I’ve already talked about some typical questions asked on Supplemental Applications and how to go about addressing them! Here are my 5 Top Tips on how to stand out and excel on the supplemental application.
- Be different! This is another chance to show the admission’s committee your personality, so don’t just repeat what you said in your personal statement. Don’t copy and paste sentences. Find something else that has made an impact on your life and decision to go to PA school, and talk about that. Or, elaborate more on what you wrote about in the personal statement. I like to think of the personal statement as the essay that opens the door, and the supplemental application essays get you that invitation through the door (to an interview).
- Tailor your responses to the individual school. I mentioned in my previous post on supplemental apps how important it is to have done research on the specific schools you want to apply to. I cannot stress how important it is to not reuse essays for schools. Yes, a lot of schools ask very similar questions and it is easier to just use the same essay over again — you have a lot going on and it takes a while to write an essay. However, I do think it helps you if the essays are personalized to the school. So while you be able to reuse some of the general ideas of the essay, I think it would be good to go through it with a fine tooth comb and alter some aspects of it to match what the school is looking for. Remember, the school is looking for an application who is a good fit. To prove that you are a good fit, you want to make sure you properly answer the question that they are asking.
- Follow through. This seems self explanatory, but I have friends who for whatever reason or another, did not end up completing the supplemental application for every school that they submitted a CASPA application for. Don’t do this. It’s a complete waste of money because the school won’t even consider your application if you don’t finish every aspect of the process. Some schools don’t release their supplemental applications until a certain date, some schools send the application as a follow up email, some schools only send you a supplemental app if you meet certain criteria after they look over your CASPA. So make sure you’re on top of knowing what is going on. If something doesn’t seem right and you don’t have access to the application, look into it.
- Submit early. I know I mention on my CASPA tips that submitting early is not the most important thing in the world, and that making sure your application is complete and the best it could possibly be before submitting is more crucial to succeeding. Same principle applies to the supplemental application. BUT with that being said, it is important to finish these applications early. Don’t just leave your supplemental application in limbo because you feel like you already finished most of the application. The school isn’t going to look at you until all of the pieces of the puzzle are together. The schools are going to look through applications on a first come, first serve basis — you want your application not to be at the bottom of the pile.
- Be on top of your game. Proofread, proofread, proofread. Double and triple check every aspect of the supplemental application, just like you did with CASPA.