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How to Answer the 2019-2020 University of South Carolina Application Essay Prompt


The University of South Carolina gives you a lot of freedom to choose your topic. The recommended essay length is 250-500 words, so you’ll want to develop a strong topic to make your supplemental essay stand out.

You’ll be asked to choose 1 of 3 prompts. Let’s take a look at the University of South Carolina application essay prompts!


Option 1: Who in your life is depending on you? How are they depending on you?

In this essay, admissions readers will be looking for details about what kind of community member you are. However, you don’t need to write about your entire community. Try to focus on a person or group of people from just one part of your life.

Here are some brainstorming questions to help you think of a topic:

  • Who do you collaborate with on a regular basis?
  • When are you responsible for helping someone in your community?
  • What skills do you use to improve the lives of the people you know?

Let’s look at some example student topics for this University of South Carolina application essay:

  • Student 1: My Model UN teammates depend on me to communicate clearly and use creative problem-solving skills when problems arise.
  • Student 2: My grandma depends on me to help her use the computer. I am interested in using technology to help others, and my goal is to develop apps that help elderly people easily keep in touch with their families.

Why these examples work: They connect each student’s skills, values, or goals to an experience where they helped or collaborated with someone.


Option 2: What advice would you give your 13-year-old self?

This prompt is a great opportunity to share how you have grown during high school. Here are some quick steps to help you brainstorm:

Step 1: Start by thinking about something you’ve gotten better at during high school, or a challenge you overcame.

Step 2: What did you do to improve or succeed in that situation? Jot down some notes.

Step 3: That’s your advice – tell your 13-year-old self how to do the things you did in Step 2.


Let’s look at some example student topics for this University of South Carolina application essay:

  • Student 1: When I transferred schools in the middle of the year, my new school didn’t have computer science classes. I would tell my 13-year-old self to be resourceful, practice my programming skills on my own, and set challenges for myself outside of class.
  • Student 2: I improved my painting skills by listening to critiques in AP Studio Art class. I would tell my 13-year-old self to seek out constructive criticism.

Why these examples work: They show how the student overcame a challenge or experienced personal growth.


Option 3: Tell us something about yourself that we have not already asked.

Have you achieved something awesome that you want admissions readers to know about? Do you have an interest, value, or goal you didn’t have a chance to discuss in your Common App essay? You can share it here.

This University of South Carolina supplemental essay is an opportunity to write about something that isn’t in the rest of your application. There’s no right or wrong answer, but try to pick a topic that is an important part of your life today.


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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