The Ivy Coach Daily

July 20, 2021

Northwestern University 2021-2022 Essay Prompt

Northwestern has stuck with the same essay prompt this year (photo credit: Madcoverboy).

Northwestern University has released its essay prompt for the 2021-2022 application cycle, the cycle during which applicants to the Class of 2026 will apply. And if you’ve been laying awake at night wondering exactly what Northwestern’s admissions office will be asking of you as you seek to earn admission to the Evanston, Illinois-based institution this year, your sleepless nights are over. We’ve got the 2021-2022 essay prompt for our readers…which is the exact same prompt as applicants were previously asked to complete. So what’s the prompt, you ask?

This year’s prompt, appropriately dubbed a “Why Northwestern” statement reads, “While other parts of your application give us a sense of who you are, we are also excited to hear more about how you see yourself engaging with the larger Northwestern community. In 300 words or less, help us understand how you might engage specific resources, opportunities, and/or communities here. We are curious about what these specifics are, as well as how they may enrich your time at Northwestern and beyond.”

And how should applicants approach a Why Northwestern essay? Specifics, specifics, specifics. It’s all about including sentences that don’t apply to any school in America…except Northwestern. Writing about a diverse student body, small class sizes, and a beautiful campus, well, that just doesn’t do it because admissions officers know you can cut and paste those sentences for the likes of the University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University, and so many others. It’s all about capturing how you’re going to contribute your singular hook to the school’s unique community. And, no, that doesn’t include name dropping classes that change from year to year and professors who may or may not be there next year.

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