Families always have the option to submit application “extras,” (often called supplements) alongside their middle and high school students’ essays, transcripts, recommendations, etc. Submitting extras is always optional, and we typically find that they’re not necessary if a student has demonstrated a strong and consistent narrative for admissions committees. However, everything is different this year.
Thanks to COVID, admissions committees have less information than ever as they evaluate applicants. They haven’t met candidates for in-person tours and interviews, which are usually one of the primary ways they understand a students’ unique personality and genuine interests. Current teacher recommendations, typically chock-full of detailed student anecdotes and informative assessments, may be less useful this year thanks to remote learning. So this year, it’s more helpful than ever to submit high-quality application extras that paint a full picture of who your child is. Extras are still optional this year, but if there’s ever been a time to consider adding something extra to your applications, this is it.
What do extras look like? They’re pieces of multimedia content that can be submitted electronically alongside traditional applications. Extras might be links to newspaper articles, YouTube videos, music files, webpages, and more. Here are a few of the most common application supplements that we’ve seen:
You can send along almost anything alongside applications, as long as it can be transmitted electronically. Make sure to contextualize each item in the email or submission form: explain links, provide the backstory for documents, etc. If you’re sharing a large file with a school, make sure the link has correct permissions and can be opened by anyone.
Remember: only submit application extras that help paint a picture of your child’s distinctive self and genuine interests. Don’t send along five supplements that are unrelated and unconnected to anything in your child’s essays or what they’ve expressed in a virtual interview. Quality is more important than quantity: send in a supplement that really demonstrates your child’s passions, not a few random samples of things they’ve dabbled in recently.
Confused about what to send in for application extras? We’re here to help. Reach out today for last-minute help composing your applications.