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The George Washington University 2020-21 Supplemental Essay Guide

Regular Decision: 

The George Washington University 2020-21 Application Essay Question Explanations

The Requirements: 1 essay of 250 words

Supplemental Essay Type: Why

(Optional) Every applicant can choose from one of the following two essay prompts to submit.

Prompt 1: At the George Washington University, our students frequently interact with policymakers and world leaders. These experiences and those of our alumni can shape the future of global affairs. If you had the power to change the course of history in your community or the world, what would you do and why? (250 words)

Admissions wants to accept ambitious students who seek to leave the world a better place than they found it. If you had the power to change the course of history, what would you do? Take some time to brainstorm and write down anything that comes to mind. Maybe if you had the power, you would make higher education more affordable and accessible to first-generation children of immigrants like yourself. Perhaps you would decriminalize drug possession and allocate more funds to rehabilitation programs across the country to help fight the opioid crisis. Let your imagination run wild and show the George Washington University admissions committee that you aren’t afraid to dream big and imagine a better world. 

Prompt 2: The George Washington University encourages students to think critically and to challenge the status quo. Thus, civil discourse is a key characteristic of our community. Describe a time when you engaged others in meaningful dialogue around an issue that was important to you. Did this exchange create change, new perspectives, or deeper relationships? (250 words)

Engaging others in meaningful conversations about important issues can be incredibly intimidating and challenging, and the George Washington University admissions committee knows this. Nevertheless, we have all experienced standing up for what we believe in some capacity, so scroll through your memory to identify a time when you had an uncomfortable conversation with friends, family, or even mere acquaintances. Maybe you engaged your grandparents in a conversation regarding the Black Lives Matter movement. Were you able to clearly communicate your perspective? Did they have a different understanding of the movement after speaking with you? Perhaps you learned that one of your friends was a passive supporter of an organization that you vehemently disagree with. How did you broach the subject and what was the outcome of your conversation? You don’t need to have changed someone’s mind to impress admissions here. You just need to show that you’re not afraid to speak up about important issues and engage with those who may have different opinions than you. College will present you with a plethora of opportunities to meet and interact with people who are very different from you, so show GWU that you’re game to learn, listen, share, and grow.

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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