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- How to Write a Diversity Essay | Tips & Examples
How to Write a Diversity Essay | Tips & Examples
Published on November 1, 2021 by Kirsten Courault . Revised on May 31, 2023.
Table of contents
What is a diversity essay, identify how you will enrich the campus community, share stories about your lived experience, explain how your background or identity has affected your life, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about college application essays.
Diversity essays ask students to highlight an important aspect of their identity, background, culture, experience, viewpoints, beliefs, skills, passions, goals, etc.
Diversity essays can come in many forms. Some scholarships are offered specifically for students who come from an underrepresented background or identity in higher education. At highly competitive schools, supplemental diversity essays require students to address how they will enhance the student body with a unique perspective, identity, or background.
In the Common Application and applications for several other colleges, some main essay prompts ask about how your background, identity, or experience has affected you.
Why schools want a diversity essay
Many universities believe a student body representing different perspectives, beliefs, identities, and backgrounds will enhance the campus learning and community experience.
Admissions officers are interested in hearing about how your unique background, identity, beliefs, culture, or characteristics will enrich the campus community.
Through the diversity essay, admissions officers want students to articulate the following:
- What makes them different from other applicants
- Stories related to their background, identity, or experience
- How their unique lived experience has affected their outlook, activities, and goals
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Think about what aspects of your identity or background make you unique, and choose one that has significantly impacted your life.
For some students, it may be easy to identify what sets them apart from their peers. But if you’re having trouble identifying what makes you different from other applicants, consider your life from an outsider’s perspective. Don’t presume your lived experiences are normal or boring just because you’re used to them.
Some examples of identities or experiences that you might write about include the following:
- Gender identity
- Sexual orientation
- Socioeconomic status
- Immigration background
- Religion/belief system
- Place of residence
- Family circumstances
- Extracurricular activities related to diversity
Include vulnerable, authentic stories about your lived experiences. Maintain focus on your experience rather than going into too much detail comparing yourself to others or describing their experiences.
Keep the focus on you
Tell a story about how your background, identity, or experience has impacted you. While you can briefly mention another person’s experience to provide context, be sure to keep the essay focused on you. Admissions officers are mostly interested in learning about your lived experience, not anyone else’s.
When I was a baby, my grandmother took me in, even though that meant postponing her retirement and continuing to work full-time at the local hairdresser. Even working every shift she could, she never missed a single school play or soccer game.
She and I had a really special bond, even creating our own special language to leave each other secret notes and messages. She always pushed me to succeed in school, and celebrated every academic achievement like it was worthy of a Nobel Prize. Every month, any leftover tip money she received at work went to a special 509 savings plan for my college education.
When I was in the 10th grade, my grandmother was diagnosed with ALS. We didn’t have health insurance, and what began with quitting soccer eventually led to dropping out of school as her condition worsened. In between her doctor’s appointments, keeping the house tidy, and keeping her comfortable, I took advantage of those few free moments to study for the GED.
In school pictures at Raleigh Elementary School, you could immediately spot me as “that Asian girl.” At lunch, I used to bring leftover fun see noodles, but after my classmates remarked how they smelled disgusting, I begged my mom to make a “regular” lunch of sliced bread, mayonnaise, and deli meat.
Although born and raised in North Carolina, I felt a cultural obligation to learn my “mother tongue” and reconnect with my “homeland.” After two years of all-day Saturday Chinese school, I finally visited Beijing for the first time, expecting I would finally belong. While my face initially assured locals of my Chinese identity, the moment I spoke, my cover was blown. My Chinese was littered with tonal errors, and I was instantly labeled as an “ABC,” American-born Chinese.
I felt culturally homeless.
Speak from your own experience
Highlight your actions, difficulties, and feelings rather than comparing yourself to others. While it may be tempting to write about how you have been more or less fortunate than those around you, keep the focus on you and your unique experiences, as shown below.
I began to despair when the FAFSA website once again filled with red error messages.
I had been at the local library for hours and hadn’t even been able to finish the form, much less the other to-do items for my application.
I am the first person in my family to even consider going to college. My parents work two jobs each, but even then, it’s sometimes very hard to make ends meet. Rather than playing soccer or competing in speech and debate, I help my family by taking care of my younger siblings after school and on the weekends.
“We only speak one language here. Speak proper English!” roared a store owner when I had attempted to buy bread and accidentally used the wrong preposition.
In middle school, I had relentlessly studied English grammar textbooks and received the highest marks.
Leaving Seoul was hard, but living in West Orange, New Jersey was much harder一especially navigating everyday communication with Americans.
After sharing relevant personal stories, make sure to provide insight into how your lived experience has influenced your perspective, activities, and goals. You should also explain how your background led you to apply to this university and why you’re a good fit.
Include your outlook, actions, and goals
Conclude your essay with an insight about how your background or identity has affected your outlook, actions, and goals. You should include specific actions and activities that you have done as a result of your insight.
One night, before the midnight premiere of Avengers: Endgame , I stopped by my best friend Maria’s house. Her mother prepared tamales, churros, and Mexican hot chocolate, packing them all neatly in an Igloo lunch box. As we sat in the line snaking around the AMC theater, I thought back to when Maria and I took salsa classes together and when we belted out Selena’s “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” at karaoke. In that moment, as I munched on a chicken tamale, I realized how much I admired the beauty, complexity, and joy in Maria’s culture but had suppressed and devalued my own.
The following semester, I joined Model UN. Since then, I have learned how to proudly represent other countries and have gained cultural perspectives other than my own. I now understand that all cultures, including my own, are equal. I still struggle with small triggers, like when I go through airport security and feel a suspicious glance toward me, or when I feel self-conscious for bringing kabsa to school lunch. But in the future, I hope to study and work in international relations to continue learning about other cultures and impart a positive impression of Saudi culture to the world.
The smell of the early morning dew and the welcoming whinnies of my family’s horses are some of my most treasured childhood memories. To this day, our farm remains so rural that we do not have broadband access, and we’re too far away from the closest town for the postal service to reach us.
Going to school regularly was always a struggle: between the unceasing demands of the farm and our lack of connectivity, it was hard to keep up with my studies. Despite being a voracious reader, avid amateur chemist, and active participant in the classroom, emergencies and unforeseen events at the farm meant that I had a lot of unexcused absences.
Although it had challenges, my upbringing taught me resilience, the value of hard work, and the importance of family. Staying up all night to watch a foal being born, successfully saving the animals from a minor fire, and finding ways to soothe a nervous mare afraid of thunder have led to an unbreakable family bond.
Our farm is my family’s birthright and our livelihood, and I am eager to learn how to ensure the farm’s financial and technological success for future generations. In college, I am looking forward to joining a chapter of Future Farmers of America and studying agricultural business to carry my family’s legacy forward.
Tailor your answer to the university
After explaining how your identity or background will enrich the university’s existing student body, you can mention the university organizations, groups, or courses in which you’re interested.
Maybe a larger public school setting will allow you to broaden your community, or a small liberal arts college has a specialized program that will give you space to discover your voice and identity. Perhaps this particular university has an active affinity group you’d like to join.
Demonstrating how a university’s specific programs or clubs are relevant to you can show that you’ve done your research and would be a great addition to the university.
At the University of Michigan Engineering, I want to study engineering not only to emulate my mother’s achievements and strength, but also to forge my own path as an engineer with disabilities. I appreciate the University of Michigan’s long-standing dedication to supporting students with disabilities in ways ranging from accessible housing to assistive technology. At the University of Michigan Engineering, I want to receive a top-notch education and use it to inspire others to strive for their best, regardless of their circumstances.
If you want to know more about academic writing , effective communication , or parts of speech , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.
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- Ms, mrs, miss
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- I hope this email finds you well
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In addition to your main college essay , some schools and scholarships may ask for a supplementary essay focused on an aspect of your identity or background. This is sometimes called a diversity essay .
Many universities believe a student body composed of different perspectives, beliefs, identities, and backgrounds will enhance the campus learning and community experience.
Admissions officers are interested in hearing about how your unique background, identity, beliefs, culture, or characteristics will enrich the campus community, which is why they assign a diversity essay .
To write an effective diversity essay , include vulnerable, authentic stories about your unique identity, background, or perspective. Provide insight into how your lived experience has influenced your outlook, activities, and goals. If relevant, you should also mention how your background has led you to apply for this university and why you’re a good fit.
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6 Diversity College Essay Examples
What’s covered:, what is the diversity essay.
- Essay 1: Jewish Identity
- Essay 2: Being Bangladeshi-American
- Essay 3: Marvel vs DC
- Essay 4: Leadership as a First-Gen American
- Essay 5: Protecting the Earth
- Essay 6: Music and Accents
- Where to Get Your Essay Edited for Free
While working on your college applications, you may come across essays that focus on diversity , culture, or values. The purpose of these essays is to highlight any diverse views or opinions that you may bring to campus. Colleges want a diverse student body that’s made up of different backgrounds, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and interests. These essay prompts are a way for them to see what students can bring to their school.
In this post, we will share six essays written by real students that cover the topic of culture and diversity. We’ll also include what each essay did well and where there is room for improvement. Hopefully, this will be a useful resource to inspire your diversity essay.
Please note: Looking at examples of real essays students have submitted to colleges can be very beneficial to get inspiration for your essays. You should never copy or plagiarize from these examples when writing your own essays. Colleges can tell when an essay isn’t genuine and will not view students favorably if they plagiarized.
Diversity Essay Examples
Essay #1: jewish identity, what the essay did well.
Writing about discrimination can be difficult, but if you are comfortable doing it, it can make for a powerful story. Although this essay is short and focused on one small interaction, it represents a much larger struggle for this student, and for that reason it makes it very impactful.
The author takes their time at the beginning of the essay to build the scene for the audience, which allows us to feel like we are there with them, making the hateful comments even more jarring later on. If they just told us their classmate teased them with harmful stereotypes, we wouldn’t feel the same sense of anger as we do knowing that they were just trying to get a drink and instead were harassed.
This essay does another important thing: it includes self-reflection on the experience and the student’s identity. Without elaborating on the emotional impact of a situation, an essay about discrimination would make admission officers feel bad for the student, but they wouldn’t be compelled to admit them. By describing how experiences like these drive them and make them more determined to embody positive values, this student reveals their character to the readers.
What Could Be Improved
While including emotional reflection in the latter half of the essay is important, the actual sentences could be tightened up a bit to leave a stronger impression. The student does a nice job of showing us their experience with antisemitism, but they just tell us about the impact it has on them. If they showed us what the impact looked like though, the essay would be even better.
For example, rather than telling us “ Continuing to wear the Star-of-David connects me to my history and my family,” they could have shown that connection: “ My Star-of-David necklace thumps against my heart with every step I take, reminding me of my great-grandparents who had to hide their stars, my grandma’s spindly fingers lighting the menorah each Hannukah, and my uncle’s homemade challah bread.” This new sentence reveals so much more about the student and the deep connection they feel with their family and religion than the existing one.
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Essay #2: Being Bangladeshi-American
Life before was good: verdant forests, sumptuous curries, and a devoted family.
Then, my family abandoned our comfortable life in Bangladesh for a chance at the American dream in Los Angeles. Within our first year, my father was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. He lost his battle three weeks before my sixth birthday. Facing a new country without the steady presence of my father, we were vulnerable — prisoners of hardship in the land of the free. We resettled in the Bronx, in my uncle’s renovated basement. It was meant to be our refuge, but I felt more displaced than ever. Gone were the high-rise condos of West L.A.; instead, government projects towered over the neighborhood. Pedestrians no longer smiled and greeted me; the atmosphere was hostile, even toxic. Schoolkids were quick to pick on those they saw as weak or foreign, hurling harsh words I’d never heard before.
Meanwhile, my family began integrating into the local Bangladeshi community. I struggled to understand those who shared my heritage. Bangladeshi mothers stayed home while fathers drove cabs and sold fruit by the roadside — painful societal positions. Riding on crosstown buses or walking home from school, I began to internalize these disparities. During my fleeting encounters with affluent Upper East Siders, I saw kids my age with nannies, parents who wore suits to work, and luxurious apartments with spectacular views. Most took cabs to their destinations: cabs that Bangladeshis drove. I watched the mundane moments of their lives with longing, aching to plant myself in their shoes. Shame prickled down my spine. I distanced myself from my heritage, rejecting the traditional panjabis worn on Eid and refusing the torkari we ate for dinner every day.
As I grappled with my relationship with the Bangladeshi community, I turned my attention to helping my Bronx community by pursuing an internship with Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda. I handled desk work and took calls, spending the bulk of my time actively listening to the hardships constituents faced — everything from a veteran stripped of his benefits to a grandmother unable to support her bedridden grandchild.
I’d never exposed myself to stories like these, and now I was the first to hear them. As an intern, I could only assist in what felt like the small ways — pointing out local job offerings, printing information on free ESL classes, reaching out to non-profits. But to a community facing an onslaught of intense struggles, I realized that something as small as these actions could have vast impacts. Seeing the immediate consequences of my actions inspired me. Throughout that summer, I internalized my community’s daily challenges in a new light. I began to stop seeing the prevalent underemployment and cramped living quarters less as sources of shame. Instead, I saw them as realities that had to be acknowledged, but could ultimately be remedied. I also realized the benefits of the Bangladeshi culture I had been so ashamed of. My Bangla language skills were an asset to the office, and my understanding of Bangladeshi etiquette allowed for smooth communication between office staff and its constituents. As I helped my neighbors navigate city services, I saw my heritage with pride — a perspective I never expected to have.
I can now appreciate the value of my unique culture and background, and of living with less. This perspective offers room for progress, community integration, and a future worth fighting for. My time with Assemblyman Sepulveda’s office taught me that I can be a change agent in enabling this progression. Far from being ashamed of my community, I want to someday return to local politics in the Bronx to continue helping others access the American Dream. I hope to help my community appreciate the opportunity to make progress together. By embracing reality, I learned to live it. Along the way, I discovered one thing: life is good, but we can make it better.
This student’s passion for social justice and civic duty shines through in this essay because of how honest it is. Sharing their personal experience with immigrating, moving around, being an outsider, and finding a community allows us to see the hardships this student has faced and builds empathy towards their situation. However, what really makes it strong is that they go beyond describing the difficulties they faced and explain the mental impact it had on them as a child: Shame prickled down my spine. I distanced myself from my heritage, rejecting the traditional panjabis worn on Eid and refusing the torkari we ate for dinner every day.
The rejection of their culture presented at the beginning of the essay creates a nice juxtaposition with the student’s view in the latter half of the essay and helps demonstrate how they have matured. They use their experience interning as a way to delve into a change in their thought process about their culture and show how their passion for social justice began. Using this experience as a mechanism to explore their thoughts and feelings is an excellent example of how items that are included elsewhere on your application should be incorporated into your essay.
This essay prioritizes emotions and personal views over specific anecdotes. Although there are details and certain moments incorporated throughout to emphasize the author’s points, the main focus remains on the student and how they grapple with their culture and identity.
One area for improvement is the conclusion. Although the forward-looking approach is a nice way to end an essay focused on social justice, it would be nice to include more details and imagery in the conclusion. How does the student want to help their community? What government position do they see themselves holding one day?
A more impactful ending might look like the student walking into their office at the New York City Housing Authority in 15 years and looking at the plans to build a new development in the Bronx just blocks away from where the grew up that would provide quality housing to people in their Bangladeshi community. They would smile while thinking about how far they have come from that young kid who used to be ashamed of their culture.
Essay #3: Marvel vs DC
Superhero cinema is an oligopoly consisting of two prominent, towering brands: Marvel and DC. I’m a religious supporter of Marvel, but last year, I discovered my friend, Tom, was a DC fan. After a 20-minute vociferous quarrel about which was better, we decided to allocate one day to assemble coherent arguments and have a professional debate.
One week later, we both brought pages of notes, evidence cards, and I had my Iron-Man bobblehead for moral support. Our moderator – a Disney fan – sat in the middle with a stopwatch – open-policy style. I began the debate by discussing how Marvel accentuated the humanity of the storyline – such as Tony Stark’s transformation from an egotistical billionaire to a compassionate father – which drew in a broader audience because more people resonated with certain aspects of the characters. Tom rebutted this by capitalizing on how Deadpool was a duplicate of Deathstroke, Vision copied Red Tornado, and DC sold more comics than Marvel.
40 minutes later, we reached an impasse. We were out of cards, and we both made excellent points, so our moderator failed to declare a winner. Difficult conversations aren’t necessarily always the ones that make political headlines. Instead, a difficult discussion involves any topic with which we share an emotional connection. Over the years, I became so emotionally invested in Marvel that my mind erected an impenetrable shield, blocking out all other possibilities. Even today, we haven’t decided which franchise was better, but I realized that I was undermining DC for no reason apart from ignorance.
The inevitability of diversity suggests that it is our responsibility to understand the other person and what they believe. We may not always experience a change in opinions, but we can grant ourselves the opportunity to expand our global perspective. I strive to continue this adventure to increase my awareness as a superhero aficionado, activist, and student by engaging in conversations that require me to think beyond what I believe and viewing the world from others’ perspectives.
And yes, Tom is still my friend.
Diversity doesn’t always have to be about culture or heritage; diversity exists all around us, even in comics. The genius of this essay lies in the way the student flipped the traditional diversity prompt on its head and instead discussed their diverse perspective on a topic they are passionate about. If you don’t have a cultural connection you are compelled to write about, this is a clever approach to a diversity prompt—if it is handled appropriately.
While this student has a non-traditional topic, they still present it in a way that pays respect to the key aspects of a diversity essay: depicting their perspective and recognizing the importance of diverse views. Just as someone who is writing about a culture that is possibly unfamiliar to the reader, the student describes what makes Marvel and DC unique and important to them and their friend. They also expand on how a lack of diversity in superhero consumption led to them feeling ignorant and now makes them appreciate the need for diversity in all aspects of their life.
This student is unapologetically themselves in this essay which is ultimately why this unorthodox topic is able to work. They committed to their passion for Marvel by sharing analytical takes on characters and demonstrating how the franchise was so important to their identity it momentarily threatened a friendship. The inclusion of humor through their personal voice—referring to the argument as a professional debate and telling us the friendship lived on—contributes to the essay feeling deeply personal.
Choosing a nonconventional topic for a diversity essay requires extra care and attention to ensure you are still addressing the core of the prompt, but if you accomplish it successfully, it makes for an incredibly memorable essay that could easily set you apart!
While this is a great essay as is, the idea of diversity could have been addressed a little bit earlier in the piece to make it absolutely clear the student is writing about their diverse perspective. They position Marvel and DC as two behemoths in the superhero movie industry, but in the event their reader is unfamiliar with these two brands, there is little elaboration on the cultural impact each has on its fans.
To this student, Marvel is more than just a movie franchise; it’s a crucial part of their identity, just as someone’s race or religion might be. In order for the reader to fully understand the weight of their perspective, there should be further elaboration, towards the beginning, on how important Marvel is to this student.
Essay #4: Leadership as a First-Gen American
Leadership was thrust upon me at a young age. When I was six years old, my abusive father abandoned my family, leaving me to step up as the “man” of the house. From having to watch over my little sister to cooking dinner three nights a week, I never lived an ideal suburban life. I didn’t enjoy the luxuries of joining after-school activities, getting driven to school or friends’ houses, or taking weekend trips to the movies or bowling alley. Instead, I spent my childhood navigating legal hurdles, shouldering family responsibilities, and begrudgingly attending court-mandated therapy sessions. At the same time, I tried to get decent grades and maintain my Colombian roots and Spanish fluency enough to at least partially communicate with my grandparents, both of whom speak little English. Although my childhood had its bright and joyful moments, much of it was weighty and would have been exhausting for any child to bear. I grew up fast. However, the responsibilities I took on at home prepared me to lead and to work diligently, setting me up to later use them in life.
I didn’t have much time to explore my interests until high school, where I developed my knack for government and serving others. However, being cast in a lead role in my school’s fall production as a freshman gave me the confidence to pursue other activities: namely, student government. Shortly after being cast, I was elected as Freshman Vice-President, a role that put me in charge of promoting events, delegating daily office tasks, collaborating with the administration on new school initiatives, and planning trips and fundraisers. While it demanded a significant amount of responsibility, my childhood of helping my mom manage our household prepared me to be successful in the role. When I saw the happy faces of my classmates after a big event, I felt proud to know that I had made a small difference for them. Seeing projects through to a successful outcome was thrilling. I enjoyed my time and responsibilities so much that I served all four years of high school, going on to become Executive Vice-President.
As I found success in high school, my mother and grandparents began speaking more about the life they faced prior to emigrating from Colombia. To better connect with them, I took a series of Spanish language classes to regain my fluency. After a practice run through my presentation on Bendiceme Ultima ( Bless me, Ultima, by Rudolofo Anaya) with my grandmother, she squeezed my hand and told me the story of how my family was forced from their home in order to live free of religious persecution. Though my grandparents have often expressed how much better their lives and their children’s lives have been in America, I have often struggled with my identity. I felt that much of it was erased with my loss of our native language. In elementary school, I learned English best because in class I was surrounded by it. Spanish was more difficult to grasp without a formal education, and my family urged me to become fluent in English so I could be of better help to them in places as disparate as government agencies and grocery stores. When I was old enough to recognize the large part of my identity still rooted in being Colombian, it was challenging to connect these two sides of who I was. Over time I have been able to reconcile the two in the context of my aspirations. I found purpose and fulfillment through student council, and I knew that I could help other families like my own if I worked in local government. By working through city offices that address housing, education, and support for survivors of childhood abuse, I could give others the same liberties and opportunities my family has enjoyed in this country. Doing so would also help me honor my roots as a first-generation American.
I have been a leader for my whole life. Both at Harvard and after graduation, I want to continue that trend. I hope to volunteer with organizations that share my goals. I want to advise politicians on policy-making that will make children and new immigrants safer and more secure. When my family was at their worst, my community gave back. I hope to give that gift to future generations. A career in local, city-based public service is not a rashly made decision; it is a reflection of where I’ve been in life and where I want to be in the future.
Although this essay begins on a somber note, it goes on to show this student’s determination and joy they found and ends with a positive, forward-looking perspective. This is a great example of how including your hardship can bolster an essay as long as it is not the main focus.
Explaining the challenges this student faced from a young age—becoming the man of the house, dealing with legal matters, maintaining good grades, etc—builds sympathy for his situation. However, the first paragraph is even more impactful because he explains the emotional toll these actions had on him. We understand how he lost the innocence of his childhood and how he struggled to remain connected to his Colombian heritage with all his other responsibilities. Including these details truly allows the reader to see this student’s struggle, making us all the more joyful when he comes out stronger.
Pivoting to discuss positive experiences with student government and Spanish classes for the rest of the essay demonstrates that this student has a positive approach to life and is willing to push through challenges. The tone of the essay shifts from heavy to uplifting. He explains the joy he got out of helping his classmates and connecting with his grandparents, once again providing emotional reflection to make the reader care more.
Overall, this essay does a nice job of demonstrating how this student approaches challenges and negative experiences. Admitting that the responsibilities of his childhood had a silver lining shows his maturity and how he will be able to succeed in government one day. The essay strikes a healthy balance between challenge and hope, leaving us with a positive view of a student with such emotional maturity.
Although the content of this essay is very strong, it struggles with redundancy and disorganized information. He mentions his passion for government at the beginning of the student government paragraph, then again addresses government in the paragraph focused on his Colombian heritage, and concludes by talking about how he wants to get into government once more. Similarly, in the first paragraph he discusses the struggle of maintaining his Colombian identity and then fully delves into that topic in the third paragraph.
The repetition of ideas and lack of a streamlined organization of this student’s thoughts diminishes some of the emotional impact of the story. The reader is left trying to piece together a swirling mass of information on their own, rather than having a focused, sequential order to follow.
This could be fixed if the student rearranged details to make each paragraph focused on a singular idea. For example, the first paragraph could be about his childhood, the second about how student government sparked his interest in government and what he hopes to do one day, the third about how he reconnected with his Colombian roots through his Spanish classes after years of struggling with his identity, and the final paragraph could tie everything together by explaining how everything led to him wanting to pursue a future serving others, particularly immigrants like his family.
Alternatively, the essay could follow a sequential order that would start with his childhood, then explain his struggle with his identity, then show how student government and Spanish classes helped him find himself, and finally conclude with what he hopes to accomplish by pursuing government.
Essay #5: Protecting the Earth
I never understood the power of community until I left home to join seven strangers in the Ecuadorian rainforest. Although we flew in from distant corners of the U.S., we shared a common purpose: immersing ourselves in our passion for protecting the natural world.
Back home in my predominantly conservative suburb, my neighbors had brushed off environmental concerns. My classmates debated the feasibility of Trump’s wall, not the deteriorating state of our planet. Contrastingly, these seven strangers delighted in bird-watching, brightened at the mention of medicinal tree sap, and understood why I once ran across a four-lane highway to retrieve discarded beer cans. Their histories barely resembled mine, yet our values aligned intimately. We did not hesitate to joke about bullet ants, gush about the versatility of tree bark, or discuss the destructive consequences of materialism. Together, we let our inner tree huggers run free.
In the short life of our little community, we did what we thought was impossible. By feeding on each other’s infectious tenacity, we cultivated an atmosphere that deepened our commitment to our values and empowered us to speak out on behalf of the environment. After a week of stimulating conversations and introspective revelations about engaging people from our hometowns in environmental advocacy, we developed a shared determination to devote our lives to this cause.
As we shared a goodbye hug, my new friend whispered, “The world needs saving. Someone’s gotta do it.” For the first time, I believed that someone could be me.
This student is expressing their diversity through their involvement in a particular community—another nice approach if you don’t want to write about culture or ethnicity. We all have unique things that we geek out over and this student expresses the joy that came when they found a community where they could express their love for the environment. Passion is fundamental to university life and should find its way into successful applications.
The essay finds strength in the fact that readers feel for the student. We get a little bit of backstory about where they come from and how they felt silenced—“ Back home in my predominantly conservative suburb, my neighbors had brushed off environmental concerns ”—, so it’s easy to feel joy for them when they get set free and finally find their community.
This student displays clear values: community, ecoconsciousness, dedication, and compassion. An admissions officer who reads a diversity essay is looking for students with strong values who will enrich the university community with their unique perspective—sounds like this student!
One area of weakness in this essay is the introduction. The opening line—” I never understood the power of community until I left home to join seven strangers in the Ecuadorian rainforest “—is a bit cliche. Introductions should be captivating and build excitement and suspense for what is to come. Simply telling the reader about how your experience made you understand the power of community reveals the main takeaway of your essay without the reader needing to go any further.
Instead of starting this essay with a summary of what the essay is about, the student should have made their hook part of the story. Whether that looks like them being exasperated with comments their classmates made about politics or them looking around apprehensively at the seven strangers on their program as they all boarded their flight, they should start off in the action.
Essay #6: Music and Accents
India holds a curious place in my heart and ears. Whenever I returned on a trip or vacation, I would show my grandmother how to play Monopoly and she would let me tie her sari. I would teach my grandfather English idioms, which he would repeat to random people and fishmongers on the streets, and he would teach me Telugu phrases.
It was a curious exchange of worlds and I’m reminded of this every time I listen to Indian music. It was these tunes that helped me reconnect with my heritage and ground my meandering identity. Indian music, unlike the stereotype I’d been imbued with, was not just a one-and-done Bollywood dance number! Each region and language was like an island with its own, unique sonic identity. I’m grateful for my discovery of Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, Tamil tunes, for it has opened me up to the incredible smorgasbord of diversity, depth, and complexity within the subcontinent I was born in.
Here’s an entirely-different sonic identity for you: Texan slang. “Couldya pass the Mango seltzer, please hon?” said my Houstonian neighbor, Rae Ann, her syllables melding together like the sticky cake batter we were making.
Rae Ann and her twang were real curiosities to me. Once, she invited my family to a traditional Texan barbecue with the rest of our neighbors. As Hindus, we didn’t eat beef, so we showed up with chicken kebabs instead. Rather than looking at us bizarrely, she gladly accepted the dish, lining it up beside grilled loins and hamburger patties. Her gesture was a small but very well accepted one and I quickly became convinced she was the human manifestation of “Southern hospitality” – something reflected in each of her viscous, honey-dripping phrases. “Watch out for the skeeters!” was an excellent example. It was always funny at first, but conveyed a simple message. We’ve got each other’s backs and, together, we can overcome the blood-sucking mosquitoes of the Houstonian summer! I began to see how her words built bridges, not boundaries.
I believe that sounds – whether it’s music or accents – can make a difference in the ways we perceive and accept individuals from other backgrounds. But sound is about listening too. In Rice’s residential college, I would be the type of person to strike up a conversation with an international student and ask for one of their Airpods (you’d be surprised how many different genres and languages of music I’ve picked up in this way!). As both an international student and Houstonian-at-heart, I hope to bridge the gap between Rice’s domestic and international populations. Whether it’s organizing cultural events or simply taking the time to get to know a student whose first language isn’t English, I look forward to listening to the stories that only a fellow wanderer can tell.
This essay does an excellent job of addressing two aspects of this student’s identity. Looking at diversity through sound is a creative way to descriptively depict their Indian and Texan culture. Essays are always more successful when they stimulate the senses, so framing the entire response around sound automatically opens the door for vivid imagery.
The quotes from this student’s quirky neighbor bring a sense of realism to the essay. We can feel ourselves at the barbecue and hear her thick Texan accent coming through. The way people communicate is a huge part of their culture and identity, so the ability of this student to perfectly capture the essence of their Texan identity with accented phrases is skillfully done.
This essay does such a great job of making the sounds of Texas jump off the page, so it is disappointing it wasn’t able to accomplish the same for India. The student describes the different Indian languages and music styles, but doesn’t bring them to life with quotes or onomatopoeia in the manner that they did for the sounds of Texas.
They could have described the buzz of the sitar or the lyrical pattern of the Telugu phrases their grandfather taught them. Telling us about the diversity of sounds in Indian music is fine, but if the reader can’t appreciate what those sounds resemble, it makes it harder to understand the Indian half of their identity. Especially since this student emulated the sounds and essence of Texas so well, it is important that India is given the same treatment so we can fully appreciate both sides of this essay.
More Supplemental Essay Tips
How to Write the “Why This College” Essay
How to Write a Stellar Extracurricular Activity College Essay
Where to Get Your Diversity Essays Edited
Do you want feedback on your Diversity essays? After rereading your essays countless times, it can be difficult to evaluate your writing objectively. That’s why we created our free Peer Essay Review tool , where you can get a free review of your essay from another student. You can also improve your own writing skills by reviewing other students’ essays.
If you want a college admissions expert to review your essay, advisors on CollegeVine have helped students refine their writing and submit successful applications to top schools. Find the right advisor for you to improve your chances of getting into your dream school!
Related CollegeVine Blog Posts
How to Write the Diversity Essay (Guide + Examples)
Table of contents
- What is the diversity essay?
- Do's and Don’ts
Diversity Essay Example 1
- Diversity Essay Example 2
What Is the Diversity Essay? What Does ‘Diversity’ Mean?
A friend who worked in admissions after we graduated said that one of his favorite things about the job was thinking about what it would be like to take this kid from the mountains of Idaho, that kid from Saudi Arabia, and this other kid from La Jolla, and throw them in a dorm together. How would they change how one another saw the world?
We think how this friend saw his job is useful to keep in mind when you’re approaching your whole application, but particularly any “diversity” supplements.
Many schools have a supplemental essay prompt that asks students to reflect on their experiences and demonstrate, essentially, how those experiences would allow them to add to the diversity of a college community.
For example, here’s Duke’s optional* diversity prompt:
(Optional) Duke University seeks a talented, engaged student body that embodies the wide range of human experience; we believe that the diversity of our students makes our community stronger. If you’d like to share a perspective you bring or experiences you’ve had to help us understand you better-perhaps related to a community you belong to, your sexual orientation or gender identity, or your family or cultural background-we encourage you to do so. Real people are reading your application, and we want to do our best to understand and appreciate the real people applying to Duke. (250 word limit)
*While this prompt is optional, we’d recommend not treating it as such—it’s an opportunity to help yourself stand out from other applicants. Take it.
The process of discovery best advances when people from various backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives come together. How do you see yourself contributing to the diversity of Caltech's community? (Your response should range between 250-400 words.)
Why do colleges ask variations of this question? At the risk of repeating the above, colleges value a diverse student body for many reasons. One reason is the belief that a strong education involves encountering values, beliefs, and perspectives that are different from, and that may even challenge, your own (Caltech makes this fairly explicit in its prompt above). Various academic fields, from business to history to medicine, are increasingly realizing how diversity strengthens creativity and understanding. The diversity essay is also another opportunity to demonstrate how you and a college fit together.
One common question or confusion is what exactly schools mean by “diversity.” While this can refer to things like ethnicity, class, or sexuality, and those can be strong topics to write about, don’t feel like diversity is limited to these. Instead, think expansively—what is a perspective that you’d bring to campus, particularly one that others might not? So along those lines...
Some Do's and Don'ts
Do think about how this helps admission officers understand more about who you are. This is another nice opportunity to show assets we can’t see in grades and test scores.
Don’t assume that “difference” only refers to race or social class. There are so many ways to define “difference.” Instead:
Do think broadly about all the ways you’re different from other people. In many ways, you can approach diversity essays like you do “ community ” prompts.
To save yourself some time, consider writing a “super” essay that can be used both for prompts that mention community and those that focus on diversity, since frequently, much of the essay will be reusable.
You can also think in terms of identity and perspective (which often, but don’t always, align with communities). More on this in the “how-to” below.
Avoid privilege clichés. A common essay on diversity/privilege goes something like this: The author passes someone on the street. They notice the person, whose skin is darker than theirs, wears worn-out shoes (or no shoes at all). The author describes a mix of shame and gratitude for their privileged position. They either give the person food or money (and feel good, but also bad) or neglect to give the person food or money (and just feel bad). These kinds of stories have several problems:
Because the interaction has been so minimal, compelling insights are unlikely to occur. As a result, these essays often end up expressing a common theme along the lines of “I realized I have so much to be grateful for.”
It’s very important to come to understand privilege. But realizing privilege in an essay like this runs the risk of showcasing unflattering or downright negative qualities like naïveté and ignorance.
Do link to values you’ve developed through this aspect of diversity. Help readers see how these elements of diversity have helped shape your values and insights.
How to Write the ‘Diversity’ Essay, Step by Step
Here are two straightforward approaches for how you can write your diversity essay:
If there’s a community you belong to (again, think expansively) that embodies how you’ll contribute to the diversity of a campus, you can build your essay around your engagement with that community.
Alternatively, if there’s an identity or perspective that illustrates the diversity you’ll bring to campus, that can be your focus.
Option 1: “Community” approach
Step 1: Create a “communities” chart by listing all the communities you’re a part of. Keep in mind that communities can be defined by ...
Place: Groups of people who live/work/play near one another
Action: Groups of people who create change in the world by building, doing, or solving something together (Examples: Black Lives Matter, Girls Who Code, March for Our Lives)
Interest: Groups of people coming together based on shared interests, experiences, or expertise
Circumstance: Groups of people brought together either by chance or external events/situations
Use four columns in your chart, like this:
Step 2 : Once you’ve chosen a community or two, use the BEABIES Exercise to generate your essay content. That exercise asks:
What did you actually do in that community? (Tip: Use active verbs like “organized” and “managed” to clarify your responsibilities.)
What kinds of problems did you solve (personally, locally, or globally)?
What specific impact did you have?
What did you learn (skills, qualities, values)?
How did you apply the lessons you learned in and outside of that community?
Don’t skip that step. It’s important: it’s easy for students to write just so-so community essays if they don’t take the time to brainstorm specific content.
Step 3: Pick a structure (narrative or montage).
Narrative Structure works well for students who have faced a challenge in this community. Otherwise, Montage Structure works great.
Focus on answering these three questions in your essay if you choose Narrative Structure:
What challenge did you face?
What did you do about it?
What did you learn?
Montage Structure is a great way to approach essays that don’t necessarily focus on a particular challenge.
Option 2: Identity/perspective approach
Take some time to list out several different ways in which you identify. Again, think broadly. For example, "I'm a ... reader, jazz lover, queer, Colombian, singer, feminist, etc." Name as many identities you claim as you can.
Then, briefly describe why these identities reveal different sides of you.
Is there an identity that you haven’t addressed so far in your application that's particularly important to you, or maybe one you've struggled with? If so, what have you found challenging about it?
For shorter supplementals, it’ll likely help to focus on one identity, whether that’s introversion, for example, or coming out as LGBTQ+, or having a natural “mom vibe.” For a longer prompt, it’s possible to describe various identities, whether it’s the many roles students play (sibling, researcher, team captain) or the identities they’ve named in their social media profile: “angry brown girl, feminist, singer, meme-lover.” Kinda’ want to read that last one, right? Just keep in mind that writing about multiple identities will require you to transition clearly and effectively.
Regarding perspective: Think about some unusual experiences that have shaped you. For example, have your values conflicted with your family’s in complex ways? Have you been raised in a way that’s atypical? Have you worked to promote acceptance and understanding? What has shaped how you see the world and your role in it? (Notice that this can lead to great essays, but is often a bit harder, as “perspective” is a more abstract thing than “identity” or “community.”)
Again, Montage or Narrative Structure can work here.
Option for both approaches: Depending on the prompt (and its word count), consider adding some “Why us?” elements to the end of your diversity essay—even if the prompt doesn’t explicitly ask you to. In what ways will you contribute to the diversity on campus? Are there groups or organizations that’ll allow you to continue what you’ve already done? Or is there an org you’d want to start? Show your reader that you’ve thought about how you want to engage with the school community.
Here’s an example that takes the “community” approach:
When I joined the Huntsville Youth Commission, a group of students chosen to represent youth interests within local government, I met Jack. Jack told me his cousin’s body had been stuffed into the trunk of a car after he was killed by a gang. After that, my notion of normal would never be the same. A melting pot of ideologies, skins, socio-economic classes, faiths, and educations, the HYC is a unique collaborative enterprise. Each member adds to our community’s network of stories, that weave, bump, and diverge in unexpected ways. Jack talked about his cousin’s broken body, Witnessa educated us about “food deserts,” supervisor Evelyn Scott explained that girls get ten-day school suspensions for simply stepping on another student’s sneakers, and I shared how my family’s blending of Jewish tradition and Chinese culture bridges disparate worlds. As a person who was born in Tokyo, lived in London, and grew up in the South, I realize difference doesn’t have to be an obstacle to understanding. My ability to listen empathetically helped us envision multifaceted solutions to issues facing 21st-century youth. My experience in this space of affirmation and engagement has made me a more thoughtful person and listener. I want to continue this effort and be the woman who both expands perspectives and takes action after hearing people’s stories. Reconciling disparate lifestyles and backgrounds in the Commission has prepared me to become a compassionate leader, eager to both expand perspectives and take collaborative action.
— — —
Tips + Analysis:
Grab us, then keep us: We find that hook jarring every time we read it (we’d imagine you did too). But that’s why it’s effective. So while your hook doesn’t have to be as shocking and dark as this one, do spend some time exploring multiple options for ways to pull your reader in. While the hook does a nice job pulling us in, the detail in the body does a nice job of keeping us engaged. We get to see how the author has explored diverse perspectives, created space for others to share, and tried to build understanding by offering her own. The insights she offers are quick but effective, and she transitions well into focusing on how this experience of diversity has shaped how she wants to continue engaging and contributing in the future.
Show your engagement: How she phrased the final paragraph could be adjusted depending on the phrasing of the prompt—some schools explicitly ask how you’ll contribute to diversity on campus. For these prompts, be sure to add some “why us”-like details, showing that you’ve found communities and opportunities at the school that excite you. Even if the prompt doesn’t directly ask how you want to contribute on campus, it can be a nice idea to offer these details, so the admission reader can imagine you there and see how you fit.
Save yourself time: The student used this essay for several prompts asking about things like diversity or community, likely saving herself hours of writing and revising. As you brainstorm for your community or diversity prompts, think about how you can write one essay that can be used for all of them (with necessary revisions to fit the prompt’s phrasing and word count).
Diversity Essay Example 2 (with analysis in the essay)
And here’s one that focuses more on perspective:
Is Josh ok?
My whole family is sitting around the living room on a lazy Sunday afternoon when we suddenly hear sirens. Lots of sirens. Everyone stops. My dad peers out the window, trying to get a glimpse of the highway. My mom gets up and goes to the phone. After a few stressful rings, the person on the other line answers. My mom bursts out, “Is Josh ok?”
Nice hook! We’re engaged by the questions this paragraph raises: Why the sirens? Is Josh ok? Who is this Josh?
Josh is my fourteen-year-old cousin, and he lives less than a mile from my house. Whenever we hear sirens, my mom will give their house a call or shoot my aunt a text, just in case. Josh was born with a syndrome which affected the formation of the bones of his head and face. As a result, his hearing, vision, breathing and some of his brain structures are compromised. He’s unable to do athletics, his tracheostomy always provides a possibility of disaster, and an unwieldy head brace used to grace his head.
Here the author gives context by explaining who Josh is. He also defines “difference” with a few specific details.
Living so close to Josh, we have had the opportunity to interact daily. We go on vacations together, I drive Josh to school twice a week, at every holiday we either go down to their house or they come up to my family’s house, we play wiffle ball in the yard behind their house, and one of my favorite activities is board games with him—Risk, Monopoly, Settlers of Catan, we play it all. Last Christmas, there were endless laughs when, prompted by our fathers’ nostalgia, we constructed a slot car track and raced those miniature cars around tight turns and short straightaways. This game was perfect for Josh, as he could stay in a comfortable seat and still experience speed and excitement that he is usually barred from.
In this paragraph, the author shows us how close he is with Josh, and the final sentence shows his sensitivity.
It goes without saying that Josh has not had an easy childhood. He has had to fight for his life in the hospital when his peers were learning how to multiply and divide in school or playing capture the flag on the beach. A large portion of his childhood has been arbitrarily taken from him. That is most obviously unfair.
At our high school, I see Josh every day walking from second period to third period, and every day I say hello and have a small conversation with him. One day I was walking with a few of my friends when I stopped to talk with him. During the conversation, I made a little joke at Josh’s expense. It wasn’t at all relating to his disability, but to something completely independent of that—specifically, his Instagram habits. My friends were horrified, and chastised me as they saw appropriate.
He’s setting up for the ending and also raising a question: Why did he make the joke at Josh’s expense?
My friends didn’t understand. He is not some extremely delicate dandelion who falls apart at every breath that causes a slightly adverse situation. Everywhere he goes, he’s the most popular guy in the room; people flock to him, surround him, pity him, overwhelm him. All Josh wants is to be treated like any other person. He is my cousin, and he is my friend, so I treat him as such. We joke, we make fun of each other, just as any other two friends do.
Insight! The author chooses to treat Josh as he would treat any of his friends — like a normal human being.
Josh has proved to me that people with disabilities are exactly that—people. As if that needed proving. But it’s something that is too easily forgotten. It’s hard to see anything except the handicap. A person’s wheelchair or white cane inevitably trumps any other characteristic. It’s a natural human reaction, but it too often leads to the dehumanizing of disabled people. One of my favorite people on Earth has lived a life of disability. And he plays a mean game of Monopoly.
Here, he connects the dots and provides a bit more insight: Treating people differently because of their disability can be dehumanizing. (And for some reason, that Monopoly line makes me cry every time.)
Hopefully, after reading all that, you’re feeling clear on how to approach your diversity prompts and are excited to dive in. Have some fun exploring.
Click here to learn how to write essays for tons of different prompts.
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How to Write a College Diversity Essay – Examples & Tips
What is a diversity essay for college?
If you are preparing for your college application, you have probably heard that you sometimes need to submit a “diversity essay,” and you might be wondering how this is different from the usual admission essay. A diversity essay is a college admissions essay that focuses on the applicant’s background, identity, culture, beliefs, or relationship with a specific community, on what makes an applicant unique, and on how they might bring a fresh perspective or new insights to a school’s student body. Colleges let applicants write such essays to ensure diversity in their campus communities, to improve everyone’s learning experience, or to determine who might be eligible for scholarships that are offered to students from generally underrepresented backgrounds.
Some colleges list the essay as one of their main requirements to apply, while others give you the option to add it to your application if you wish to do so. At other schools, it is simply your “personal statement”—but the prompts you are given can make it an essay on the topic of diversity in your life and how that has shaped who you are.
To write a diversity essay, you need to think about what makes you uniquely you: What significant experiences have you made, because of your background, that might separate you from other applicants? Sometimes that is obvious, but sometimes it is easy to assume our experiences are normal just because we are part of a community that shares the same circumstances, beliefs, or experiences. But if you look at your life from the perspective of someone who is not part of that community, such as an admissions officer, they can suddenly be not-so-common and help you stand out from the crowd.
Diversity Essay Examples and Topics
Diversity essays come in all shapes and formats, but what they need to do is highlight an important aspect of your identity, background, culture, viewpoints, beliefs, goals, etc. You could, for example, write about one of the following topics:
- Your home country/hometown
- Your cultural/immigration background
- Your race/ethnicity
- Your unique family circumstances
- Your religion/belief system
- Your socioeconomic background
- Your disability
- Your sex/gender
- Your sexual orientation
- Your gender identity
- Your values/opinions
- Your experiences
- Your extracurricular activities related to diversity
In the following, we ask some general questions to make you start reflecting on what diversity might mean for you and your life, and we present you with excerpts from several successful diversity-related application essays that will give you an idea about the range of topics you can write about.
How does diversity make you who you are as a person or student?
We usually want to fit in, especially when we are young, and you might not even realize that you and your life experiences could add to the diversity of a student campus. You might think that you are just like everyone around you. Or you might think that your background is nothing to brag about and are not really comfortable showcasing it. But looking at you and your life from the point of view of someone who is not part of your community, your background, culture, or family situation might actually be unique and interesting.
What makes admission committees see the unique and interesting in your life is an authentic story, maybe even a bit vulnerable, about your lived experiences and the lessons you learned from them that other people who lived other lifes did not have the chance to learn. Don’t try to explain how you are different from others or how you have been more privileged or less fortunate than others—let your story do that. Keep the focus on yourself, your actions, thoughts, and feelings, and allow the reader a glimpse into your culture, upbringing, or community that gives them some intriguing insights.
Have a look at the excerpt below from a diversity essay that got an applicant into Cornell University . This is just the introduction, but there is probably no admissions officer who would not want to keep reading after such a fascinating entry.
He’s in my arms, the newest addition to the family. I’m too overwhelmed. “That’s why I wanted you to go to Bishop Loughlin,” she says, preparing baby bottles. “But ma, I chose Tech because I wanted to be challenged.” “Well, you’re going to have to deal with it,” she replies, adding, “Your aunt watched you when she was in high school.” “But ma, there are three of them. It’s hard!” Returning home from a summer program that cemented intellectual and social independence to find a new baby was not exactly thrilling. Add him to the toddler and seven-year-old sister I have and there’s no wonder why I sing songs from Blue’s Clues and The Backyardigans instead of sane seventeen-year-old activities. It’s never been simple; as a female and the oldest, I’m to significantly rear the children and clean up the shabby apartment before an ounce of pseudo freedom reaches my hands. If I can manage to get my toddler brother onto the city bus and take him home from daycare without snot on my shoulder, and if I can manage to take off his coat and sneakers without demonic screaming for no apparent reason, then it’s a good day. Only, waking up at three in the morning to work, the only free time I have, is not my cup of Starbucks. Excerpt from “All Worth It”, Anonymous, published in 50 Successful IVY LEAGUE Application Essays Fourth Edition, Gen & Kelly Tanabe, SuperCollege, 2017 .
How has your identity or background affected your life?
On top of sharing a relevant personal story, you also need to make sure that your essay illustrates how your lived experience has influenced your perspective, your life choices, or your goals. If you can explain how your background or experience led you to apply to the school you want to submit the essay to, and why you would be a great fit for that school, even better.
You don’t need to fit all of that into one short essay, though. Just make sure to end your essay with some conclusions about the things your life has taught you that will give the admissions committee a better idea of who you now are—like the author of the following (winning) admissions essay submitted to MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) .
[…] I always thought that I had it the worst out of all my family members because I was never allowed to get anything lower than what my brother or a cousin had gotten in a class. My parents figured if they could do it, so could I, and if not on my own then with a little of their help. It was not until recently that I realized the truth in this. In my short life I have seen my father go from speaking no English to excelling in it. I have heard countless stories about migrant farmers such as Cesar Chavez and my grandfather who had nearly nothing, yet persisted and succeeded. […] When I had trouble speaking Spanish and felt like abandoning my native tongue, I remembered my mother and how when she came to the United States she was forced to wash her mouth out with soap and endure beatings with a ruler by the nuns at her school for speaking it. When I couldn’t figure out tangents, sines, and cosines I thought about my father and how it took him nearly a year to learn long division because he was forced to teach it to himself after dropping out and starting to work in the 4th grade. […] All these people, just from my family, have been strong role models for me. I feel that being labeled “underprivileged” does not mean that I am limited in what I can do. There is no reason for me to fail or give up, and like my parents and grandparents have done, I’ve been able to pull through a great deal. My environment has made me determined, hard working, and high aiming. I would not like it any other way. From “Lessons From the Immigration Spectrum”, Anonymous, MIT, published in 50 Successful IVY LEAGUE Application Essays Fourth Edition, Gen & Kelly Tanabe, SuperCollege, 2017 .
How will your diversity contribute to the college campus and community?
The admissions committee would like to know how your identity or background will enrich the university’s existing student body. If you haven’t done so, researching the university’s organizations and groups and what specific courses the university offers might be a good idea. If you are applying to a large public school, you could mention that you are looking forward to broadening not just your horizon but also your community. Or maybe your college of choice has a specialized program or student organization that you feel you will fit right into and that you could contribute to with your unique background.
Tailoring your answer to the university you are applying to shows that you are serious and have done your research, and a university is obviously looking for such students. If you can’t find a way to make your essay “match” the university, then don’t despair—showing the admissions committee that you are someone who already made some important experiences, has reflected on them, and is eager to learn more and contribute to their community is often all that is needed. But you also don’t need to search for the most sophisticated outro or conclusion, as the following excerpt shows, from an admission essay written by an applicant named Angelica, who was accepted into the University of Chicago . Sometimes a simple conviction is convincing enough.
[…] The knowledge that I have gained from these three schools is something I will take with me far beyond college. My roommate, across-the-hall mates, and classmates have influenced my life as much as I hope to have impacted theirs. It is evident to me that they have helped me develop into the very much visible person I am today. I have learned to step outside of my comfort zone, and I have learned that diversity is so much more than the tint of our skin. My small mustard-colored school taught me that opportunity and success only requires desire. I would be an asset to your college because as I continue on my journey to success, I will take advantage of every opportunity that is available to me and make sure to contribute as much as I can, too. Now I am visible. Now I am visible. Now I am visible, and I want to be seen. From “No Longer Invisible” by Angelica, University of Chicago, published in 50 Successful IVY LEAGUE Application Essays Fourth Edition, Gen & Kelly Tanabe, SuperCollege, 2017 .
Tell stories about your lived experience
You might wonder how exactly to go about writing stories about your “lived experience.” The first step, after getting drawing inspiration from other people’s stories, is to sit down and reflect on your own life and what might be interesting about it, from the point of view of someone outside of your direct environment or community.
Two straightforward approaches for a diversity-related essay are to either focus on your community or on your identity . The first one is more related to what you were born into (and what it taught you), and the second one focuses on how you see yourself, as an individual but also as part of society.
Take some time to sit down and reflect on which of these two approaches you relate to more and which one you think you have more to say about. And then we’d recommend you do what always helps when we sit in front of a blank page that needs to be filled: Make a list or draw a chart or create a map of keywords that can become the cornerstones of your story.
For example, if you choose the “community” approach, then start with a list of all the communities that you are a part of. These communities can be defined by different factors:
- A shared place: people live or work together
- Shared actions: People create something together or solve problems together
- Shared interests: People come together based on interests, hobbies, or goals
- Shared circumstances: people are brought together by chance or by events
Once you have that list, pick one of your communities and start asking yourself more specific questions. For example:
- What did you do as a member of that community?
- What kinds of problems did you solve , for your community or together?
- Did you feel like you had an impact ? What was it?
- What did you learn or realize ?
- How are you going to apply what you learned outside of that community?
If, instead, you choose the “identity” approach, then think about different ways in which you think about yourself and make a list of those. For example:
My identity is as a…
- boy scout leader
- hobby writer
- babysitter for my younger siblings
- speaker of different languages
- collector of insightful proverbs
- other roles in your family, community, or social sub-group
Feel free to list as many identities as you can. Then, think about what different sides of you these identities reveal and which ones you have not yet shown or addressed in your other application documents and essays. Think about whether one of these is more important to you than others if there is one that you’d rather like to hide (and why) and if there is any struggle, for example with reconciling all of these sides of yourself or with one of them not being accepted by your culture or environment.
Overall, the most important characteristic admissions committees are looking for in your diversity essay is authenticity . They want to know who you are, behind your SATs and grades, and how you got where you are now, and they want to see what makes you memorable (remember, they have to read thousands of essays to decide who to enroll).
The admissions committee members likely also have a “sixth sense” about whose essay is authentic and whose is not. But if you go through a creative process like the one outlined here, you will automatically reflect on your background and experiences in a way that will bring out your authenticity and honesty and prevent you from just making up a “cool story.”
Diversity Essay Sample Prompts From Colleges
If you are still not sure how to write a diversity essay, let’s have a look at some of the actual diversity essay prompts that colleges include in their applications.
Diversity Essay Sample #1: University of California
The University of California asks applicants to choose between eight prompts (they call them “ personal insight questions “) and submit four short essays of up to 350 words each that tell the admission committee what you would want them to know about you . These prompts ask about your creative side (#2), your greatest talent (#3), and other aspects of your personality, but two of them (#5 and #7) are what could be called “diversity essay prompts” that ask you to talk about the most significant challenge you have faced and what you have done to make your community a better place .
The University of California website also offers advice on how to use these prompts and how to write a compelling essay, so make sure you use all the guidance they give you if that is the school you are trying to get into!
UC Essay prompt #5. Describe the most significant challenge you have faced and the steps you have taken to overcome this challenge. How has this challenge affected your academic achievement?
Things to consider: A challenge could be personal, or something you have faced in your community or school. Why was the challenge significant to you? This is a good opportunity to talk about any obstacles you’ve faced and what you’ve learned from the experience. Did you have support from someone else or did you handle it alone?
UC Essay prompt #7. What have you done to make your school or your community a better place?
Things to consider: Think of community as a term that can encompass a group, team, or place—like your high school, hometown, or home. You can define community as you see fit, just make sure you talk about your role in that community. Was there a problem that you wanted to fix in your community? Why were you inspired to act? What did you learn from your effort?
Diversity Essay Sample #2: Duke University
Duke University asks for a one-page essay in response to either one of the Common Application prompts or one of the Coalition Application prompts, as well as a short essay that answers a question specific to Duke.
In addition, you can (but do not have to) submit up to two short answers to four prompts that specifically ask about your unique experiences, your beliefs and values, and your background and identity. The maximum word count for each of these short essays on diversity topics is 250 words.
Essay prompt #1. We seek a diverse student body that embodies the wide range of human experience. In that context, we are interested in what you’d like to share about your lived experiences and how they’ve influenced how you think of yourself. Essay prompt #2. We believe there is benefit in sharing and sometimes questioning our beliefs or values; who do you agree with on the big important things, or who do you have your most interesting disagreements with? What are you agreeing or disagreeing about? Essay prompt #3. What has been your best academic experience in the last two years, and what made it so good? Essay prompt #4. Duke’s commitment to diversity and inclusion includes sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. If you’d like to share with us more about your identity in this context, feel free to do so here.
Duke University is looking for students with a variety of different experiences, backgrounds, interests, and opinions to make its campus community diverse and a place where ambition and curiosity, talent and persistence can grow, and the admissions committee will “consider what you have accomplished within the context of your opportunities and challenges so far”—make sure you tell them!
Diversity Essay Sample #3: University of Washington
The University of Washington asks students for a long essay (650 words) on a general experience that shaped your character, a short essay (300 words) that describes the world you come from and how you, as a product of it, might add to the diversity of your future university and allows you to submit additional information on potential hardships or limitations you have experienced in attaining your education so far. The University of Washington freshman writing website also offers some tips on how to (and how not to) write and format your essays.
Essay prompt [required] Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.
Short response prompt [required] Our families and communities often define us and our individual worlds. “Community” might refer to your cultural group, extended family, religious group, neighborhood or school, sports team or club, co-workers, etc. Describe the world you come from and how you, as a product of it, might add to the diversity of the UW.
Additional information about yourself or your circumstances [optional] You are not required to write anything in this section, but you may include additional information if something has particular significance to you. For example, you may use this space if:
– You have experienced personal hardships in attaining your education
– Your activities have been limited because of work or family obligations
– You have experienced limitations/opportunities unique to the schools you attended
The University of Washington’s mission is to enroll undergraduates with outstanding intellectual abilities who bring different perspectives, backgrounds, and talents to the campus to create a “stimulating educational environment”. The diversity essay is your chance to let them know how you will contribute to that.
Diversity Essay Sample #4: University of Michigan
At the University of Michigan, a diversity college essay that describes one of the communities (defined by geography, religion, ethnicity, income, or other factors) you belong to is one of two required essays that need to be submitted by all applicants, on top of the Common Application essay.
Diversity essay prompt. Everyone belongs to many different communities and/or groups defined by (among other things) shared geography, religion, ethnicity, income, cuisine, interest, race, ideology, or intellectual heritage. Choose one of the communities to which you belong, and describe that community and your place within it.
The University of Michigan prides itself in “looking at each student as a whole package” and recruiting the most dynamic students, with different backgrounds, interests, and passions, into their college, not just the ones with the highest test scores. They also give consideration to applicants from currently underrepresented groups to create diversity on campus and enrich the learning environment for all students—if that sounds like you, then here is your opportunity to tell your story!
Frequently Asked Questions about Diversity Essays
What topics should i avoid in my college diversity essay.
Since the point of a diversity essay is to show the admissions committee who you are (behind your grades and resume and general educational background), there are not many topics you need to avoid. In fact, you can address the issues, from your own perspective, that you are usually told not to mention in order not to offend anyone or create controversy.
The only exception is any kind of criminal activity, especially child abuse and neglect. The University of Washington, for example, has a statement on its essay prompt website that “ any written materials that give admissions staff reasonable cause to believe abuse or neglect of someone under the age of 18 may have occurred must be reported to Child Protective Services or the police. ”
What is most important to focus on in my diversity essay?
In brief, to stand out while not giving the admissions committee any reason to believe that you are exaggerating or even making things up. Your story needs to be authentic, and admissions officers—who read thousands of applications—will probably see right through you if you are trying to make yourself sound cooler, more mature, or more interesting than you are.
In addition, make sure you let someone, preferably a professional editor, read over your essays and make sure they are well-written and error-free. Even though you are telling your personal story, it needs to be presented in standard, formal, correct English.
How long should a diversity essay be?
Every school has different requirements for their version of a diversity essay, and you will find all the necessary details on their admissions or essay prompts website. Make sure you check the word limit and other guidelines before you start typing away!
Prepare your college diversity essay for admission
Now that you know what a diversity essay is and how you find the specific requirements for the essays you need to submit to your school of choice, make sure you plan in advance and give yourself enough time to put all your effort into it! Our article How to Write the Common App Essay can give you an idea about timelines and creative preparation methods. And as always, we can help you with our professional editing services , including Application Essay Editing Services and Admission Editing Services , to ensure that your entire application is error-free and showcases your potential to the admissions committee of your school of choice.
For more academic resources on writing the statement of purpose for grad school or on the college admission process in general, head over to our Admissions Resources website where we have many more articles and videos to help you improve your essay writing skills.
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May 11, 2023
Writing an Excellent Diversity Essay
What is the diversity question in a school application, and why does it matter when applying to leading programs and universities? Most importantly, how should you respond?
Diversity is of supreme value in higher education, and schools want to know how every student will contribute to it in their community. A diversity essay is an essay that encourages applicants with disadvantaged or underrepresented backgrounds, an unusual education, a distinctive experience, or a unique family history to write about how these elements of their background have prepared them to play a useful role in increasing and encouraging diversity among their target program’s student body and broader community.
In this post, we’ll cover the following topics:
How to show you can add to diversity
Why diversity matters at school, seven examples that reveal diversity, how to write about your diversity, diversity essay example, want to ensure your application demonstrates the diversity that your dream school is seeking.
If you are an immigrant to the United States, the child of immigrants, or someone whose ethnicity is underrepresented in the States, your response to “How will you add to the diversity of our class/community?” and similar questions might help your application efforts. Why? Because you can use it to show how your background will add a distinctive perspective to the program you are applying to.
Download this sample personal background essay, and see how one candidate won over the adcom and got accepted into their top-choice MBA program.
Of course, if you’re not from a group that is underrepresented in your field or a disadvantaged group, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have anything to write about in a diversity essay.
For example, you might have an unusual or special experience to share, such as serving in the military, being a member of a dance troupe, or caring for a disabled relative. These and other distinctive experiences can convey how you will contribute to the diversity of the school’s campus.
You could be the first member of your family to apply to college or the first to learn English in your household. Perhaps you have worked your way through college or helped raise your siblings. You might also have been an ally to those who are underrepresented, disadvantaged, or marginalized in your community, at your previous school, or in an earlier work experience.
As you can see, diversity is not limited to one’s religion, ethnicity, culture, language, or sexual orientation. It refers to whatever element of your identity distinguishes you from others and shows that you, too, value diversity.
Admissions officers believe diversity in the classroom improves the educational experience of all the students involved. They also believe that having a diverse workforce better serves society as a whole.
The more diverse perspectives found in the classroom, throughout the dorms, in the dining halls, and mixed into study groups, the richer the discussions will be.
Plus, learning and growing in this kind of multicultural environment will prepare students for working in our increasingly multicultural and global world.
In medicine, for example, a heterogeneous workforce benefits people from previously underrepresented cultures. Businesses realize they will market more effectively if they can speak to different audiences and markets, which is possible when members of their workforce come from different backgrounds and cultures. Schools simply want to prepare graduates for the 21st century job market.
Adcoms want to know about your personal diversity elements and the way they have helped you develop particular character and personality traits , as well as the unusual experiences that have shaped you.
Here are seven examples an applicant could write about:
- They grew up with a strong insistence on respecting elders, attending family events, or learning their parents’ native language and culture.
- They are close to grandparents and extended family members who have taught them how teamwork can help everyone thrive.
- They have had to face difficulties that stem from their parents’ values being in conflict with theirs or those of their peers.
- Teachers have not always understood the elements of their culture or lifestyle and how those elements influence their performance.
- They suffered from discrimination and succeeded despite it because of their grit, values, and character.
- They learned skills from a lifestyle that is outside the norm (e.g., living in foreign countries as the child of a diplomat or contractor; performing professionally in theater, dance, music, or sports; having a deaf sibling).
- They’ve encountered racism or other prejudice (either toward themselves or others) and responded by actively promoting diverse, tolerant values.
And remember, it’s not just about who your parents are. It’s about who you are – at the core.
Your background, influences, religious observances, language, ideas, work environment, community experiences – all these factors come together to create a unique individual, one who will contribute to a varied class of distinct individuals taking their place in a diverse world.
Your answer to the diversity question should focus on how your experiences have built your empathy for others, your embrace of differences, your resilience, your character, and your perspective.
The school might well ask how you think of diversity or how you can bring or add to the diversity of your school, chosen profession, or community. Make sure you answer the specific question posed by highlighting distinctive elements of your profile that will add to the class mosaic every adcom is trying to create. You don’t want to blend in; you want to stand out in a positive way while also complementing the school’s canvas.
Here’s a simple, three-part framework that will help you think of diversity more, well, diversely:
- Identity : Who are you? What has contributed to your identity? How do you distinguish yourself? Your identity can include any of the following: gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability, religion, nontraditional work experience, nontraditional educational background, multicultural background, and family’s educational level.
- Deeds : What have you done? What have you accomplished? This could include any of the following: achievements inside and/or outside your field of study, leadership opportunities, community service, , internship or professional experience, research opportunities, hobbies, and travel. Any or all of these could be unique. Also, what life-derailing, throw-you-for-a-loop challenges have you faced and overcome?
- Ideas : How do you think? How do you approach things? What drives you? What influences you? Are you the person who can break up a tense meeting with some well-timed humor? Are you the one who intuitively sees how to bring people together?
Learn more about this three-part framework in this podcast episode.
Think about each question within this framework and how you could apply your diversity elements to the classroom, your school, or your community. Any of these elements will serve as the framework for your essay.
Don’t worry if you can’t think of something totally “out there.” You don’t need to be a tightrope walker living in the Andes or a Buddhist monk from Japan to pass the diversity test!
And please remember, the examples I have listed are not exhaustive. There are many other ways to show diversity!
All you need to write successfully about how you will contribute to the rich diversity of your target school’s community is to examine your identity, deeds, and ideas, with an eye toward your personal distinctiveness and individuality. There is only one you .
Want our advice on how you can best show diversity?
Click here to sign up for a free consultation.
Take a look at this sample diversity essay, and pay attention to how the writer underscores their appreciation for and experience with diversity.
When I was starting 11 th grade, my dad, an agricultural scientist, was assigned to a 3-month research project in a farm village in Niigata (northwest Honshu in Japan). Rather than stay behind with my mom and siblings, I begged to go with him. As a straight-A student, I convinced my parents and the principal that I could handle my schoolwork remotely (pre-COVID) for that stretch. It was time to leap beyond my comfortable suburban Wisconsin life—and my Western orientation, reinforced by travel to Europe the year before.
We roomed in a sprawling farmhouse with a family participating in my dad’s study. I thought I’d experience an “English-free zone,” but the high school students all studied and wanted to practice English, so I did meet peers even though I didn’t attend their school. Of the many eye-opening, influential, cultural experiences, the one that resonates most powerfully to me is experiencing their community. It was a living, organic whole. Elementary school kids spent time helping with the rice harvest. People who foraged for seasonal wild edibles gave them to acquaintances throughout the town. In fact, there was a constant sharing of food among residents—garden veggies carried in straw baskets, fish or meat in coolers. The pharmacist would drive prescriptions to people who couldn’t easily get out—new mothers, the elderly—not as a business service but as a good neighbor. If rain suddenly threatened, neighbors would bring in each other’s drying laundry. When an empty-nest 50-year-old woman had to be hospitalized suddenly for a near-fatal snakebite, neighbors maintained her veggie patch until she returned. The community embodied constant awareness of others’ needs and circumstances. The community flowed!
Yet, people there lamented that this lifestyle was vanishing; more young people left than stayed or came. And it wasn’t idyllic: I heard about ubiquitous gossip, long-standing personal enmities, busybody-ness. But these very human foibles didn’t dam the flow. This dynamic community organism couldn’t have been more different from my suburban life back home, with its insular nuclear families. We nod hello to neighbors in passing.
This wonderful experience contained a personal challenge. Blond and blue-eyed, I became “the other” for the first time. Except for my dad, I saw no Westerner there. Curious eyes followed me. Stepping into a market or walking down the street, I drew gazes. People swiftly looked away if they accidentally caught my eye. It was not at all hostile, I knew, but I felt like an object. I began making extra sure to appear “presentable” before going outside. The sense of being watched sometimes generated mild stress or resentment. Returning to my lovely tatami room, I would decompress, grateful to be alone. I realized this challenge was a minute fraction of what others experience in my own country. The toll that feeling—and being— “other” takes on non-white and visibly different people in the US can be extremely painful. Experiencing it firsthand, albeit briefly, benignly, and in relative comfort, I got it.
Unlike the organic Niigata community, work teams, and the workplace itself, have externally driven purposes. Within this different environment, I will strive to exemplify the ongoing mutual awareness that fueled the community life in Niigata. Does it benefit the bottom line, improve the results? I don’t know. But it helps me be the mature, engaged person I want to be, and to appreciate the individuals who are my colleagues and who comprise my professional community. I am now far more conscious of people feeling their “otherness”—even when it’s not in response to negative treatment, it can arise simply from awareness of being in some way different.
What did you think of this essay? Does this middle class Midwesterner have the unique experience of being different from the surrounding majority, something she had not experienced in the United States? Did she encounter diversity from the perspective of “the other”?
Here a few things to note about why this diversity essay works so well:
- The writer comes from “a comfortable, suburban, Wisconsin life,” suggesting that her own background might not be ethnically, racially, or in other ways diverse.
- The diversity “points” scored all come from her fascinating experience of having lived in a Japanese farm village, where she immersed herself in a totally different culture.
- The lessons learned about the meaning of community are what broaden and deepen the writer’s perspective about life, about a purpose-driven life, and about the concept of “otherness.”
By writing about a time when you experienced diversity in one of its many forms, you can write a memorable and meaningful diversity essay.
Working on your diversity essay?
Want to ensure that your application demonstrates the diversity that your dream school is seeking? Work with one of our admissions experts and . This checklist includes more than 30 different ways to think about diversity to jump-start your creative engines.
• Different Dimensions of Diversity , a podcast episode • What to Do if You Belong to an Overrepresented Applicant Group • Med School Admissions Advice for Nontraditional Applicants: The Experts Speak
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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, how to write a diversity essay: 4 key tips.
If you're applying to college, you've probably heard the phrase "diversity essay" once or twice. This type of essay is a little different from your typical "Why this college?" essay . Instead of focusing on why you've chosen a certain school, you'll write about your background, values, community, and experiences—basically, what makes you special.
In this guide, I explain what a diversity college essay is, what schools are looking for in this essay, and what you can do to ensure your diversity essay stands out.
What Is a Diversity Essay for College?
A diversity essay is a college admissions essay that focuses on you as an individual and your relationship with a specific community. The purpose of this essay is to reveal what makes you different from other applicants, including what unique challenges or barriers you've faced and how you've contributed to or learned from a specific community of people.
Generally speaking, the diversity college essay is used to promote diversity in the student body. As a result, the parameters of this essay are typically quite broad. Applicants may write about any relevant community or experience. Here are some examples of communities you could discuss:
- Your cultural group
- Your race or ethnicity
- Your extended family
- Your religion
- Your socioeconomic background (such as your family's income)
- Your sex or gender
- Your sexual orientation
- Your gender identity
- Your values or opinions
- Your experiences
- Your home country or hometown
- Your school
- The area you live in/your neighborhood
- A club or organization of which you're an active member
Although the diversity essay is a common admissions requirement at many colleges, most schools do not specifically refer to this essay as a diversity essay. At some schools the diversity essay is simply your personal statement , whereas at others it's a supplemental essay or short answer.
It's also important to note that the diversity essay is not limited to undergraduate programs. Many graduate programs also require diversity essays from applicants. So if you're planning to eventually apply to graduate school, be aware that you might have to write yet another diversity statement!
Diversity Essay Sample Prompts From Colleges
Now that you understand what diversity essays for college are, let's take a look at some diversity essay sample prompts from actual college applications.
University of Michigan
At the University of Michigan , the diversity college essay is a required supplemental essay for all freshman applicants.
Everyone belongs to many different communities and/or groups defined by (among other things) shared geography, religion, ethnicity, income, cuisine, interest, race, ideology, or intellectual heritage. Choose one of the communities to which you belong, and describe that community and your place within it.
University of Washington
Like UM, the University of Washington asks students for a short answer (300 words) diversity essay. UW also offers advice on how to answer the prompt.
Our families and communities often define us and our individual worlds. Community might refer to your cultural group, extended family, religious group, neighborhood or school, sports team or club, co-workers, etc. Describe the world you come from and how you, as a product of it, might add to the diversity of the University of Washington.
Keep in mind that the University of Washington strives to create a community of students richly diverse in cultural backgrounds, experiences, values, and viewpoints.
University of California System
The UC system requires freshman applicants to choose four out of eight prompts (or personal insight questions ) and submit short essays of up to 350 words each. Two of these are diversity essay prompts that heavily emphasize community, personal challenges, and background.
For each prompt, the UC system offers tips on what to write about and how to craft a compelling essay.
5. Describe the most significant challenge you have faced and the steps you have taken to overcome this challenge. How has this challenge affected your academic achievement?
Things to consider: A challenge could be personal, or something you have faced in your community or school. Why was the challenge significant to you? This is a good opportunity to talk about any obstacles you've faced and what you've learned from the experience. Did you have support from someone else or did you handle it alone?
If you're currently working your way through a challenge, what are you doing now, and does that affect different aspects of your life? For example, ask yourself, "How has my life changed at home, at my school, with my friends or with my family?"
7. What have you done to make your school or your community a better place?
Things to consider: Think of community as a term that can encompass a group, team or a place—like your high school, hometown or home. You can define community as you see fit, just make sure you talk about your role in that community. Was there a problem that you wanted to fix in your community?
Why were you inspired to act? What did you learn from your effort? How did your actions benefit others, the wider community or both? Did you work alone or with others to initiate change in your community?
University of Oklahoma
Freshman applicants to the University of Oklahoma who want to qualify for a leader, community service, or major-based scholarship must answer two optional, additional writing prompts , one of which tackles diversity. The word count for this prompt is 650 words or less.
The University of Oklahoma is the home of a vibrant, diverse and compassionate University community that is often referred to as “the OU family”. Please describe your cultural and community service activities and why you chose to participate in them.
In addition to having to answer the Common Application or Coalition Application essay prompts, applicants to Duke University may (but do not have to) submit short answers to two prompts, both of which are diversity college essay prompts. The maximum word count for each is 250 words.
We seek a diverse student body that embodies the wide range of human experience. In that context, we are interested in what you’d like to share about your lived experiences and how they’ve influenced how you think of yourself.
Duke’s commitment to diversity and inclusion includes sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. If you’d like to share with us more about your identity in this context, feel free to do so here.
At Pitzer, freshman applicants must use the Common Application and answer one supplemental essay prompt. One of these prompts is a diversity essay prompt that asks you to write about your community.
At Pitzer, five core values distinguish our approach to education: social responsibility, intercultural understanding, interdisciplinary learning, student engagement and environmental sustainability. As agents of change, our students utilize these values to create solutions to our world's challenges. Reflecting on your involvement throughout high school or within the community, how have you engaged with one of Pitzer's core values?
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
At the University of North Carolina , both freshman and transfer applicants must submit short answers (200-250 words) to two of four prompts. One is a diversity college essay prompt that wants to know more about the influence of your background on your current self.
Describe an aspect of your identity and how this has shaped your life experiences or impacted your daily interactions with others?
The Common Application
Many colleges and universities, such as Purdue University , use the Common Application and its essay prompts.
One of its essay prompts is for a diversity essay, which can be anywhere from 250 to 650 words. This prompt has a strong focus on the applicant's identity, interests, and background.
Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
ApplyTexas is similar to the Common Application but is only used by public colleges and universities in the state of Texas. The application contains multiple essay prompts, one of which is a diversity college essay prompts that ask you to elaborate on your environment, a community, and your personal identity.
Essay B: Some students have an identity, an interest, or a talent that defines them in an essential way. If you are one of these students, then tell us about yourself.
What Do Colleges Look for in a Diversity Essay?
With the diversity essay, what colleges usually want most is to learn more about you , including what experiences have made you the person you are today and what unique insights you can offer the school. But what kinds of specific qualities do schools look for in a diversity essay?
To answer this, let's look at what schools themselves have said about college essays. Although not many colleges give advice specific to the diversity essay, many provide tips for how to write an effective college essay in general.
For example, here is what Dickinson College hopes to see in applicants' college essays:
Tell your story.
It may be trite advice, but it's also true. Admissions counselors develop a sixth sense about essay writers who are authentic. You'll score points for being earnest and faithful to yourself.
Authenticity is key to writing an effective diversity essay. Schools want you to be honest about who you are and where you come from; don't exaggerate or make up stories to make yourself sound "cooler" or more interesting—99% of the time, admissions committees will see right through it! Remember: admissions committees read thousands of applications, so they can spot a fake story a mile away.
Next, here's what Wellesley College says about the purpose of college essays:
Let the Board of Admission discover:
- More about you as a person.
- The side of you not shown by SATs and grades.
- Your history, attitudes, interests, and creativity.
- Your values and goals—what sets you apart.
It's important to not only be authentic but to also showcase "what sets you apart" from other applicants—that is, what makes you you . This is especially important when you consider how many applications admissions committees go through each year. If you don't stand out in some positive way, you'll likely end up in the crapshoot , significantly reducing or even eliminating your chances of admission .
And finally, here's some advice from the University of Michigan on writing essays for college:
Your college essay will be one of nearly 50,000 that we'll be reading in admissions—use this opportunity to your advantage. Your essay gives us insights into your personality; it helps us determine if your relationship with the school will be mutually beneficial.
So tell us what faculty you'd like to work with, or what research you're interested in. Tell us why you're a leader—or how you overcame adversity in your life. Tell us why this is the school for you. Tell us your story.
Overall, the most important characteristic colleges are looking for in the diversity essay (as well as in any college essay you submit) is authenticity. Colleges want to know who you are and how you got here; they also want to see what makes you memorable and what you can bring to the school.
How to Write an Effective Diversity Essay: 4 Tips
Here are some tips to help you write a great diversity college essay and increase your chances of admission to college.
#1: Think About What Makes You Unique
One of the main purposes of the diversity essay is to present your uniqueness and explain how you will bring a new perspective to the student body and school as a whole. Therefore, for your essay, be sure to choose a topic that will help you stand apart from other applicants.
For example, instead of writing about your ability to play the piano (which a lot of applicants can do, no doubt), it'd be far more interesting to elaborate on how your experience growing up in Austria led you to become interested in classical music.
Try to think of defining experiences in your life. These don't have to be obvious life-altering events, but they should have had a lasting impact on you and helped shape your identity.
#2: Be Honest and Authentic
Ah, there's that word again: authentic. While it's important to showcase how unique you are, you also want to make sure you're staying true to who you are. What experiences have made you the person you are today? What kind of impact did these have on your identity, accomplishments, and future goals?
Being honest also means not exaggerating (or lying about) your experiences or views. It's okay if you don't remember every little detail of an event or conversation. Just try to be as honest about your feelings as possible. Don't say something changed your life if it really had zero impact on you.
Ultimately, you want to write in a way that's true to your voice. Don't be afraid to throw in a little humor or a personal anecdote. What matters most is that your diversity essay accurately represents you and your intellectual potential.
#3: Write Clearly, Correctly, and Cogently
This next tip is of a more mechanical nature. As is the case with any college essay, it's critical that your diversity essay is well written. After all, the purpose of this essay is not only to help schools get to know you better but also to demonstrate a refined writing ability—a skill that's necessary for doing well in college, regardless of your major.
A diversity essay that's littered with typos and grammatical errors will fail to tell a smooth, compelling, and coherent story about you. It will also make you look unprofessional and won't convince admissions committees that you're serious about college and your future.
So what should you do? First, separate your essay into clear, well-organized paragraphs. Next, proofread your essay several times. As you further tweak your draft, continue to proofread it. If possible, get an adult—such as a teacher, tutor, or parent—to look it over for you as well.
#4: Take Your Time
Our final tip is to give yourself plenty of time to actually write your diversity essay. Usually, college applications are due around December or January , so it's a good idea to start your essay early, ideally in the summer before your senior year (and before classes and homework begin eating up your time).
Starting early also lets you gain some perspective on your diversity essay. Here's how to do this: once you've written a rough draft or even just a couple of paragraphs of your essay, put it away for a few days. Once this time passes, take out your essay again and reread it with a fresh perspective. Try to determine whether it still has the impact you wanted it to have. Ask yourself: does this essay sound like the real you, or someone else? Are some areas a little too cheesy? Could you add more or less detail to certain paragraphs?
Finally, giving yourself lots of time to write your diversity essay means you can have more people read it and offer comments and edits on it. This is crucial for producing an altogether effective diversity college essay.
Conclusion: Writing Diversity Essays for College
A diversity essay is a college admissions essay that revolves around an applicant's background and identity, usually within the context of a particular community. This community can refer to race or ethnicity, income level, neighborhood, school, gender, sexual orientation, etc.
Many colleges—such as the University of Michigan, the University of Washington, and UNC—use the diversity essay to ensure diversity in their student bodies. Some schools require the essay, whereas others accept it as an optional application component.
If you'll be writing diversity essays for college, be sure to do the following when writing your essay to give yourself a higher chance of admission:
- Think about what makes you unique —try to pinpoint an experience or opinion you have that'll separate you from the rest of the crowd in an interesting, positive way
- Be honest and authentic —avoid exaggerating or lying about your feelings and experiences
- Write clearly, correctly, and cogently —proofread, edit, and get someone else to look over your essay
- Take your time —start early, preferably by the summer before your senior year, so you can have more time to make changes and get feedback from others
With that, I wish you the best of luck on your diversity essay!
You understand how to write a diversity essay— but what about a "Why this college?" essay ? What about a general personal statement ? Our guides explain what these essays are and how you can produce amazing responses for your applications.
Want more samples of college essay prompts? Read dozens of real prompts with our guide and learn how to answer them effectively.
Curious about what a good college essay actually looks like? Then check out our analysis of 100+ college essays and what makes them memorable .
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Hannah received her MA in Japanese Studies from the University of Michigan and holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California. From 2013 to 2015, she taught English in Japan via the JET Program. She is passionate about education, writing, and travel.
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3 Diversity Essay Examples For Business School
Historically, MBA programs did not always exemplify the diversity that they strive for today, as programs were often composed of overrepresented populations. For example, Harvard Business School did not admit women into its MBA program until as recently as 1961. Thankfully, business schools have made significant steps in the last few decades to incorporate women, international students, and students of other backgrounds into their programs.
Business schools now understand and value the diverse backgrounds of MBA students, who bring a wealth of skills, knowledge, and experiences. Diverse student pools in MBA programs prepare future business leaders for success as they expand their global and cultural understanding by working with students from a wide range of backgrounds.
Most business schools are eager to diversify their MBA programs and admit MBA students of “differing races, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, gender identities, socioeconomic statuses and geographical origins.” Business schools also strive to recruit students from an array of industries and a variety of undergraduate institutions.
Business professionals in MBA programs collaborate with students from numerous backgrounds, simulating students' real-world business experiences after graduation. Kelly R. Wilson, executive director of masters admissions at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business, said that “Each person’s unique experience and background – their lifestyle – brings them to a place where they have a way that they think about things.” When classrooms are composed of diverse students, the classroom experience becomes more valuable as students can learn and challenge their perspectives, facilitating better critical thinking skills.
To foster an ideal and diverse learning environment, many business schools will offer students the chance to write a diversity essay as part of their MBA application. We will explain the purpose of a diversity essay, tips for writing one, and include some diversity essay examples.
What is a Diversity Essay?
A diversity essay is often an optional essay that business schools may offer as part of their application process. Students can choose to write these essays if they self-identify as a minority based on their race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, or belonging to any other marginalized group. These essays can also focus on a student’s values and unique experiences.
These essays differ from typical business school essays; they tend to illustrate an applicant’s personal identity rather than focusing solely on their personal or professional achievements or why they want to go to a particular school. Applicants who choose to write a diversity essay will often tell an anecdotal story about their upbringing, community, or family and how their experiences shaped them.
The essays may also explain how the applicant's diverse background will meaningfully contribute to the specific business school of their choice.
Purpose of the Diversity Essay
The diversity essay offers a space to include your minority identity on a business school application if it’s something you want the admissions committee to know. Not only will the admissions committee get to learn more about you, but you can also use this opportunity to give context into your background and potentially explain how you have overcome past adversities.
Business schools value the diversity of their students, and illuminating your background can show the admissions committee how you would add a unique voice and perspective to the MBA program. Many schools celebrate inclusivity and actively share class profile demographics on their websites. Among the top ten business schools , recent data shows that almost all schools had racial or ethnic minority students who make up at least 25% of the student body.
Under-Represented Minorities At The Top 10 Business Schools
If crafting a diversity essay is something you want to do, your essay can also highlight how your minority identity strengthens your MBA candidacy.
Shaun Carver , assistant dean of graduate programs with the Rady School of Management at UCSD, said that “It's important to put their [an applicant’s] diversity in context of what makes them unique and makes them a better candidate and not just mention it as... checking a box.” Remember that the purpose of the diversity essay is to showcase your background with context to the admissions committee, so they can learn more about you and how you will contribute to the program.
If you are comfortable writing and talking about your gender identity or your self-identification as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, you may benefit from this in the admissions process. Jay Bryant, director of graduate recruitment and admissions with the Rady School of Management at the University of California—San Diego, said that “If you're applying to a school where that [LGBT status] would be an issue, you don't want to go there anyways.” Choosing to write a diversity essay about any part of your identity can help you later in the interview process as you explore the school’s culture and you get a better idea if you fit into it .
Top Tips for Crafting a Diversity Essay
Like any application essay, you want your diversity essay to be well-written, have a logical flow, and be free of any spelling or grammar errors. However, you can take some specific actions to make sure your diversity essay is the best that it can be. Here are some of our top tips to write a compelling diversity essay.
Understand and Define Your Views on Diversity and Inclusion
To help you get started on your essay, you should consider what diversity and inclusion mean to you. You can start jotting down ideas and themes that come to mind and ask yourself some questions to get the ball rolling. Some things you may want to ask yourself include:
- What are the types of diversity that I exhibit in my identity? Keep in mind that it’s possible to write about more than one facet of your identity. For example, perhaps you are a racial or ethnic minority that identifies as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community.
- As a student, how do you think you can contribute to the diversity of the school you wish to attend?
- What elements of your background influence your perspectives, experiences, and how you problem-solve in real-world settings?
- What are your values regarding diversity, and how do you integrate these values in a professional setting?
You will likely not have the luxury of a high word limit, so if you don’t hit all of these points in your essay, that’s okay. Asking yourself these questions is a way to get yourself thinking about what diversity means to you and to give yourself ideas for your writing.
Tell Your Story
Now that you’ve considered your beliefs surrounding diversity and inclusion, you can look toward identifying concrete examples in your personal experiences. You can write about how your background influenced and shaped you, any obstacles you’ve faced and how you overcame them, or initiatives or actions you’ve taken to promote diversity in your community.
Think carefully about any anecdotes that stick out in your mind as especially formative to your personal or professional development. Remember to be yourself and to write honestly about your story. The admissions committee will get to know your story, and you may even discuss it later in your interview .
Explain Why Your Background Will Positively Contribute to the School’s Culture
Although you are writing about yourself and your own experiences and initiatives, you will want to round back and explain how your minority identity improves your MBA candidacy. Write about how your unique background will enrich the program through your one-of-a-kind perspective and voice. Remember that the purpose of your entire application is to show the admissions committee why you are an excellent fit for your desired program.
Maybe you’re passionate about a school’s club or course that directly relates to the anecdotes you wrote about in your diversity essay. If you can relate your story to your desire to attend a particular program, it undoubtedly makes your essay stronger.
Consider How Your Background Impacted Your Skills and Perspectives
The diversity essay is a great place to illuminate your individuality. Think about your life in the context of how your experiences may differ from the “norm.” Did you grow up in a foreign country? If so, how did cultural and regional differences impact your perspectives on the world? Did you not grow up in the traditional nuclear family archetype? Do you possess unique skills thanks to your upbringing?
Keep in mind that these skills don’t necessarily have to be professional in nature. Perhaps you excel in a sport or game that’s relatively unknown to other people in the U.S., or you are a great dancer to choreography specific to your culture. Your hobbies, skills, and experiences put into the context of the general American population can be very different and interesting to the admissions committee. After all, your interests and skills are central to your personality and self-expression.
Think About the Future
At the conclusion of your essay, you may want to write about your hopes for your future. Here you can write about what you want your life to look like after you graduate and the accomplishments you hope to achieve. You can intertwine these future aspirations with your diversity statement to give the admissions committee a comprehensive look at how you will continue to uphold your values and ambitions after graduation or how you want to continue to be involved with your school as an alumnus.
Three Diversity Essay Examples for Business School
We have compiled three diversity essay examples to help you craft your own stellar essay. Keep in mind that these are examples and that the prompt for a diversity essay may differ depending on the business school. These diversity essay examples exemplify the criteria of the top tips above and can provide you with the framework you need to get started on your own essay.
Values are what guide you in your life and work. What values are important to you, and how have they influenced you? (450 words)
“Thank you for calling [Call Center]; this is [Name] – may I have your name and email, please?” To my estimation, I’ve said this opening line 4,860 times. Unfathomable to my peers and family, I turned down a lucrative job in Silicon Valley to start my career in a call center. My decision was based upon my ambition of bettering the global community, driven by my guiding values of empathy and accountability.
Sample Body Paragraphs:
I was born in [Country] to [Nationality] parents and moved to [City] at the age of five. My adolescence and teenage years were far from ordinary as our family moved every four years, and my sister was born in [year]. Despite my initial chagrin of being employed at the age of 12 as a traveling unpaid babysitter, these small yet significant responsibilities gave me my first glimpse into understanding what it meant to care for others. Empathy had led me to contextualize my life in a world of others, with the conclusion that humans should strive to help those around them.
I graduated with a concentration in corporate social responsibility (CSR). I felt the for-profit sector held the most untapped influence to fundamentally address global societal shortcomings. However, I couldn’t reconcile corporations’ competing pressure to maximize profits and engage in effective CSR initiatives until I discovered the entrepreneurial initiatives underway at [Call Center].
This rating agency was innovating the way investments are evaluated by assessing them based on sustainability metrics – environmental, social, and governance (ESG). In combining sustainability data and traditional financial metrics, investors can capture their non-pecuniary preferences in their investment behavior, which realigns corporate incentives to consider the stewardship of its actions.
As I look to the future, I want to pivot from investment ratings and focus on broader sustainability evaluations for products and services. Much like how [Call Center] is innovating the way investments are assessed, I want to help shape how sustainability considerations can be integrated into the consumer decision-making process. I envision the parent company’s sustainability rating displayed directly on product packaging to allow consumers to incorporate their sustainable preferences into their purchasing decisions. I want to create a world in which a brand’s sustainability stewardship is as important as price and brand recognition.
Taking into consideration your background – personal, professional, and/or academic – how do you plan to make specific, meaningful contributions to the Wharton community? (400 words)
Hip hop choreography has been a significant part of my college and work career and is something that I am looking to continue at Wharton. I fell for choreography in college because it was not just one style but a mix of contemporary, jazz, freestyle hip hop, and many other sub-genres. To be successful in choreography, I had to be comfortable learning and combining different styles.
Sample Body Paragraph:
As a choreographer, I initially sought to never be the type of leader that was domineering and controlling. I wanted my team to be empowered to make independent decisions and never feel restricted. However, I learned that this was not the best approach for everyone. Some did love my leadership style and enjoyed the independence. Others disliked this and felt that I did not provide enough direction.
I was taken aback. I had thought I was empowering my team but instead had sowed confusion. I thought I knew best, but had not actually taken the time to understand their perspectives to truly support my team. From this, I gained a valuable learning experience. I learned the value of challenging my preconceptions and the importance of listening to others’ perspectives.
With a passion to engage and understand others, I will be a student at Wharton who will connect my classmates together, facilitating networking and group collaboration such as knowledge sharing events and interview practice. Additionally, I will share my values of challenging preconceptions to help my classmates approach problems from new points of views. Simply put, I will be a student who will bring my classmates together and solve problems together in new ways.
I was hired on the spot during my final round of interviews at [Company] because, in addition to my communication skills, I knew how to code. Two years into my career, it turns out the interviewers were right: My high-level technical skills allow me to translate complicated processes into digestible language for our clients. By effectively articulating my growing passion for social media, I have made it my mission to spread the word about the power and pitfalls of technology. At Wharton, I will do the same: I will be committed to encouraging my classmates to consider how they can use social media to benefit their businesses and positively influence the world.
As I reflect on my past academic experiences, I am thankful for learning from my classmates’ diverse perspectives. At Wharton, I will add value to classroom discussions by contributing my technical perspective in its simplest and most relevant form. As a team player, I will effectively persuade my peers to seriously consider the power of social media.
While I firmly believe that social media and social influence go hand in hand, much of their complex relationship has yet to be studied. Popular culture often focuses on the negative impact of technology, I prefer to appreciate how it improves people’s lives. Social media is giving a platform to historically silenced groups of people: The pioneers of the #MeToo movement, who have expertly utilized social media to get out their message, inspired me to speak up about my own experience. At Wharton, I will fearlessly advocate for both myself and others to maintain an inclusive community where everyone feels comfortable and respected.
Finally, I look forward to strengthening the Wharton community even after I graduate. As part of the [Name] community, I serve as an alumni fund agent to encourage giving to the alumni fund, which finances 10% of the college’s operating budget. I look forward to proudly continuing these efforts as a Wharton alumna, because I know a close-knit alumni network is what separates a good school from a great school.
1. Do I have to write a diversity essay if I identify as part of a minority group?
The diversity essay is optional, so no you do not have to write one if you choose. However, writing this essay can help the admissions committee learn more about you and your values and illustrate your background. Business schools value diversity, so you may give yourself a better chance of acceptance by writing a stellar diversity essay.
2. How long should my diversity essay be?
The answer to this will depend on the school, but many business schools will provide you with a word limit for your essay. You should expect to write around 300-500 words.
3. How do I know I’m on the right track with my essay?
There’s no fundamental right or wrong way to write a diversity essay as long as you are answering the given prompt. Sometimes it can be difficult to ascertain that your essay accurately represents you or if it's well-written. If you feel apprehensive about your diversity essay, there are services available that will help you with your writing to make sure that it’s reviewed , polished, and ready for submission.
4. What elements of my diversity can I write about in my essay?
In your diversity essay, you can write about many facets of your identity, including your race, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, or other minority group. Note that you can also write about your experiences with intersectionality of two groups or more if that applies to you.
5. Will the content of my diversity essay be discussed in my interview?
If the business school admissions committee does not conduct blind interviews with anything on hand but your resume, anything on your application can be fair game for your interviewer to ask you. It may or may not come up, but you may want to be prepared with an example other than the one discussed in your essay to talk about with your interviewer.
6. How do I know that my essay is ready for submission?
Like all business school application essays, you want to make sure your essay is easy to follow, flows well, and is free of spelling or grammatical errors. If you feel that your essay accurately represents you and your experiences, answers the business school’s prompt, and is a clean edited copy, it may be ready for submission with the rest of your application!
Business schools today value the diversity of their MBA students and their unique skills and perspectives. Students have the opportunity to learn and grow together while gaining new perspectives from students from different backgrounds. Writing a diversity essay as part of your application can be a great way to illustrate your distinct upbringing, identity, or culture to the admissions committee.
You know that the purpose of the diversity essay is to share your experiences with the admissions committee and provide context to how these experiences shaped you. Doing so can strengthen your MBA candidacy, especially if the rest of your application is polished.
When you’re writing your diversity essay, remember to ask yourself questions about your views on diversity and inclusion, and use your beliefs and values to guide your writing. If you possess any unique skills or hobbies, the diversity essay may be a great place to write about them too.
Remember to tell your story authentically and explain how your acceptance will enrich the program. Your essay should reflect your past or your present, but be sure to think ahead to what you want your future to look like as well. Use the diversity essay examples above to guide your own writing, but remember that what experiences you choose to write about are ultimately up to you. You are the expert in your own life, and the admissions committee will undoubtedly be pleased to hear your story.
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Cultural Diversity Essay & Community Essay Examples
If you’ve started to research college application requirements for the schools on your list, you might have come across the “cultural diversity essay.” In this guide, we’ll explore the cultural diversity essay in depth. We will compare the cultural diversity essay to the community essay and discuss how to approach these kinds of supplements. We’ll also provide examples of diversity essays and community essay examples. But first, let’s discuss exactly what a cultural diversity essay is.
The purpose of the cultural diversity essay in college applications is to show the admissions committee what makes you unique. The cultural diversity essay also lets you describe what type of “ diversity ” you would bring to campus.
We’ll also highlight a diversity essay sample for three college applications. These include the Georgetown application essay , Rice application essay , and Williams application essay . We’ll provide examples of diversity essays for each college. Then, for each of these college essays that worked, we will analyze their strengths to help you craft your own essays.
Finally, we’ll give you some tips on how to write a cultural diversity essay that will make your applications shine.
But first, let’s explore the types of college essays you might encounter on your college applications.
Types of College Essays
College application requirements will differ among schools. However, you’ll submit one piece of writing to nearly every school on your list—the personal statement . A strong personal statement can help you stand out in the admissions process.
So, how do you know what to write about? That depends on the type of college essay included in your college application requirements.
There are a few main types of college essays that you might encounter in the college admissions process. Theese include the “Why School ” essay, the “Why Major ” essay, and the extracurricular activity essay. This also includes the type of essay we will focus on in this guide—the cultural diversity essay.
“Why School” essay
The “Why School ” essay is exactly what it sounds like. For this type of college essay, you’ll need to underscore why you want to go to this particular school.
However, don’t make the mistake of just listing off what you like about the school. Additionally, don’t just reiterate information you can find on their admissions website. Instead, you’ll want to make connections between what the school offers and how you are a great fit for that college community.
“Why Major” essay
The idea behind the “Why Major ” essay is similar to that of the “Why School ” essay above. However, instead of writing about the school at large, this essay should highlight why you plan to study your chosen major.
There are plenty of directions you could take with this type of essay. For instance, you might describe how you chose this major, what career you plan to pursue upon graduation, or other details.
Extracurricular Activity essay
The extracurricular activity essay asks you to elaborate on one of the activities that you participated in outside of the classroom.
For this type of college essay, you’ll need to select an extracurricular activity that you pursued while you were in high school. Bonus points if you can tie your extracurricular activity into your future major, career goals, or other extracurricular activities for college. Overall, your extracurricular activity essay should go beyond your activities list. In doing so, it should highlight why your chosen activity matters to you.
Cultural Diversity essay
The cultural diversity essay is your chance to expound upon diversity in all its forms. Before you write your cultural diversity essay, you should ask yourself some key questions. These questions can include: How will you bring diversity to your future college campus? What unique perspective do you bring to the table?
Another sub-category of the cultural diversity essay is the gender diversity essay. As its name suggests, this essay would center around the author’s gender. This essay would highlight how gender shapes the way the writer understands the world around them.
Later, we’ll look at examples of diversity essays and other college essays that worked. But before we do, let’s figure out how to identify a cultural diversity essay in the first place.
How to identify a ‘cultural diversity’ essay
So, you’re wondering how you’ll be able to identify a cultural diversity essay as you review your college application requirements.
Aside from the major giveaway of having the word “diversity” in the prompt, a cultural diversity essay will ask you to describe what makes you different from other applicants. In other words, what aspects of your unique culture(s) have influenced your perspective and shaped you into who you are today?
Diversity can refer to race, ethnicity, first-generation status, gender, or anything in between. You can write about a myriad of things in a cultural diversity essay. For instance, you might discuss your personal background, identity, values, experiences, or how you’ve overcome challenges in your life.
However, don’t feel limited in what you can address in a cultural diversity essay. The words “culture” and “diversity” mean different things to different people. Above all, you’ll want your diversity essays for college to be personal and sincere.
How is a ‘community’ essay different?
A community essay can also be considered a cultural diversity essay. In fact, you can think of the community essay as a subcategory of the cultural diversity essay. However, there is a key difference between a community essay and a cultural diversity essay, which we will illustrate below.
You might have already seen some community essay examples while you were researching college application requirements. But how exactly is a community essay different from a cultural diversity essay?
One way to tell the difference between community essay examples and cultural diversity essay examples is by the prompt. A community essay will highlight, well, community . This means it will focus on how your identity will shape your interactions on campus—not just how it informs your own experiences.
Two common forms to look out for
Community essay examples can take two forms. First, you’ll find community essay examples about your past experiences. These let you show the admissions team how you have positively influenced your own community.
Other community essay examples, however, will focus on the future. These community essay examples will ask you to detail how you will contribute to your future college community. We refer to these as college community essay examples.
In college community essay examples, you’ll see applicants detail how they might interact with their fellow students. These essays may also discuss how students plan to positively contribute to the campus community.
As we mentioned above, the community essay, along with community essay examples and college community essay examples, fit into the larger category of the cultural diversity essay. Although we do not have specific community essay examples or college community essay examples in this guide, we will continue to highlight the subtle differences between the two.
Before we continue the discussion of community essay examples and college community essay examples, let’s start with some examples of cultural diversity essay prompts. For each of the cultural diversity essay prompts, we’ll name the institutions that include these diversity essays for college as part of their college application requirements.
What are some examples of ‘cultural diversity’ essays?
Now, you have a better understanding of the similarities and differences between the cultural diversity essay and the community essay. So, next, let’s look at some examples of cultural diversity essay prompts.
The prompts below are from the Georgetown application, Rice application, and Williams application, respectively. As we discuss the similarities and differences between prompts, remember the framework we provided above for what constitutes a cultural diversity essay and a community essay.
Later in this guide, we’ll provide real examples of diversity essays, including Georgetown essay examples, Rice University essay examples, and Williams supplemental essays examples. These are all considered college essays that worked—meaning that the author was accepted into that particular institution.
Georgetown Supplementals Essays
Later, we’ll look at Georgetown supplemental essay examples. Diversity essays for Georgetown are a product of this prompt:
As Georgetown is a diverse community, the Admissions Committee would like to know more about you in your own words. Please submit a brief essay, either personal or creative, which you feel best describes you.
You might have noticed two keywords in this prompt right away: “diverse” and “community.” These buzzwords indicate that this prompt is a cultural diversity essay. You could even argue that responses to this prompt would result in college community essay examples. After all, the prompt refers to the Georgetown community.
For this prompt, you’ll want to produce a diversity essay sample that highlights who you are. In order to do that successfully, you’ll need to self-reflect before putting pen to paper. What aspects of your background, personality, or values best describe who you are? How might your presence at Georgetown influence or contribute to their diverse community?
Additionally, this cultural diversity essay can be personal or creative. So, you have more flexibility with the Georgetown supplemental essays than with other similar diversity essay prompts. Depending on the direction you go, your response to this prompt could be considered a cultural diversity essay, gender diversity essay, or a college community essay.
Rice University Essays
The current Rice acceptance rate is just 9% , making it a highly selective school. Because the Rice acceptance rate is so low, your personal statement and supplemental essays can make a huge difference.
The Rice University essay examples we’ll provide below are based on this prompt:
The quality of Rice’s academic life and the Residential College System are heavily influenced by the unique life experiences and cultural traditions each student brings. What personal perspective would you contribute to life at Rice?
Breaking down the prompt.
Like the prompt above, this cultural diversity essay asks about your “life experiences,” “cultural traditions,” and personal “perspectives.” These phrases indicate a cultural diversity essay. Keep in mind this may not be the exact prompt you’ll have to answer in your own Rice application. However, future Rice prompts will likely follow a similar framework as this diversity essay sample.
Although this prompt is not as flexible as the Georgetown prompt, it does let you discuss aspects of Rice’s academic life and Residential College System that appeal to you. You can also highlight how your experiences have influenced your personal perspective.
The prompt also asks about how you would contribute to life at Rice. So, your response could also fall in line with college community essay examples. Remember, college community essay examples are another sub-category of community essay examples. Successful college community essay examples will illustrate the ways in which students would contribute to their future campus community.
Williams Supplemental Essays
Like the Rice acceptance rate, the Williams acceptance rate is also 9% . Because the Williams acceptance rate is so low, you’ll want to pay close attention to the Williams supplemental essays examples as you begin the writing process.
The Williams supplemental essays examples below are based on this prompt:
Every first-year student at Williams lives in an Entry – a thoughtfully constructed microcosm of the student community that’s a defining part of the Williams experience. From the moment they arrive, students find themselves in what’s likely the most diverse collection of backgrounds, perspectives, and interests they’ve ever encountered. What might differentiate you from the 19 other first-year students in an Entry? What perspective would you add to the conversation with your peer(s)?
Reflecting on the prompt.
Immediately, words like “diverse,” “backgrounds,” “perspectives,” “interests,” and “differentiate” should stand out to you. These keywords highlight the fact that this is a cultural diversity essay. Similar to the Rice essay, this may not be the exact prompt you’ll face on your Williams application. However, we can still learn from it.
Like the Georgetown essay, this prompt requires you to put in some self-reflection before you start writing. What aspects of your background differentiate you from other people? How would these differences impact your interactions with peers?
This prompt also touches on the “student community” and how you would “add to the conversation with your peer(s).” By extension, any strong responses to this prompt could also be considered as college community essay examples.
All of the prompts above mention campus community. So, you could argue that they are also examples of community essays.
Like we mentioned above, you can think of community essays as a subcategory of the cultural diversity essay. If the prompt alludes to the campus community, or if your response is centered on how you would interact within that community, your essay likely falls into the world of college community essay examples.
Regardless of what you would classify the essay as, all successful essays will be thoughtful, personal, and rich with details. We’ll show you examples of this in our “college essays that worked” section below.
Which schools require a cultural diversity or community essay?
Besides Georgetown, Rice, and Williams, many other college applications require a cultural diversity essay or community essay. In fact, from the Ivy League to HBCUs and state schools, the cultural diversity essay is a staple across college applications.
Although we will not provide a diversity essay sample for each of the colleges below, it is helpful to read the prompts. This will build your familiarity with other college applications that require a cultural diversity essay or community essay. Some schools that require a cultural diversity essay or community essay include New York University , Duke University , Harvard University , Johns Hopkins University , and University of Michigan .
New York University
NYU listed a cultural diversity essay as part of its 2022-2023 college application requirements. Here is the prompt:
NYU was founded on the belief that a student’s identity should not dictate the ability for them to access higher education. That sense of opportunity for all students, of all backgrounds, remains a part of who we are today and a critical part of what makes us a world class university. Our community embraces diversity, in all its forms, as a cornerstone of the NYU experience. We would like to better understand how your experiences would help us to shape and grow our diverse community.
Duke is well-known for its community essay:
What is your sense of Duke as a university and a community, and why do you consider it a good match for you? If there’s something in particular about our offerings that attracts you, feel free to share that as well.
A top-ranked Ivy League institution, Harvard University also has a cultural diversity essay as part of its college application requirements:
Harvard has long recognized the importance of student body diversity of all kinds. We welcome you to write about distinctive aspects of your background, personal development, or the intellectual interests you might bring to your Harvard classmates.
Johns hopkins university.
The Johns Hopkins supplement is another example of a cultural diversity essay:
Founded in the spirit of exploration and discovery, Johns Hopkins University encourages students to share their perspectives, develop their interests, and pursue new experiences. Use this space to share something you’d like the admissions committee to know about you (your interests, your background, your identity, or your community), and how it has shaped what you want to get out of your college experience at Hopkins.
University of michigan.
The University of Michigan requires a community essay for its application:
Everyone belongs to many different communities and/or groups defined by (among other things) shared geography, religion, ethnicity, income, cuisine, interest, race, ideology, or intellectual heritage. Choose one of the communities to which you belong and describe that community and your place within it.
Community essay examples.
The Duke and Michigan prompts are perfect illustrations of community essay examples. However, they have some critical differences. So, if you apply to both of these schools, you’ll have to change the way you approach either of these community essays.
The Duke prompt asks you to highlight why you are a good match for the Duke community. You’ll also see this prompt in other community essay examples. To write a successful response to this prompt, you’ll need to reference offerings specific to Duke (or whichever college requires this essay). In order to know what to reference, you’ll need to do your research before you start writing.
Consider the following questions as you write your diversity essay sample if the prompt is similar to Duke University’s
- What values does this college community have?
- How do these tie in with what you value?
- Is there something that this college offers that matches your interests, personality, or background?
On the other hand, the Michigan essay prompt asks you to describe a community that you belong to as well as your place within that community. This is another variation of the prompt for community essay examples.
To write a successful response to this prompt, you’ll need to identify a community that you belong to. Then, you’ll need to think critically about how you interact with that community.
Below are some questions to consider as you write your diversity essay sample for colleges like Michigan:
- Out of all the communities you belong to, which can you highlight in your response?
- How have you impacted this community?
- How has this community impacted you?
Now, in the next few sections, we’ll dive into the Georgetown supplemental essay examples, the Rice university essay examples, and the Williams supplemental essays examples. After each diversity essay sample, we’ll include a breakdown of why these are considered college essays that worked.
Georgetown Essay Examples
As a reminder, the Georgetown essay examples respond to this prompt:
As Georgetown is a diverse community, the Admissions Committee would like to know more about you in your own words. Please submit a brief essay, either personal or creative, which you feel best describes you.
Here is the excerpt of the diversity essay sample from our Georgetown essay examples:
Georgetown University Essay Example
The best thing I ever did was skip eight days of school in a row. Despite the protests of teachers over missed class time, I told them that the world is my classroom. The lessons I remember most are those that took place during my annual family vacation to coastal Maine. That rural world is the most authentic and incredible classroom where learning simply happens and becomes exponential.
Years ago, as I hunted through the rocks and seaweed for seaglass and mussels, I befriended a Maine local hauling her battered kayak on the shore. Though I didn’t realize it at the time, I had found a kindred spirit in Jeanne. Jeanne is a year-round resident who is more than the hard working, rugged Mainer that meets the eye; reserved and humble in nature, she is a wealth of knowledge and is self-taught through necessity. With thoughtful attention to detail, I engineered a primitive ramp made of driftwood and a pulley system to haul her kayak up the cliff. We diligently figured out complex problems and developed solutions through trial and error.
After running out of conventional materials, I recycled and reimagined items that had washed ashore. We expected to succeed, but were not afraid to fail. Working with Jeanne has been the best classroom in the world; without textbooks or technology, she has made a difference in my life. Whether building a basic irrigation system for her organic garden or installing solar panels to harness the sun’s energy, every project has shown me the value of taking action and making an impact. Each year brings a different project with new excitement and unique challenges. My resourcefulness, problem solving ability, and innovative thinking have advanced under her tutelage.
While exploring the rocky coast of Maine, I embrace every experience as an unparalleled educational opportunity that transcends any classroom environment. I discovered that firsthand experience and real-world application of science are my best teachers. In school, applications of complex calculations and abstract theories are sometimes obscured by grades and structure. In Maine, I expand my love of science and renourish my curious spirit. I am a highly independent, frugal, resilient Mainer living as a southern girl in NC.
Why this essay worked
This is one of the Georgetown supplemental essay examples that works, and here’s why. The author starts the essay with an interesting hook, which makes the reader want to learn more about this person and their perspective.
Throughout the essay, the author illustrates their intellectual curiosity. From befriending Jeanne and creating a pulley system to engineering other projects on the rocky coast of Maine, the author demonstrates how they welcome challenges and work to solve problems.
Further, the author mentions values that matter to them—taking action and making an impact. Both facets are also part of Georgetown’s core values . By making these connections in their essay, the author shows the admissions committee exactly how they would be a great fit for the Georgetown community.
Finally, the author uses their experience in Maine to showcase their love of science, which is likely the field they will study at Georgetown. Like this writer, you should try to include most important parts of your identity into your essay. This includes things like life experiences, passions, majors, extracurricular activities for college, and more.
Rice University Essay Examples
The Rice University essay examples are from this prompt:
The quality of Rice’s academic life and the Residential College System are heavily influenced by the unique life experiences and cultural traditions each student brings. What personal perspective would you contribute to life at Rice? (500-word limit)
Rice university essay example.
Like every applicant, I also have a story to share. A story that makes me who I am and consists of chapters about my life experiences and adventures. Having been born in a different country, my journey to America was one of the most difficult things I had ever experienced. Everything felt different. The atmosphere, the places, the food, and especially the people. Everywhere I looked, I saw something new. Although it was a bit overwhelming, one thing had not changed.
The caring nature of the people was still prevalent in everyday interactions. I was overwhelmed by how supportive and understanding people were of one another. Whether it is race, religion, or culture, everyone was accepted and appreciated. I knew that I could be whoever I wanted to be and that the only limitation was my imagination. Through hard work and persistence I put my all in everything that I did. I get this work ethic from my father since he is living proof that anything can be accomplished with continued determination. Listening to the childhood stories he told me, my dad would reminisce about how he was born in an impoverished area in a third world country during a turbulent and unpredictable time.
Even with a passion for learning, he had to work a laborious job in an attempt to help his parents make ends meet. He talked about how he would study under the street lights when the power went out at home. His parents wanted something better for him, as did he. Not living in America changed nothing about their work ethic. His parents continued to work hard daily, in an attempt to provide for their son. My dad worked and studied countless hours, paying his way through school with jobs and scholarships. His efforts paid off when he finally moved to America and opened his own business. None of it would have been possible without tremendous effort and dedication needed for a better life, values that are instilled within me as well, and this is the perspective that I wish to bring to Rice.
This diversity essay sample references the author’s unique life experiences and personal perspective, which makes it one example of college essays that worked. The author begins the essay by alluding to their unique story—they were born in a different country and then came to America. Instead of facing this change as a challenge, the author shows how this new experience helped them to feel comfortable with all kinds of people. They also highlight how their diversity was accepted and appreciated.
Additionally, the author incorporates information about their father’s story, which helps to frame their own values and where those values came from. The values that they chose to highlight also fall in line with the values of the Rice community.
Williams Supplemental Essay Examples
Let’s read the prompt that inspired so many strong Williams supplemental essays examples again:
Every first-year student at Williams lives in an Entry—a thoughtfully constructed microcosm of the student community that’s a defining part of the Williams experience. From the moment they arrive, students find themselves in what’s likely the most diverse collection of backgrounds, perspectives and interests they’ve ever encountered. What might differentiate you from the 19 other first-year students in an entry? What perspective(s) would you add to the conversation with your peers?
Williams college essay example.
Through the flow in my head
See you clad in red
But not just the clothes
It’s your whole being
Covering in this sickening blanket
Of heat and pain
Are you in agony, I wonder?
Is this the hell they told me about?
Have we been condemned?
Reduced to nothing but pain
At least we have each other
In our envelopes of crimson
I try in vain
“Take my hands” I shriek
“Let’s protect each other,
You and me, through this hell”
My body contorts
And deforms into nothingness
You remain the same
Clad in red
With faraway eyes
You, like a statue
Your eyes fixed somewhere else
You never see me
Just the red briefcase in your heart
We aren’t together
It’s always been me alone
While you stand there, aloof, with the briefcase in your heart.
I wrote this poem the day my prayer request for the Uighur Muslims got denied at school. At the time, I was stunned. I was taught to have empathy for those around me. Yet, that empathy disappears when told to extend it to someone different. I can’t comprehend this contradiction and I refuse to.
At Williams, I hope to become a Community Engagement Fellow at the Davis Center. I hope to use Williams’ support for social justice and advocacy to educate my fellow classmates on social issues around the world. Williams students are not just scholars but also leaders and changemakers. Together, we can strive to better the world through advocacy.
Human’s capability for love is endless. We just need to open our hearts to everyone.
It’s time to let the briefcase go and look at those around us with our real human eyes.
We see you now. Please forgive us.
As we mentioned above, the Williams acceptance rate is incredibly low. This makes the supplemental essay that much more important.
This diversity essay sample works because it is personal and memorable. The author chooses to start the essay off with a poem. Which, if done right, will immediately grab the reader’s attention.
Further, the author contextualizes the poem by explaining the circumstances surrounding it—they wrote it in response to a prayer request that was denied at school. In doing so, they also highlight their own values of empathy and embracing diversity.
Finally, the author ends their cultural diversity essay by describing what excites them about Williams. They also discuss how they see themselves interacting within the Williams community. This is a key piece of the essay, as it helps the reader understand how the author would be a good fit for Williams.
The examples provided within this essay also touch on issues that are important to the author, which provides a glimpse into the type of student the author would be on campus. Additionally, this response shows what potential extracurricular activities for college the author might be interested in pursuing while at Williams.
How to Write a Cultural Diversity Essay
You want your diversity essay to stand out from any other diversity essay sample. But how do you write a successful cultural diversity essay?
First, consider what pieces of your identity you want to highlight in your essay. Of course, race and ethnicity are important facets of diversity. However, there are plenty of other factors to consider.
As you brainstorm, think outside the box to figure out what aspects of your identity help make up who you are. Because identity and diversity fall on a spectrum, there is no right or wrong answer here.
Fit your ideas to the specific school
Once you’ve decided on what you want to represent in your cultural diversity essay, think about how that fits into the college of your choice. Use your cultural diversity essay to make connections to the school. If your college has specific values or programs that align with your identity, then include them in your cultural diversity essay!
Above all, you should write about something that is important to you. Your cultural diversity essay, gender diversity essay, or community essay will succeed if you are passionate about your topic and willing to get personal.
Additional Tips for Community & Cultural Diversity Essays
1. Start Early
In order to create the strongest diversity essay possible, you’ll want to start early. Filling out college applications is already a time-consuming process. So, you can cut back on additional stress and anxiety by writing your cultural diversity essay as early as possible.
Writing a cultural diversity essay or community essay is a personal process. To set yourself up for success, take time to brainstorm and reflect on your topic. Overall, you want your cultural diversity essay to be a good indication of who you are and what makes you a unique applicant.
We can’t stress this final tip enough. Be sure to proofread your cultural diversity essay before you hit the submit button. Additionally, you can read your essay aloud to hear how it flows. You can also can ask someone you trust, like your college advisor or a teacher, to help proofread your essay as well.
Other CollegeAdvisor Essay Resources to Explore
Looking for additional resources on supplemental essays for the colleges we mentioned above? Do you need help with incorporating extracurricular activities for college into your essays or crafting a strong diversity essay sample? We’ve got you covered.
Our how to get into Georgetown guide covers additional tips on how to approach the supplemental diversity essay. If you’re wondering how to write about community in your essay, check out our campus community article for an insider’s perspective on Williams College.
Want to learn strategies for writing compelling cultural diversity essays? Check out this Q&A webinar, featuring a former Georgetown admissions officer. And, if you’re still unsure of what to highlight in your community essay, try getting inspiration from a virtual college tour .
Cultural Diversity Essay & Community Essay Examples – Final Thoughts
Your supplemental essays are an important piece of the college application puzzle. With colleges becoming more competitive than ever, you’ll want to do everything you can to create a strong candidate profile. This includes writing well-crafted responses for a cultural diversity essay, gender diversity essay, or community essay.
We hope our cultural diversity essay guide helped you learn more about this common type of supplemental essay. As you are writing your own cultural diversity essay or community essay, use the essay examples from Georgetown, Rice, and Williams above as your guide.
Getting into top schools takes a lot more than a strong resume. Writing specific, thoughtful, and personal responses for a cultural diversity essay, gender diversity essay, or community essay will put you one step closer to maximizing your chances of admission. Good luck!
CollegeAdvisor.com is here to help you with every aspect of the college admissions process. From taking a gap year to completing enrollment , we’re here to help. Register today to receive one-on-one support from an admissions expert as you begin your college application journey.
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Diversity Question in Your Application Essay: How to Nail
You might have come across the diversity college essay term while applying to college. A diversity essay (or, as it's also known in some institutions, - the personal statement) talks about your identity. This is based on which social categories you belong to and how it impacts you personally. This means you'll write about your culture, your ancestry, your values, and your experiences. All these things make you a unique person. Have a look at this guide for a walkthrough on how to write a diversity essay.
Diversity Topic Ideas
There is so much to the definition of diversity. All aspects that define you help categorize you as a person. Each category has either a positive or negative social impact, and there is plenty to write about the further you dig into this subject.
Here is a variety of essay examples of topics you can cover when writing your diversity essay:
- Your family's socioeconomic background (whether you grew up affluent);
- Your ethnicity;
- Your sex or gender identity;
- The neighborhood where you grew up;
- Your worldview;
- Your upbringing;
- Your religion or lack thereof.
How to Write an Effective Diversity Essay
What makes or breaks the effectiveness of a diversity essay is not only the content that details you, your background, and your experiences being yourself in the world, but it is also the actual structure of your essay. In general, the following is the skeleton for any other college application essay format. This should also give you an idea if you're asking yourself, ‘I need help with essays assignments . How long should a personal essay be?’ If you find yourself in a situation where you type ' write my papers ', you’re in luck!
Step 1: Conduct Research
Start by doing research on what you're writing about. Yes, you may have had your own experience. However, you should have a background in what you're talking about. This is so you don't say something untrue and perhaps misrepresent an entire group.
If you say being Italian has its downsides, offer real statistics showing how being Italian will be a disadvantage. If you say that other groups oppress you, you have to provide irrefutable evidence. You can find information on this by searching “ethnic disparities” on Google concerning the group you identify with.
Step 2: Create an Outline & Write Your Essay
Create an outline before you actually start writing. When you create an outline, you have a visual of what your essay should look like. So you have a map and a checklist of where to go with your ideas and what to cover. Before even getting to this step, you should have your research done thoroughly.
You're going to want to create an outline based on the following 5-paragraph essay format. Follow this structure for both your outline and your final draft:
Paragraph 1: The Introduction.
- Introduce yourself and who you are.
- Consider this both your hook and your thesis. Remember that a thesis is a statement that defines your entire essay. It is the very position that you're arguing. It is your claim, and it directly answers a question on the topic you're writing about.
Example of a hook: “Have you ever wondered what it's like to be poor, black, and female in Alabama?”
Example of a thesis: “Growing up in the U.S. as a middle-class female of Mexican descent gave me both opportunities and setbacks that helped me become the strong person I am today.”
- Introduce the factors that made you into who you are today. These will be the supporting arguments for the thesis.
Factor example: “The dismissive way the average person in America treats people living below the poverty line impacted me negatively because I grew up poor.”
Paragraph 2: The First Factor
- Reserve this paragraph for the first factor you want to mention.
- Describe what it was, what it taught you, and, with examples, how it helped you grow.
Paragraphs 3&4: The Other Factors
- Repeat the instructions for Paragraph 2, but for the remaining factors that define you.
Paragraph 5: The Conclusion
- Restate the thesis of what makes up your identity.
- Summarize what you now know about yourself.
- Describe where you hope this will take you.
When writing, make sure to stay true to yourself. Don't make up stories about your life because it will be obvious to the trained eye of those overseeing the admission college admissions process. Authenticity will get you far, so write with that in mind.
Step 3: Writing Tips to Make Sure Your Essay Gets Full Marks
Use proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation
This is extremely important. If your essay is littered with grammatical errors, improper use of punctuation, and no concern for the way words are spelled, you're showing your evaluators that you find it challenging to conduct a simple Google search. All the formulas and instructions you need are available online, with Grammarly and Hemingway App being great resources to use.
Use your vocabulary properly
It's not a good idea to use big words spice up your text. If you're not an expert at using them, you'll look like you're trying to compensate for a weak or boring idea. It's better to write with words that have their own purpose and are easy to comprehend. Don't focus on how to dress up your essay to have its words “look pretty.” Remember this rule: Function, not Theater. It applies to more than just words. And avoid misusing words — always consult a dictionary when in doubt.
Comprehend the argument you're presenting
Arguing a position works like a Rube Goldberg machine. A Rube Goldberg machine is a contraption that works by a series of parts that work in harmony to get your object from the beginning to the end. In other words, be able to see all the parts in your argument work together. If something's off, get rid of it. Be sure to do enough research to know what you're arguing about. Doing so helps you avoid misrepresenting the side you're arguing against. This is why the first step to winning any argument, whether spoken or in writing, is to learn about the topic in full.
Write a proper conclusion
The conclusion is commonly one of the worst-explained parts when it comes to writing an essay. You won't get full marks if you simply copy & paste the thesis statement. If you want to know how to end a college essay properly, confirm that your argument is correct by doing a brief recap of how you proved your position. Use this paragraph to include suggestions, predictions, or opinions about why your side of the argument is important. More specifically, talk about the real-world impact it has or will have. Leave your readers with a Call to Action. This is where you convince the reader to do something in real life related to your successfully-argued position.
An example of a CTA (Call to Action):
“Now that you understand why it's important for the Amazon rainforest to exist, you can do something about it by contacting your local Amazon rainforest protection representative. Be the change you want to see in the world.”
We also recommend reading how to write a speech . Buy essay papers at professional writing service EssayPro.
Diversity Essay Examples
Feel free to use these diversity essay examples as a reference:
Inspiring customers to buy products has always been my passion. Growing up in Saudi Arabia gave me my first experience with marketing at a community level. I was delighted by the ability of traders in the market to catch the attention of many customers more than their colleagues. Despite selling the same products, these traders attracted more customers due to having experience in marketing skills. The ability to attract customers is an exciting skill that I have always wanted to pursue through learning through marketing.
Read also the PESTEL analysis examples from our service, the information in the article can be useful for writing analytical college essays.
What Is a Diversity Essay?
Diversity essays are papers that look at the social, economic, ethnic, and cultural groups that you belong to. It outlines your role as an individual in a particular community and your society, coming from that background. It talks about whether you're an insider or an outsider, and how you experience that role.
Most colleges don't call it a diversity essay or a diversity paper, yet it is a very common admission requirement. They could call it a “personal statement” or a “supplemental essay.” Other places request that you write a diversity statement. You might now be asking yourself, “What is a diversity statement?” Writing a diversity statement, as one source puts it, is to write “a one-page document explaining your experiences and commitments to diversity.”
Why Is a Diversity Essay Important?
Higher education institutions like having students that fit into their efficient learning environment. By writing about where you came from and how society reacts to people of your background, you can show them that you're aware of who you are and how you fit into your surroundings. That way, they're likely to see you as someone who will not waste their time and risk their reputation. Their reputation depends on who can get in and affects the value of the diplomas they distribute.
Diversity essays also help recruiters enroll students who have empathy toward those of different walks of life. By writing this, you help institutions reduce the risk of tension due to differences, making their campus community and environment a more efficient place for learning.
This type of essay is your chance to inform the admissions officers and the college's admissions committee of any struggles you had overcome. This is your chance to talk about how overcoming the struggles helped you develop into who you are today. This includes highlighting your talents and abilities, too.
What Do Colleges Look for?
Colleges want to find out who you are. It's a filter system to see what kind of diverse student body that they'll be dealing with. Because the world is becoming more and more globalized, we can expect to have people enter a more and more diverse workforce. To do this successfully, students must be ready to engage in it.
They're looking for examples of self-awareness and self-development. They're interested in how, for example, going abroad changed your worldview or how overcoming adversity made you a braver person. Many colleges use a selection process to look for mature and independent students who can take care of themselves.
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Let's look back at what we just learned. Whether it's called a supplementary essay or a diversity essay, the assignment will be to write a profile of yourself for the college admission committee.
They want to know if you grew up rich, poor, or middle class. They want to know if your sexual orientation or gender identity lines up with your sex at birth, or if this topic is even relevant to you. They're interested in whether or not your race or ethnicity impacted your opportunities, and/or if you figured out how to go around this factor and define yourself by your abilities instead of by your appearance or cultural traits. The purpose of the essay is to get you to show them you see which parts of you made society react positively and which parts reacted negatively, and how all of this shaped your mindset.
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