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How to Answer the 2018-19 University of South Carolina Application Essay Prompt

UPDATE!  The University of South Carolina application essay prompt has changed for 2019-20.  Take a look at our new guide!

Although the University of South Carolina application essay prompt is somewhat open-ended in terms of what you can write about, it does offer you guidance about the general subject matter: your potential for academic success in college.

At around 250 words, the University of South Carolina application essay isn’t very long as personal statements go. So how do you say something meaningful about yourself in the space that you have?

First, let’s check out the University of South Carolina supplemental essay prompt.

Tell us something that you have not already told us in this application that will help us to better understand your potential for academic success as a college student. Type your personal statement here. Statement limit is 2000 characters, which is approximately 250 words.

Follow this guide to develop material for a personal statement that concisely highlights your key strengths.

 

Step 1: Find potential topics

Brainstorm at least 5 things about yourself that make you (or will make you) a great student

  • You might list specialized skills or knowledge, unique interests, relevant values or aspects of your character, or outstanding achievements.
  • Here are some examples from a hypothetical student:
    • Taught myself computer programming (Javascript, Java, and Python)
    • Interested in artificial intelligence, especially machine learning
    • Want to develop computer systems to make medical diagnoses more accurate
    • Never give up until a problem is solved
    • Built website for my family’s business

 

Step 2: Identify “what’s missing” from your application

  • For each item you listed in step 1, look over your application and see if you’ve already addressed this particular topic. If so, cross it off your list.
  • You’ll want to pick the most meaningful and exciting topic from what remains, but if one isn’t leaping out to you, move on to step 3 and complete the brainstorming steps for all of them. If a particular topic gives you a lot to write about, that’s a sign it’s a compelling choice!

 

Step 3: Make connections from your past to your future

  • For each topic, think of 1-2 moments when it made a significant difference in your life or significantly affected your thinking—when you learned a valuable lesson or grew as a person.
  • Now take the lessons you came up with and extrapolate how you’ll apply what you’ve learned in the future. Write down 1-2 ways these moments will impact your life, goals, and especially your academic potential.
  • Keep in mind the values and ideals that U of SC cherishes. The school is big on leadership, experiential learning, and educating well-rounded students who will apply what they’ve learned outside of the classroom to make a difference in the “real world.” You don’t want to say things just because you think they’ll impress U of SC admissions, but it could help to touch on how your strengths and lessons will help you exemplify these core U of SC ideals.
  • For example, the sample student above might note how making a website for the family business taught her how satisfying it is to use her coding knowledge to make a difference in people’s lives. Looking to the future, she might mention her goal of learning how to create AI software that hospitals can use to improve diagnoses.

 

Once you’ve completed these steps, you’ll have lots of compelling material for your University of South Carolina application essay. Begin by sharing a moment from step 3 that illustrates your academic strength, and discuss how you grew. Then, consider the potential impact of these moments in college and beyond.

If you’ve already written a Common App personal statement, you might be able to use some material from that. However, simply editing down a 650-word essay to 250 words is unlikely to work. Instead, take your Common App essay topic and apply the brainstorming process in step 3 above. If you borrow details (such as key moments or lessons learned) from your Common App material, make sure that they relate directly to your academic potential in college.

 

Need help with your common app essay? Sign up to get our free guided brainstorming tools!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outline:

Prompt 44

 

 

a general 250-word count essay- what's tricky is it's way shorter than the CA, so I think the guidance here might need to address saying something meaningful quickly

 

 

University of South Carolina Application Essay Prompt (note- as long as you use the full version in the title, you can use "University of South Carolina Application Essay" elsewhere if you need to- you should be able to get it into the title and once in the text.

 

How to (Answer) (Successfully Answer) the University of South Carolina Application Essay Prompt

 

Although the University of South Carolina application essay prompt is somewhat open-ended in terms of what you can write about, it does offer you guidance about the general subject matter: your potential for academic success in college.

 

At around 250 words, the University of South Carolina application essay really isn’t very long as personal statements go. So how do you say something meaningful about yourself in this many words?

 

First, let’s check out the University of South Carolina supplemental essay prompt.

 

Tell us something that you have not already told us in this application that will help us to better understand your potential for academic success as a college student. Type your personal statement here. Statement limit is 2000 characters, which is approximately 250 words.

 

Follow this guide to craft/develop material for a (concise) personal statement that (directly/concisely) highlights your key strengths (in a concise format/structure).

 

Step 1: Identify your key (academic) strengths

  • Brainstorm to come up with 3-5 things about yourself that make you (or will make you) a great student
  • You might list specialized skills or knowledge, unique interests, relevant values or aspects of your character, outstanding achievements.
  • Examples? (probably not needed) (General advice: Be specific and make sure your list highlights aspects/qualities that make you stand out. If an item sounds like it might apply to lots of other people, look for something more unique and surprising to replace it.)

 

Step 2: Identify “what’s missing” from your application

  • For each item you listed in step 1, look over your application and see if you’ve already covered/addressed this strength of yours. If so, cross it off your list.
  • If you cross everything out, go back to step 1 and keep digging for personal strengths.
  • If you have more than one strength still on your list, that’s fine! Pick (1-2) (1-3) items from your list to focus on; the best ones are those that are most meaningful and exciting to you and that you can write the most about.

 

Step 3: (Connect your strengths) (Make (a) connection(s)) from your past to the future

  • For each specific strength, come up with/think of 1-2 moments/times when it made a significant difference in your life or significantly affected your thinking—when you learned a valuable lesson or grew as a person.
  • Now take the lessons/moments you came up with and extrapolate how you’ll apply what you’ve learned in the future—how these moments will affect your life, goals, and especially your academic potential. Write down 1-2 ways these lessons and this growth will impact you going forward.
  • Keep in mind the values and ideals that U of SC cherishes. The school is big on promoting leadership, well-rounded students (??? diversity, world cultures, art, etc), experiential learning, and applying your education/what you’ve learned outside of the classroom to make a difference in the “real world.” You don’t want to sound/say things just because you think they’ll impress U of SC admissions, but it could help to touch on how your strengths and lessons will help you adhere to/exemplify these U of SC touchstones/foundations/these core U of SC ideals.
  • Examples? (maybe helpful here….)

 

Once you’ve completed these steps, you’ll have lots of compelling material for/to write/for writing your University of South Carolina application essay. Open/Begin by sharing/Share the moments from step 3 that illustrate your main strength(s); bring the reader into the moment, show your thinking/thought processes, and discuss what you learned and how you grew. Then, discuss the potential impact of these moments in college and beyond.

 

(If you’ve already written a Common App personal statement, you might be able to use some of the material from that. Go through and look for (parts that mention) (specific details pertaining to) key strengths, significant moments, and future impacts. You can plug these details right into the steps provided here. But remember, the strengths and key moments in your U of SC essay must relate directly to your academic potential in college.)

 

 

 

 

 

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