What is a Diversity Essay?

Diversity Essay(s) are school-specific prompts that applicants need to write in order to assess their fit with a school, academics, and non-academics alike. It is a pivotal component of the application for US College Admissions. These can be asked for both at the undergraduate and graduate levels including transfer admissions from India. The diversity essay prompts can come up as both personal statements and supplemental essays. The main question that a prospective student needs to answer with this essay is how has diversity made them who they are and subsequently what that brings to the school.

Why do Schools Ask for it?

The diversity essays need to speak of a different aspect of the student’s personality, background, and interests to the school. Common examples, to begin with, could be a personal story, an extra-curricular accomplishment, a failed attempt, challenges faced and lessons learned, a creative hobby. For undergraduate applications, one of the best ways for the admissions committee to know an applicant is via the Common App Essay Prompts. It gives a qualitative picture of the student in terms of overall personality and identity, and not just race and/or ethnicity. The Common App is like a database of colleges for undergrad applicants. The essays are a measure of the student as an individual.

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How to Approach Writing a Diversity Essay

This essay should come as a story from a student’s perspective, a means to demonstrate how background shaped personality. Essay prompt topics could range from interests, talents, obstacles faced, troubleshooting qualities, decision making, or accomplishments, basically something that lends meaning to the student’s individual non-academic profile and one that is absent from the transcripts/certificates/grades.

DOs and DONTs

  • Incorporating main points within a story (transition and flow)
  • Avoiding redundant points or unnecessary details
  • Being able to include achievements and failures alike as mentioned in the prompt
  • Simple and easily comprehensible language (this applies to any essay and not just diversity essays)

Related Articles:

How to Write a Great Supplemental Essay for College Admissions

How to Fill Out Common App and Write Common App Essay Prompts 2021 – 2022

A Tutor’s View: How Important are College Application Essays and Personal Statements?

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