essays for Georgetown College will use the definition of “educated” as a way of addressing why a student wants to pursue a major. Think critically about why you want to pursue your chosen field and how this field will inform what your education looks like. At the end of the day, this Georgetown application essay should make the case that you can only truly be educated by Georgetown to achieve your goals. Use specific details—courses, professors, and programs—to emphasize why Georgetown College is the place for you.

College-specific prompt 2:

School of Nursing & Health Studies: Describe the factors that have influenced your interest in studying health care. Please specifically address your intended major (Global Health, Health Care Management & Policy, Human Science, or Nursing).

When writing the Georgetown supplemental essays, keep in mind that everyone can say they want to make a difference and help people. If you want your Georgetown essay to stand out, then, be sure to include specific details of how your interest in health and nursing originated and what you hope to do with it.

Successful Georgetown essays for the School of Nursing & Health Studies will be authentic and personal. Try to approach this prompt through a personal connection to healthcare. Connect your story to specific programs at Georgetown. Many students will write about their shadowing in the medical field or volunteering in medical facilities in their Georgetown essays. What sets you apart? Additionally, avoid focusing on the COVID-19 pandemic—these essays can seem cliché unless you have a specific personal connection to healthcare in the age of COVID-19.

College-specific prompt 3:

Walsh School of Foreign Service: The Walsh School of Foreign Service was founded more than a century ago to prepare generations of leaders to solve global problems. What is motivating you to dedicate your undergraduate studies to a future in service to the world?

Effective Georgetown supplemental essays for Walsh will detail how you plan to impact the world and how Georgetown will make that plan a reality. ”Global problems” and “service to the world” both take many forms. Don’t narrow your interests solely to political science and international relations—instead, think broadly about the tools Georgetown can give you to make the world a better place. Like other Georgetown essays, your response to this prompt should be specific and personal.

Successful Georgetown University supplemental essays for this prompt should not just be aspirational. Instead, they should also include how your interest in solving global problems translates to your past and current activities.

If you aren’t sure how to begin answering this prompt, think about how you spend your time. Do you tutor underprivileged children, so you care about expanding access to education? Do you help people learn to speak English because you want to break down cultural and linguistic barriers? International problem-solving comes in many forms—the best Georgetown supplemental essays will depict Walsh as the next step in an applicant's journey toward making a difference in the international sphere.

College-specific prompt 4:

McDonough School of Business: The McDonough School of Business is a national and global leader in providing graduates with essential ethical, analytical, financial and global perspectives. Please discuss your motivations for studying business at Georgetown.

This Georgetown application essay prompt emphasizes the holistic nature of business—namely, how it relates to "ethical, analytical, financial, and global" perspectives. This holistic attitude also accords with Georgetown's Jesuit values, which set McDonough apart from its competitors.

The best “Why McDonough?” Georgetown supplemental essays will answer all aspects of this prompt, emphasizing the Jesuit dimensions of McDonough's programs. The most impactful “why business” essays will not focus on money or titles. Instead, the best Georgetown essays for McDonough will emphasize the impact that you will have at Georgetown and beyond.

Be personal. What are your current and prior experiences with your intended major? How have you developed the skills to succeed in business? Research the specific programs and opportunities you would join at McDonough.

Georgetown Essay Draft Key Questions:

  • Does your essay respond adequately to the essay prompt?
  • Do you discuss the specific clubs, classes, professors, and/or opportunities that you would be involved in?
  • Does your essay tell a personal and specific narrative?
  • Do you articulate a clear plan for your time at Georgetown?

How much does Georgetown care about essays?

Georgetown is intentionally not part of the Common Application; they want to admit applicants who put in the extra effort to apply. This makes the "Why Georgetown" supplemental essays even more important.

Read the checklist of application materials to make sure you complete each step. Many students have impressive GPAs and test scores, which means your Georgetown university supplemental essays give you the chance to stand out. Implement the tips in this essay guide to set yourself apart through your Georgetown supplemental essays. Engage your reader through interesting stories, vivid details, and an actionable plan for your time at Georgetown.

Additional tips for Writing your Georgetown Supplemental Essays

Be sure to leave yourself time to edit and revise each of your Georgetown University supplemental essays! Georgetown has two deadlines: November 1, 2021, and January 10, 2022. Apply by November to know your decision on December 15, 2021.

Consider your application as a whole before submitting it, and make sure that each of your Georgetown essays says something new about you. After all, no two Georgetown essay prompts are the same. Each Georgetown supplemental essay should reveal who you are and what is important to you.

Georgetown Supplemental Essays — Final Thoughts

In each of your Georgetown essays, be unique and original, but also genuine and honest. Instead of trying to predict what your readers would like to hear, just tell your personal story. Do your research on the specific college within the University to which you are applying so you can connect yourself with Georgetown. Be clear, concise, and specific in your responses to the Georgetown essay prompts. There is no cookie-cutter Georgetown student, so highlight what makes you stand out. Good luck!


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This 2021-2022 essay guide on Georgetown University was written by Caroline Marapese, Norte Dame ‘20. For more CollegeAdvisor.com resources on Georgetown, click here. Want help crafting your Georgetown University supplemental essays? Create your free account or schedule a no-cost advising consultation by calling (844) 343-6272.

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