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    How to Respond to the 2023/2024 University of Richmond Supplemental Essay Prompts

    By Cait Williams

    Cait Williams is a Content Writer at Scholarships360. Cait recently graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Journalism and Strategic Communications. During her time at OU, was active in the outdoor recreation community.

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    Reviewed by Bill Jack

    Bill Jack has over a decade of experience in college admissions and financial aid. Since 2008, he has worked at Colby College, Wesleyan University, University of Maine at Farmington, and Bates College.

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    Edited by Maria Geiger

    Maria Geiger is Director of Content at Scholarships360. She is a former online educational technology instructor and adjunct writing instructor. In addition to education reform, Maria’s interests include viewpoint diversity, blended/flipped learning, digital communication, and integrating media/web tools into the curriculum to better facilitate student engagement. Maria earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Monmouth University, an M. Ed. in Education from Monmouth University, and a Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) from the University of Pennsylvania.

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    Updated: December 1st, 2023
    How to Respond to the 2023/2024 University of Richmond Supplemental Essay Prompts

    The University of Richmond supplemental essay options are anything but mainstream. They offer you several prompts and a diverse array of topics to choose to respond to. Check out our article below to learn how to choose the prompt that is right for you!

    A quick look at Richmond

    It’s always good to know a bit about the school you’re applying to before you answer their supplemental essay prompts. So, let’s take a quick look at the University of Richmond before we move on! 

    A lot of schools put an emphasis on community, but few deliver like Richmond does! Let’s take a quick look at a few fast facts about Richmond!

     At Richmond, they are the…

    • #1 ranked most beautiful campus in the United States
    • #3 ranked best run college 
    • #3 ranked for the best classroom experience

    During your years at Richmond, the University is committed to helping you grow academically and as an individual. It’s no wonder that the University of Richmond is ranked #10 in the nation for having the happiest students!

    Richmond knows that because every student is different, their path to a degree will be different too. At Richmond, you can expect to find a community ready to support you in every area you wish to explore! Now, let’s get started with the University of Richmond supplement essay!

    Note: Although we have listed three prompts below, remember that students should only choose one from the list; you do not need to respond to all three!

    Prompt #1

    You have a platform to create change. What is an action or policy you might propose to address an issue of social injustice in your school or local community, or on a national or global scale? (350-650 words)

    Okay, how many college applications have asked you this question? Probably not many. Richmond wants to get to know you through something unique and personal. Colleges hear all kinds of responses about why students choose their major and their school, but that’s not the only way for them to get a sense of who you are. 

    Through your answer to this prompt you can talk about an issue that you feel strongly about. You can give an admissions counselor a window into your world. What social issues in your community, family, or school make you want to take action?

    When it comes to this prompt, don’t overthink it. College admissions counselors don’t expect you to propose a foolproof plan to solve the issue you choose to talk about. What they want to see is that you can think critically about these things and that you pay attention to the world around you, as both of those qualities will be necessary in your college journey.

    Prompt #2

    Tell us about a time you learned something unexpected. What did you learn, and what happened next? (350-650 words)

    This prompt also offers you an opportunity to talk about something unique and personal to you, essentially this is one of the best prompts you could ask for in terms of showing the admissions committee something more personal about yourself! 

    This prompt is not only asking about things you learned academically, but rather anything you’ve learned. Maybe you want to talk about the time you learned more about your family tree and it led you to explore your family history, which led to a larger passion for studying history. Or perhaps you learned about the overflow of pets that your county has at its shelter and you decided to take action by volunteering to educate people about spaying and neutering their pets. You may have even learned a crazy fact, such as that wombats poop square poop, and that led you to want to study zoology!

    Whatever it is you learned, make sure it conveys something about you that’s going to affect your college journey. After all, that’s what Richmond is looking for! Take some time to think about a few things you could talk about for this prompt. It never hurts to write about a few things to see where they go!

    Check out: What are extracurricular activities and why do they matter?

    Prompt #3

    Richmond welcomes students from various backgrounds, perspectives, and lived experiences. What is at least one way you will contribute to our community that is not already mentioned in your application? (350-650 words)

    The best way to choose how you’d like to answer is to think about what you want Richmond to know most about you, and what they may not already know through your application. Consider the questions below to help you start!

    Questions to consider

    • What is your background?
    • What communities have been most impactful to you (school, where you live, communities related to your family heritage, etc.)
    • Do you hold any unique perspectives related to social issues, religious beliefs, or your community?

    Now that you’ve thought about your past and where you come from, it’s time to connect those things to how you will contribute to the Richmond community. So, let’s look at some more questions!

    Questions to consider

    • What are ways that you contributed to your community at home?
    • Are there specific clubs or organizations that you’d like to be a part of or found once you get to Richmond?
    • What ways have you been poured into through your community that you would like to now give back?

    This question may take a bit more work than the other two prompts, but if it can convey important information to the admissions committee, it may be well worth your time. You need to think about your past, but also something you hope to do in the future. Be honest with yourself and the admissions counselors. You may not have really thought about how you’d contribute to campus yet, but that’s okay. Take some time now to think about it. Do your research on Richmond’s website and social media accounts to see what their community is like and where you’d best fit in to be an engaged member of the community!

    Key Takeaways

    Key Takeaways

    • The University of Richmond offers three prompts for you to choose from, of which you only need to respond to one
    • Do your research about Richmond before you submit your application to demonstrate that you are serious about attending their school 
    • If you have the time, you should attempt answering more than one prompt to figure out which of your essays best represents you
    • Once you’re done with your college application, you can still work hard toward your college goals by applying to scholarships
    Key Takeaways

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