The Ivy Coach Daily

August 5, 2022

Vanderbilt University 2022-2023 Essay Prompts

Vandy has slightly switched up its admissions essay prompts this year (photo credit: Dansan4444).

Vanderbilt University has released its 2022-2023 essay prompt for applicants to the Class of 2027. If you happen to be wondering if Vanderbilt changed the essay prompt, the answer is yes — albeit only slightly. Last year, as our readers may remember, Vanderbilt’s admissions office asked applicants, “Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences.” Applicants were told to respond in 200-400 words, which of course means that applicants would have been wise to write 400 words since savvy applicants use all of the real estate they are given to make their case. Why wouldn’t they? In any case, what is this year’s essay prompt for the Vanderbilt Class of 2027? Wonder no more!

Vanderbilt Class of 2027 Essay Prompt

This admissions cycle, Vanderbilt’s admissions office offers applicants the option of choosing to answer one of two prompts. The first prompt reads, “Vanderbilt offers a community where students find balance between their academic and social experiences. Please briefly elaborate on how one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences has influenced you.” The second prompt reads, “Vanderbilt University values learning through contrasting points of view. We understand that our differences, and our respect for alternative views and voices, are our greatest source of strength. Please reflect on conversations you’ve had with people who have expressed viewpoints different from your own. How did these conversations/experiences influence you?” Applicants are instructed to answer in approximately 250 words (even though The Common Application offers the space for 400 words, one should always follow the university’s direct instructions!). So while students have the option this year of choosing one essay among two options, their response will be shorter in length.

How to Approach the Vanderbilt Class of 2027 Essay Prompt

The first prompt, very similar to last year’s question, should showcase an applicant’s singular hook (rather than well-roundedness) — in a way that complements but is not redundant to either the Personal Statement or the optional Covid-19 essay on The Common Application. The showcased activity should also, of course, be included among the ten activities listed on The Common Application. For the second prompt, admissions officers want to know that you can respectfully agree to disagree, that you’re malleable to learn from the perspectives of others, that you’re even willing to change your viewpoints. After all, that is a key directive of a liberal arts education — to learn from fellow students. It’s why we always discourage our students from using terminology like a desire to be surrounded with like-minded students. Like-minded students? You mean students who all agree with you? Yikes! That is precisely not what admissions officers want to see. So applicants answering this second prompt should not shy away from a controversial topic if that topic showcases their ability to learn another’s viewpoint. We so often read on the web that college applicants should avoid writing about controversial topics. That couldn’t be more wrong. Dare to be interesting. Dare to showcase your opinion on something that isn’t the safest. By doing so, you’ll be doing exactly what admissions officers want to see — whether they know it or not.

Ivy Coach As Your Guide to Vanderbilt’s Application

Have a question about the Vanderbilt University Class of 2027 essay prompts? Are you a rising senior in need of help? At Ivy Coach, before we work on essays, we first need to help you devise a strategy that showcases your singular hook. Anyone who offers assistance with essays without first helping you showcase a singular hook is doing applicants a great disservice. While we can’t help rising seniors get involved in activities that they should have been involved in beginning three years ago, we can tweak how you present the activities you have been involved in through high school and we can help you tell your story in a much more powerful way. In short, we make the best of the hand we have, optimizing students’ cases for admission. So fill out Ivy Coach’s free consultation form and we’ll be in touch in short order.

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