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University of Richmond 2021-22 Supplemental Essay Guide

University of Richmond 2021-22 Application Essay Question Explanations

Get ready, nerds! The University of Richmond supplement was made for the intellectually curious. All three prompts ask you to think on your feet and get creative in different ways. So be prepared to get a little messy, brainstorm, and give admissions a deeper look into the way your brain works.

The Requirements: 1 essay of 350-650 words

Supplemental Essay Type(s): Oddball

Please select one of the following prompts to address (350-650 words): 

Prompt 1: Tell us about the most unusual talent you have, and how you have made it useful.

This essay is the perfect outlet for you to showcase your more personal skills, interests, and/or quirks. If you choose to respond to this prompt, have fun with it! If you wrote your personal statement about your drive to work in international relations, perhaps your answer to this prompt could showcase a lighter side: your uncanny Owen Wilson impression that you break out at social events (“Waaaooow”). Or maybe you have a superb memory which allows you to take orders at your local diner without writing anything down (substitutions, add-ons, and all!). This prompt is the most open-ended one on the application, so show admissions something they won’t find anywhere else in your submission.

Prompt 2: Spiders are essential to the ecosystem. How are you essential to your community or will you be essential in your university community?

What do you contribute to your community that no one else could? For some applicants, the answer might be obvious: you are one of the few English speakers in your community and you help your elders with translations and phone calls. But whether this prompt seems like it was made for you or is a total head-scratcher, we encourage you to dig a little deeper than your first thought. What about your history, experiences, perspectives, or talents might be worth highlighting for an admissions officer? And how can the experience, perspective, or talent you choose enrich the learning environment at the University of Richmond? Maybe you have always been an organizer and you are the glue that holds your summer camp community together during the school year. How will you bring people together on campus?  Maybe you were raised on a farm and developed a strong work ethic at a young age as you helped your parents tend to the fields. Will you be a natural leader in group projects and take initiative in the many clubs you’d like to join? Be sure to connect your personal story to a future vision of yourself at Richmond. The most important thing to remember for this prompt is that your experience, perspective, or talent is dynamic and makes you stand out from the crowd.

Prompt 3: Please share one idea for actions or policies that you think would begin to address an issue of racial or social injustice.

This prompt will likely stick out to the activists among you, and we encourage you to follow your instincts. What actions or policies would you like to see taken or implemented to address racial and/or social injustice? Maybe after marching in protests last summer in the wake of police violence, you’d like to see new anti-racist training programs roll out for law enforcement officers. Perhaps after connecting with people from outside your small tight-knit community, you realized how little you knew about discrimination and bias. Would you like to see critical race theory introduced in school curriculums across the country? Show admissions that you’re thinking about and committed to being part of positive change.

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