How to Write the College Essay about Diversity | Winward Academy


How to Write the College Essay about Diversity

In a conversation with Condoleezza Rice, Dr. Rice was asked what necessary skill isn’t being taught in schools.  Her immediate answer was, “people need to learn to listen to those with whom they disagree.”  As you think about writing your college essay on diversity, consider Dr. Rice’s statement. 

What is diversity?  Why do colleges think that a diverse class is desirable?

Colleges recognize that a well-rounded, strong education involves becoming acquainted with various values, beliefs, and perspectives, especially ones that are different or might challenge your own. Diversity strengthens creativity and understanding.

The diversity essay is an opportunity to describe yourself, capture your experiences with those of different views, and demonstrate how you and a college can become a good fit.

How do you self-identify: by ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, political beliefs, gender identity; by affinity for Esports, sports, chess, philately, robots, virtual reality; as a jock or nerd?

Think broadly about all the ways you’re different from other people. It’s important to consider your identity in as broad a sense as possible. What aspects of you, or combinations thereof, give you a unique sense of self and a perspective that can strengthen the diversity of your college community? This could be anything, really. “I am a … latino, youngest of six siblings, avid chess player, feminist, lacrosse goalie, break-dancer, meme-creator, etc.”

Are there communities that you’re a part of that set you apart from your peers? What’s unique about your perspective or identity? Talk about the values you’ve developed through your diversity. You want the reader to see how these elements of diversity have shaped your insights and values.

There are a couple of straightforward ways to go about writing your diversity essay.
  1. If you belong to a community that embodies how you’ll contribute to a college’s diversity build your essay around the ways you’ll participate.
  2. If there’s a unique identity or perspective that illustrates the diversity that you have to offer on campus, let that be your focus.

There are a few things to keep in mind here, like word-limit, and the necessity for clear and well thought out transitions. Write well, edit ruthlessly and convey your thoughts effectively. The ultimate goal of this essay is to communicate the unique values, perspective, and awareness that you have to offer. You have a lot more to offer than grades and test scores, and this is your chance to show it.

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Erin Crowder

Erin Crowder is a recent graduate of Newark’s Cristo Rey High School and is a proud member of Georgetown University’s Class of 2022. Erin graduated in the top of her class and has been honored multiple times by the City of Newark for her scholastic achievements, artistic contributions, community service, and resilience in overcoming seemingly impossible obstacles. Erin has interned at the City Hall of Newark, Sanofi, the Federal Reserve Bank, and NJTV News. She is committed to partnering with and empowering students of color to reduce educational inequities.