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How to Pick the Best Prompt for Your UVM Supplement Essay 2020-21: Great Answers to Oddball Questions

In the University of Vermont application, you can answer one of five supplemental essay prompts. This is optional, but we recommend it. It’s an opportunity to show the admissions committee another side of you in 500 words or less.

Some of the prompts are pretty quirky, but this guide will help you pick the best one to show off your unique strengths. Let’s take a look at the UVM supplement prompts.


Option 1: Why UVM?

If you really want to attend UVM, this prompt will let you make your case for why you’re a great fit! Pick it if UVM is one of your top-choice schools.

To really be convincing, you’ll need to include specifics. Head over to the UVM website and research the school. Look for specific opportunities that interest you, and make a list! For example, you might like:

  • Academic opportunities, like the fact that CALS students can self-design a major
  • Traits of the student body, like the fact that 80% of students are involved in a student club or organization
  • Experiences, like living in the Dewey House for Community Engagement or joining the club figure skating team
  • The way the school puts their values into action - for example, their diversity course requirement

For more help with writing a “Why School” essay, check out our guide!


Option 2: Which Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor (real or imagined) best describes you?

Pick this UVM supplement if you’re a creative thinker who can’t be described by transcripts and test scores alone. The prompt offers a great opportunity for you to tell the reader about your core traits—maybe even your Cookie Core traits! How would your friends describe you? Now, if these qualities were ingredients in a pint, what would they be, and why? This essay should ultimately be about you, not ice cream, so don’t forget to show the reader how you show these traits!


Option 3: Whether they’re building a robot, a stronger sense of community, or an identity. UVM students are builders. What do you want to build?

Pick this prompt if you have an idea that’s related to one of your core interests! For example, if you’re passionate about peace in the Middle East, you might want to build an organization that creates opportunities for Israelis and Palestinians to meet. If you’re a creative writer, you might talk about building your own fictional universe.

Your essay will be most successful if your answer relates not just to your interests but also your values. How do you hope to change the world for the better? What first step could you take?


Option 4: UVM learning experiences go far beyond the walls of our classrooms. From student-led organizations, to internships, to study abroad, UVM students are encouraged to learn in any environment. Describe a time when you’ve learned in a non-traditional setting.

The possibilities for this prompt are endless! If you’ve pursued an internship or independent research project, you might write about what you learned from your experiences. Alternatively, you could write about a life lesson you learned while babysitting, working at a fast-food joint, or resolving a conflict between friends! If you can identify a meaningful insight you gained outside the classroom, this would be a good prompt for you. 


Option 5: Communities are stronger when they incorporate many differing opinions. How do you create meaningful connections or conversations with others who have differing opinions than yours?

Many students might read this prompt and immediately think about political disagreements. But the prompt is more open-ended than that! Sure, you might write about how you developed a connection with a grandparent who belongs to a different party. However, you could also write about a time when you had a constructive disagreement with a peer and came to a compromise. Pick this prompt if you can demonstrate your open-mindedness through a specific experience.


No matter which prompt you choose, the UVM supplement will provide ample opportunity for you to showcase your unique personality and demonstrate why you’re a great fit for the University of Vermont!

Click here for our guide to the Common App essay

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

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