Writing a diversity college essay - A complete guide
The emergence of globalization is promoting diversity across social and economic environments. Furthermore, leading corporates and premier educational institutes are showing keen interest in the diversification of their workforce and student groups. This is happening because we, the people of the world lay more emphasis on diversification as a progressive concept. Today, globalization has made it possible for students from developing nations to receive education in eminent institutions of developed nations. This has been possible only because of the upsides of the internationalization of economies and cultures. Due to various positive effects of globalization we see, there exists a multiplicity of ethnicities across different spheres of life. So, now if you are a student from one of the Asian countries, you can apply for universities in the United States of America or Australia within minutes. You have been able to realize this dream of studying in the best universities only because today globalization has made multiculturalism more acceptable than ever. Further, this essay develops a better understanding of diversity, explains what a diversity essay is and why you must learn about it. Also, this essay serves as a perfect guide for writing an impressive diversity essay for your college application and also contains samples of it for you.
What is the true essence of diversity?
Simply put, diversity means a wide variety of things existing in a common space. In the humanitarian context, we can understand the term diversity as the coexistence of different races, ethnicities, cultures, nationalities, religions, or languages. Furthermore, there can be a multiplicity of genders, beliefs, ideas, social and economic backgrounds, academic backdrops, political ideologies, sexual orientations, and opinions. When seen through a wider prism, diversity is also inclusive of the varying life experiences, talents, and intellect that we hold and share with each other. All of these are elements of diversity that we see around us. Usually, our comprehension of diversity is limited to religions, cultures, and nationalities existing together. But it goes much beyond these and even covers differences in sexual preferences and skill sets. For instance, if your family has four members including you and if everyone has a different political leaning, it is a small example of diversity. On a larger scale, we can experience this diversification present in social and economic structures around the world. To cite a more formal example of diversity, Harvard College, one of the most eminent institutions of education worldwide has students from more than 100 nations. Also, the institute is committed to embrace diversity and focus on the inclusion of pluralism.
("Diversity and Access", 2020)
In this modern era, there are many ongoing social revolutions that strive for equality, better integration of diversity, ending all forms of discrimination, redefining gender roles, and so on. All these efforts for social reforms are trying to create a more cordial space for diversity. Out of these, feminism and ‘Black Lives Matter’ are two widely common examples of such social movements. Hence, diversity is a positive trend that gives all differences in our backgrounds and talents an equal representation. As humans, it is our responsibility to mutually respect each other’s culture, ethnicity, nationality, and personal choices. If you want your cultural and social background to be accepted by others, first you need to be more acceptable.
What is a diversity college essay?
Applying to colleges and universities for admissions can be a complex task sometimes. These admission processes require you to mainly write two kinds of essays to supplement your application. These include a personal statement from your end and other essays on common or prevalent topics. These writing tasks are basically aimed at testing your analytical skills, your academic knowledge, or your versatility with co-curricular activities. The schools you apply to are only interested in the best of students who are going to bring laurels to their names in the future. So, to have an edge over other applicants, you have to be really good at your essays as they play a major role in the selection process. Usually, the word limit for a diversity college essay is between 400 and 500 words.
Now, why should you care about a diversity essay? You should care about it because it is one of the most common supplemental essays that colleges or universities ask for when they accept applications. Furthermore, diversity essays can be assigned to you even for your scholarship applications and not just admissions to undergraduate and postgraduate programs. So, there are enough reasons for you to learn how you can write an impressive diversity essay. A diversity essay written by you expresses your perception of it and how you can contribute to the student community in a unique manner. As discussed earlier, colleges and universities are eager to have students which can bring diversity to the environment and create a homogeneous student culture. Hence, they look for students who have varying talents, sexual orientations, lifestyles, cultural backgrounds, skills, or experiences. In such a scenario, your diversity essay is reflective of where you fit in this preference for diversity and how you can add to it.
Example of a diversity essay question: ‘Our university is looking for a highly engaging and talented student body with a wide range of experience; The university further believes that diversity among students gives us a stronger community. If you think your perspectives or experiences can help us understand you better- perhaps your family or cultural background, your gender or sexual orientation, the community you belong to- we encourage you to share them with us. Remember, real people are reading your essay and we want to do our best to understand and appreciate the people applying to our university. (500 words)Note: The above is only an example of different kinds of diversity essay questions that universities can ask when they invite admissions. This is only a sample question that tries to give you an idea of what kind of questions you can face on this topic.
Why does diversity matter to universities?
You must be wondering why universities are so keen on inclusion and pluralism these days. Universities can simply give admissions on the basis of academic excellence and co-curricular activities, then why do they need to focus on diversity? Well, colleges and universities have their own valid reasons to do so. Universities across the world believe that diversity in their student communities adds immense value to the learning process. Furthermore, as per the U.S News and Value Report, diversity prepares students for working in a global society comfortably. Also, colleges around the world opine that multiculturalism in student bodies promotes social skills and student awareness.
Moreover, a study conducted by the University of Michigan states that diversity in classrooms leads to high student engagement. This study further found that interactions related to education between ethnically and racially diverse students can make students more motivated to be indulged in the class. Also, according to this study, the students who study at multicultural educational institutions have better analytical skills and critical thinking. Not only this but these students also have better writing skills, decision making, and problem-solving skills. So, clearly, there are sensible reasons for universities to work on the agenda of diversification. This can only be possible when there is great diversity among students. This diversity can exist in multifarious ways among the students and universities want this pluralism to add to the study environment. So, now you know that both diversity and diversity essays are of immense importance to the university while selecting students for admissions or scholarships. Therefore, your diversity essay needs to have the highest quality, reflection of how you add new dimensions to diversity, and how you can add value to the learning environment. Next, we look at the various tips you can use to write a diversity essay that takes you closer to your dream college.
Tips for writing an impressive diversity college essay
When you apply to your dream college or university, you surely want that there are no loose ends in your application. The essays that you are asked to submit with your application are part of the major selection criteria that colleges and universities have. Hence, you only want to submit the best of your efforts in the form of these essays. To write an attractive diversity college essay, you first need to understand the idea of diversity and how it affects human lives and social structures. Further, when you write a diversity essay, you have to remember that it is an inclusive idea. So, do not limit your comprehension of diversity only to religions, nationalities, and cultural identities. You have to also look at this prerequisite of diversification from the viewpoint of your gender, your experiences, your family background, your academic qualification, and even your sexual interests. You further have to analyze how you can uniquely add to the engagement of the student community of your desired college or university. For instance, if you are a strong feminist woman who holds a wide experience of participating in women-centric events and movements, you can mention that. You can convey through your essay how you can create a positive environment of women empowerment and women leadership in the student community.
Here are the best strategies to write a diversity essay
Underline your uniqueness
How can your individuality add immensely to the student culture or the learning process of others? Your uniqueness in correlation with your social or cultural background is the key thing universities are going to focus on. Not just the backdrop but also your unique talents, potentials and experiences make you a good candidate for admission to a multicultural university. Further, you may not be unique in terms of your sexual orientation, national identity, or cultural preferences but there are other aspects of diversity too as discussed before. So, you can even be diverse and exclusive in your hobbies, interests, confidence, personality traits, moral values, languages, and opinions. Your unique interests or strong opinions can bring value to an institution’s student community. You can be strongly opinionated when it comes to environmental issues, political issues, or gender roles. All of these firm perspectives can add new dimensions to a diverse student group.
However, just mentioning your exclusive traits and diverse identity is not going to help your case. You need to display through your essay how your individuality can help the student culture diversify further. So, you need to make a strong case for yourself by clearly explaining how you bring more value and positivity to the student forum. For instance, if you have a keen interest in poetry and have the talent of expressing social evils and empowering thoughts through poetry, you can be a perfect fit for a diverse educational culture. You can convey through your essay how your romanticization of words can add a whole new dimension of art and revolutionary ideas to the learning space. Hence, while writing this essay, back your individuality and express it to the fullest while elaborating on its positive impact on fellow students.
Describe the influence of diversity on you
In this essay, you have to describe how diversity in various forms shapes your deeds and perspectives. So, to show the readers of your application how you can add to pluralism, you also need to tell them how it influences your outlook. However, this reference needs to be subtle and smart and you must make sure that you do not overdo it. The admission coordinator might want to know through your essay the way in which you approach life learning from diversity. So, a little detail of the same backed by a small personal story can ascertain your faith in diversity.
To cite an example, let us say reading about Barack Obama had a great influence on your life. Further, you felt fascinated by the manner in which he went on to be the first African-American President of the United States of America. So, reading about his journey and his rise to power changed your perspective towards black Americans forever. Not only this but it also made you realize why the world needs to find a way around racism and discrimination so that real talents can come to the forefront. Hence, it reshaped your perception of humanity and made you believe in equality and diversity more than ever before. Furthermore, you can add, because of this influence, you now look at all individuals with equal respect and try to exclude any form of discrimination from your behavior. Also, you see potentials, kindness, and creativity in people and not their race or skin color. In this manner, you can represent how your demeanor has great acceptance for diversity.
Supplement your essay with an anecdote
An anecdote is a short and interesting story that relates to a real person or life experience. So, in this case, you can add an anecdote that can enable the readers of your essay to establish some relativity with your assertions. But, what is the best place in the essay to insert an anecdote? Well, the beginning of your essay is the most suitable place for you to insert a short story. Thus, you can initiate the essay with a small story that captures the reader’s attention right from the beginning.
To suit their agenda of diversification, universities and colleges are looking for students with vivid experiences. An anecdote gives you a perfect opportunity to deliver what they are looking for. With a small yet intriguing story, you can express how your experiences revolve around diversity or how your experiences have made you more eager to learn in a diverse and conducive environment. Also, this anecdote can be about an instance of racism, discrimination, or abuse you experienced because of your sexual orientation, community, or gender.
Here is a fictional example of an anecdote written by a student from the Muslim community. This anecdote shares the experience of the student with respect to discrimination on the basis of religion.
Growing up in the US with an Islamic identity has often attracted discrimination and abuse against me. One day when I entered my classroom in high school, the entire class started chanting the word ‘terrorist’ and I did not know how to react. Not that I was at the receiving end of such abuse for the first time, but this time it was massive. My heart started beating faster and somehow I gathered the courage to walk to my desk. When I reached my desk, it had the same word inscribed on it. This was way beyond what a young boy in me can endure but I knew that my conscience is clean and I must not fear anyone. I sat on the desk waiting for the teacher to resume the lecture as I did not want this to interrupt my education. Though the disrespect inflicted on me that day was humongous but the courage I incorporated in my personality was even greater. I knew this was going to happen often and I learned that I can either run away like a coward or face it and continue my learning. So, I chose the latter and with patience, consistency, and maturity I continued my education and passed high school in flying colors. More importantly, my politeness towards my classmates even after this incident inspired by Islamophobia made them accept diversity better and they even apologized on the last day of school.
("The Importance of Anecdotes in Writing", 2020)
Add your achievements
Tell the admissions officer what your achievements are and what are you capable of accomplishing. If you are a student who has feathers of vivid achievements in your cap, you are surely a better candidate than others. Further, these achievements can be across various verticals like academics, co-curricular activities, art, debates, declamations, research projects, and so on. Even among students from diverse backgrounds, universities do not want to compromise on the potential and exposure of students. Moreover, you can also add your strengths which may include your leadership skills, decision making, communication skills or any other skill that you feel can add value to a multicultural environment. To illustrate, if you think you have great leadership qualities and you can efficiently lead student groups, mention it. But do not leave it there as you further need to explain to the university how your leadership can bring a positive change in student bodies. Also, you need to display how your leadership can bring people from different backgrounds and identities on the same page to happily and enthusiastically co-exist with each other. So, when the admissions officer sees that you are capable of integrating varying thoughts and ideas and can inspire a group to work in collaboration, you become a great prospect. Hence, you should definitely add your accomplishments to this essay in a way that they relate to your outlook towards diversity.
Sample diversity essay
At times, you can be asked to write an essay on diversity as a part of your application for admissions to universities and colleges. So, in such a scenario you might want to read a sample essay before you start to write yours. When you are applying to a college or university, you have always envisaged being a part of, you surely want to leave no stone unturned to submit the best essays along with your application. Writing a diversity essay can be a challenging task especially when your essay is supposed to outsmart what other applicants are writing. This section includes two sample essays written from different viewpoints spanning across different elements of diversity. Also, for any other assistance, you may need for your assignments or scholarship applications, you can reach out to Assignment help 4 me for the same. Our service teams are available round the clock to offer any help that you may seek while completing your college assignments or writing essays for applying to universities.
Sample 1: Diversity college essay from a strongly opinionated female
I once told my school friend that I want to be a leading entrepreneur after I complete my studies. He laughed hard and told me that women can never be business leaders because only men have the potential to lead. I could not counter him then and could only feel heartbroken seeing him laugh madly at my ambitions. It made me feel weak on the inside and for the first time, I felt weak from the virtue of my gender. That day I realized that even in the 21st century, society looks down upon women and ridicules them. Although that was not the last time that I was made to feel that I lack ability because of my gender. That small incident changed my perspective forever. From that day I started believing in striving for gender neutrality, dignity for gender, and all forms of diversity and equality. Also, I felt a new commitment gushing inside me to stand for women empowerment and do my bit to safeguard diversity in genders.
So, owing to the above experience, from a young age itself, I developed a great zeal for incorporating leadership and analytical skills in my personality. At a very early age, I had realized that I am going to need these qualities to counter patriarchy and misogyny whenever they come in the way of my ambitions and dreams. Not only for myself but I also wanted to learn these skills to be able to inspire a change in the society as well as other women to stand up for gender neutrality. Further in this quest of attaching equal respect to all genders, I have also developed a keen interest in understanding diversity holistically. Over the years, I have tried to be friends with or communicate with people who come from different cultural backgrounds, social structures, religions, customs, rituals, and languages. In fact, although I am from a native English speaking Australian family, this curiosity to learn about diversity inspired me to learn French and Spanish. I have taken professional courses to learn these languages and have been able to diversify my social circle and knowledge of pluralism.
Moreover, belonging to a liberal family, my outlook towards life is modern and open-minded. My mother is a teacher who takes pride in teaching students from various backgrounds. Further, she inspires in me a sense of respect for the different personal choices and customs people have. Looking at her, I feel really enthusiastic and elated at the thought of studying in an institution that values the inclusion of diversity.
Moving further, during my high school days, I have worked on various voluntary projects on gender roles, women self-help groups, and have also won many debating competitions. Most of these debates and declamations were based on women’s empowerment and the rise of feminism. Besides, I have always seen diversity and ending discrimination as a way of life. Also, in the pursuit of my ambition to become a leading business lady and a fine example of feminism, I have enriched my personality with various essential skills. So, I have what is a prerequisite to take up leadership roles in a community.
Sample 2: Diversity college essay from a student of a marginalized ethnic community
I was the only black American student in my class at school and hence I faced racism and humiliation every day. Not only my fellow students but also my teachers discriminated against the color of my skin. My teachers were accessible to everyone for doubts but if I ever had a doubt, they passed a racial slur and walked away. Further, this daily discrimination affected my mental health and confidence so much that I told my parents that I do not want to continue school. But they kept encouraging me to attend school so that one day I can reach a place in society from where I can make consolidated efforts to challenge any form of racism in the society. But going to school and facing racial abuse on a daily basis was consuming. One day, when the class was planning for Halloween celebrations, a classmate walked up to me and told me that I need not do anything extra to dress for Halloween as I already look like a ghost. This comment had me crying for days and sometimes this comment still haunts me. But with persistence and with self-belief, I was able to overcome this and exist with my head held high.
I come from a humble Black American family settled in Chicago and diversity has been an integral part of my existence. My father is a native American and a Catholic while my mother is a Muslim who migrated from Bangladesh. So, multiculturalism exists extensively in my family background as my parents come from two largely different cultural identities. But, both of them have ample mutual respect for each other’s faith and that is how different religious beliefs happily coexist under one roof. Further, my parents have granted me the liberty to choose my own faith subject to the way of life I want to practice. Not only from the virtue of my family background but also out of keenness to learn about different cultures and places, I love to read about diversity. In fact, I have a collection of currency notes and stamps of more than 50 countries that I started collecting at high school.
Moreover, I am a sports enthusiast and I have represented my school in more than 30 inter-school baseball games. Also, I have won four marathons held in different cities of the United States and have a school level record in running a 100-meter sprint. From sports, I have learned the ability to effectively work in a team and be a good listener to different perspectives and ideas coming from others. Further, I have also learned how to inspire a group to perform at its best and how to motivate individuals to achieve common goals. I am sure that my experiences in life and my skills can add new dimensions to a student community and from a diverse community even I can learn a lot. To sum up, my perspectives in life are largely influenced by examples of diversity within my family, modern homogeneous social cultures, and the notion of equality.
To conclude, a diversity college essay can be very vital for your admission process when you apply to your dream university or college. So, you should outrightly know what a diversity college essay means and what are universities looking for in these essays. Since great opportunities do not come often, you have to make sure you make the most of the chance that comes your way to study in an eminent institution. Further, when you submit your essay on diversity, it is better to include personal experiences, your unique traits, your achievements, and the impact of diversity on your actions. To substantiate the same, you can add a short personal story to it so that your essay becomes engaging. Also, you have to remember that diversity is a larger concept than what it is often perceived. It includes multifarious elements of personal identities ranging from nationalities, personal choices, talents to vivid experiences. Thus, you should mention in the essay how you can add individually to a student community and how you play a part in the further diversification of it.
Diversity and Access. (2020). Retrieved 3 November 2020, from https://college.harvard.edu/admissions/why-harvard/diversity-and-access
(2020). Retrieved 4 November 2020, from https://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/articles/diversity-in-college-and-why-it-matters
The Importance of Anecdotes in Writing. (2020). Retrieved 4 November 2020, from https://fhspost.com/the-importance-of-anecdotes-in-writing/