Earlham's supplemental essay

So Earlham has an essay option that reads, “What would you like to share with us about your interests, personality, aspirations, etc. and why you think Earlham is a good fit for you?” It does not have a word limit or anything. I’m having a really difficult time writing this, because I don’t know what Earlham expects. It this supposed to be like a “Why Earlham?” essay or something different. Does anyone have any advice? Thank you.

I imagine the essay has a number of purposes. It can differentiate students who are really interested in the school from students doing a scattershot approach now that it is so easy to apply to numerous schools using the common app. Also it can make you do a little research about the school and figure out why you want to go there. For the school, they can try to determine if you would succeed or be happy in the environment.

“Why Earlham” is likely a fine approach. Likely you should indicate that you know something about the school, and have reflected some about yourself (learning style, desire for community, aspirations in life … ) and how those fit together.

Earlham does demand academic rigor, and wants students who are academically prepared, but there can be more to an undergraduate education than straight academics, and if you can reflect on some of those factors in your college choice it would likely help.

Good luck on your application.