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Claremont McKenna College 2019-20 Supplemental Essay Guide  

Regular Decision: 

Claremont McKenna College 2019-20 Application Essay Question Explanations

The Requirements: 2 short answers of 150-250 words

Supplemental Essay Type(s): Why, Oddball

Why do you want to attend CMC? (150-250 words)

A classic short why essay. Do some research on CMC’s course offerings, campus, and extracurriculars, and then show admissions why CMC stands out from the crowd. Additionally, you can express why you want to live right where LA County meets Rancho Cucamonga: You love Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and are now obsessed with West Covina. You’re from Long Beach and CMC is just far enough away from home, but not too far. You dream of a climate that doesn’t involve constant snowfall. No matter your reason, admissions just wants to know that you’ve thought this through and aren’t just asking them to prom (applying) only to drive by and egg their house (withdrawal your application) later — a la Never Been Kissed.


What is “intellectual courage”? (150-250 words)

Pro tip: DON’T GOOGLE IT. In order to have a fresh and unique take on this, we recommend brainstorming what this means to you personally. Try this exercise: Jot down some related words that come to mind. Does it evoke the memory of a historical figure? A scientist or civil rights activist? Write down instances that you know of, public or personal, that you think required “intellectual courage.” Once you’ve got some notes with examples, you should be able to define this phrase more easily. It may also be helpful to think of where “intellectual courage” comes from and what helps it mature into action.


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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