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Passion and Contribution: How to Write the Syracuse Supplement for 2020-21

The Syracuse supplement will paint a vivid picture of who you are and why you’re passionate about attending Syracuse University. Let’s start by taking a look at the prompt:


Please be sure to respond to both parts of the following question: Why are you interested in Syracuse University and how do you see yourself contributing to a diverse, inclusive, and respectful campus community? (250-word limit)

This prompt gives you the opportunity to describe your academic goals, showcase your values, and explain how you hope to engage with other students. Here’s how to get a strong start on your Syracuse supplement!


Step One: Brainstorm

Take a second to flex your wrists. You’re about to do some freewriting! Reflect on these questions and jot down any stories or ideas that come to mind.

Part 1: Think back on the moment you decided to apply to Syracuse. What convinced you that you could call Syracuse home for four years? If you found out tomorrow that you got in, what would you be most excited about? What educational goals will you pursue there?

Part 2: Now, let’s think about community. What role do you play in the communities you call home? How do your actions make these communities more inclusive? In college, what kind of role do you want to play in the communities you join?


Step Two: Connect

In order to effectively answer the prompt, you’ll need to connect your goals for the future to specific resources and opportunities at Syracuse. Comb through Syracuse’s website to learn about its classes, professors, extracurriculars, and community, and jot down some resources that align with your vision of the future!


Let’s take a look at an example student’s profile:

  • Wants to work for a studio like Pixar or Dreamworks after graduation
    • Character Development for Animation course
    • Visual Effects workshop
  • Advocates  for women and girls
    • Equal Time magazine
    • The Menstrual Information Network Teaching Empowerment Project


Step Three: Core Message

Your essay will be most effective if you can draw a connection between your academic goals and the contributions you want to make to Syracuse’s community. 

Let’s take the student from the above example. Her core message could be something like:

  • “Through my work in animation, I hope to create empowering female heroes to inspire the next generation of girls. At Syracuse, I will develop my technical abilities in the classroom and become an advocate for women and girls through my extracurricular activities.”

After developing a strong core message, you’ll have all the tools you need to write a strong Syracuse essay!


Note: This article focuses on the mandatory Syracuse supplement. You’ll also need to write a killer Common Application essay, and present an activities list. The following programs require additional essays/portfolios:

  • Citizenship and Civic Engagement Program (250-word essay)
  • Discovery Program (250-word essay)
  • School of Architecture/Art/Design (portfolio required)
  • Department of Drama (portfolio required for non-performance majors)

Happy writing!

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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