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Guide on Harvard Supplement Essay: Main Things to Know!

Date published: | John BlackSmith

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5 Topics to Help You Rock Harvard Supplement Essay

Have you noticed that Harvard essays do not have a certain word limit? So theoretically, you can submit a one-hundred-page dissertation as a supplement essay but actually you will be the first one to do that: in general, the essays are near 500-700 words which is around one page long (Times New Roman font 12, single-spaced).

Harvard encourages students to express diverse thoughts and outlook and among its biggest priorities is to grow future leaders and innovators that may change the world. The first step to it is creating a supplement essay, the success of which will open you to the opportunities.

However, what will be the main topic of your essay?

Unique life circumstances 

As long as you write honestly about who you are and what you do, your essay will be unusual. The key is to show how the unusual circumstances in your life influenced you: explain what happened, how happened and the way it impacted your life. Be specific about how this experience changed your outlook: express your feelings and focus on details. The more you add, the better your essay will come to life. Remember that the goal is not to tell a sad story and gain sympathy, but highlighting your personal strengths.

Traveling experiences

This topic is good for those students who have been traveling a lot and can share some of their experiences as it points to Harvard focus on the diversity of your background. Describing the trip, you can show your growth and impact it made on your life. Try to dive deeper into the culture and concentrate not on the place, but on your emotions and whether it was a focal point of your change in travel. It should be a story, not an itinerary – a great idea would also be to compare two countries if you have such an opportunity.

What people need to know about you

What can you tell your future roomies about yourself? This topic will work only if your hobbies are not generic but something unique and interesting. You can create fun stories, talk about your fears etc. However, do not use the informal style or slang – this is still your college application. Beware that sounding like a perfect human will not make you good, but neither will do focusing on your negative qualities.

Impact on the intellectual experience

Admission officers love seeing how you are passionate about your future field and committed to it. You can also describe an intellectual experience that made you go out of your comfort zone: as long as you show your thoughts, experience, and its impact. Harvard cares first of all about advancement and personal growth, so you can mention in your essay how the research projects affected it and how it helped your intellectual development.

Profit of college education

How could you use your college education after graduating? Harvard invests their time and efforts into you, so they want to make sure that they are going to receive something in return. Never mention that you want to attend Harvard because it promises you good money in the future or because it is prestige: this will only lower your chances. Your essay should focus on how attending Harvard will impact your life, how beneficial it would be for your growth. Be specific and describe your field, talk about the problems you want to solve.


Harvard essay for application gives you a chance to present yourself as a personality and a candidate that will use Harvard knowledge to make this world better. There are lots of options to be creative so do not forget: you are convincing the committee to give you a chance, so the quality of how you do it matters!