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The Requirements: 1 essay of 500-650 words; 1 essay of 250-500 words if applying to the School of Drama.
Supplemental Essay Type(s): Why
The New School has added a New Challenge to the most basic supplemental question out there: why here? By splitting this classic query into two distinct questions for applicants to the School of Drama, admissions is asking you to consider the two distinct roles you will play, student and artist. To save yourself from fatigue or redundancy, we recommend spending a little bit of time plotting out what information you will include in each essay. Everything you write is an opportunity to reveal something new about yourself, so make the most of it!
This is the “student” essay. While you may be tempted to divulge your artistic aspirations as your primary reason for applying to the New School (the reputation! the city!), try to restrain yourself. Instead, imagine your life on campus, in class, or in student government. And of course, follow the prompt’s lead! Admissions has inquired about your reasons for applying to a particular school or program, so be sure to lay them out. As with any why essay, the key to a good answer is specificity, and the only way to drill to those key details is to do your research. Scour your program’s website for information about classes, professors, unique opportunities, and notable speakers. What catches your eye? What inspires you? Draw connections between your interests to show admissions how you think. You may be surprised (and delighted!) to find that the more time you spend researching, the more personal and unique your final essay will be.
This, obviously, is the artist essay. While the question is a little less open-ended than the first, the prompt itself is more personal. In other words, you’ve got one last opportunity to tell a story about yourself, particularly your growth and purpose as an artist. Keep in mind that being an “engaged citizen” can mean any number of things, from the political to the intimate, the local to the global. If an idea doesn’t immediately spring to mind, it might help to start with a community you care about, that has inspired the work you do. Then try to narrow your gaze to a particular event or story. Maybe helping your community rebuild after a forest fire sparked twin interests in architecture and conservation. Or perhaps the experience wove its way into the colors you use when you paint. Be sure your story shows a full arc from your personal experience, to your art, to the impact you have had or hope to have. How does your personal mission connect to the New School’s mission and resources?