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How to Write the Agnes Scott College Essays 2021-2022

Agnes Scott College is a private women’s liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian church, located in downtown Decatur, Georgia. It is considered one of the Seven Sisters of the South, a group of prestigious liberal arts colleges in that region of the United States.


The college has a total of 1,040 undergraduate students and an average class size of 16, meaning that the school can cater to the student as an individual. What sets Agnes Scott apart from other schools is its SUMMIT program, a set of mandatory courses and individualized experiences that focus on navigating global issues and being a leader in today’s society.


If you can’t wait to become a Scottie, read on to learn how to answer Agnes Scott’s supplemental essay prompts! Want to know your chances at Agnes Scott? Calculate your chances for free right now.


Wondering how much Agnes Scott will cost based on your income? Or how long your application will take? Here’s what every student considering Agnes Scott needs to know.


How to Write the Agnes Scott College Supplemental Essays

Please tell us why you chose to apply to Agnes Scott College? (50-100 words)


This prompt is the quintessential “Why This College?” prompt. However, the word count is a lot shorter that the standard length of around 250 words; you’re only given 50-100 words to express the reasons behind your interest in Agnes Scott College. Therefore, you don’t have the room to respond to this prompt with generic sentiments lauding the breadth of curriculum offered by a liberal arts college. You need to focus in on why you specifically gravitated towards Agnes Scott. Before writing, we highly recommend you do some research, such as on the school’s website. 


One approach is digging into your prospective major’s departmental offerings and available concentrations. On Agnes Scott’s website, there is a hyperlink to every major, minor and other areas of study. These links provide valuable information such as student learning objectives and course requirements. Zero in on the unique opportunities Agnes Scott offers to set yourself apart from other applicants.


Bad example: Agnes Scott’s astronomy program appeals to me because I have always been fascinated with the physics of outer space.


Good example: I am really intrigued by Agnes Scott’s astrophysics major, especially the hands-on component. I can see myself embarking on research projects within Bradley Observatory, watching my studies in real time at the observing plaza or the Delafield Planetarium. 


While the former response may be true, it is vague and doesn’t mention a resource specific to the school. Alternately, the latter response illustrates an authentic interest Agnes’ unique offerings while giving specific details that makes their journey to Agnes more realistic in admissions officers’ minds. 


Another potential inclusion in this type of essay is mentioning an extracurricular or social activity. College isn’t only about academics, but also what you do outside of the classroom. Find ways to tie Agnes’ offerings into your existing interests. By bridging your current self with your potential future self, you show genuine interest in Agnes’ specific programs. For instance, you could say: “I spend my free time watching Black Widow and Wonder Woman in action in one of my many comic books. However, it’s not often that I meet someone as invested in the world of comics as I am. Therefore, I look forward to joining Agnes’  Excelsior! Comic Book Club.”

At Agnes Scott, we believe that leadership is more than position. Describe at least one quality of leadership that you have learned in high school either through direct experience or by observation of another leader? (5-50 words)


This prompt has a very small word count limit, so “show, not tell” is much harder to accomplish here. It says to describe at least one quality, but we recommend you stick to one, or two related, qualities in order to save room in your response for developing your thoughts fully. After you settle on a quality, draw from your own experience and show how you came to realize that it was integral to being a good leader. One approach is to talk about good or poor leadership you have witnessed:


Bad example: One quality of leadership that is really important is compassion. It is a good rule of thumb to be compassionate to others because you never know what they are going through. If you do not have compassion for others, you cannot lead them in good faith. 


Good example: My teachers often dismissed those who did not bring basic school supplies as disorganized. I agreed with this leadership style until I noticed that some classmates were more worried about their next meal than pencils and highlighters. This made me realize compassion, not stringent rules, are key to leading effectively.


While the first example is generic, the second talks about a specific instance that changed your stance on a topic, demonstrating your personal growth as a result of observation. You can also talk about your direct experience with leading:


Bad: I led my Girl Scout troop on a difficult hike on some cliffs near our town. Although the hike pushed us to our mental and physical limits, the feeling of accomplishment we felt from showing courage made it a leadership quality that I will cherish forever.


Good: Staring at the steep incline before us, my Girl Scout sisters let out a collective sigh. The hike was difficult and morale was down, but I refused to quit. Leading with courage, I forged ahead, setting the example and giving words of encouragement until we reached the Sunset Cliffs’ peak.


Even small acts of leadership, like giving encouragement during a hike, can demonstrate leadership. When you adopt a narrative-like quality, it pulls readers into your response, making it more vivid and memorable.


What global issue can you imagine yourself addressing during your time at Agnes Scott? (5-50 words)


This prompt is asking a lot, and giving you very little room to answer. You need to pick a topic that is fairly specific in order to set yourself apart from other applicants, yet general enough to be considered a global issue. However, you don’t necessarily have to flesh out the perfect plan to solve it. Rather than thinking about what global issue you want to solve and how, reflect on why you want to solve it. A good response will cater to the generality of “global issue” while maintaining the overall specificity of you as an individual. There are a couple of ways to structure your response this prompt: specific-to-general or general-to-specific. 


For example, you can take an instance specific to yourself and then reference it on the global scale. 


Example: With my curly hair, painted nails, and dark complexion, people never guess that my dream career is to be a civil engineer. After experiencing discrimination in my STEM classes, I will work to bridge the global gap so that everyone feels as though STEM is an option for them.


Or, you can take a global issue and then describe how it applies to you.


Example: While physical health is a universal priority to most, mental health often takes a backseat. Learning coping methods for my anxiety has inspired me to campaign for other’s mental health and wellness, and I plan to continue shedding light on this topic during college and beyond.


Optional: If you are involved in community service, what project has been your favorite and why? (5-50 words)


This response is optional, but we recommend you fill it out in order to provide a more robust view of your extracurricular activities. Rather than stating a generic community service you have performed, try to mention specific people and incorporate imagery in order to make your response stand out.


Below are a good and bad example: 


Bad example: My favorite community service activity is tutoring elementary kids after school because helping them reminds me why I want to go into teaching.


Rather than answering directly, word-for-word to the prompt, show rather than tell what you do and how it makes an impact to admissions officers.


Good example: As an after-school tutor for elementary students, I have met students with a wide range of learning styles and abilities. Creating unique learning methods, such as flashcards for visual learners and mnemonics for auditory learners, has reinforced my love for teaching.


This response provides concrete details whereas the other one is vague. Incorporating concrete details sets your response apart from that of others.

If you could visit anywhere, where would you go and why? (200 characters)


Since this prompt is only one line, you will need to be brief and direct. Your tone should be more straightforward here. Answer the place that comes most naturally to you, and try to ensure that it is specific enough to be somewhat unique to you.


Here are some examples:


“I’d visit my family’s village in Vadodara, India, to see my great-grandparents again.”


This response shows that you are family-oriented and in touch with your roots.


“I’d go to space so I could be the first astronaut on Mars.”


This response shows you are bold and adventurous.


“I would go to Powell’s Books and spend hours immersing myself in novel after novel.”


This response shows you have a passion for reading.

What’s your favorite book you have read outside the classroom (not assigned reading) and why? (200 characters)


Like the previous prompt, this one is only one line, so you will need to be straightforward again. Retain specificity and try to maintain your individuality. 


Here are some potential responses:


“As an avid sports fan, I found myself heavily invested in the tournament in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.”


“I read Matilda several times growing up as I identified with Matilda’s tenacity and her desire to learn.”


1984 is my favorite book because the parallels between its dystopian world and our own fascinate me to no end.”

Optional: Are you interested in participating in: Basketball, Softball, Cross Country, Tennis, Volleyball, Soccer? List and rank the sport(s) in order of priority. (5-30 words)


If this prompt doesn’t apply to you, feel free to just leave it blank. If it does apply to you, list the sports according to how well they fit your interests. Don’t feel pressured to list all of them, and you can list them out and/or use numbers to designate your interest in each.


For example:


(1) Cross Country (2) Volleyball (3) Tennis & Basketball


Optional: Please indicate your current experience for your number one sport choice. (1-30 words)


Your answer to this prompt should be direct and concise, not drawn out or as figurative. There are no right or wrong answers here. You can mention playing a sport recreationally growing up, being on a high school team, participating in a club or team outside of school, and competing in tournaments.


Here are some examples:


“I grew up kicking around a soccer ball with my siblings and cousins. I was my high school’s varsity soccer captain for two years, during which we won league championships.”


“I started playing volleyball competitively in high school and was on the junior varsity team for all four years. During that time, I was voted ‘Most Improved’ and ‘Best Spiker.’”


“I have played tennis since second grade, and am currently ranked 14th in Colorado. I have ranked in the 2017 and 2018 USTA tournaments, for singles and doubles, respectively.”


Tell us about a leader that you admire. Who are they? How have they influenced you? (5-100 words)

This prompt is asking you to describe a leader in your life, someone you look up to. This person can be someone you know personally, such as a family member or teacher – or, it can be someone you have never met, such as a famous historical or political figure, fictional character, or celebrity.


Since the word count is 5-100 here, we recommend you give more rather than less. Use up as much space as possible in order to craft a compelling story. Use imagery and specific details regarding how you came to know of this person, or how you came to realize that they were an important role model for you. Make sure to answer both parts of the question: (1) Who is this person to you? And (2) What tangible changes have you made as a result of learning about them?


Did learning about Susan B. Anthony encourage you to talk to the administration about sexism in your school’s dress code? Does seeing Mindy Kaling on-screen inspire you to join the entertainment industry, a space that Asians usually don’t occupy? Has Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation inspired you to start conversations around mental health in your family? Does your older brother inspire you every day by overcoming the challenges of being differently abled?


Start by talking about why this person, specifically, is important to you – consider how you identify with them and why you see them as a role model. Then, describe the concrete ways you have changed as a result of their existence and/or actions. Did you start a project or an activity? Did you embark on a new way of thinking? Showing rather than telling with vivid imagery will provide your essay with the authenticity needed to establish the connection between you and the person you choose.


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