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The Requirements: 2 short essays, 1 optional essay
With this brand new prompt, Clark University is hoping to see reflection, self-awareness, and gratitude. Admissions wants to be sure the students they invite to join them on campus next fall are the type of people who will contribute to and heighten the sense of community around campus. So, when has someone helped you tremendously? And in what ways? What was the result? How are you different because of that advice, experience, or interaction? How did you express your gratitude? And (if you’re reaching for the stars) how do you pay it forward? Clark wants to know.
This is Clark’s version of the Additional Info essay, with a focus on academics. It’s what we call in the biz a “break in case of emergency” essay–which means that, unless you have something crucial to explain to admissions, you should skip it. Think about it: If you were an admissions officer, would you really want to read one more essay per applicant?
That being said, this essay is perfect for students who have encountered outstanding challenges and need an opportunity to explain them. In fact, we recommend omitting such info from your other writing and saving those details for an Additional Info essay, so that you can use the rest of your application to highlight other parts of your amazing personality. So, if something has happened that affected your academic performance, this is a great opportunity to explain the circumstances. Did a family emergency or illness cause an overall drop in your GPA? A drop in grades does not define you. Remember to make this essay not about the things you couldn’t control, but the actions you took to improve the situation. You don’t want to come off as a victim of circumstance, but as a resilient person who can take steps to positively affect their situation!