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Sarah Lawrence College 2020-21 Supplemental Essay Guide

Regular Decision: 

Sarah Lawrence College 2020-21 Application Essay Question Explanations 

The Requirements: 1 essay of 250-500 words

Supplemental Essay Type(s): Why, Activity, Community

Optional: We know that there may be elements of who you are as a person and student that you may not feel are conveyed fully in the other sections of this application. If you wish to showcase a little more about your particular interest in Sarah Lawrence College, please respond to one of the prompts below.

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.

Sarah Lawrence students are often described as hyphenates: director-playwright-sound designer, environmentalist-photographer, journalist-linguist, economist-poet. In 250-500 words, tell us about seemingly disparate interests you’ve brought together, or hope to bring together at Sarah Lawrence.

You’re a multifaceted person with a bunch of different interests and passions. Admissions wants to know how you’ve married two interests, or if you have yet to do so, how you plan to as a Sarah Lawrence student. Think about words you would use to describe yourself, or the range of hobbies that you enjoy. Maybe you were able to fuse your sweet tooth with your passion for accessorizing by creating your very own candy jewelry. Are you a confectioner-fashion designer? Perhaps you love identifying and painting the local flora and fauna you see in the woods behind your apartment building. Are you an artist-botanist? If you have yet to combine two interests in a cohesive way, focus on your intentions and explore Sarah Lawrence’s website, so you can illuminate for admissions exactly how you will bring two interests together using their offerings, clubs, and other exclusive SLC opportunities.

Students at Sarah Lawrence are asked to design their own research questions and answer them during semester-long projects. In 250-500 words, thoughtfully respond to a prompt of your own creation.

This one is a bit tricky because not only do you need to write a stellar response, you actually have to come up with the prompt as well! No sweat though; this is actually a marvelous opportunity to recycle an essay you’ve already written for another college. If you have an essay about your experience in activism or a favorite quote or your relationship to your faith (or one of many others!), feel free to place it here. If you do not have an essay that you could easily recycle here, we would encourage you to really think about what you’d like to write about. Is anything missing from your application that you’d like admissions to know about you? Is there anything in your activity list that you’d like to expand upon? Sarah Lawrence is giving you full reign to paint a full picture of who you are and who you will become.

Sarah Lawrence College’s community places strong value in inclusion and diversity. In 250-500 words, tell us about what you value in a community and how your perspective, lived experiences, or beliefs might contribute to your College community.

Odds are that this isn’t the first inclusion and diversity essay prompt that you’ve come across this year. If it is, however, please read on. Sarah Lawrence wants to accept conscious (woke) students who share SLC’s values and commitment to diversity. So, tell admissions about what you value in a community and how you will enrich your College community. Maybe you want to write about how you value different perspectives and ways of thinking. When have you been exposed to a new idea, concept, or story that radically changed the way you viewed the world? Why is variety the spice of life?

As far as what you will bring to campus is concerned, think about times when people have been intrigued by or curious about your identity, upbringing, or background. Maybe you discovered meditation and Buddhism during your Sophomore year, and you hope to spread some wisdom and mindfulness on campus next year. Perhaps you were raised on a farm and have a very special relationship to all living things (plants, animals, people, etc.) around you. What do you hope to share with others about your lived experience? Admissions wants to accept students who will contribute to diversity on campus, so let them know that you are one of those people.

In her 2019 commencement address, Maggie Haberman ’96 told the graduating class “My time at Sarah Lawrence helped me understand the importance of patience, of assuming good faith in others, and of finding truth.” In 250 – 500 words, tell us about a time you spoke your own truth or found the importance in one of the values Maggie describes.

Speaking your truth is difficult; it takes a whole lot of courage. We’re willing to bet you can think of a few times when your voice wavered, your knees trembled, and yet you still spoke your mind. Admissions wants to hear about a time when you were brave, when you learned the importance of patience, relying on others, and/or speaking the truth. Maybe you want to write about the time you confronted your coach and asked to be considered to be captain. How did you showcase your leadership skills following your request? What did you learn from the experience? Perhaps you want to tell admissions about confronting your friends about feeling excluded. Did your vulnerability lead to deeper connections? Be honest and authentically you, and don’t be afraid to be seen. Admissions wants to know you on a personal level, so reflect on your experiences and invite them in.

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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