How to Write the Davidson College Essays 2021-2022

 

Davidson College is a small liberal arts school in North Carolina with 1,800 undergraduate students. The school has two supplemental essay prompts. You may write an essay about why you are interested in the school, or you may write about a topic, activity, or idea that interests you.

 

Since Davidson College receives thousands of applications from academically-strong students, you want to be confident your application will stand out. One of the best ways to improve your chances of acceptance during the admissions process is to submit essay responses that let your personality, beliefs, and passions shine.

 

In this post, we’ll share how to write strong supplemental essays to boost your chances of acceptance at Davidson College.

 

Want to know your chances of acceptance at Davidson College? Calculate your chances for free right now.

 

Davidson College Supplemental Essays

Prompt 1: There are just under 4,000 4-year colleges and universities in the United States. Being as specific as possible, what interests you most about Davidson College? (250-300 words)

 

Prompt 2: Davidson encourages students to explore curiosites in and out of the classroom. What is a topic, activity or idea that excites you? Tell us why. Examples may include hobbies, books, interactions, podcasts, movies, etc. (250-300 words)

 

Prompt 1

There are just under 4,000 4-year colleges and universities in the United States. Being as specific as possible, what interests you most about Davidson College? (250-300 words)

 

Davidson’s first prompt falls under the standard “Why This College?” category. To answer this prompt, you’ll need to explain why Davidson College is the perfect college for you and why you’re an excellent fit for the community.

To do this, you’ll need to show both tangible and intangible connections to the university. Your essay should ultimately demonstrate how your academic, professional, and extracurricular goals align specifically with the college’s resources.

 

First, you’ll need to think about your goals for your college experience. These goals typically fall in one of the following categories:

 

  • Academic knowledge
  • Social connections
  • Self-discovery
  • Career advancement

 

It’s best to focus on one to two goals in your essay, especially since the word count is limited to 300 words. For instance, a student planning to major in pre-medicine and apply to medical school after college may want to focus on the areas of academic knowledge and career advancement.

 

Next, you’ll need to visit Davidson College’s website to research the classes, extracurriculars, programs, professors, traditions, or other on-campus opportunities that are unique to the school that can help reach your goals and create the college experience you’re searching for. These are your tangible connections to the university.

 

For example: If the pre-med student mentioned above is excited about career advancement and growing academically, they may be excited for research opportunities at Davidson. However, they should not write, “I am interested in the biology research opportunities at Davidson.” In that sentence, Davidson could be interchangeable with any other university! Many universities offer biology research opportunities for undergraduate students, so this generalized response doesn’t highlight the resources provided at Davidson.

 

Instead, this student should write about a particular topic or research opportunity unique to the Davidson and interests them personally. It’s also important to connect the resource you choose with your personal goals. They might say, “During my junior year, I am excited to apply for the Duke-Davidson Immunology Partnership for the unique opportunity to study the immune system with Professor Sophia Sarafova. I want to become an immunologist to help people like my sister, who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis, and I know this opportunity will give me valuable skills and knowledge to prepare me for my future career.”

 

Next, take some time to reflect on Davidson College’s statement of purpose and understand why it appeals to you. These are your intangible connections to the university. Think about:

 

  • Which of Davidson’s values are important to me?
  • Why am I a good fit for Davidson’s community?
  • How will these values impact my life at Davidson and post-college?

 

Although you don’t need to answer these questions verbatim in your essay, it’s important to understand the school’s values to guide your response. For example, maybe you grew up in the Presbyterian church, so you want to attend a school that adheres to your Christian belief system. Or perhaps you appreciate Davidson College’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, specifically for the LGBTQIA community, as a student who faced discrimination because of your sexual orientation in high school.

 

Here are some tips for writing an excellent “Why This College?” essay:

 

 

Stay focused. You may be tempted to list all the amazing resources at Davidson College, but doing so is a poor choice of words. The admissions counselor reading your essay already knows all the resources the university offers. Instead, focus on one to two things you love about Davidson that tie in with your personal goals for college and beyond.

 

 

Avoid name-dropping. Don’t list distinguished professors, popular classes, or unique programs in your essay for the sake of naming them. Instead, explain why these resources are important to you (i.e., the unique opportunity to collaborate with a particular professor on a research opportunity in a specialized field).

 

 

Specify your goals. It’s crucial to be as detailed as possible in describing how Davidson College can help you accomplish your goals for college and beyond. As the prompt said, there are nearly 4,000 universities you could have applied to. Why exactly are you applying to Davidson?

 

 

Prompt 1

Davidson encourages students to explore curiosites in and out of the classroom. What is a topic, activity or idea that excites you? Tell us why. Examples may include hobbies, books, interactions, podcasts, movies, etc. (250-300 words)

 

This prompt gives you the chance to talk about a topic, activity, or idea that excites you. The purpose of this essay is to provide the college with a glimpse into your passions and interests and gives you a chance for you to dive deeper into a seemingly small concept or idea.

 

You may have tons of ideas and activities that excite you, but the most crucial part of this essay is choosing one topic to focus on in-depth. If you jump around from one idea to another, you will lose your reader’s attention and diminish the impact of your essay.

 

First, you’ll need to choose a topic to write about. It’s important to select a topic you’re passionate about rather than choosing something because it seems impressive. After all, the goal of this essay is to show off your interests and personality to the college! The essay needs to be an accurate reflection of what you value.

 

For example: An avid hiker may choose to write about their goal to hike all 96 “fourteeners” in the United States before their 30th birthday. They may explain that climbing mountains is a physical and mental challenge that gives them a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

 

Another approach to answering this essay is to use elegant language and sensory details to captivate your reader while describing your topic or activity. If you’re an excellent creative writer, this is a great prompt to showcase skills in a direct, interesting way.

 

For example: If you’re passionate about golf, think about what you can hear, see, feel, and taste when you’re golfing. Maybe it’s the peacefulness of the course at sunrise, the smell of fresh-cut grass, and the cool breeze. These elements of golf all cater to the five senses.

 

This student may start their essay with a sensory narrative about one of their favorite golfing experiences. Then, they should transition their essay to answering the prompt’s question: “Why does golfing excite you?” It’s important to focus your essay on your personal connection with the activity. Some students mistakenly focus solely on their narrative and forget to explain why that particular activity is significant to them and what it’s taught them.

 

When brainstorming ideas for this essay, consider making a list of all the activities, hobbies, ideas, and topics that interest you most. Then, think about characteristics, themes, stories, and sensory details that relate to each topic. Choose an activity or idea with the most depth to simplify the writing process.

 

Want help with your college essays to improve your admissions chances? Sign up for your free CollegeVine account and get access to our essay guides and courses. You can also get your essay peer-reviewed and improve your own writing skills by reviewing other students’ essays.

 

Want more college admissions tips?

We'll send you information to help you throughout the college admissions process.

Short Bio
Our college essay experts go through a rigorous selection process that evaluates their writing skills and knowledge of college admissions. We also train them on how to interpret prompts, facilitate the brainstorming process, and provide inspiration for great essays, with curriculum culled from our years of experience helping students write essays that work.

Don't miss out on the best high school & college admissions resources!

Join thousands of students and parents getting exclusive high school, test prep, and college admissions information.