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The Ivy Coach Daily

August 26, 2023

2023-2024 Vanderbilt University Supplemental Essay Prompts

A pillared building is featured at Vanderbilt University.
Vanderbilt asks applicants to the Class of 2028 to respond to one of two supplemental essay prompts (photo credit: Dansan4444).

Vanderbilt University has released its 2023-2024 supplemental admissions essay prompts for applicants to the Class of 2028. This year, in addition to The Common Application’s Personal Statement, Vanderbilt requires applicants to answer one of their two supplemental essay prompts in approximately 250 words. So what are this year’s prompts? Wonder no more!

2023-2024 Vanderbilt Essay Topics & Questions

Vanderbilt’s two supplemental essay prompts for applicants to the Class of 2028, which applicants are to choose one to answer in about 250 words, are as follows:

1. 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?

Vanderbilt’s admissions committee values a diversity of thought on their campus. So applicants should not be afraid to express an opinion- even if it delves into politics. But, no matter what applicants choose to write about in their response, they must showcase that they’ll be respectful of the opinions of others and that they’re malleable to change. The conversation is, in many ways, a window into how a student will take advantage of a liberal arts education.

2. 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.

Too many applicants choose to write about an extracurricular activity that will not serve Vanderbilt. For instance, writing about a sport if the applicant isn’t getting recruited for that sport is a wasted opportunity since the student will not be helping Vanderbilt’s team win. And even if a student is a recruited athlete, they should avoid writing about their sport since sports essays are always cliché in elite college admissions.

The extracurricular that a student chooses to focus on in their response should be included in the activities section of their Common Application, and it should further shine a spotlight on the applicant’s singular hook (rather than well-roundedness). After all, Vanderbilt seeks to admit students who will change the world in a very specific way. The applicant’s activity choice for this essay should be consistent with that narrative.

Ivy Coach’s Assistance with Vanderbilt Essays

If you’re interested in optimizing your case for admission to Vanderbilt by submitting the most compelling essays possible, fill out Ivy Coach’s consultation form, and we’ll be in touch to delineate our college admissions counseling services for seniors.

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