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Vanderbilt University 2023-24 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

Vanderbilt University 2023-24 Application Essay Question Explanations

Vanderbilt decided to keep it short and sweet, so we’ll follow suit. A one-question supplement means you’ve got one shot at perfection. No pressure, though.

The Requirements: 1 essay of 250 words

Supplemental Essay Type(s): Activity, Diversity

Please select one of the following short answer prompts in approximately 250 words:*

Vanderbilt offers a community where students find balance between their academic and social experiences. Please briefly elaborate on how one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences has influenced you. 

This is a standard activity essay, much like the prompts of Brown, Tulane, and University of Michigan. So here’s the assignment: tell admissions something they don’t already know about you. When you pick your activity, make sure it doesn’t appear in other essays you’ve written (like your Common App personal statement, for example). This is a perfect opportunity to showcase leadership skills, extracurricular interests, or personal values. So choose an activity that is meaningful to you and through which you have grown in tangible ways (getting promoted) or intangible ways (learning the value of compassion). Oh, and that 250-word limit means you could easily recycle an activity essay you’ve written for another school. Just make sure you swap out any institution-specific details before you hit submit!

Vanderbilt University values learning through contrasting points of view. We understand that our differences, and our respect for alternative views and voices, are our greatest source of strength. Please reflect on conversations you’ve had with people who have expressed viewpoints different from your own. How did these conversations/experiences influence you?

Engaging others in meaningful conversations about important issues can be daunting. It can also be insightful or, unfortunately, polarizing. Vanderbilt wants to know about a time when you interacted with someone whose beliefs were different from your own. So think back to identify a time when you had a conversation with friends, family, or even mere acquaintances about a difficult topic. Maybe you challenged your uncle when he dismissed your concerns about climate change. Did you leave the conversation with a better understanding of his point of view? Were you able to effectively communicate your perspective? If you were to converse with someone on this topic again in the future, what would you do or say differently? 

You don’t need to have changed anyone’s mind to impress admissions here. You just need to show that you’re not afraid to speak up about issues that matter to you or communicate with those who have different opinions than your own. Vandy will present you with plenty of opportunities to meet and engage with people who are very different from you, so show admissions that you’re willing to have the hard talks.

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School Stats:

State: Tennessee
Acceptance Rate: 7%
Undergrad Population: 6,559
Tuition: $61,618
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