If you are applying to Villanova University, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to find out how to best answer this year’s Villanova supplemental essays.

Choose one of the five topics below and submit a written response in about 250 words.

Prompt One:

St. Augustine states that well-being is “not concerned with myself alone, but with my neighbor’s good as well.” How have you advocated for equity and justice in your communities?

If you have joined – or started – a club or organization in your school or community related to advocacy, equity and justice, then this is the question for you! Describe not just the group or population for whom you are advocating, but give more information about you. Why did you join this group? Why was this cause important to you? How did supporting others affect you personally? Will this carry over to your time at Villanova? You can also answer this question if you have helped just one person in your community – perhaps someone was bullied or mistreated, and you helped that individual. Remember, this is a chance to demonstrate to the university who you are and how you have made a difference to others.

Prompt Two:

What is the truest thing that you know?

Admissions officers know from your résumé, letters of recommendation and transcripts that you have many strengths, but they’re also interested in learning more about your philosophical side. Who has influenced you? Was a particular community there for you? What important lessons have you learned from them? More importantly, what did you learn about yourself, others and your community from the lesson you learned? How did you change as a result of this lesson? How will it affect the Villanova community?

Prompt Three:

One of the themes in St. Augustine’s book, Confessions, is the idea of redemption. Tell us your story of being given a second chance.

Villanova is asking you to reflect on a mistake, failure or misunderstanding you experienced or witnessed. Describe the scenario clearly and articulately. Then, expand upon how you (or the other person) redeemed yourself. How did you use this opportunity as a second chance? An opportunity to make things right?

No matter the change you choose to write about, it’s important for the admissions committee to learn (perhaps) when and why you made this choice for change; what effects you have noticed about yourself; and what effects the change has had on others around you.

Prompt Four:

In the Villanova community, we believe that we all learn from one another. What is a lesson in life that you have learned that you would want to share with others?

The lesson you want to share with admissions officers can be anything! When brainstorming topics for this essay, don’t just consider large, life-changing lessons; instead, sometimes a small and simple lesson can be just as important and meaningful. When you come up with a lesson that you want to share, give some color and details: Who taught you this lesson and why? What did you personally learn from the lesson, either literally or figuratively? Why was it an important lesson for you to learn at all? How have you changed or improved, if at all, because of this lesson? The question asks you simply about the lesson, but push yourself to answer these questions as well as why you think it is important for others to know this lesson too.

Prompt Five:

Augustine’s “Miracles are not contrary to nature but only contrary to what we know about nature.” Tell us about a societal issue that you believe the wonder of technology is well-poised to help solve.

Although many advisors might suggest that you avoid matters related to social media or video games, this is the place where you can expound upon the influence these technologies have had on you. Has your love of video games translated into a passion for computer science? Is your involvement with Twitter encouraging you to get involved in politics? There are many ways that the technology that you interact with on an hourly basis influences your personality and passions – try to focus on the biggest influence and answer this question from there.

Essay #2: Why Villanova?

Why do you want to call Villanova your new home and how will you become part of our community?

Don’t just tell Villanova admissions officers why VU is such a fantastic university. (They already know that! After all, they work there – and many of them attended the university.) Instead, you need to describe why Nova is a great fit for you. Why are you interested in attending? Is it the location? The beautiful campus? Be specific: What about its location or campus appeals to you? What about academics, majors, programs or professors? Perhaps it’s their basketball team that first got you interested in Villanova, but then you realized it’s one of the best business schools in the country? If you get a chance to visit the campus, you absolutely should – and take notes and pictures on your visit to jog your memory as you write this essay. Related to this, you should closely review the viewbook that you receive in the mail to learn more about VU, attend an online information session, and even talk to students about their experiences. All of this will let Nova know that you are indeed a great match.

About the author
Marc Zawel

As author of Untangling the Ivy League, Marc literally wrote the book on gaining admission to highly selective colleges. He earned a BA from Cornell University – where he met AcceptU’s co-founder – and an MBA from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC, Marc chaired the admissions advisory board; he has also conducted alumni interviews for Cornell for more than fifteen years.

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