Loyola Marymount Essay Example from an Accepted Student
Located in sunny Los Angeles, Loyola Marymount University is beloved by students and alumni alike, but not just for its beautiful location. The private Jesuit research university boasts stellar academic opportunities, has an incredibly diverse student population, and offers its 7,000 undergraduates a host of internships and activities in one of the biggest cities in the world.
Because of all LMU has to offer, it’s no surprise the admissions process is competitive. Lots of applicants will have a strong academic and extracurricular profile, which means you’ll need excellent essays to truly stand out from the crowd. In this post, we will share a real essay a student submitted to LMU and go over what it did well and where it could improve. Use this essay and feedback to inspire you as you think about how to approach your LMU essay.
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.
Read our Loyola Marymount essay breakdown to get a comprehensive overview of this year’s supplemental prompts.
LMU Essay Example – Why LMU?
Growing up surrounded by family, my days were filled with hearing random words of wisdom and listening to the “classics” with the people I love the most. I spent most of my time around my grandma, considering she has watched me since I was two. The majority of our time together has been spent doing activities to help her diabetes. We would play tennis or try new healthier recipes, waiting to see how it affected her sugar. However, as time went on, her diabetes worsened, she began to have difficulties with her joints, then she was diagnosed with arthritis. Despite never having to deal with any of her conditions, I felt her pain as if it was mine and wanted nothing more to cure us of these illnesses. This has inspired me to have a career that works with marginalized and low-resource communities to engineer cost-effective medical treatments that would address pressing health problems.
The most important actions to reach my goals will start in college. The biology curriculum at Loyola Marymount University has numerous classes that focus on molecular biology or infectious diseases, which will allow me to understand the interaction of cellular components and critically think about how I could use this knowledge to create medicines. Furthermore, the curriculum includes classes where you can receive credit for research or internships, which will allow me to earn a diploma and be able to receive hand-ons experience in my prospective career field. Additionally, with their wide selection of majors and minors, I can add on a minor in Spanish or Bioethics to create an education that is customized to my future goals.
Besides the academic part of the university, I truly believe that the environment cultivated at Loyola Marymount University will allow me to succeed and accomplish my goals. From the moment my eyes look at the website, I can see how much the university cares for their students by providing relaxing activities during finals week or working to provide their students with more opportunities. Opportunities like summer research programs and research symposiums where students present their research to fellow classmates and professors, something I hope to participate in. Speaking of the classmates, the diversity of their ideas and beliefs will allow me to engage in intense and challenging conversations to learn thinking in a holistic way. But, there are also numerous student organizations like Sisters in Solidarity and Crock Potter United, where I can relax, crack jokes, and form better connections with my classmates.
Overall, everything from the academics to the students to the location of Loyola Marymount University will help me succeed and accomplish my future goals. I am devoted to becoming a Loyola Lion who will help leave an everlasting impact in the LMU community and the medical community around the globe.
What the Essay Did Well
This essay deserves a lot of credit for avoiding one of the top pitfalls of “Why School?” and “Why Major?” (this prompt combines the two) essays: name-dropping school resources without tying them back to the student themself. A generic response to this prompt would be crammed with as many classes and clubs as possible, which doesn’t teach admissions officers anything about you other than that you can navigate their website.
Instead, we are given a thoughtful response that starts off by explaining one of the student’s formative past experiences, then describes how that experience led them to have particular motivations and goals, and then builds off that strong, personal foundation by sharing specific opportunities and resources at LMU that interest the student.
If you’re wondering about the nuts and bolts of crafting this kind of thoughtful response, consider the anecdote about the student’s grandma in the hook. It starts the essay off strong, because it is both personally meaningful to the student and directly relates to their intended major and career.
Rather than simply saying “I hope to major in biology to help solve health problems in marginalized communities, like the one my grandma lives in,” the student’s detailed description of their grandma’s struggles shows us firsthand that the student has a tangible, meaningful reason for pursuing a career in biology.
And their personal connection to the topics they discuss doesn’t end after the introduction. When the student is discussing both classes and extracurriculars, they explain either:
- How each resource will help them accomplish their goals (i.e. “which will allow me to understand the interaction of cellular components and critically think about how I could use this knowledge to create medicines”), or
- Why they would enjoy taking part of it (i.e. “where I can relax, crack jokes, and form better connections with my classmates”)
What Could Be Improved
The biggest thing that needs improvement in this essay is the grammar and overall flow. There are multiple sentences that aren’t 100% grammatically correct, or sound clunky. Remember, admissions officers want to feel that your investment in their school is genuine, and unpolished writing may give them the impression that your application isn’t that important to you, as you couldn’t be bothered to tidy up the details before submitting.
Fortunately, most of the grammatical issues could easily be fixed. Here are just a few rewrites this student could make to instantly make the essay more concise and professional-sounding:
- “The majority of our time together has been spent doing activities to help her diabetes. We would play tennis or try new healthier recipes, waiting to see how it affected her sugar.” → “From playing tennis to get her heart rate up to taste-testing plant-based recipes, my grandma’s diabetes overshadowed much of the time we spent together.”
- “From the moment my eyes look at the website, I can see how much the university cares for their students…” → “The university’s dedication to its students was clear the second I viewed the website.”
- “…working to provide their students with more opportunities. Opportunities like summer research programs and research symposiums…” → “…providing students with hands-on research opportunities like symposiums and summer programs.”
Another way this essay could be improved would be by getting more specific with the opportunities listed. For example, instead of saying LMU has “numerous classes that focus on molecular biology or infectious diseases,” the student should have listed a specific course or two from LMU’s course catalog, to demonstrate that they did their research thoroughly, and that they already have a vision for what their life at LMU would look like.
Finally, the beginning could be strengthened if the student showed us what it looked like to spend so much time with their grandma and then have to helplessly watch her fall sick without, rather than telling us. It takes practice to perfect the art of showing, not telling, but some good basic tips are:
- Include dialogue
- Bring in senses other than vision
- Try rewriting the same story without saying “I” to rely less on your actions and more on your surroundings and feelings
For example, instead of starting off with the lines “Growing up surrounded by family, my days were filled with hearing random words of wisdom and listening to the ‘classics’ with the people I love the most. I spent most of my time around my grandma, considering she has watched me since I was two,” this student could begin with something along the lines of the following:
“The Beatles’ ‘Here Comes the Sun’ wafts out of my grandmother’s speakers as she and my uncle start yet another friendly debate, this one on whether she should finally switch to a new hairdresser after complaining about the same one for 40 years.”
Rather than telling us what the writer’s childhood looked like through factual, somewhat dry statements, this version drops us into the scene alongside them, which both makes the story more compelling and helps us more concretely understand how this student became the person they are.
Where to Get Feedback on Your Essay
Want feedback like this on your LMU essay before you submit? We offer expert essay review by advisors who have helped students get into their dream schools. You can book a review with one of our experts to receive notes on your topic, grammar, and essay structure to make your essay stand out to admissions officers.
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