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American University 2018-19 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

Regular Decision: 

American University 2018-19 Application Essay Question Explanations 

The Requirements: 1 essay of 400 words

Supplemental Essay Type(s): Community

All first-year students will participate in the American University Experience(AUx), a course specially designed for students transitioning into their first year of college at AU. AUx classes meet once per week as small, interactive and inclusive communities. The course provides a place for students to build academic skills for college success; learn about issues of privilege and bias; and explore their own personal identities. The course also models ways of communicating and living in a diverse society, particularly in reference to addressing divergent opinions on challenging topics. How do you personally define an inclusive environment? What do you believe contributes to a diverse and accepting community? (400 words or less)

Don’t let this wall of text fool you. The last two sentences of this prompt ask the real questions: What an inclusive environment means to you, and what key factors contribute to creating one. There, now you know this is a pretty straightforward Community essay! But don’t totally ignore the introduction because it contains some helpful hints about what kinds of details and issues you should address in your response: privilege, bias, identity, and your ability to connect with your peers. With a 400 word limit, this prompt gives you a good amount of space to respond, which means a perfunctory nod to the value of diversity won’t be enough. They want details! So provide them via a personal story or anecdote. Think of a time when you dealt directly with the question of inclusion: For some, this could mean recalling a time when you knew you were the minority in the room. For others, this could be about facing the memory of a time when you were guilty of exclusion or bias. Regardless of the angle, focus on the conflict resolution: What did you or your community do to make the situation right? How have you grown from this experience? Simply going through the exercise of thinking about an example will help you come up with a concrete definition for inclusion and specific factors that allow diverse and accepting communities to exist. While your story should be the focal point, don’t forget to answer the question in the end!

Please note: the information below relates to last year's essay prompts. We are going to update this guide with the prompts for 2021-22 as soon as they become available. Check back soon!
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