How to Write the Loyola Marymount University Essays 2021-2022

Loyola Marymount University is a private Jesuit school in Southern California. It is the largest Catholic school on the West Coast. The university is known for its strong entertainment, business, and communications programs and is labeled a ‘more selective’ school. 

 

As part of the admissions process, LMU gives students the opportunity to respond to two optional prompts—one about their reasons for choosing either LMU or their specific field of study and the other to explain any breaks in their education. Read along to learn how to best answer these classic prompts!

 

Want to know your chances at LMU before getting started? Calculate your chances for free right now.

 

Loyola Marymount University Supplemental Prompts

Prompt 1: Please briefly state your reason for wishing to attend LMU and/or how you came to select your major. (500 words, Optional)

 

Prompt 2: As part of our holistic review process, it is critical that we understand the comprehensive experience of all applicants. Please provide a detailed explanation, in 250 words or less, regarding any break or interruption in your academic history throughout high school (secondary school) and beyond. (250 words, Optional)

Prompt 1

Please briefly state your reason for wishing to attend LMU and/or how you came to select your major. (500 words, Optional)

With this prompt, you have the option to either write the classic “Why This College” essay, the “Why This Major” essay, or a combination of both! We will walk through all three of these paths—though we believe that combining these two prompts makes for a particularly compelling essay.

 

Why This College

 

When writing about why you want to attend LMU, make sure that your answer is specific—it should not be able to be copied, pasted, and used for another school! This means that you will need to do some research before getting started. 

 

Think about what generally draws you to LMU—could be the university’s Jesuit values, its commitment to community service, your particular academic program, the school’s abundance of resources, or general campus life—then dig deeper and find a tangible example of each reason that you are applying to LMU. These could include:

 

  • An on-campus organization
  • An academic resource or office
  • A cultural center
  • A specific course
  • A specific professor
  • A residence hall or community
  • A community program
  • A tradition

 

In addition to referencing specific aspects of LMU, you want to make sure that the reasons you outline for being drawn to LMU align with your interests and goals. That means that you must tell your readers what your interests and goals are. The purpose of college essays, even when they are focused on the school, is for admissions officers to get to know you.

 

For example, if you want to highlight your passion for community service you would want to write something like:

 

While my four years at Loyola Marymount will be full of learning and self-growth, I also see LMU as a place where I can assist in the growth of others. Through the Agapé Service Organization, I imagine myself constructing a community that is supportive of individuals coping with mental illness. For so long, I thought that I was alone in my struggles, and that made them even more overwhelming. I will use the Mental Health Marathon, the Mental Health Summit, and other Agapé resources to prevent others from feeling that isolation.

 

While LMU has ten recruitment-based service organizations, this student focuses on a specific organization that has a mission that resonates with their values. They also allude to their history with mental health, which gives them depth and humanizes them in the minds of admissions officers.

 

It is a common error to write a generic response like:

 

One of the most attractive aspects of LMU is the school’s emphasis on service. Community service has been important throughout my high school career and I want to continue giving back as I enter the next chapter of my life.

 

This is a much less compelling response because 1) it does not address specific aspects of the service community at LMU and 2) it does not tell readers anything unique about the student.

Other examples of specific resources that specific students could reference include:

 

  • A first-generation, English major could write about their desire to contribute to the First-Gen Voices publication because they tend to be afraid of sharing their writing, but know that within the First To Go program, they will find supportive and loving peers who will alleviate their fears.
  • A student who is particularly interested in the Recreation and Outdoor Adventure in Rosecrans (ROAR) community would want to tell admissions officers the reason for their interest in ROAR. Were they raised in a rural setting and want to hold onto those roots in the big city of Los Angeles? Or maybe they are from Dallas and have very little experience outdoors, but have always felt a calling to the wild.

 

Why This Major

 

While the “Why This College” essay is typically structured around facts about the university, the “Why This Major” essay centers around the applicant’s journey to and passion for their field of study. Because of its different focus, this essay is typically written in a more narrative form.

 

An essay about your academic focus will address:

 

  1. How your academic interest developed
  2. Your past experiences in your academic field
  3. Your goals with regards to your academic interest
  4. How your choice of major will help you achieve those goals

 

When sharing how your academic interest developed, you may want to use an anecdote or a story. Anecdotes make great introductions because they are interesting and provide context for what comes next. Anecdotes are also a great opportunity to involve your narrative voice and let your personality shine through! 

 

While stories are great, you also need to demonstrate an aptitude for your field and ambition within your field. Demonstrating aptitude can include referencing coursework related to your major and relevant extracurricular activities. 

 

Showing ambition involves outlining your goals. If you are studying political science, do you plan to go into public policy? Or are you more interested in grassroots activism? If you are studying computer science, do you want to go into industry or pursue a Ph.D. and start your own research lab? 

 

Lastly, you must explain how your choice of major will help you to achieve your goals. 

 

Combination

 

An essay that combines the “Why This College” and “Why This Major” essays will be particularly strong. Admissions officers will love hearing about why LMU will be perfect for you as you pursue your academic interests. First, describe your journey to your academic interest, then describe your journey to LMU. 

 

A strong structure:

 

  1. How your academic interest developed (anecdotal)
  2. Your past experiences in your academic field
  3. What your goals are with regards to your academic interest (reflective)
  4. How your choice of major will help you achieve those goals
  1. Why the resources at LMU are essential to you achieving those goals (factual)
  2. Why the community, culture, and extracurricular environment will also be important for you

 

With this structure, you will leave admissions officers thinking “this student is going to do great things in [your field] and LMU is the perfect place for them to do it!” That being said, a combination essay might be lengthy. Use interesting language to keep your essay engaging. Ask peers to edit your essay and point out particular places where the writing drags. This will help you perfect your work before you turn it in.

 

 

Prompt 2

As part of our holistic review process, it is critical that we understand the comprehensive experience of all applicants. Please provide a detailed explanation, in 250 words or less, regarding any break or interruption in your academic history throughout high school (secondary school) and beyond. (250 words, Optional)

This optional prompt should only be used if you took a break during your education. A majority of students will not respond to this prompt.

 

If you have a gap in your educational history, you should first outline the reason (for example, an illness, move, family emergency, etc.). Then, explain what you were doing when you were not in school. For example, if your family moved across the country due to a parent’s job relocation, explain your role in the move (perhaps you were in charge of selling your family’s old belongings or you had to get a temporary job to make up for the missed months of income). 

 

Additionally, if you did not return to school promptly, explain the reason (for example, some schools do not allow mid-term transfers). 

 

You should be justifying why your time off was necessary. Don’t overthink it.

 

Where to Get Your LMU Essays Edited for Free

 

If you’ve already written your LMU supplemental essays, it is time to get them edited. Having peers read your essays will help you to identify areas for improvement and, ultimately, will help you maximize your chances of getting into LMU. By creating a free CollegeVine account, you will have access to CollegeVine resources like our free peer-review service. We’re here to help you put your best foot forward and feel prepared throughout this application season—because we know how overwhelming it can get.


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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.

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