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Pitzer College 2020-21 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

Regular Decision: 

Pitzer College 2020-21 Application Essay Question Explanation

The Requirements: 1 essay of 650 words

Supplemental Essay Type(s): Why, Community

At Pitzer, five core values distinguish our approach to education: social responsibility, intercultural understanding, interdisciplinary learning, student engagement and environmental sustainability. As agents of change, our students utilize these values to create solutions to our world’s challenges. Please answer only ONE of the following prompts:

1.Reflecting on your involvement throughout high school or within the community, how have you engaged with one of Pitzer’s core values? (650 words)

Don’t worry about being a jack of all trades and covering all of the core values; admissions would rather you choose one core value and do a deep dive. And, honestly, that’s going to be easier to tackle and more compelling to read. Think about social responsibility–did you help out with any community service that you’re proud of? Sure, you can start by describing the work and the program, but then move on to what it meant to you and what qualities you developed as a result. What about interdisciplinary learning? Did you do any projects that crossed over subject lines? Maybe you’re passionate about environmental sustainability, and you can share a vegan recipe you brought to a potluck and describe why your contribution was meaningful. The key to writing an excellent essay in response to this prompt is to remember that admissions not only wants to know what you’ve done, but why you’ve done it. What drives you? How do you embody the core value of your choosing? How have you taken lessons to heart and what will you bring to the Pitzer community?

2.Describe what you are looking for from your college experience and why Pitzer would be a good fit for you. (650 words)

What do you want out of your college experience and how will Pitzer best serve your hopes and dreams? This is basically a long Why essay, so make sure to put some time aside to tackle this prompt. Start by sitting down and making a list. Ask yourself, “What do I want from my college experience?” Maybe you want to explore your hobbies and interests while pursuing a degree in your field of choice. Perhaps you want to make life-long friendships at the school where your parents met. Maybe you want to pursue a liberal arts college in California. Once you figure that part out, do some research on Pitzer. Explore their website and build a bridge for admissions. How can Pitzer help you to achieve your ideal college experience? Feel free to mention the professors you’d love to learn from or the clubs and organizations that would allow you to continue exploring your extracurricular interests. No matter your reason for choosing Pitzer, be sure to make the case that not only are they perfect for you… you are a great fit for them!

3.Pitzer is known for our students’ intellectual and creative activism. If you could work on a cause that is meaningful to you through a project, artistic, academic, or otherwise, what would you do? (650 words)

Pitzer not only wants to know what keeps you up at night, but also what you’re going to do about it. You may have service built into your resume/application all ready, and that’s great; but this is a place to show them that you can dream big. Sure, you can use a previous service experience as a stepping stone to something bigger, but this could be an opportunity to explore something new and maybe even a bit groundbreaking here. Don’t let any thoughts of “oh, that’s too big of a project” or “I could never get that off the ground” hinder you with this one–it’s a thought exercise! Consider this a chance to imagine what’s possible and flex your strengths to admissions. Maybe you’re a social media expert and want to help grassroots organizations boost their online presence and spread awareness about the dangers of factory farming. Maybe you’re a musician and can see yourself hosting a benefit concert for a cause you care about. No matter your gifts, you can amplify the voices of those in need and perhaps even do it in a style that no one else can.

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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