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The Requirements: 1 essay of 250 words, 1 short response of 150 words
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.
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.
This prompt will likely stick out to students who know what it’s like to be reduced to one aspect of their background or identity, and odds are, you have a specific memory in mind. As you write your response, you’ll want to make sure you summarize your account as succinctly as possible; that way, you can dedicate most of your words to discussing your feelings and experience. Since you only have 250 words to work with, you won’t be able to write a lengthy thesis on the general public’s preconceived notions about people who appear different from them, but you can reveal more information about your background and experiences. Share what it’s like living in a world where stories are often assigned to you before you have the chance to introduce yourself and offer admissions deeper insight into who you are in the process.
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.
Life can be difficult—especially during college when you’re becoming a whole adult—and when it is, we often turn to loved ones for support. Borrowing from the strength of others requires humility and vulnerability, which are wonderful traits for any community member to have. After all, even though the word itself isn’t mentioned, “community” is at the heart of this prompt. Many applicants are likely to think of a beloved mentor who has guided them through periods of hardship in the past. It’s important to remember, as you write, that this essay is about you, so don’t spend too many words describing the actions of others. Instead, showcase your ability to connect, to be inspired, to see yourself as part of something bigger than yourself. Ultimately, the kind of person who can borrow from the strength of others is likely to lend strength to others in times of need and will make an excellent addition to any college campus.
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.