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Conquering Ohio State University Supplemental Essays for 2023-2024

Hello, aspiring Buckeyes! If you’re preparing your application for the Ohio State University (OSU), the supplemental essays can seem like a daunting task. However, these prompts provide an excellent opportunity to showcase your personality, experiences, and commitment to your academic journey. Let's break down the prompts and discuss how you can create impactful responses.

1. The "Why Ohio State" Essay (350 words)

This essay is your chance to demonstrate why OSU is the ideal fit for your academic goals and personal growth. To nail this essay, research specific programs, clubs, or initiatives that align with your interests and aspirations. Show OSU how you will contribute to the community, and also how it will nurture your growth.


As a young child visiting Ohio State University’s Mirror Lake with my family, I was immediately drawn to the vibrant student community and the spirit of innovation that pervaded the campus. As I grew older, my interest in bioengineering emerged and I realized that OSU, with its top-ranked bioengineering program, was my ideal choice.

OSU’s unique Bioengineering Honors program, which combines hands-on research with industrial exposure, aligns with my aspirations to design medical devices that enhance patient care. Moreover, the opportunity to work in the Biomedical Optics Lab would allow me to combine my fascination with physics and medicine. I am particularly excited about Professor Smith's research on non-invasive glucose monitoring, an innovation that can revolutionize diabetes care.

Beyond academics, I am drawn to the Buckeye spirit that embodies unity, resilience, and ambition. I aim to actively participate in the Engineers for Community Service club, merging my love for engineering and community service.

2. Leadership and Involvement Essay (350 words)

Here, OSU wants to understand your capability to take on responsibilities and make a positive impact. This prompt does not limit you to school-related activities. You can discuss leadership in various contexts, such as part-time jobs, volunteering, family responsibilities, or personal projects.


Last year, as the President of our school’s Science Club, I spearheaded a school-wide recycling initiative. I noticed that our school was generating significant amounts of paper waste, and I believed we could make a difference.

Organizing a team, we initiated paper collection drives and collaborated with a local recycling plant. However, the project wasn't immediately successful; many students were indifferent to our efforts. To overcome this, I introduced an inter-class competition and arranged awareness talks about the environmental impact of waste.

The campaign became a hit, and our school reduced paper waste by 40% in six months. This experience taught me the power of perseverance, collaboration, and the impact one can make with the right efforts.

3. Community Service Essay (Optional, 350 words)

Although this essay is optional, consider it an opportunity to show your dedication to service, a value OSU deeply cares about. Share specific experiences where you've made a tangible impact and reflect on how these experiences shaped your perspectives.


For the past two years, I have been tutoring underprivileged children in my community. Meeting twice a week, we cover various subjects, but my main focus has been improving their English literacy.

One of my students, Lily, struggled with basic reading. Using phonics games and interactive storytelling, I managed to spark her interest in reading. Slowly, Lily started making progress. The day she read a full sentence without my help was one of the proudest moments of my life.

Through this experience, I've learned the value of patience and the joy of empowering others. It's a service I hope to continue at OSU, contributing to literacy initiatives on and off-campus.

4. Major Specific Essays

Some colleges or programs at OSU may require additional essays. Make sure to answer these thoughtfully and demonstrate your passion and understanding of the chosen field.

Short Answer Questions (100 words)

These short responses are a chance for the admissions committee to get to know you on a more personal level. Be genuine and sincere in your responses, showcasing your character and personal experiences.


Q: What's your favorite book and why?

A: My favorite book is "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee. The narrative, seen from Scout’s innocent perspective, contrasted with the harsh realities of racism and prejudice, deeply moved me. The character of Atticus Finch, with his unwavering moral compass, inspires me to stand up for what is right, despite the challenges.

When writing your OSU supplemental essays, remember to:

  • Be specific: Vague statements can make your essay feel generic. Tailor your essay with details unique to your experiences and aspirations.
  • Show your personality: Let your character shine through your writing. OSU is not just interested in your academic achievements but also who you are as a person.
  • Reflect: Don't just recount experiences. Reflect on what you learned from them and how they have shaped you.

Best of luck, future Buckeyes, as you embark on this exciting journey!