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Wesleyan University 2019-20 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

Please note: the information below relates to last year's essay prompts. We are going to update this guide with the prompts for 2020-21 as soon as they become available. Check back soon!

Wesleyan University 2019-20 Application Essay Question Explanations 

The Requirements: *1 essay of 250 words

Supplemental Essay Type(s): Community

*Only for international students for whom English is not their first language

Are you an international student? If your answer is “no,” move along! This one isn’t for you. If your answer is “yes”, then let’s dive in!

Please select one from the following questions and respond in 250 words or less:

1. Wesleyan President Michael Roth believes a liberal arts education is a pragmatic choice in these times. In what way do you see a liberal arts education having practical value? 

Wesleyan wants to know why a liberal arts education has practical value to you. Let’s start by defining our terms: when we say “liberal arts” we are referring to an array of subjects, such as literature, science, math, and social studies, which all add up to a balanced education–as opposed to a more specific vocational study, such as dentistry or cosmetology. Some say that college is where we “learn how to learn.” In other words, the practice of expanding your mind and applying new ideas will help you in your future career and in life as much as the actual knowledge you gain.

Think about the general education courses you hope to take in your first two years and tell them why they matter to you. Maybe you’re a Computer Science major who values the psychology behind creation. Maybe you’re a Biology major who wants to understand the human condition from Shakespeare’s point of view in a Renaissance literature class. No matter where you’re coming from, Wesleyan wants to know that you value what they have to offer.

2. What recent news story—local or global—has resonated with you personally? Share the story and tell us why it had that impact on you.

Okay, so maybe the liberal arts question wasn’t for you; you’re more of a current events kind of person. Totally cool. This essay is an opportunity to use a current event or news story as a vehicle to share something about yourself with admissions. It’s a sneaky question, but what they’re really getting at is: what does your reaction to a news story say about you? Don’t be too stressed about choosing the perfect, moving, nuanced story here. Choose one that sticks out to you for any reason and then spend most of your 250 words discussing why you care, why it resonates with you, or why it influenced you to act. Go ahead and get real with this one–admissions wants to know that you are invested in your community and world and are affected by what happens around you. Does a story about US-South American relations remind you of family back home? Does a news report about how dog owners are happier than non-dog owners remind you of how much your pooch means to you and lifts your spirits every day? There’s no real wrong story to choose; it’s all about your perspective and how you react to it. 

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