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How To Tackle Every Essay Prompt for the Elon Supplements 2018-19

UPDATE!  There have been changes to the Elon University application for 2019-20.  For more information, check out our updated guide.

For the Elon University application, you'll pick one of three prompts for your 500-word essay. You’ll also have the opportunity to show more of your personality through the optional short answer questions.

This guide will help you choose and develop the best Elon supplements essay topic to share your interests, strengths, and goals. You’ll also find tips to help you get started on the short answer questions.

Option 1: If you could create a new course that all Elon students are required to take, what is the title, what is the focus and why does it interest you?

  • This Elon University application essay question is a great way to show your passion for learning! Don’t worry about choosing the “right” topic - focus on picking something that you feel excited to learn about.
  • Also, try to choose something that you enjoy discussing with others. This will help you explain why it’s important for all Elon students to learn about this topic.
  • Finally, try to make your topic specific! In your opinion, what is the most interesting part of this subject? What is a specific sub-topic that you enjoy learning about?
    • For example: “Psychology” is too broad. “The Psychology of Stress During the College Admissions Process” is much more specific!


Option 2: In 1923 a fire destroyed the majority of Elon’s campus, reducing buildings to ash. The community faced this adversity rising from the ashes like a Phoenix, which is now our mascot. Describe a time when you rose from hardship and demonstrated resilience.

  • This could be a good option if you’ve had an experience where you overcame a significant hardship or failure.
  • This prompt is asking you to write about an experience that had a big impact on your life – something where you had to “dig deep” and tap into your inner strength.
    • Note: It doesn’t have to be a traumatic experience, or something the rest of the world considers “big,” but it needs to be big to you.
  • If you can’t think of something like that, or you don’t feel comfortable writing about it, Prompts #1 and 3 are the best options for you!


Option 3: At Elon’s New Student Convocation, every first-year student receives an acorn and is encouraged to keep it until graduation. Four years later at Commencement, every graduate receives an oak sapling symbolizing their growth and transformation. How do you hope to grow and transform during your time at Elon?

  • If you have a clear sense of your goals for college, then this prompt is a great choice! You can draw a connection between your goals and the specific resources at Elon University.
  • Start your brainstorming process by writing down 2-4 ways you want to change in college.  Here are some brainstorming notes from an example student 
    • Ways I want to grow in college:
      • Become a more creative problem-solver
      • Improve my teamwork skills
      • Gain a new perspective on scientific research by studying abroad
  • The key words in the prompt are “grow and transform.” How do you want to grow and change in college?
  • Once you have your list, you can dive into the Elon website and research. Find specific examples of resources that will help you grow and transform, and take notes!


Short Answer Questions

In addition to writing your 500-word essay, 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.

  • Would you rather win an Olympic Medal, an Academy Award or the Nobel Peace Prize? Why?
  • It's 2040. What's today's headline?
  • If you could create a food truck, what type of food would you serve? Name the truck.
  • Name three songs from your perfect playlist.


Your “Think Fast” responses may only be one line 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 (for example, choose a food to serve) explain why you would make that choice.

Click here for our guide to writing 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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