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Writing the New Elon Supplements for 2020-21

There have been some changes to the Elon supplements for the 2020-21 application cycle. Most importantly, they've replaced their "Why Elon" supplement with a question that's much broader in scope. Let's take a look at what's changed!

As you look into the future, what gives you hope? (200-250 words)

This question can feel a bit intimidating! Just remember, you don't have to give the definitive answer. Instead, find an answer that shows the college more about who you are and what's important to you.

As you brainstorm a topic, keep the following two things in mind:

  • Make it specific
  • Make it related to one of your experiences or interests.

A topic like "human kindness" or "scientific ingenuity" is going to be too general, and it's not going add much to your application, so start by making a list of specific experiences that gave you a hopeful feeling. Then, make a second list of the things that you are most passionately interested in.

Here's what an example student's list might look like:

  • Experiences that gave me hope
    • Joined an Environmental Activism club at school and participated in beach clean-ups with hundreds of people.
    • Had a productive debate with a relative about climate change.
  • Interests that inspire my passion
    • Neuroscience and decision making
    • Social media marketing

By combining these two lists, this student can come up with an answer to the question: I believe that human beings can be convinced to change their minds, and take action against climate change.

This essay is quite short, so it's best to start by answering the question up front.  Once this student states her answer to the question, she can cite her experiences as proof, and then come to a strong conclusion by explaining how she plans to personally contribute via her interest in decision making and marketing.

Your structure will vary based on your topic, but here's an outline to help get you started:

  • Introduction: Answer the prompt.
  • Body paragraph: Describe an experience or experiences that gave you hope.
  • Conclusion: Tie one of your main interests to the ways that you personally hope to contribute to a hopeful future. 

Main Essay

At Elon, you have the option of using the Common App, the Coalition App, or a university-specific application. However, even if you choose the university-specific application, you'll be able to re-use your Common Application Personal Statement. That's what we recommend. After all, you've worked hard on it! Check out our guide to the Common App essay here.

As you write the rest of your Elon supplements, keep your main essay in mind, and avoid repeating information. This is your chance to show even more of what makes you who you are!


Short Answer Questions

In addition to writing the required essays, you’ll have the opportunity to respond to some short answer questions for the Elon supplements. This is optional, but don’t skip it! It’s a great way to add some personality to your application.

Think Fast: The Admissions Committee enjoys getting to know Elon applicants.

  • What brings you joy?
  • We’re in your hometown. Where should we eat and what should we order?
  • Name three songs from your perfect playlist.


Your “Think Fast” responses may only be 30 words long, but you can still provide compelling answers. Here are some tips:

    • Try to incorporate one of your interests, values, or goals into each response.
    • For questions where you are asked to make a choice, explain why you would make that choice.
    • For example, in response to the hometown food question, you might write:
      • "When you order the local-ingredients Chicken Florentine pie at Avalanche Pizza, you aren't just eating delicious food: you're supporting small family farms like the one I grew up on."
Get started with our free brainstorming tools!

Prompt’s Essay Specialists reviewed 13,000 admissions essays in 2018, helping thousands of students submit their applications with confidence.

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