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How to Respond to the Fordham University Supplemental Essay Prompts

Fordham University is a private Catholic research university in the Bronx, New York. Fordham University upholds the traditions of the Jesuits, so it’s important to highlight your values in your Fordham University supplemental essay. 

The Jesuit tradition is about educating the whole person—mind, body, and soul—and preparing students to create a more just, humane, and sustainable world. While the essay is optional, writing one will give you a better chance to distinguish yourself from other applicants. Colleges want to get to know who you are, and Fordham is no exception.

Keep reading this guide to learn more about writing your Fordham supplemental essay!

The Fordham prompt

Optional: 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, your friend group, your high school, or town). Or, share a way you hope to do so at Fordham. (150 words)

Fordham is using this essay prompt to evaluate how important acts of service are for you. There are two ways you can go about answering this prompt: you could explain a previous volunteer experience, or you could suggest ways you could better the Fordham community. 

The goal of your essay should be to show your vested interest in your community and how that will relate to your experience at Fordham. Do your best to find the common ground between your service to others and the values that Fordham upholds. 

As a Jesuit University, Fordham values students who “insert themselves in the world on the side of the poor, the marginalized, and those seeking justice.” With this in mind, you could write about how volunteering has changed the way you see the world, and mention the ways you strive to change it in the future.

Even if you’re not entirely sure about your plans at Fordham, they will appreciate the passion you have for a cause. Try to discuss your plans and aspirations for your community, and how you might achieve them by attending Fordham.

Questions to consider:

  • What community service have you done in the past and what did you learn from it?
  • How do Fordham’s values align with my own?
  • How can I make a difference while at Fordham?

Final thoughts for students 

Since your Fordham supplemental essay will be on the shorter side, try to make your sentences more concise and focus on the big ideas rather than the smaller details. One way to do this is by pre-writing your essay by jotting down broad topics you want to cover to organize your thoughts. Remember, with the 150 word limit, you need to make the most of each word! 

Also see: Show, don’t tell essay primer

Additional resources

College is getting closer every day, and it might seem daunting, so here are some resources to help you get ready for the next step.

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