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How To Write Every University of Delaware Essay


The University of Delaware supplement has four essays. They’re optional, but we recommend writing them. They give you a great opportunity to explain why you want to attend UD.

Let’s look at the first two University of Delaware essay prompts!


Student Life

Anticipate what it will be like for you as a student at the University of Delaware. Both in and out of the classroom, where do you expect to feel most comfortable and where will you need to stretch? (250 words)


Why UD?

In one or two sentences, tell us why the University of Delaware excites you. (100 words)

In both of these short essays, your reader will be looking for specific examples of why you want to attend UD. So your first step will be research! Explore the UD website and take notes. Try to answer these questions: What excites you about UD? How will you challenge yourself as a UD student?

For example, are you interested in any specific research opportunities, courses, concentrations, or study abroad programs? Outside of the classroom, do you want to join any student groups, get involved in campus events or community service, or participate in a specific internship?

As you plan your topics, think about how these two essays will work together. Avoid repeating yourself – try to use each essay to show a different side of your interest in UD.

Let’s look at an example student’s brainstorming list for the Student Life essay.


In the classroom:

  • Museum Studies courses are open to undergraduates
  • Concentration in American History
  • Study abroad summer program for history students in Dublin, Ireland

Out of the classroom:

  • Internship at the Hagley Museum and Library
  • Better Together interfaith club
  • Golden Blues a cappella group


If you need more help getting started on your University of Delaware essays, check out our Why Us module!


The next two prompts are about your past experiences.

Personal Accomplishment

Describe an accomplishment that took a great deal of time and/or effort on your part. What motivated you to persevere when it got challenging? Who or what did you turn to for support, and how was that helpful? (250 words)


In this essay, your reader will be looking for details about what drives you to succeed.

Start by brainstorming: make a list of 3-4 experiences where you overcame challenges to achieve your goals. Then, pick the topic that feels the most important to you. Which experience really shaped the person you are today?

Once you have a topic, create an outline. This essay is fairly short, but a brief outline will help you stay organized.

Let’s look at an example student’s outline.

  • Accomplishment: Starting an allergen-free granola bar business
  • Challenges faced: Learning about cottage food laws, low sales
  • Motivation: I believed I had a great product that would help people with food allergies
  • Support: Advice from my local Small Business Development Center


Personal Hardship

Relate a personal experience in which you were denied an opportunity or treated unfairly. How did you resolve the situation? If that were to happen during your college experience, what would you do? (250 words)

In this University of Delaware essay, write about a time when you handled a problem well. How do you handle hardship or failure? For example, maybe a failure inspired you to work harder towards a goal in the future, or an unexpected challenge revealed something about your values.

To help you get started, let’s look at an example student outline:

  • Experience: I was cut from the soccer team right before a national competition
  • Response: I decided to channel my energy into supporting my teammates
  • In college: I will always be supportive of my peers, which will help me stay positive during difficult times

Note: There's one question that you only have to answer if you need to explain any unusual low grades.  If this doesn't apply to you, go ahead and skip it!

Self-Appraisal of your academic performance: The Admissions Committee expects that you will take advantage of this question to explain any grade on your transcript that is unusually low or varies significantly from your usual performance in the section below. (250 words)


Click here for our guide to writing the Common App Essay





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