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The Requirements: 2 short essays of 20-200 words
This question from Lafayette is short, simple, and gives you the freedom to write about almost anything you want! Many schools will ask students for a Why Essay that touches on their academic goals or research pursuits, but not Lafayette. Because the question is so vague, you can thoughtfully craft a response that is specific to your hopes and dreams. Start by doing your research. What appeals to you about Lafayette? Is it the school’s commitment to fostering a welcoming community through 1,000 nights and rivalry week? Does the idea of Lafapalooza appeal to your love of volunteer work and future dreams of starting your own non-profit? Maybe Lafayette has a niche major that is only offered at select schools across the nation. Whatever your reasoning may be, make sure that by the end of your 200-word response, admissions knows that you are a serious applicant who has thought about his or her future. In the end, Lafayette wants to get to know more about you and what motivates you — and your essay will stand out from the pack if you can fill it with specific and meaningful details.
Even though the word “activity” is only mentioned once in the instructions for this prompt, this is an Activity Essay through and through. The beauty of this particular prompt is that Lafayette offers you the freedom to write about almost anything you want (provided it relates to an “academic, co-curricular, or extracurricular exploration”). As with the Why Essay, the goal here is not for you to showcase how much you know about a particular pursuit, but illustrate what it looks like when you engage in your passions or take on a serious commitment. What you write about can range from rigorously training for the New York marathon, to watching your younger siblings while your mom works late nights, to volunteering at your local soup kitchen. Whatever you choose to write about, make sure to answer the second question: Why do you do it? Why are you training for the marathon, tucking your sisters in at night, or making the best split pea soup on this side of the Mississippi? Maybe you train because you enjoy setting goals for yourself and reaching them. Perhaps you watch your siblings because it’s a way you can help out your mom, an actual superhero, while gaining interpersonal and problem solving skills at home. Do you volunteer at the soup kitchen because it allows you to flex your culinary skills while meeting members of the community that you wouldn’t ordinarily cross paths with? Whatever it is, make sure this response reveals something new about yourself to admissions.