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Carleton College 2022-23 Supplemental Essay Guide

Carleton College 2022-23 Application Essay Question Explanations

The Requirements: 1 essay of 300 words, 1 optional essay of 250 words

Supplemental Essay Type(s): Additional Information, Short Answer, Oddball, Community

Please share your thoughts on one (1) of the following prompts, in no more than 300 words.

1) Carleton’s community plan for inclusion, diversity, and equity aims to nurture and develop an even stronger community where students, faculty, and staff belong and thrive. How might you contribute to a sense of belonging at Carleton?

Admissions seeks to accept students who will contribute to inclusivity on campus. When considering one of your past experiences or perspectives to expand upon, we recommend choosing one that has the biggest impact on the way you experience and interact with the world now. Ideally, the story you tell should include a couple anecdotes. Maybe you want to write about your experience as a secondary caretaker for your younger sibling with disabilities and how this role has helped you develop into a more compassionate and patient person, traits that will accompany you to Carleton’s campus. Use this opportunity to tell admissions more about yourself and give insight into who you will be on campus next fall.

2) Before graduation, every Carleton student completes a senior project, known as “comps.” Comps projects take many different forms: a few recent examples are formal research papers, public presentations, and even a live staging of a theater production. Based on your current academic interests, what type of comps project or topic would you explore, and why? (No pressure, we won’t hold you to this!)

This question is pretty straightforward. Odds are, if you’ve done your research on the school, this concept doesn’t come as a surprise to you, and you probably already have an idea of what you’d like to explore for your senior project. If that’s not the case, however, we recommend looking into the academic opportunities available to you as a student at Carleton. From there, you’ll be able to pick one or two that are of particular interest to you and imagine how you might explore those topics in a paper, presentation, performance, or other venture. We encourage you to be as detailed as possible to show admissions that you’ve put thought into your response (and academic interests). And don’t hesitate to think outside the box and play to your strengths!

3) Traditions at Carleton center around building and appreciating community. Some examples include the new student frisbee toss, Friday flowers, and baking cookies at Dacie Moses House. If you were tasked with creating a new Carleton tradition, what would you propose and how would you emphasize community within your idea?

For your response to this prompt, we recommend reflecting on the hobbies and community-building activities you’ve already participated in. Maybe you’d propose a yard party during orientation week, with outdoor games and icebreaker activities for new students, since the block parties in your neighborhood always bring people together. Perhaps you’d propose chalk murals on the sidewalk, so students can express their creativity while feeling like they’re a part of something bigger. (Hopskotch encouraged, but not required.) The goal here is to offer admissions insight into the kinds of things you like to do with others in your community and demonstrate a willingness to engage and build relationships within the Carleton student body.

Carleton prepares students to “lead lives of learning that are broadly rewarding, professionally satisfying, and of service to humanity.” We rely on the individuals within our community to help carry out this mission and shape each other’s experiences. Please share your thoughts on Anything missing? Do you want to share more with us? If so, use this space to fill any gaps you think would assist us in reviewing your application. (Optional, no more than 250 words)

This is an opportunity for you to make sure admissions has all the information at their disposal. For some applicants, this is a space to explain. Anything from a slip in your grades or scores to a long absence from school is fair game in this section. For such applicants, that could mean recounting the details of some extenuating circumstances (an injury or family emergency). Others may need to explain how getting a D in 10th grade chemistry was a wake-up call, and describe the steps they took to turn their grades around. Or, perhaps, you don’t have anything to explain, you just want to share something additional with Carleton. Maybe you have a killer quirky essay for another school that you’d like to recycle here. Or, maybe, Carleton is your top-choice and you want to impress admissions with a hearty Why essay.

Regardless of what you include, be sure to write from the heart and proofread before pressing submit!

We try our best to make sure our guides are as up to date as possible, but we still recommend confirming each prompt and word count with the school in question.
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