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Wellesley College 2018-19 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

Regular Decision: 

Wellesley College 2018-19 Application Essay Question Explanations

The Requirements: 1 essay of 2 paragraphs

Supplemental Essay Type(s): Why

Madeleine Albright. Hillary Clinton. Nora Ephron. These are just a few of the remarkable women who have graduated from Wellesley College. This selective and self-selecting community is only asking you to write one essay, so it had better be impeccable from form to content. Pay close attention to this prompt and take your time with the answer.

The required Wellesley “Writing Supplement” asks you to respond to the following topic in two well-developed paragraphs.

When choosing a college community, you are choosing a place where you believe that you can live, learn, and flourish. Generations of inspiring women have thrived in the Wellesley community, and we want to know what aspects of this community inspire you to consider Wellesley. We know that there are more than 100 reasons to choose Wellesley, but the “Wellesley 100” is a good place to start. Visit the Wellesley 100 ( and let us know, in two well-developed paragraphs, which two items most attract, inspire, or energize you and why. (PS: “Why” matters to us.)

Wellesley’s hyper-specific take on the Why essay instantly directs you to the key piece of advice we always offer: do your research! Admissions has literally included the URL to the specific page they want you to pore over, so your very first (and most obvious) step should be to actually pore over it. There’s no real “trick” to this one other than just doing the work and trusting your gut, since reading through these reasons to attend Wellesley with care will demonstrate beyond words your commitment to the school. (Think: trials of Hercules.) If a reason is on the list, you can be sure it’s a good reason to be interested in the school, and all of the numbers are listed out of order, so you can throw any sense of ranking out the window. As you read through, jot down the reasons that resonate most with you and then pare down your list to the most powerful pair. Although Wellesley has asked for two separate paragraphs, consider creating a pair of reasons that go together in some way: reasons that match, balance, or contradict each other in some funny way. Perhaps the prospect of using the Whitin Observatory (#59) and cultivating lifelong friendships (#43) both have you seeing stars! Of course, it isn’t enough to simply choose your reasons and regurgitate them, you need to make an argument for why they matter to you! So, be specific. If you need to do more research about the observatory and the astronomy program, dig through the department website. If your reason relates to a personal experience, share an anecdote to bring it to life. The point is to show who you are (and who you will become) through your relationship with Wellesley.

Please note: the information below relates to last year's essay prompts. We are going to update this guide with the prompts for 2021-22 as soon as they become available. Check back soon!
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