College Essays

Fordham Supplemental

Prompt: You may choose to respond to the optional question below. At Fordham, we expect students to care for and engage with their communities. Please share a specific instance in which you challenged yourself or stepped out of your comfort zone in order to impact your community (for example, your family, friend group, high school, or town). Or, share a way you hope to do so at Fordham. (150 words max)


Though I am too young to vote, I wanted to engage with the democratic process. I volunteered for the local Democratic Committee, managing social media, creating advertisements, and canvassing. I was designated “Youth Vote By Mail Officer” in my local mayoral campaign, where less than 15% of young people voted in the previous election.   

As my friends were leaving for college worried about their mattress toppers and shower shoes, I was educating them on the power of voting by mail in this close local election. 

I chose to take a face-to-face approach to connect with my generation. Our group of 20 Young Democrats figured we were connected with all registered Democrats age 18-22 in our town. So, we worked to register them by delivering voter applications in person, leading to more than 100 new voters having the opportunity to make their voices heard in a close local election.

Tips for Writing: 

At first glance, an essay that limits you to 150 words might seem like an easy task. It’s not. You have to encapsulate how you ”care for and engage with your community” in 150 words, there’s a lot to say or, at least, a story to tell. Once you have a topic set, you can set out to write. I recommend starting with a draft using “the most dangerous writing tool in the world” this tool made it easy to get out 150 words or more that were in no way quality but gave me a place to organize my thoughts. 

After having the rough draft, I evaluate each of the points I made for 1. Quality of writing and 2. Quality of topic. Typically, with these shorter essays you’ll be removing most of the essay for the latter. Once you’ve shaved it down you’ll likely start to see a somewhat cohesive piece. At this step, I recommend looking at the essay and finding a place you can take a risk, especially here where other applicants will feel as though they don’t have much room to do so. I saw my risk taking approach as a place to connect it to my experience specifically and isolated it from the rest of the piece. Mattresses toppers and shower shoes are two words admissions officers don’t often read. An essay with this personal and out of the ordinary way of saying ordinary things is one that will stand out.

PS- Don’t wait until November 1st to write these! 

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