The diversity essay is a common requirement for college applications. Colleges aim to create a vibrant campus community with students from different backgrounds and perspectives. The purpose of the diversity essay is for you to highlight an important aspect of your identity, background, culture, experience, or viewpoint and demonstrate how you will enrich your college’s community.
When brainstorming topics for your diversity essay, reflect deeply on what makes you different from most other applicants. Share meaningful stories and anecdotes that provide insights into your lived experiences and core values. Avoid cliches or generic diversity topics that could apply to almost anyone. You want your essay to showcase your unique personality and outlook.
Here are some thought-provoking AI prompt examples to help you get started:
Prompt 1: Your Interests and Passions
- How has your unusual interest, talent, or hobby shaped your perspective?
- What drew you to this activity and what does it mean to you?
- How will you contribute this passion to campus life?
Prompt 2: Your Background and Identity
- What aspects of your family history, cultural traditions, or identity are most meaningful?
- How have your experiences as a member of your community shaped your goals and values?
- What insights or diverse viewpoints will you bring to class discussions and campus events?
Prompt 3: Overcoming Challenges
- What obstacles related to your background or identity have you faced?
- How did you respond and what did you learn from these challenges?
- How will these lessons shape your college experience and relationships?
Prompt 4: Views on Social Issues
- What societal problems or debates matter most to you and why?
- How has your background shaped your perspectives on these issues?
- How will you contribute to campus conversations around diversity, equity, and inclusion?
Key Tips for Writing a Strong Diversity Essay
When drafting your diversity essay, keep the following advice in mind:
1. Be Genuine and Specific
Dig deep to find stories from your life that reveal your background, passions, values, and views. Generic statements about appreciating diversity lack depth and sincerity. Help the readers understand what makes you different.
2. Spotlight Your Growth
If you choose to write about challenges you’ve faced, focus on what you’ve learned and how those lessons have shaped you rather than just describing the problem. Showcase your resilience.
3. Align with College Values
Research the school’s core values and diversity statement. Explain how your perspective aligns with the college’s vision for a diverse, equitable campus culture.
4. Conclude by Looking Forward
End by describing the unique ideas, activities, and energy you will bring to the college community. Share any related future goals.
Example Essay 1: Embracing My Identity
As a first-generation Mexican-American, I straddle two worlds, moving between English and Spanish, quinceañeras and sweet sixteens, rice and beans and pizza. My identity is a rich tapestry woven from the diverse threads of my cross-cultural experiences. I’ve learned to embrace both sides of myself. As I translate for patients at my mom’s medical clinic, volunteer with recent immigrants, and serve as a peer tutor for ESL students, I help bridge cultural gaps in my community. I’m interested in studying sociology and social work to continue empowering immigrant families. At college, I will join cross-cultural organizations to help promote inclusivity while also sharing elements of my own diverse background, like teaching my signature salsa recipe at a multicultural potluck. I believe that diversity asks us not to erase our differences, but to delight in them, because our campus can only thrive when all students feel valued.
Example Essay 2: My Eclectic Interests
I spent my childhood equally enthralled with my science kit and my piano lessons. My intense focus while dissecting a frog contrasted with my vibrant energy while pounding out Beethoven’s “Fur Elise.” I not only enjoyed these solitary pursuits but also thrived on team collaboration playing basketball with my friends. Still, I never felt like I fit neatly into a single category, always shifting between the arts and STEM, individual and group activities. But when I discovered coding, combining logic and creativity, I realized I could blend all my varied interests. I founded my school’s Girls Who Code chapter to share my passion for computer science and bring more young women into the field. As a Computer Science major with a Music minor who also plays intramural basketball, I’m excited to immerse myself in the diverse opportunities across campus, exploring courses and clubs that speak to my multifaceted passions. I don’t fit just one mold and hope to help break stereotypes so others also feel empowered to pursue their diverse talents.
A compelling diversity essay requires self-reflection and thoughtful storytelling. When done right, it not only humanizes your application but also demonstrates how you will positively contribute to your college’s community. Use these examples and writing tips when drafting your own diversity essay. Focus on authenticity and highlight the perspectives and traits that make you unique!
Here are some useful websites with more college essay resources:
College Essay Guy – Helpful tips and guides
CollegeVine – Database of real essay examples
College Recon – Brainstorming exercises and writing advice