We're here to help.
Loyola Marymount eases you into their supplement with a classic why essay, but don’t let your guard down. There are some challenging options in the second section. The instructions say it best: these prompts are an opportunity for you to show off your “critical and creative thinking.” So it’s important to select one that will allow you to showcase your strongest academic skills and intellectual passions. This could be the most direct opportunity you’ll ever get to show (and not tell) admissions how you think. Enjoy it!
The Requirements: 2 essays of 500 words
You’ve probably seen this before: the why essay. Clocking in at 500 words, LMU’s take on this classic prompt is on the long side. There’s only one thing to do, the same thing we always tell you to do: research, research, research. Set aside some quality time to get up close and personal with the school website (or the campus if you’re able to visit) and take some detailed notes on everything that appeals to you. Go deep. Beyond the classes and professors in your department, explore the options for other subjects you’ve always wanted to study. Learn about clubs and special events on campus to get a feel for student life. Read over the school’s mission statement, and get a feel for the local community beyond the campus. You might even want to read up on the notable alumni you admire. By the time you’re done, you’ll have a whole list of reasons for applying to LMU. Now all you have to do is arrange them. Think about telling a story that illustrates your path to LMU: how do its offerings align with your own interests and goals? Or you could paint an aspirational picture of what you’d be like on campus. If you choose to focus on your major, make sure you connect your past experiences to the ones you hope to have at LMU. Show admissions that LMU the ideal fit for you.
LMU wants you to know that they take environmental issues very seriously, and admissions wants to know your thoughts on the matter. What part should institutions play in combating climate change, and more personally, what do you feel is your duty in addressing the imminent threat of global warming? If you don’t know where to start, feel free to rely on your search engine of choice to find out what institutions like LMU are doing or pledging to do in the coming years. Ultimately, admissions wants to see how you think about the issues at hand and what motivates you to act. What have you done to reduce your carbon footprint and what do you hope to do in the future to further your impact? Your answer could range from your decision to bike to school instead of driving, or even pursuing a career in public policy. Reflect on your relationship to Mother Earth and share your thoughts with LMU.
Unlike the previous question, this prompt directly solicits a personal story. A somewhat nebulous term, “critical thinking” could mean a whole range of things from media literacy to problem-solving. So think about a time in your life when you decided not to take something at face value, whether it was a big challenge or a seemingly basic aspect of the status quo. Maybe hearing adults say, “no” has always felt like the start of a negotiation, from convincing your parents to extend your bedtime to visiting your local elected officials to lobby for important issues. What has this lifelong experience taught you about human stubbornness and compromise? Or perhaps you’re a movie buff who also happens to be a future chemistry major, and you decided to start a blog to break down the science in some of your favorite movies. As you can see the examples can be both big and small, formal and informal. The key is to choose a story that connects to an issue or idea that matters to you enough to take an intellectual risk or two.
This is a super open-ended question, which is excellent. It means that you can take it in any direction that appeals to you. Start by jotting down whatever comes to mind when you read this prompt. Did you immediately think of a prominent activist or leader that has effectively created change in your community? Maybe you were reminded of a service opportunity that you got involved in to encourage voter participation. You can write about a person or an experience here, so you should be able to think of a few options for your response. Regardless of what you pick, make sure to relay what the experience or person means to you. Why does this leader inspire you? Why was that experience so impactful? As with all college essays, you want to make sure your response is first and foremost about you.