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Washington and Lee University 2020-21 Supplemental Essay Guide

Washington and Lee University 2020-21 Application Essay Question Explanations

The Requirements: 2 essays of 250 words

Supplemental Essay Type(s): Why

Please describe how you have familiarized yourself with Washington and Lee University and what aspects of W&L’s community are most exciting to you. (250 words)

Time to do some research! If you haven’t already, set aside an hour or so to get intimately acquainted with the Washington and Lee website, and read up on all of the programs that you find interesting. Or, if you’ve become familiar with the university in some other way, take the time to write down some notes on that particular experience. Having access to as much information as possible before sitting down to write the actual essay will allow you to tell a much more well-rounded and intriguing story about your journey from discovering W&L to applying. Did you first hear about W&L at a college fair? Why did the booth catch your eye? Are you applying because you find ancient languages fascinating, and think the Classics Department at W&L has exactly what you need to further your research? What sort of resources are available to undergrads like you, both socially and academically, and in what ways do you believe these resources will help propel you into your dream career or improve your life for the better? How do you plan on diving headfirst into the W&L community? The more detail you include, the more admissions will be able to learn about you, and the more easily they’ll be able to see why W&L is the perfect school for you (and vice versa!).

Please describe an aspect of your life outside of school that is important to you, such as an extracurricular activity, a job or a family responsibility. How does your involvement impact you and those around you? (250 words)

In responding to this prompt, your job is to tell admissions something they don’t already know about you. Remember, they’ve read through your ten activity descriptions, personal statement, and activity resume (if you submitted one). So, when you pick your activity, family responsibility, or work experience, make sure to choose one that you haven’t already discussed in your personal statement or first supplemental essay. Perhaps your favorite activity is playing rummy 500 with your grandma on the weekends, and you love the opportunity to learn more about her past and your extended family members in Venezuela. Maybe you’re involved in the youth group at your church and find fulfillment and joy in worshiping with other like-minded teens. What does your involvement mean to you and how have you been able to impact others because of it? Choose an activity that matters to you and through which you have grown in tangible ways (getting promoted, learning a new language, making new friends) or intangible ways (learning the value of listening, mindfulness, or empathy). Pull your reader into the story using sensory details and other tricks, and your essay will be sure to shine!

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