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Sarah Lawrence College 2023-24 Supplemental Essay Guide

Sarah Lawrence College 2023-24 Application Essay Question Explanations 

The Requirements: 1 essay of 250-500 words

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

For applicants who might wish to share a little more about how Sarah Lawrence fits into the next stage of their education, we invite you to respond to one of the following three essay prompts:

Newsflash: this essay is not really 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, so it’s very likely you’ll be able to strategically recycle another essay.

Sarah Lawrence students are often described as hyphenates: filmmaker-sociologist-historian, environmentalist-photographer, psychologist-novelist, economist-poet. In 250-500 words, tell us about seemingly disparate interests you have brought together, or hope to bring together at Sarah Lawrence.

You’re a multifaceted person with a bunch of different interests and passions, right? Right. Admissions wants to know how you’ve married two or more of those interests or how you plan to do so 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 or more 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 by taking advantage of their offerings, clubs, and other exclusive SLC opportunities.

Students at Sarah Lawrence are asked to design their own research questions directly with faculty, and then answer them through intensive semester-long projects that frequently inspire a blend of intellectual rigor and creativity. In 250-500 words, tell us about a text, problem, or topic you would love to explore over a semester or a year, and what you would hope to achieve through that work.

This prompt is for those of you who have a pretty clear idea of your academic goals. If you choose to respond to this question, we recommend introducing the text, problem, or topic that you’d like to explore, and then digging into the why and how of it all. If you’d love to spend a semester or year exploring the ways in which global warming is impacting public health in tropical regions, for example, be sure to explain why this topic is important to you, why it is imperative to study, and what you’re hoping to accomplish by dedicating a semester or year to exploring it. Your research question should be related to the academic area you’re pursuing in some way, and your response to this prompt should reveal new information about your motivations, interests, and convictions.

In a 2023 majority decision of the Supreme Court of the United States, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote, “Nothing prohibits universities from considering an applicant’s discussion of how race affected the applicant’s life, so long as that discussion is concretely tied to a quality of character or unique ability that the particular applicant can contribute to the university.” Drawing upon examples from your life, a quality of your character, and/or a unique ability you possess, describe how you believe your goals for a college education might be impacted, influenced, or affected by the Court’s decision.

Sarah Lawrence is one of the first schools of the 2023-24 application cycle to introduce a supplemental essay prompt in direct response to the Supreme Court’s decision to end affirmative action. Applicants who choose to respond to this prompt likely have something in mind to say about the ways in which the Court’s decision to end affirmative action will impact their goals for higher education. Since you only have 250-500 words at your disposal here, our advice is to focus on you: your reaction, your goals, and your experiences in environments where initiatives to combat systemic injustice and inequity are being actively attacked and dismantled. This is an opportunity for you to address how race has played a role in your life and the ways in which you have continued to rise above the obstacles set in your path. Give yourself plenty of time to brainstorm, draft, and revise your response, as writing about topics such as these can be challenging, even for adults who have spent twice, thrice, or four times as many years on this earth as you. We have no doubt that you’ll be able to write a concise, poignant story about the kind of person you are, the qualities you possess, and the ways in which you would positively contribute to any college community in a post-affirmative action era.

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School Stats:

State: New York
Acceptance Rate: 50%
Undergrad Population: 1,462
Tuition: $66,292
Supplemental Essay Prompt Guides:
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