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The Requirements: 1 essay of 250-500 words
Newsflash: this essay is not optional! If you read over the prompts, you’ll find this is a prime opportunity to share more information with admissions and make yourself memorable. You’d better jump on that! Fortunately, these prompts echo some of the most common supplemental questions you’ll find on academics, community, and fit, so it’s very likely you’ll be able to strategically recycle another essay.
If you’re covering the liberal arts circuit in your college applications, it’s likely you’ve seen a prompt like this before. Which is to say, a prompt that asks you to design a unique course of study or research project. The goal of such questions isn’t to stump you or trick you into writing a new course catalogue. It’s a chance for you to showcase your intellectual curiosity! So, first and foremost, be genuine. Spend some time writing out a list of your interests: What do you love? What’s the last book or movie that really made you think? What questions keep you up at night? Beyond your core academic work, what do you love to learn about? Remember that this question is about you. If, at the end of this exercise, you realize that your ideal course of study doesn’t involve textbooks or calculus, that’s okay! If you want to study how stage combat and media reporting affected depictions of violence in comic books, that’s an option! If you want to do a deep dive on the evolution of street food in American cities, why not! You can always scour the Sarah Lawrence website for examples to make sure you’re on the right track. But start with your own ideas, we bet you have some good ones!
Sarah Lawrence, like most institutions of higher education, celebrates diversity, equity, and inclusion. What do these words mean to you? And how will diversity and inclusion play a role in your undergraduate life? Maybe you are the President of your school’s Black Student Union, where you discuss issues affecting the black community with your peers and empower each other to take action. Perhaps you’re hoping to continue leading discussions on identity and stereotypes through Sarah Lawrence’s club, Common Ground, next year. Perhaps friends you made in jiu-jitsu class have introduced you to a new art form and culture, influencing your decision to pursue study abroad opportunities in college. How do you see diversity and inclusion playing out in the next four years of your life? Whatever your background, we suggest you focus largely on your own personal growth or addressing a social issue that matters to you. Sarah Lawrence wants to know about your life beyond the classroom and how you will contribute to diversity, equity, and inclusion on their campus.
Sarah Lawrence might call this an essay about “fit,” but we call it a Why Essay. If SLC is your dream school, then this is your perfect opportunity to wax poetic on why you want to go. In sharing your deepest motivations, you’ll naturally showcase your fit. Don’t be afraid to get personal; small schools like Sarah Lawrence care about more than just your academic ambitions. They want to know that you’ll value the experience and benefit from the community. So our best advice: be vulnerable and be specific. Spend some time getting to know the school on a deeper level than the basic facts and figures. And connect some of your favorite offerings to your own personal hopes and dreams, whether it’s having the chance to study abroad or find a comfortable way to leave your small town without diving straight into a giant city. The more detailed you can be, the more you’ll demonstrate your commitment to the school, and by extension, your fit.