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Villanova University 2021-22 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

Villanova 2021-22 Application Essay Question Explanations

The Requirements: 1 essay of 250 words, 1 short response of 150 words

Supplemental Essay Type(s): Why, Oddball, Community

Essay #1: Villanova Free Choice (2021-22)

For the first Villanova-specific essay, we have offered a range of topics to pique your interest. We hope to gain a deeper understanding of your thoughts, experiences, and opinions. Choose one of the five topics below and submit a written response in about 250 words.

Prompt 1: St. Augustine states that well-being is “not concerned with myself alone, but with my neighbor’s good as well.” How have you advocated for equity and justice in your communities? 

If you choose this prompt, then social justice is probably pretty important to you. And you don’t have to be a protest organizer to impress admissions here. It can be just as bold to engage in a dialogue with family members from older generations on controversial topics or utilize your creativity to draw informative comics breaking down complex issues for Instagram. If you’re feeling stuck, maybe start by thinking about the topics that are most important to you. What keeps you up at night? Gun violence? Corporate greed? Food deserts? Next, think about what steps you’ve taken in your life to create change, inform, and/or organize. Ultimately, the key to writing an excellent response to this prompt is in the details. Don’t just tell Villanova about something you’ve advocated for recently; tell them why you did so, and maybe even share how you would like to continue engaging with or fighting for equity and justice in the future.

Prompt 2: What is the truest thing that you know?

Admissions wants to get a peek into your brain, see how the wheels turn, take a little tour. So, invite them in. What is the truest thing you know? You can interpret this question in many different ways. Maybe you are the logical, analytical left-brained type of person, and the truest thing you know is that 1 + 1 = 2. Perhaps you’re a philosopher and a skeptic, and the truest thing you know is that the very definition of “truth” is subjective. Maybe the truest thing you know is that karma is real. Regardless of how you choose to answer, your explanation will be just as important. It’ll be helpful to have some facts or personal anecdotes to back up your argument. Admissions isn’t looking to agree or disagree with you here (there is no right answer to this prompt!); they’re simply looking to get to know you better—what’s important to you, what you value, etc. 

Prompt 3: One of the themes in St. Augustine’s book, Confessions, is the idea of redemption. Tell us your story of being given a second chance.

You’ve heard it before: everyone makes mistakes (to quote Pam from The Office, “pobody’s nerfect”). And admissions wants to know about a time you were given a second chance. We recommend focusing on the terms of your redemption and what you learned or how you changed your behavior instead of, let’s say, focusing on the mistake or oversight you made in the first place. We encourage you to reflect and think critically about what you have taken away from the experience or revelation. Admissions does not expect you to have the wisdom of a monk, but they do expect you to be able to reflect, express gratitude, and empathize. Remember, it’s not that you fell down that matters, but how you got up and dusted yourself off.

Prompt 4: In the Villanova community, we believe that we all learn from one another. What is a lesson in life that you have learned that you would want to share with others?

If you find yourself drawn to this prompt, we’re willing to bet you’ve learned a thing or two in your life that you want to share with others. By all means, lean into your instincts. In order to ace your response, show admissions that you are capable of thoughtful reflection, seeing different sides, adopting a growth mindset, and/or sharing with the world so that others can avoid suffering. Maybe you learned a lesson about the gift of the here and now after losing a relative in an abrupt way. Or, perhaps, you wish to tell your peers, “They’re not judging you! They’re too busy thinking about themselves!” Whatever your life lesson may be, we encourage you to leave some space to share why this lesson is valuable and who you think will benefit from your advice.

Prompt 5: Augustine’s “Miracles are not contrary to nature but only contrary to what we know about nature.” Tell us about a societal issue that you believe the wonder of technology is well-poised to help solve.

Villanova wants to invite forward thinkers and innovators to campus next fall. Might you be one of them? When it comes to answering this prompt, no idea is too big. This prompt will probably stand out to the engineer-types, but anyone can share their vision with admissions here. Have you been following Bill Gates’ efforts to manufacture and supply Omni Processors to developing nations? Why is this effort, specifically, important to you and how do you hope to see it addressed over your lifetime? Maybe you’re excited about the future of renewable energy and solar and wind power. What new inventions are you hoping to discover (or create!) to help combat the climate crisis? Remember, at the end of the day, your answer to this prompt should still be revealing new information about you to admissions. With a prompt like this, it can be easy to get lost in the weeds of machines and systems, so have a trusted friend or relative read your response once you’re finished and ask them what your essay reveals about you. And if they can’t say concisely, go back and be a little more direct in your connection between the issue and your worldview.

 

Essay #2: Why Nova? (2021-22)

You may be aware that our community, which we have affectionately named “Nova Nation,” is an exciting place to be. With a legacy spanning nearly 180 years, there is rich history to look back on, and an abundant future to look forward to. 

Our second Villanova essay question asks: Why do you want to call Villanova your new home and become part of our community? For this short response, please reveal what you find appealing about Villanova in about 150 words.

A classic short why essay. This is the time to do some research on Villanova’s course offerings and extracurriculars, and then show admissions why this particular university stands out from the crowd for you. Don’t be afraid to go deep! Beyond the classes and professors in your desired academic department, explore the options for other subjects you’ve always wanted to study. Learn about clubs and special events on campus to get a feel for student life. Read over the school’s mission statement to get to know the community both in and around the campus. You might even want to read up on the notable alumni you admire and provide examples as to how they inspired you to attend! By the time you’re done, you’ll have a whole list of reasons for wanting to call Villanova your new home. Now all you have to do is arrange them. Think about telling a story that illustrates your path to Villanova and shows admissions that this community is the perfect place for you to pursue your degree.

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