A Great Lafayette College Essay Example
Lafayette College is a private liberal arts college with almost 200 years of history behind it. This college located in Easton, Pennsylvania requires all applicants to respond to one supplemental essay prompt.
In this post, we’ll go over a supplemental essay that an accepted student submitted to Lafayette College. We’ll look at its strengths, its areas for improvement, and ways you can make your own essay stand out. (Note: the names and identifying information of the accepted student have been changed, but all other details are preserved).
Read our Lafayette essay breakdown to get a comprehensive overview of this year’s supplemental prompts.
Alexander Oddo, an expert advisor on CollegeVine, provided commentary on this post. Advisors offer one-on-one guidance on everything from essays to test prep to financial aid. If you want help writing your essays or feedback on drafts, book a consultation with Alexander Oddo or another skilled advisor.
Please note: Looking at examples of real essays students have submitted to colleges can be very beneficial to get inspiration for your essays. You should never copy or plagiarize from these examples when writing your own essays. Colleges can tell when an essay isn’t genuine and will not view students favorably if they plagiarized.
Prompt: Students identify Lafayette as an excellent fit for countless reasons. In your response, be deliberate and specific about your motivation for applying to Lafayette. Why do you see yourself at Lafayette? (20-200 words)
One of my most vivid memories is from my adolescence in Mumbai, a bustling metropolis. Used to the mundane combination of schoolwork and play, I never expected to see the charred remains of a forest-fire from a nearby town. I recall wondering why action wasn’t taken when all that was left in its wake was smoke and haze, symbolizing the fragile habitat that had been destroyed forever.
Due to this, Cur Non signifies the possibilities that Lafayette holds. Lafayette’s commitment to sustainability is an emblem that resonates deeply. With the help of interdisciplinary courses like “Cultures of Nature” and “Voices of Environmental Justice” I hope to collaborate with EXCEL Scholars on a capstone project where I discuss economic factors, influencing the formation of environmental policies. By doing this, I’m certain I can inculcate skills I’ve gained through a research project on the fast-fashion sector. I’m especially interested in delving into the rare James L. Martin papers, housed at Skillman’s Special Collections & Archives. Above all, Veritas liberabit inspires me to join LaFarm, where I can promote my goals of environmental consciousness to the Easton community by organizing events.
Only this time, at Lafayette I can become the difference I’ve always sought.
What This Essay Did Well
Writing an introduction that catches the reader’s attention is crucial to make any essay stand out, and this writer does that well. Rather than starting the essay with a very direct opening, such as “seeing the remains of a forest fire made me passionate about environmental justice,” the first sentence mentions memories in Mumbai. The next sentences then set the stage for the essay in a story-like way, and they show the writer’s concern for the environment rather than telling.
The second paragraph then immediately dives into specific resources offered by Lafayette, ranging from Cur Non to LaFarm. This is exactly what a “Why Our College” essay like this one should focus on.
More than that, the writer does not make the common mistake of “name dropping” random resources — rather, they highlight resources that directly relate to their interests and explain how they would take advantage of each one. Additionally, the essay states that the writer hopes to use these campus resources to make an impact for the greater good.
The essay ends with a snappy concluding sentence that foreshadows the impact the writer hopes to have, and it emphasizes that they seek to begin their journey at Lafayette. This part is key, since an essay of this type really has to make it clear that the school the writer is applying to is uniquely suited to helping them achieve their goals.
What Could be Improved
This essay is missing more detail about exactly what the writer wants to do to make a positive impact. We know what campus resources they want to take advantage of at Lafayette, but it is not clear what they will do with their education after graduation.
The essay only gives vague indications of a few of the writer’s professional and academic interests; these include the economics that influence the formation of environmental policies, making the fast-fashion sector sustainable, and promoting environmental consciousness.
Another area for improvement in this essay is that it does not mention campus resources that aren’t related to environmental justice. Showcasing a specific passion — also called a spike — is indeed a necessity for this type of essay. However, writers should also demonstrate that they are well-rounded individuals who want to explore everything that a school has to offer, from casual extracurriculars to university-sponsored events. Campus culture and values are important to talk about here too, and this essay would benefit from some discussion on how the writer and Lafayette share more in common than just an interest in sustainability.
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