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Providence College 2018-19 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

Regular Decision: 

Providence College 2018-19 Application Essay Question Explanations 

The Requirements: 1 essay of 250-500 words

Supplemental Essay Type(s): Community

Should you choose to complete an optional essay, please select one of the following prompts and limit your response to 250-500 words.

First of all, we at College Essay Advisors firmly believe that there is no such thing as an “optional” essay. Why would you pass up an opportunity to speak to admissions in your own voice and distinguish yourself from the pack?? Now, onto the prompts…

“We must love them both, those whose opinions we share and those whose opinions we reject, for both have labored in the search for truth, and both have helped us in finding it.” -St. Thomas Aquinas, Dominican Philosopher. Providence College students have always engaged in lively intellectual debates through disputatio – the art of disputed questions. At Providence, there is often not one correct answer, but rather many answers that come together to form one truth. In a divided society filled with strong opinions, how do you work to ensure all viewpoints are considered and the ultimate truth is discovered?

Although the phrasing of this prompt is quite broad, you’d better believe it’s a Community essay at heart. Providence college wants to know how you respond to people who are different from you in their beliefs, values, and worldviews. What do you do in the face of discomfort? So start by asking yourself: When have I contradicted community values or voiced an unpopular opinion? When have I witnessed someone else doing the same? Has anyone ever questioned my beliefs or vice versa? You have up to 500 words to respond, so don’t shy away from sharing a complex personal story when you dealt with a difference of opinion. In recounting a memory, you’ll be able to answer the ultimate question in a specific and personal way. How did you resolve the conflict? Was it satisfying? Moving forward, what can you do to create space for meaningful dialogue and debate with people whose views you don’t fully understand?

As Providence College educates future scholars and leaders, it continuously strives to form a community that reflects the rich diversity of the human family. Please highlight a specific example throughout your time in high school that has strengthened and promoted the flourishing of all.

This second prompt offers up a much more classic version of a Community essay prompt. While the first prompt focuses on interpersonal communication, this prompt is much broader. It’s also much clearer in its request for an anecdote. So if you have a good story about diversity and inclusion that doesn’t quite fit the first option, this is a perfect catch all! A word of caution (which applies to any diversity-related essay): remember that people who are different from you were not put on this earth to educate you. Push yourself to consider the value of being around people who are fundamentally different from you, and what you have done to educate yourself and contribute to your community.


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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