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The Ivy Coach Daily

August 23, 2023

2023-2024 Haverford College Supplemental Essay Prompts

A building is featured beyond a walking path at Haverford College.
Haverford College’s 2023-2024 admissions essays have been released (photo credit: Jackbauerinvc)

Previously Published on July 13, 2013:

Haverford College has released its supplemental admissions essays for the 2023-2024 college admissions cycle. Applicants to the Haverford Class of 2028 will be asked to answer two essays besides The Common Application’s Personal Statement. So what are the essay prompts for applicants to the Haverford Class of 2028? Wonder no more!

2023-2024 Haverford Essay Topics and Questions

Haverford’s admissions committee asks applicants to write 150-200 words for each of its two required supplemental essays. Haverford’s two supplemental essays for applicants to the Class of 2028 are as follows:

1. Tell us about a topic or issue that sparks your curiosity and gets you intellectually excited. How do you hope to engage with this topic or issue at Haverford?

This essay prompt is a hybrid as it asks students to write about a topic that excites them in addition to showcasing how they hope to engage with that topic at Haverford. So it’s a part why topic question and a part Why Haverford question. The issue an applicant chooses shouldn’t inspire a yawn.

For example, selecting climate change would not be a good choice since it’s a no-brainer — of course, climate change is bad. A better version for an environmental activist could be smellscapes — how various lands smell differently over the course of years due to changes to our climate. The very specific sniffer beats the more broad climate change activist.

The topic should also directly relate to a student’s hook so a student can effectively demonstrate how they’ll contribute their unique background — rather than well-roundedness — to the school’s community.

And then, of course, an applicant must transition to the Why Haverford component of the question. In this part of the response, a student should include specifics that only apply to Haverford. If an applicant can easily replace Haverford in a sentence with Williams, the sentence should be deleted. And applicants should strive to capture genuine, enduring specifics about a school. As such, name-dropping professors and listing classes don’t count.

2. We have highlighted for you some of the values that shape the Haverford community. What are some of the values you seek in your next community? How do Haverford’s values, as demonstrated through our Honor Code, resonate with you? As you think about how to answer this question, you might draw from how you have been influenced by other communities you have been a part of, experiences you may have had within your communities, or opportunities you have had to shape or even change your communities.

This broad essay prompt, in some variation, has long been a staple of the Haverford supplement. Haverford’s Honor Code, which the school considers to be a living, breathing document, has been in place at the institution for over 100 years, and they’re mighty proud of it — even publicly re-evaluating and reaffirming its content each academic year.

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s outlawing of Affirmative Action in late June 2023, this prompt now provides an opportunity — one afforded by Chief Justice John Roberts’ majority opinion in which he cited a loophole to the consideration of race in the admissions process — for students to write about their unique life experiences and perspectives.

Of course, Haverford applicants need not write about race in their answer. Community is a broad term. Maybe it’s a scientific community or a community of poets. Perhaps it’s a faith-based community. It could be anything, but what’s important is that an applicant’s response showcases intellectual curiosity and a desire to agitate for change from within, however small, to make our world a better one.

Ivy Coach’s Assistance with Haverford Essays

If you’re interested in giving yourself the best shot at admission to Haverford College by submitting compelling essays that inspire admissions officers to root for you, fill out Ivy Coach’s consultation form, and we’ll be in touch to outline our college admissions counseling services for seniors.

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