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The Requirements: 3 essays of 200 words or fewer, 1 list
We’re sure you’ve seen this essay before: why here? Now’s the time to do some research and paint a picture of what your life would be like as a Chapman student. In other words, show off your fit! You’ll be writing about your academic interests in the next essay, so for this prompt, focus on the things that excite you about Chapman outside of the classroom. Maybe you grew up in a small town with a tiny high school and you’ve been dreaming of attending a huge university with extensive course offerings and unique campus culture. Beyond what you would gain, you should also think about what you would contribute. What kind of energy would you bring to such a large school? Maybe your religion has always been an important part of your life and you’ve been looking for a community that fosters spirituality and interfaith communication. Whatever your angle, make sure to tell admissions something new and go beyond the basic facts and figures listed on the school website.
This prompt gives you a chance to geek out about your intended major. Do you and calculus have some unfinished business? Are you planning to get a jump on your Hollywood career with a major in Creative Production? Whether your goals are intellectual, professional, or somewhere in between, your reasoning should be grounded in what Chapman has to offer. If you’re interested in marketing, make sure you talk about a program they actually offer: Communication Studies or English, perhaps. 200 words isn’t a lot of space, but that doesn’t mean you can’t provide a detailed response. Get ambitious and aim to answer these two key questions: What do you absolutely love about your intended major? Why is Chapman the ideal place for you to study it? Think about what excites you about the department at Chapman—professors, classes, guest speakers, alumni—and dig deep to show how Chapman will help you achieve your goals.
To ace this question, you’ll need to articulate for admissions why a well-rounded liberal arts education is important to you. Do you think Chapman’s curriculum will allow you to build upon your communication and mediation skills, preparing you for a career in civil service? Maybe you think it will help you be more marketable once you enter the working world, preparing you to join a variety of fields (which is especially helpful since you’re undecided). What classes are you excited about taking? Which academic programs call to you and why? Demonstrate your interest in Chapman’s offerings (and liberal arts curriculum, while you’re at it), and admissions is bound to be impressed!
This prompt is asking you to cover a lot of ground in just 200 words, so the key to a dynamic response will be to make it succinct and authentic. Can you think of an experience that has shaped the person you are today? What was that journey like and why would the traits you developed be an important addition to the Chapman community? Maybe you grew up in a commune, which shaped you to consider the needs of the collective over those of the individual. Perhaps, last summer, you embarked on a wilderness expedition that changed the way you think about your place in the world. How was this experience meaningful to you? What wisdom did you acquire that you’d like to share with other students? Our advice is to freewrite everything that comes to mind, step away, then revisit with fresh eyes to piece your story together.
What kind of person do you want to be, and how will a Chapman education help you get there? This prompt is all about vision. Four years is a long time in a young person’s life, and you will inevitably grow and deepen your understanding of all sorts of topics while pursuing your undergraduate degree. The strongest responses to this prompt will have a clear message. Maybe you were born and raised in a small town and are excited about the opportunity to expand your social butterfly wings and get to know people from different backgrounds. Does Chapman have clubs or volunteer opportunities that seem like a great place to meet and learn about others? Be sure to point to specific examples of their offerings to show admissions that you’re doing your due diligence and are genuinely excited about attending and how your time there will help you to expand your perspectives.
After forcing you to address so many serious topics earlier in the supplement, Chapman also wants you to have some fun. These quirky short answer questions present a prime opportunity to let your sense of humor shine through, and the random assortment of topics ensure you can reveal many facets of your personality. If we went through each question individually we’d probably end up writing a zillion times as many characters as you’re allowed for these short answer questions. Fortunately, there’s really just one trick for quickie prompts like these: go with your gut. Chances are your first instincts will lead you to the most unique and genuine answers. Since you don’t have to produce much to answer each question, brainstorming is key. Set aside maybe 30 minutes to jot down as many ideas as you can think of for each question. Allow yourself to approach each question from a few different angles: funny, earnest, clever, surprising. The point is not to waste any time agonizing over what you think admissions wants to hear. Trust yourself.