What are your chances of acceptance?

Calculate for all schools, your chance of acceptance.

Howard University

Your chancing factors

Extracurriculars.

howard community college essay prompt

A Strong Howard University Essay Example

Located near the nation’s capital, Howard University is one of the best-known HBCUs in the country. As a school with a competitive admissions process, Howard places significant importance on student essays, so it’s important to write a strong one to help your application stand out.

This post will go over a real applicant’s essay and highlight what it did well, plus what could be improved.

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 Howard University essay breakdown to get a comprehensive overview of this year’s supplemental prompts.

Howard University Essay Example: Why Business? 

Prompt:  The School of Business has been a model for higher education since its founding in 1970. With dynamic academic departments, ground breaking centers of excellence, esteemed faculty, award winning programs, and over 8,000 alumni across the globe, the Howard University School of Business continues to be ranked among the top business programs in the nation. Describe why you are interested in studying business, and how the program that you have selected will support your particular interests. (750 Words)

Ever since I was a child, I have always loved to travel. Travel has always been a new opportunity for me to learn outside the classroom. At just twelve years old, I marveled at the Eiffel Tower, learning about the different cultural aspects present around Paris and comparing the vibrant city of Paris to the sleepless city of New York. At seventeen, I was able to visit Senegal for the fifth time. Finally, I was mature enough to see the struggle faced by those that live there. 

I’ve always wanted to make an impact that would last. So during Junior year, I struggled to find a major that would work for me. I never liked to be locked down to one area as my mind has always loved to travel. So I was ecstatic when I discovered that international business was a major. Not only was I able to study business, but I was able to study business from a global perspective, which is what business is to me. Business is not regional or national. It is international. With the help of Howard, I will be able to learn what it takes to join and thrive in a global atmosphere. 

At Howards Business school, I plan to study international business with a regional sequence with concentration in Europe. Given the emphasis on the world around me. I chose to participate in the regional series rather than the functional sequence. I also liked that the regional sequence was more tailored for history nerds; like myself. I have always loved history because of the many topics that seem to intertwine. Furthermore, I will be immersed in Europe’s vast diversity through my studies.

I cannot wait for the opportunity to study alongside Masoud Kavoossi, who has done so much work around the world. His extensive work worldwide will allow me to learn so much from him. Kavoossi will give me insights into issues on many topics around the world, and I cannot wait to hear more about his time with the world bank. With professors like Masoud Kavoossi, I will be given the opportunity to learn what it takes to be a global leader from a global leader. 

A big part of international business is studying abroad. At Howard, I will take on the many opportunities to study abroad. Like the IFSA program in Scotland. I plan to spend at least a semester abroad at the University of Edinburgh. My love of Mary Queen of Scots and her life prompted this. I was lucky enough to visit Edinburgh in the summer of my senior year in middle school. I fell in love with the city. It was nothing like New York, which made me fall in love with it more. The castles that date back centuries and the adventurous morning walks excited me to experience IFSA in Edinburgh at Howard. I plan to continue my studies in business while at Edinburgh. In Scotland, I will be in a new environment that will allow me to understand what it means to do business internationally. 

Though I am very excited to be shipped off to Edinburgh, I also can’t wait to participate in various clubs at Howard. One club I am excited to join is the African Business club, which promotes business to a worldwide audience, something I would like to continue far into the future. 

In high school, I started a “Mentoring For All” club. This project aimed to provide students with the opportunities they need to succeed in high school and after high school. I realized that there was a lack of resources surrounding success after high school at my school. I plan to continue this in college by helping students through Matriculate. A mentoring program that helped many students like me get through the admissions process. I hope to bring this to Howard, possibly starting a club that will allow Howard students to help high school students with their college apps. 

I am excited about what’s to come. I cannot wait to start my journey at Howard’s School of Business. First, Howard’s world-class courses will offer me the needed skills to become a global leader. Its revolutionary professors will give me tips that can help me in the future. Lastly, their excellent study abroad programs will allow me to explore the world around me. Every journey starts somewhere, and mine will begin at Howard!

What the Essay Did Well

This essay fits the classic “Why This Major?” archetype , which asks you to detail your interest in the field and your professional goals. By sharing her past experiences and future opportunities she looks forward to at Howard, the writer elaborates on her academic passions and motivation to pursue a major in business through international studies.

It’s clear that the author has a passion for travel, and we can easily see through her experiences in Europe and Senegal that she’s using travel to learn about the culture and circumstances of the world around her. We can understand why she’s drawn to international business specifically.

The author also does a good job specifying her program and how it will support her interests. which is international business with a regional sequence focused on Europe. She briefly outlines her decision to choose the regional sequence (which includes studying emerging countries, Latin America, Europe, Middle East/Northern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa etc.) over the functional sequence (which includes courses in finance, risk management, marketing, accounting, etc.) emphasizing her love for history and the interconnectivity of various topics.

The author also points out specific resources and faculty at Howard, showing that she’s done her research. She mentions her excitement of studying alongside Masoud Kavoossi, a professor with extensive work around the world. She also indicated interest in the IFSA study abroad program in Scotland. She expresses her love for the city of Edinburgh by sharing a personal anecdote and her desire to experience business in a new international environment.

Both of these specific details demonstrate the author’s enthusiasm for learning through different types of opportunities and reveals to readers that she has a concrete plan to obtain a world-class education at Howard.

What Could Be Improved 

While this essay shows the author’s enthusiasm for international business and Howard in general, it’s very general and lacks the “why” behind her plans. Some of the language is also repetitive (there are a lot of “I cannot wait”s), and there are some grammatical errors.

Adding more detail to the first paragraph would greatly improve the essay by clarifying why the author is interested in studying international business. The author only generally describes how her perspective on international affairs has developed throughout her childhood, going from enjoying the leisure in Paris to noticing the struggles of those living in Senegal. This would’ve been a great spot to tell a specific story and share how these experiences changed the author’s perspective on international affairs.

For example, it would have been great for the author to discuss the “different cultural aspects” of Paris that excited her and what specifically in her fifth trip to Senegal she noticed that required her to be “mature enough to see the struggles faced” in the country. Providing these details would allow the reader to better understand the student’s “love of travel” and unique perspectives she could bring to Howard.

This same line of thinking can be applied to the specific opportunities the author looks forward to at Howard. As it stands, the paragraph about her interest in studying alongside Professor Kvoossi is very vague and repetitive, and leaves the reader unsure of what specifically the author hopes to study alongside this global leader. The author should include specific examples of the work that Professor Kavoossi has conducted and how this work is intriguing to the student. More specifically, the student could provide an example of a past experience that directly relates to this professor’s ongoing work.

Additionally, when describing Howard’s IFSA program in Scotland, the author mainly focuses on how charmed she was during her recent trip to the country. A better approach would be to highlight more substantial details related to how the culture and history of Scotland will enhance her college experience, and pick out particular features of Howard’s program that she looks forward to.

The details about the African Business Club and “Mentoring For All” club also feel dropped in, and they break the flow of the essay. The author could’ve removed the section on the mentorship club to expand upon why she wants to join the African Business Club and how it would support her goals. She currently only says the club “promotes business to a worldwide audience,” which doesn’t tell us much about its specific resources or activities.

Overall, by providing more specific examples, discussing her past and future engagement in international business, and further elaborating on her goals and aspirations, the essay would offer a more comprehensive and compelling case for why the author is interested in studying at Howard’s School of Business.

Where to Get Feedback on Your Essay

Want feedback on your Howard essay before you submit? That’s why we created our free Peer Essay Review tool , where you can get a free review of your essay from another student. You can also improve your own writing skills by reviewing other students’ essays. 

If you want a college admissions expert to review your essay, advisors on CollegeVine have helped students refine their writing and submit successful applications to top schools.  Find the right advisor for you  to improve your chances of getting into your dream school!

Related CollegeVine Blog Posts

howard community college essay prompt

  • Search All Scholarships
  • Exclusive Scholarships
  • Easy Scholarships to Apply For
  • No Essay Scholarships
  • Scholarships for HS Juniors
  • Scholarships for HS Seniors
  • Scholarships for College Students
  • Scholarships for Grad Students
  • Scholarships for Women
  • Scholarships for Black Students
  • Scholarships
  • Student Loans
  • College Admissions
  • Financial Aid
  • Scholarship Winners
  • Scholarship Providers

howard community college essay prompt

Apply to vetted scholarship programs in one click

Student-centric advice and objective recommendations.

Higher education has never been more confusing or expensive. Our goal is to help you navigate the very big decisions related to higher ed with objective information and expert advice. Each piece of content on the site is original, based on extensive research, and reviewed by multiple editors, including a subject matter expert. This ensures that all of our content is up-to-date, useful, accurate, and thorough.

Our reviews and recommendations are based on extensive research, testing, and feedback. We may receive commission from links on our website, but that doesn’t affect our editors’ opinions. Our marketing partners don’t review, approve or endorse our editorial content. It’s accurate to the best of our knowledge when posted. You can find a complete list of our partners here .

How to Respond to the 2023/2024 Howard University Supplemental Questions

howard community college essay prompt

Varonika Ware is a content writer at Scholarships360. Varonika earned her undergraduate degree in Mass Communications at Louisiana State University. During her time at LSU, she worked with the Center of Academic Success to create the weekly Success Sunday newsletter. Varonika also interned at the Louisiana Department of Insurance in the Public Affairs office with some of her graphics appearing in local news articles.

Learn about our editorial policies

howard community college essay prompt

Bill Jack has over a decade of experience in college admissions and financial aid. Since 2008, he has worked at Colby College, Wesleyan University, University of Maine at Farmington, and Bates College.

howard community college essay prompt

Maria Geiger is Director of Content at Scholarships360. She is a former online educational technology instructor and adjunct writing instructor. In addition to education reform, Maria’s interests include viewpoint diversity, blended/flipped learning, digital communication, and integrating media/web tools into the curriculum to better facilitate student engagement. Maria earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Monmouth University, an M. Ed. in Education from Monmouth University, and a Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) from the University of Pennsylvania.

How to Respond to the 2023/2024 Howard University Supplemental Questions

Attending a historically Black college or university (HBCU) offers the opportunity to experience a unique learning environment that promotes diversity. One of the most well-known HBCUs in the United States is Howard University. With a competitive 35% acceptance rate , students applying to Howard need compelling supplemental essays and the grades to match to gain admission. 

Keep reading to learn how to wow the admissions office with the best essay possible!

First, a little about Howard University

Established in 1867, Howard University is located in Washington, DC. Since its founding, Howard has awarded over 100,000 degrees in a broad range of fields. Known as a “ comprehensive predominantly Black university ,” Howard University graduates top Black professionals who major in architecture , dentistry, education , engineering , law, medicine, music , nursing , pharmacy, religion, and social work . 

In addition to its impressive academic reputation, Howard university competes in a total of 19 varsity sports. Before diving into the prompt below, take some time to read about the unique history of Howard University. 

“Diversity of all kinds is important to enriching the educational experience at Howard University. Please share with us anything in your background or lived experience that has shaped your perspectives and how that would contribute to the classroom and community at Howard.” (500 words max)

As an HBCU, approaching this prompt from a perspective of a person of color can be extremely helpful as that’s a shared experience on campus. However, this can become a popular focus for an essay, so you might want to pick other experiences that have shaped you such as a treasured mentorship or a unique hardship you hope to overcome or have already overcome.  

Try to relate this experience to Howard, whether by connecting a value you’ve learned or an activity that Howard currently has. Don’t forget to be creative and add your own personal flair to your essay. Remember, the reader probably already read your resume, so this essay is a chance to show what makes you the unique person you are!

Questions to consider:

  • How does this experience relate to what you hope to achieve at Howard?
  • What does your experience say about you?
  • Is this experience unique to you or can other people relate?

“Please describe the major you intend to study and how you hope to use your Howard education to support you in achieving your passions and goals. Please address your first-choice and second-choice major selections.” (500 words max)

This prompt is relatively straightforward. Howard is looking for the reasoning behind your passion for a certain major, and what you hope to achieve after graduation. The admissions office uses this prompt to get to know you and how you’ll fit into the degree program you’re applying for. 

Be sure to include how Howard is instrumental in those pursuits and unique characteristics about the desired degree program. You can even include sentences about your interests in specific classes Howard offers or other student resources. 

  • What career field do you want to work in?
  • What major would interest you the most and why?
  • What’s unique about Howard that makes you want to study your desired major there?

Final thoughts for applicants

Now that you’re finishing up your application, it’s important to keep some things in mind. Your supplemental essay is significant, even if it’s optional, so you should take time to edit it. Ask your peers or teachers to look over your essay to help pinpoint run-on sentences or errors in grammar and spelling. 

Also, while you’re waiting for your notification date , you should make sure all your financial aid forms are submitted to your schools of choice. Ideally, you should get your FAFSA and CSS Profile in as soon as possible to maximize your financial aid package. 

Additional resources

Now you’ve got some great tools to write your Howard University supplemental essay! Just in case you need a few more tips, learning about the impact of extracurricular activities might help you with the Howard University prompt. 

Need to learn some tips on how to start your college admissions essay ? We have you covered! Check out our supplemental essay guides for any other schools you might be applying to. Best of luck with your applications, and don’t forget to apply for all the scholarships you qualify for!

Start your scholarship search

  • Vetted scholarships custom-matched to your profile
  • Access exclusive scholarships only available to Scholarships360 members

Other colleges to consider:

  • Spelman College
  • Morehouse College
  • Xavier University

Scholarships360 Recommended

howard community college essay prompt

10 Tips for Successful College Applications

howard community college essay prompt

Coalition vs. Common App: What is the difference?

howard community college essay prompt

College Application Deadlines 2023-2024: What You Need to Know

Trending now.

howard community college essay prompt

How to Convert Your GPA to a 4.0 Scale

howard community college essay prompt

PSAT to SAT Score Conversion: Predict Your Score

howard community college essay prompt

What Are Public Ivy League Schools?

3 reasons to join scholarships360.

  • Automatic entry to our $10,000 No-Essay Scholarship
  • Personalized matching to thousands of vetted scholarships
  • Quick apply for scholarships exclusive to our platform

By the way...Scholarships360 is 100% free!

First Year Admissions

First time in college.

A student who has never been admitted to a degree program at Howard University or any other post-secondary institution of higher education is considered a First Time in College (FTIC) student. This also includes dual enrollment students who have not yet graduated from high school. As part of our holistic admission process, we consider student's secondary school academic record, standardized college entrance exams (SAT or ACT), leadership in school and community activities, unique talents and skills, and educational objectives.

Once an application has been submitted via the Common App, changes cannot generally be made . Thus, we do implore all applicants to thoroughly review their applications prior to making a submission. 

As of August 2018, we no longer offer Spring entry for first year applicants.  The first year admission team can be reached via email at [email protected]. We can also be reached via telephone at 202-806-2755. For the latest admission updates, follow us on  Twitter  &  Instagram !

Admissions Dates & Deadlines Summary

First year application details, recommended course work.

For admission consideration, an applicant should have a well-balanced college preparatory program that includes the following  recommended  course work: 

4 years English  

3 years mathematics 

2 years social science 

2 years science (w/lab) 

2 years foreign language 

Please note that we place emphasis on a well-rounded curriculum, rather than the specific years recommended above. 

Admission Plans

First Time in College (FTIC) applicants have the opportunity to submit an application for Early Decision, Early Action or Regular Decision. 

  • Early Decision  (ED) is a  binding  admission plan that is designed for students whose first choice is Howard University. ED applicants may apply to other colleges/universities while we review their applications, but may only apply to one college/university early decision. In general, if an ED applicant is offered admission to Howard, he/she must withdraw all other college applications. However, ED applicants seeking financial aid need not withdraw other applications until they have received notification about financial aid. If we have not met the full financial need of an admitted ED applicant (based on submitted FAFSA/HU ISFAA information), enrollment would not required. ED decisions are provided to students via email in late December. The ED Agreement requires your assigned counselor and parent to sign the agreement. For more information on how to submit the agreement, visit the Common App Support  site for   Students  or  Recommenders .
  • NOTE : EA and ED applicants with incomplete applications after November 15 will be moved to the regular decision applicant pool.  
  • NOTE : RD applicants with incomplete applications after March 1 will not be rendered with a final decision. These admission files will be marked as incomplete.

Please note: Once your application has been submitted, your decision plan cannot generally be changed.  

As of August 2018, we no longer offer Spring entry for FTIC applicants.

Application Fee

A non-refundable $45 application fee is charged as part of the Common Application process. Payment is made via Common App (personal checks are not accepted). Unfortunately, the Office of Admission does not issue fee waivers.

If paying the application fee may cause you and your family to face  unusual financial hardship , we will accept the Common App fee waiver . If you will be using a fee waiver,   please ensure your counselor submits the required Common Application fee waiver affirmation via Common App or via mail (if 'Offline' submission is selected). 

No other fee waiver form (e.g. NACAC, SAT, ACT etc.) is required. Only the Common App fee waiver affirmation is required. Fee waiver forms should not be submitted via email. 

If you erroneously submitted your application with a fee waiver, please follow the below instructions:

  • Go to the Howard University section on the Common App.
  • Select "Review and Submit- Common App".
  • Click the highlighted link under "Application Fee Waiver Requested" and follow the instructions to make your payment.

Please see the Common Application's  indicators of economic need  for more information.

Official High School Transcript(s)

An official high school transcript submitted by your  counselor/designated school official  via Common App/Naviance/Parchment/SCOIR ( highly preferred ) is required for admission. If your counselor is unable to submit your official transcript via Common App/Naviance/Parchment/SCOIR, he/she/they may submit it directly to us via mail ( not preferred, as there may be significant delays in our receipt of mailed items ). You or a designated school official may  NOT  submit your school transcript via email. Please also note the below items.

  • Mid year reports are not required for admission, but may be submitted when available. Please do not make submissions of progress grades via email. 
  • For example, if grade 12 grades are not yet available for early applicants, grades 9 through 11 records will be considered. 
  • If your counselor needs to submit a corrected transcript, he/she/they may submit the new transcript (if a final report has not yet been submitted) via the 'Optional Report' option.
  • If your counselor needs to submit an updated transcript showing new grades earned, he/she/they may submit the new transcript (if a final report has not yet been submitted) via the 'Mid Year Report' option.
  • If you attended multiple high schools, please have your current counselor submit ALL your available (including prior high school) academic records. 
  • We are unable to confirm receipt of recommender submissions prior to your application being officially submitted via Common App.

Students are able to track the status of their counselor's submissions in real time via Common App's 'Recommenders & FERPA' area if their counselor submits the 'School Report' via Common App or a Common App Integration Partner (e.g. Naviance, Xello, Cialfo, BridgeU, Maia Learning, FolderWave etc.). Other service provider submissions (e.g. Parchment Exchange, SCOIR*) or mail submissions are not visible via Common App. 

* Once the item is marked as submitted, we are in receipt. Items will be periodically downloaded and added to each students' file.

Standardized Tests

For the 2023-24 admission cycle, SAT/ACT test scores are not required to render a first year admission application complete. Students who do not submit test scores  will not  be at a disadvantage in the admission process. This policy will extend to the  Karsh STEM  program. This policy does not extend to joint degree (e.g. BS/MD, BS/DDS, BA/JD) programs.

Please also note, applicants with complete files who do not submit official test scores by the given document deadline for their desired admission plan, will be rendered with a final decision based on the credentials that are on file . As such, we do implore all students to give serious consideration into their desired admission plan, and whether they will opt into the test optional choice. 

For example, an early applicant who does not submit test scores by November 15, but has all other required credentials on file, will be notified of a  final  decision in January. There will be no subsequent opportunities to appeal this decision or submit test scores for consideration. Also note, once your application has been submitted, your decision plan cannot generally be changed . 

For students who elect to submit SAT (school code – 5297) or ACT scores (school code - 0674) ,  only official scores submitted via the testing agency will be considered . The below submissions will NOT be considered:

  • Self-reported scores.
  • Score reports from school counselors.
  • Scores on transcripts.

The essay section is not required for the SAT/ACT exam. We do not superscore the ACT exam.

October is the last test date that will be considered for early action & early decision applicants. December is the last test date that will be considered for regular decision applicants. Scores submitted after these test dates will not be considered.

Letters of Recommendation

Howard University requires two letters of recommendation for admission consideration. While you may assign recommenders via Common App /Naviance to submit additional letters, only two will be guaranteed to be considered as part of our review.

  • One letter of recommendation from a high school counselor submitted by your counselor via Common App/Naviance ( highly preferred ) is required. If your counselor is unable to submit your letter via the application system or a (linked) third party system, he/she/they may submit it directly to us via mail ( not preferred, as there may be significant delays in our receipt of mailed items ). You may not submit your recommenders' letter(s) on their behalf. Letters are not accepted via email.
  • One letter of recommendation from a high school teacher submitted by your teacher via Common App/Naviance ( highly preferred ) is required. If your teacher is unable to submit your letter via the application system or a (linked) third party system, he/she/they may submit it directly to us via mail ( not preferred, as there may be significant delays in our receipt of mailed items ). You may not submit your recommenders' letter(s) on their behalf.  Letters are not accepted via email . 

If you would like to assign an additional recommender (note, only two letters will generally be considered) or to troubleshoot issues with non-Common App submissions, you may assign your non-counselor recommender as an 'Other Recommender' via Common App.

Students are able to track the status of their recommenders' submissions in real time via Common App's 'Recommenders & FERPA' area if their recommenders submit letters via Common App or a Common App Integration Partner (e.g. Naviance, Xello, Cialfo, BridgeU, Maia Learning, FolderWave etc.). Other service provider submissions (e.g. Parchment Exchange, SCOIR*) or mail submissions are not visible via Common App. 

Application Essays

As part of the Common Application, students must submit the main Common Application essay as part of their application. You may access the Common App essay prompts via the highlighted link. In addition to the main Common Application essay, Howard University has one optional essay that may be accessed via the Writing section of the Common App. Students are not required to submit the optional essay. Essays provide us with a chance to learn more about you, including your passions, goals, and general interest in Howard University. As such, we do implore all students to place considerable effort into crafting well-written essays that accurately reflect who they are, and what they hope to achieve should they be granted admission.

All essays must be submitted with your Common Application by the application deadline. Our application deadlines are November 1 for early applicants, November 1 for Theatre Arts performance majors (Acting, Dance & Musical Theatre), and February 1 for regular decision applicants. Once your application has been submitted, changes  cannot  be made. Email submission of (corrected) essays  will not  be accepted; as such, we do encourage all students to review their essays (including formatting, spelling errors etc.) prior to making their application submission.

Applicants to the BS/MD & BS/DDS programs will also be required to submit an additional essay for the respective program via the Writing section of the Common App. For more information, please see our Special Audiences webpage.

Tracking Recommender's Submissions

As noted in the above tiles, your assigned counselor should submit your transcript, counselor letter of recommendation, and fee waiver affirmation (if eligible) via the Common App. Moreover, you should assign one teacher to submit a letter of recommendation on your behalf. Items are NOT accepted via email. If your school uses a Common App partner system (e.g. Naviance, Xello etc.), submissions will also appear on the Common App once your application has been linked (please contact your school counselor for assistance). Additional confirmation of receipt is NOT required once the items appear as submitted on your Common App.

To check the status of the items your assigned recommenders have submitted ( only  if they submit these items via Common App or a Common App partner system – highly preferred), please view your Howard University Common Application dashboard (click ‘Status’ then ‘Recommenders and FERPA’). If your recommenders will be making submissions via another system (e.g. Parchment, SCOIR etc.), items received will be marked as downloaded by our team via said system. Items submitted via mail are  not preferred, as there may be significant delays in our receipt of mailed items .

All other updates on your application status and any outstanding requirements will be sent via email . Therefore, please add us to your email safe senders list, read all our emails carefully, and follow the outlined instructions. 

Additional Program Specific Requirements

All prospective Studio Art majors must submit a slide portfolio of 12-15 images and videos of original creative works. No more than 2-3 views of any one work should be included. To submit electronically, applicants should use the Slideroom.com portfolio submission portal.

Theatre Arts

Prospective performance Theatre Arts majors (Acting, Dance, and Musical Theatre) must submit a recorded audition and participate in a live audition as evidence of their ability to successfully pursue college-level work in their desired concentrations. Please note, all Theatre Arts applicants to performance majors (Acting, Dance & Musical Theatre) must submit their application for admission by November 1 via the Common App. All non-performance majors (Theatre Arts Administration & Theatre Technology) may also submit an application by February 1 Regular Decision deadline.

All prospective Music majors must present a successful voice or instrument audition, which is scheduled by appointment only. DVDs or CDs will be accepted from applicants who are unable to audition in-person.

NOTE : Students who apply to the above programs are granted conditional admission into Howard University pending their portfolio/audition results. To gain full admission, students must complete and receive a favorable decision from the respective Fine Arts department. Students who have not been admitted into the above programs at the department level may choose an alternate major if granted admission into the university. As such, we do implore all prospective fine arts students to give deep consideration to their second major preference. 

Architecture & Design Studies

All prospective Architecture & Design applicants must submit a portfolio of creative works must be submitted to the department for consideration. The portfolio should include a minimum of one and a maximum of three examples of creative expression in graphic, written or audiovisual form. To submit electronically, applicants should use the Slideroom.com portfolio submission portal included with your Common Application. For more information, visit  cea.howard.edu/admissions/architecture-admissions . 

Financial Aid

Domestic students must also submit the  Free Application for Federal Student Aid  (FAFSA) to be considered for institutional scholarships and federal financial assistance. For detailed instructions on how to submit the FAFSA, please visit the  Student Financial Services'  webpage. For DACA students, please complete the  International Student Financial Aid Application . Scholarship awards take into consideration students' need and merit achievements. As such, we cannot provide specific award amounts until your completed application and FAFSA/ISFAA has been received and reviewed. 

Students who do not submit test scores will not be at a disadvantage in the awarding process. Students who opt into the test optional choice are eligible for scholarship consideration, as other factors (e.g. academic records) will be considered.  

Students must submit their FAFSA/HU ISFAA Profile form by the corresponding application deadline for priority consideration.  Our application deadlines are November 1 for Early Action/Decision, and February 1 for Regular Decision.

Please see the  Financial Support  page for more information on financial aid opportunities.

HCC | Library

  • Howard Community College Library
  • Library Resources & Services
  • Information Literacy

Sample Assignment Design

  • Tips & Suggestions

Length/Format

  • Place the specific actions that you want your students to perform/produce.
  • Utilize specific action verbs that integrate critical and higher-order thinking into the assignment: construct , design , critique , analyze , compare , outline , produce , or integrate .
  • The more specific you are in the assignment prompt, the more comprehension/understanding your students will have regarding the assignment.

(ACRL Standard I)

  • Explain your reason(s) for assigning this essay/report.
  • What is it that you want your students to know or learn at the conclusion of the assignment's production?
  • Attempt to list the skills that will be employed or reinforced throughout the exercise.

(ACRL Standards I & II)

  • Detail the amount and type of resources your students will locate for the assignment. When appropriate, distinguish the source locations; for example, you may want your students to utilize only those sources from an electronic database (peer-reviewed or scholarly sources).
  • At other times, you may require a mix of books and web sites. When assigning the use of web sites, you may indicate that only .edu or .gov URL locations are acceptable (while excluding .com or .org URL designators). Whatever the case, be specific in your requirements so that your students will know the "boundaries" of their research. Attempt to specify the expected incorporation of these sources - do you accept quotations, paraphrasing, or a mixture of both?
  • Provide the library with a copy of your assignment, so that relevant resources can be targeted and, perhaps, put on reserve so that all students will have access to the necessary materials. Coordinate the timing of your assignment with a librarian visit so that instructional examples and handouts targeting relevant topics and information sources can be prepared for your students.

(ACRL Standards II & III)

  • Detail the number of pages or words that you require for this assignment. Specify the format style that you prefer - APA or MLA - and, when appropriate, direct the students to a handbook or web site that explains the formatting.

(ACRL Standards IV & V)

  • Explain the grading procedure for the assignment.
  • Will you have certain parts due at different times? Do the students possess an opportunity to submit drafts or revisions? To how much of the final grade will this assignment contribute? How will the assignment be graded?
  • For example, if you wish to grade via a rubric, be sure to provide the rubric before your students submit the assignment. If they know the exact expectations for the exercise, usually students will produce more scholarly, effective work.

Social Media

Library hours.

Library Howard Community College 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway Columbia, MD 21044 Map

Facebook

Howard University 2020-21 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

Regular Decision: 

Howard University 2020-21 Application Essay Question Explanation

The Requirements:   1 essay of 250 words

Supplemental Essay Type(s):   Activity

Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (250 words)

Activity essays like this one are quite common and really are as straightforward as they seem. The most difficult part is usually selecting the activity you want to talk about. So, we return to our favorite mantra: tell the admissions department at Howard something they couldn’t glean from anywhere else in your application. If you wrote your personal statement about your time managing the most popular taqueria in your town you should focus, this time, on a different activity or work experience that reveals a new aspect of your personality, character, drive, etc. This can be a great opportunity to highlight your leadership skills and any accolades you may have received as a result of participating in a particular activity. Did you win any awards? Receive any promotions? Make any significant connections? No matter what you choose, it should probably be something you’ve been involved in for a while, so you can demonstrate your growth to admissions!

Howard also has one additional essay (max 750 words) in which the prompt changes depending on which academic program you are planning on pursue. Just remember to do your research, use your narrative voice, and present your most unique self to admissions!

About CEA HQ

View all posts by CEA HQ »

Ivy Divider

We have school-specific prompt guides for almost 100 schools.

Contact us for information on rates and more!

  • I am a * Student Parent Potential Partner School Counselor Private College Counselor
  • Name * First Last
  • Phone Type Mobile Landline
  • Street Address
  • Address City State / Province / Region Afghanistan Albania Algeria American Samoa Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cabo Verde Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czechia Côte d'Ivoire Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Eswatini Ethiopia Falkland Islands Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guam Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See Honduras Hong Kong Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People's Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Marshall Islands Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Micronesia Moldova Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island North Macedonia Northern Mariana Islands Norway Oman Pakistan Palau Palestine, State of Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Puerto Rico Qatar Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Réunion Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Sweden Switzerland Syria Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, the United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Türkiye US Minor Outlying Islands Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela Viet Nam Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, U.S. Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Åland Islands Country
  • Which best describes you (or your child)? High school senior High school junior College student College grad Other
  • How did you find CEA? Internet Search New York Times Guidance counselor/school Social Media YouTube Friend Special Event Delehey College Consulting Other
  • Common App and Coalition Essays
  • Supplemental Essays
  • University of California Essays
  • University of Texas Essays
  • Resume Review
  • Post-Grad Essays
  • Specialized Services
  • Waitlist Letters
  • Private School Essays
  • General College Counseling
  • School list with priorities noted:
  • Anything else we should know?
  • Email This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • Agnes Scott College
  • Alvernia University
  • American University
  • Amherst College
  • Babson College
  • Bard College
  • Barnard College
  • Baylor University
  • Bennington College
  • Bentley University
  • Berry College
  • Bethany College
  • Bishop’s University
  • Boston College
  • Boston University (BU)
  • Bowdoin College
  • Brandeis University
  • Brown University
  • Bryn Mawr College
  • Bucknell University
  • Butler University
  • California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
  • California Lutheran University
  • Capitol Technology University
  • Carleton College
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Catawba College
  • Centre College
  • Chapman University
  • Claremont McKenna College
  • Clark University
  • College of Mount Saint Vincent
  • College of William and Mary
  • College of Wooster
  • Colorado College
  • Colorado School of Mines
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • Culver-Stockton College
  • D'Youville University
  • Dartmouth College
  • Davidson College
  • Drexel University
  • Duke University
  • Earlham College
  • Elon University
  • Emerson College
  • Emory University
  • Flagler College
  • Fordham University
  • George Mason University
  • Georgetown University
  • Georgia State University
  • Georgia Tech
  • Gonzaga University
  • Harvard University
  • Harvey Mudd College
  • Haverford College
  • Hillsdale College
  • Hofstra University
  • Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Illinois Wesleyan University
  • Indiana University Bloomington
  • Ithaca College
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Kalamazoo College
  • Lafayette College
  • Lehigh University
  • Lewis and Clark College
  • Linfield University
  • Loyola Marymount University (LMU)
  • Lynn University
  • Macalester College
  • Malone University
  • Manchester University
  • Marist College
  • Mary Baldwin University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Meredith College
  • Monmouth College
  • Moravian University
  • Morehouse College
  • Mount Holyoke College
  • New York University (NYU)
  • North Park University
  • Northwestern University
  • Occidental College
  • Oklahoma City University
  • Olin College of Engineering
  • Pepperdine University
  • Pitzer College
  • Pomona College
  • Princeton University
  • Providence College
  • Purdue University
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Rice University
  • Saint Elizabeth University
  • Santa Clara University
  • Sarah Lawrence College
  • Scripps College
  • Seattle Pacific University
  • Smith College
  • Soka University of America
  • Southern Methodist University
  • St. John’s College
  • Stanford University
  • Stonehill College
  • Swarthmore College
  • Syracuse University
  • Texas A&M University
  • Texas Christian University
  • The College of Idaho
  • The George Washington University
  • The New School
  • Trinity College
  • Tufts University
  • Tulane University
  • University of California
  • University of Central Florida (UCF)
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Colorado Boulder
  • University of Florida
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • University of Miami
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC)
  • University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • University of Notre Dame
  • University of Oklahoma
  • University of Oregon
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Richmond
  • University of San Diego
  • University of San Francisco
  • University of Southern California (USC)
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • University of Tulsa
  • University of Vermont
  • University of Virginia (UVA)
  • University of Washington
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Vassar College
  • Villanova University
  • Virginia Tech
  • Wake Forest University
  • Washington and Lee University
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • Wellesley College
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)
  • Yale University

Email

Want free stuff?

We thought so. Sign up for free instructional videos, guides, worksheets and more!

howard community college essay prompt

One-On-One Advising

Common App Essay Guide

Common App Essay Prompt Guide

Common App Essay Guide

Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

YouTube Tutorials

  • YouTube Tutorials
  • Our Approach & Team
  • Undergraduate Testimonials
  • Postgraduate Testimonials
  • Where Our Students Get In
  • CEA Gives Back
  • Undergraduate Admissions
  • Graduate Admissions
  • Private School Admissions
  • International Student Admissions
  • Common App Essay Guide
  • Supplemental Essay Guides
  • Coalition App Guide
  • The CEA Podcast
  • Admissions Stats
  • Notification Trackers
  • Deadline Databases
  • College Essay Examples
  • Academy and Worksheets
  • Waitlist Guides
  • Get Started

Calculate for all schools

Your chance of acceptance, your chancing factors, extracurriculars, decoding the 'community' essay prompt.

Could use some help here – when a college asks 'What does community mean to you?' in their essay prompts, what are they looking for exactly? I've participated in different groups but not sure if I should focus on one or talk about the idea of community in general. Any tips on how to approach this?

Colleges often include a question about community to get a sense of your values and how you engage with others. It’s a great opportunity for you to showcase what you’ve contributed to your communities and what you’ve gained from them. The key is to be authentic and reflective. Consider sharing a story about a specific group or experience that has been most meaningful to you. Highlight what you've learned and how you've grown through that involvement. For instance, if you've been active in a club, community service, or a cultural group, discuss the impact that has had on you and vice versa. Admissions officers want to see depth rather than breadth, so focusing on one community where you’ve had a significant role or experience can be more powerful than a general overview. Remember, they are looking to understand who you are as a person and how you might contribute to their campus community. Make sure your response is personal and gives them a glimpse into your life and values.

About CollegeVine’s Expert FAQ

CollegeVine’s Q&A seeks to offer informed perspectives on commonly asked admissions questions. Every answer is refined and validated by our team of admissions experts to ensure it resonates with trusted knowledge in the field.

  • 7-week courses
  • Donors & Friends
  • Horowitz Center
  • Faculty Resources
  • Staff Directory
  • Technology Service Center
  • HCC Login ID & Password
  • Workforce, Career & Community Registration

hcc-main-campus.jpg

10901 Little Patuxent Parkway Columbia MD, 21044

hcc-main-campus.jpg

312 Marshall Avenue, Suite 205 Laurel, MD 20707

hcc-main-campus.jpg

Maryland Innovation Center 6751 Columbia Gateway Drive Columbia MD 21046

hcc-main-campus.jpg

Take an interactive look at HCC's campus

  • Location, Maps & Directions
  • Parking & Transportation
  • Offices & Departments

Three students in an additive manufacturing lab

Search our programs

Browse by your interest.

  • Tuition & Fees
  • Dates & Deadlines
  • Payment Options
  • Financial Aid
  • Scholarships
  • Common Questions
  • High School Students
  • Adult Learners
  • Veterans & Military Families
  • International Students
  • Business & Employers
  • Visitors & Community
  • Alumni & Former Students

Dr. Daria J. Willis and Abigail Bediako

Upcoming Events

  • Apr 3 Althea's Almost Famous 3rd Annual Roy Peart Memorial Fundraiser "HCC Quad", 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Apr 8 HCPSS Junior Exhibition "Richard B. Talkin Family Art Gallery", 9:00 AM - 9:30 PM
  • Apr 8 HCPSS Senior Exhibition "Rouse Company Foundation Studio Theatre", 9:00 AM - 9:30 PM
  • Apr 9 HCPSS Junior Exhibition "Richard B. Talkin Family Art Gallery", 9:00 AM - 9:30 PM
  • Apr 9 HCPSS Senior Exhibition "Rouse Company Foundation Studio Theatre", 9:00 AM - 9:30 PM
  • Apr 9 SPB Weekly Meetings "AC113", 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
  • Apr 10 HCPSS Junior Exhibition "Richard B. Talkin Family Art Gallery", 9:00 AM - 9:30 PM
  • Apr 10 HCPSS Senior Exhibition "Rouse Company Foundation Studio Theatre", 9:00 AM - 9:30 PM
  • Apr 11 HCPSS Junior Exhibition "Richard B. Talkin Family Art Gallery", 9:00 AM - 9:30 PM
  • Apr 11 HCPSS Senior Exhibition "Rouse Company Foundation Studio Theatre", 9:00 AM - 9:30 PM

Stay Connected

You can get there from here is a promise. Howard Community College has been a first choice for education in our community for more than 50 years, and we are here for you today. 

Wherever you want to go, you can get there from here.  Start Here

Howard Community College

Giving makes a difference!  Your support helps students along their pathways to success.

  • Live In The D
  • Newsletters

Should college essays touch on race? Some feel the affirmative action ruling leaves them no choice

Collin Binkley, Annie Ma And Noreen Nasir

Associated Press

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

Hillary Amofa listens to others member of the Lincoln Park High School step team after school Friday, March 8, 2024, in Chicago. When she started writing her college essay, Amofa told the story she thought admissions offices wanted to hear. She wrote about being the daughter of immigrants from Ghana, about growing up in a small apartment in Chicago. She described hardship and struggle. Then she deleted it all. "I would just find myself kind of trauma-dumping," said the 18 year-old senior, "And I'm just like, this doesn't really say anything about me as a person." (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

CHICAGO – When she started writing her college essay, Hillary Amofa told the story she thought admissions offices wanted to hear. About being the daughter of immigrants from Ghana and growing up in a small apartment in Chicago. About hardship and struggle.

Then she deleted it all.

Recommended Videos

“I would just find myself kind of trauma-dumping,” said the 18-year-old senior at Lincoln Park High School in Chicago. “And I’m just like, this doesn’t really say anything about me as a person.”

When the Supreme Court ended affirmative action in higher education, it left the college essay as one of few places where race can play a role in admissions decisions. For many students of color, instantly more was riding on the already high-stakes writing assignment. Some say they felt pressure to exploit their hardships as they competed for a spot on campus.

Amofa was just starting to think about her essay when the court issued its decision, and it left her with a wave of questions. Could she still write about her race? Could she be penalized for it? She wanted to tell colleges about her heritage but she didn’t want to be defined by it.

In English class, Amofa and her classmates read sample essays that all seemed to focus on some trauma or hardship. It left her with the impression she had to write about her life's hardest moments to show how far she'd come. But she and some of her classmates wondered if their lives had been hard enough to catch the attention of admissions offices.

“For a lot of students, there’s a feeling of, like, having to go through something so horrible to feel worthy of going to school, which is kind of sad,” said Amofa, the daughter of a hospital technician and an Uber driver.

This year’s senior class is the first in decades to navigate college admissions without affirmative action . The Supreme Court upheld the practice in decisions going back to the 1970s, but this court’s conservative supermajority found it is unconstitutional for colleges to give students extra weight because of their race alone.

Still, the decision left room for race to play an indirect role: Chief Justice John Roberts wrote universities can still consider how an applicant’s life was shaped by their race, “so long as that discussion is concretely tied to a quality of character or unique ability.”

“A benefit to a student who overcame racial discrimination, for example, must be tied to that student’s courage and determination,” he wrote.

Scores of colleges responded with new essay prompts asking about students’ backgrounds. Brown University asked applicants how “an aspect of your growing up has inspired or challenged you.” Rice University asked students how their perspectives were shaped by their “background, experiences, upbringing, and/or racial identity.”

WONDERING IF SCHOOLS ‘EXPECT A SOB STORY’

When Darrian Merritt started writing his essay, he knew the stakes were higher than ever because of the court’s decision. His first instinct was to write about events that led to him going to live with his grandmother as a child.

Those were painful memories, but he thought they might play well at schools like Yale, Stanford and Vanderbilt.

“I feel like the admissions committee might expect a sob story or a tragic story,” said Merritt, a senior in Cleveland. “And if you don’t provide that, then maybe they’re not going to feel like you went through enough to deserve having a spot at the university. I wrestled with that a lot.”

He wrote drafts focusing on his childhood, but it never amounted to more than a collection of memories. Eventually he abandoned the idea and aimed for an essay that would stand out for its positivity.

Merritt wrote about a summer camp where he started to feel more comfortable in his own skin. He described embracing his personality and defying his tendency to please others. The essay had humor — it centered on a water gun fight where he had victory in sight but, in a comedic twist, slipped and fell. But the essay also reflects on his feelings of not being “Black enough” and getting made fun of for listening to “white people music."

“I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to write this for me, and we’re just going to see how it goes,’” he said. “It just felt real, and it felt like an honest story.”

The essay describes a breakthrough as he learned "to take ownership of myself and my future by sharing my true personality with the people I encounter. ... I realized that the first chapter of my own story had just been written.”

A RULING PROMPTS PIVOTS ON ESSAY TOPICS

Like many students, Max Decker of Portland, Oregon, had drafted a college essay on one topic, only to change direction after the Supreme Court ruling in June.

Decker initially wrote about his love for video games. In a childhood surrounded by constant change, navigating his parents’ divorce, the games he took from place to place on his Nintendo DS were a source of comfort.

But the essay he submitted to colleges focused on the community he found through Word is Bond, a leadership group for young Black men in Portland.

As the only biracial, Jewish kid with divorced parents in a predominantly white, Christian community, Decker wrote he constantly felt like the odd one out. On a trip with Word is Bond to Capitol Hill, he and friends who looked just like him shook hands with lawmakers. The experience, he wrote, changed how he saw himself.

“It’s because I’m different that I provide something precious to the world, not the other way around,” he wrote.

As a first-generation college student, Decker thought about the subtle ways his peers seemed to know more about navigating the admissions process . They made sure to get into advanced classes at the start of high school, and they knew how to secure glowing letters of recommendation.

If writing about race would give him a slight edge and show admissions officers a fuller picture of his achievements, he wanted to take that small advantage.

His first memory about race, Decker said, was when he went to get a haircut in elementary school and the barber made rude comments about his curly hair. Until recently, the insecurity that moment created led him to keep his hair buzzed short.

Through Word is Bond, Decker said he found a space to explore his identity as a Black man. It was one of the first times he was surrounded by Black peers and saw Black role models. It filled him with a sense of pride in his identity. No more buzzcut.

The pressure to write about race involved a tradeoff with other important things in his life, Decker said. That included his passion for journalism, like the piece he wrote on efforts to revive a once-thriving Black neighborhood in Portland. In the end, he squeezed in 100 characters about his journalism under the application’s activities section.

“My final essay, it felt true to myself. But the difference between that and my other essay was the fact that it wasn’t the truth that I necessarily wanted to share,” said Decker, whose top college choice is Tulane, in New Orleans, because of the region’s diversity. “It felt like I just had to limit the truth I was sharing to what I feel like the world is expecting of me.”

SPELLING OUT THE IMPACT OF RACE

Before the Supreme Court ruling, it seemed a given to Imani Laird that colleges would consider the ways that race had touched her life. But now, she felt like she had to spell it out.

As she started her essay, she reflected on how she had faced bias or felt overlooked as a Black student in predominantly white spaces.

There was the year in math class when the teacher kept calling her by the name of another Black student. There were the comments that she’d have an easier time getting into college because she was Black .

“I didn’t have it easier because of my race,” said Laird, a senior at Newton South High School in the Boston suburbs who was accepted at Wellesley and Howard University, and is waiting to hear from several Ivy League colleges. “I had stuff I had to overcome.”

In her final essays, she wrote about her grandfather, who served in the military but was denied access to GI Bill benefits because of his race.

She described how discrimination fueled her ambition to excel and pursue a career in public policy.

“So, I never settled for mediocrity,” she wrote. “Regardless of the subject, my goal in class was not just to participate but to excel. Beyond academics, I wanted to excel while remembering what started this motivation in the first place.”

WILL SCHOOLS LOSE RACIAL DIVERSITY?

Amofa used to think affirmative action was only a factor at schools like Harvard and Yale. After the court's ruling, she was surprised to find that race was taken into account even at some public universities she was applying to.

Now, without affirmative action, she wondered if mostly white schools will become even whiter.

It's been on her mind as she chooses between Indiana University and the University of Dayton, both of which have relatively few Black students. When she was one of the only Black students in her grade school, she could fall back on her family and Ghanaian friends at church. At college, she worries about loneliness.

“That’s what I’m nervous about,” she said. “Going and just feeling so isolated, even though I’m constantly around people.”

The first drafts of her essay focused on growing up in a low-income family, sharing a bedroom with her brother and grandmother. But it didn’t tell colleges about who she is now, she said.

Her final essay tells how she came to embrace her natural hair . She wrote about going to a mostly white grade school where classmates made jokes about her afro. When her grandmother sent her back with braids or cornrows, they made fun of those too.

Over time, she ignored their insults and found beauty in the styles worn by women in her life. She now runs a business doing braids and other hairstyles in her neighborhood.

“I stopped seeing myself through the lens of the European traditional beauty standards and started seeing myself through the lens that I created,” Amofa wrote.

“Criticism will persist, but it loses its power when you know there’s a crown on your head!"

Ma reported from Portland, Oregon.

The Associated Press’ education coverage receives financial support from multiple private foundations. AP is solely responsible for all content. Find AP’s standards for working with philanthropies, a list of supporters and funded coverage areas at AP.org .

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Click here to take a moment and familiarize yourself with our Community Guidelines.

Watch: Local 4 News at 11 p.m. : Apr 02, 2024

Local 4 news at 11 -- april 2, 2024, watch: local 4 news at 10 p.m. on local 4+ : apr 02, 2024, 6 people charged in murder caser of frenchtown township woman, 'on the clock' tour hits the road in pontiac.

  • Election 2024
  • Entertainment
  • Newsletters
  • Photography
  • Personal Finance
  • AP Buyline Personal Finance
  • Press Releases
  • Israel-Hamas War
  • Russia-Ukraine War
  • Global elections
  • Asia Pacific
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
  • Election Results
  • Delegate Tracker
  • AP & Elections
  • March Madness
  • AP Top 25 Poll
  • Movie reviews
  • Book reviews
  • Personal finance
  • Financial Markets
  • Business Highlights
  • Financial wellness
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Social Media

Should college essays touch on race? Some feel the affirmative action ruling leaves them no choice

Hillary Amofa listens to others member of the Lincoln Park High School step team after school Friday, March 8, 2024, in Chicago. When she started writing her college essay, Amofa told the story she thought admissions offices wanted to hear. She wrote about being the daughter of immigrants from Ghana, about growing up in a small apartment in Chicago. She described hardship and struggle. Then she deleted it all. "I would just find myself kind of trauma-dumping," said the 18 year-old senior, "And I'm just like, this doesn't really say anything about me as a person." (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Hillary Amofa listens to others member of the Lincoln Park High School step team after school Friday, March 8, 2024, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

howard community college essay prompt

When the Supreme Court ended affirmative action, it left the college essay as one of few places where race can play a role in admissions decisions. (AP Video: Noreen Nasir)

Hillary Amofa listens to others member of the Lincoln Park High School step team after school Friday, March 8, 2024, in Chicago. When she started writing her college essay, Amofa told the story she thought admissions offices wanted to hear. She wrote about being the daughter of immigrants from Ghana, about growing up in a small apartment in Chicago. She described hardship and struggle. Then she deleted it all. "I would just find myself kind of trauma-dumping," said the 18 year-old senior, "And I'm just like, this doesn't really say anything about me as a person." (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Hillary Amofa listens to others member of the Lincoln Park High School step team after school Friday, March 8, 2024, in Chicago. When she started writing her college essay, Amofa told the story she thought admissions offices wanted to hear. She wrote about being the daughter of immigrants from Ghana, about growing up in a small apartment in Chicago. She described hardship and struggle. Then she deleted it all. “I would just find myself kind of trauma-dumping,” said the 18 year-old senior, “And I’m just like, this doesn’t really say anything about me as a person.” (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • Copy Link copied

Hillary Amofa, laughs as she participates in a team building game with members of the Lincoln Park High School step team after school Friday, March 8, 2024, in Chicago. When she started writing her college essay, Amofa told the story she thought admissions offices wanted to hear. She wrote about being the daughter of immigrants from Ghana, about growing up in a small apartment in Chicago. She described hardship and struggle. Then she deleted it all. “I would just find myself kind of trauma-dumping,” said the 18 year-old senior, “And I’m just like, this doesn’t really say anything about me as a person.” (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Hillary Amofa stands for a portrait after practice with members of the Lincoln Park High School step team Friday, March 8, 2024, in Chicago. When she started writing her college essay, Amofa told the story she thought admissions offices wanted to hear. She wrote about being the daughter of immigrants from Ghana, about growing up in a small apartment in Chicago. She described hardship and struggle. Then she deleted it all. “I would just find myself kind of trauma-dumping,” said the 18 year-old senior, “And I’m just like, this doesn’t really say anything about me as a person.” (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Max Decker, a senior at Lincoln High School, sits for a portrait in the school library where he often worked on writing his college essays, in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, March 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Amanda Loman)

Hillary Amofa stands for a portrait after practice with members of the Lincoln Park High School step team Friday, March 8, 2024, in Chicago. When she started writing her college essay, Amofa told the story she thought admissions offices wanted to hear. She wrote about being the daughter of immigrants from Ghana, about growing up in a small apartment in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Hillary Amofa, second from left, practices with members of the Lincoln Park High School step team after school Friday, March 8, 2024, in Chicago. When she started writing her college essay, Amofa told the story she thought admissions offices wanted to hear. She wrote about being the daughter of immigrants from Ghana, about growing up in a small apartment in Chicago. She described hardship and struggle. Then she deleted it all. “I would just find myself kind of trauma-dumping,” said the 18 year-old senior, “And I’m just like, this doesn’t really say anything about me as a person.” (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Max Decker, a senior at Lincoln High School, stands for a portrait outside of the school in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, March 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Amanda Loman)

*Hillary Amofa, reflected right, practices in a mirror with members of the Lincoln Park High School step team after school Friday, March 8, 2024, in Chicago. When she started writing her college essay, Amofa told the story she thought admissions offices wanted to hear. She wrote about being the daughter of immigrants from Ghana, about growing up in a small apartment in Chicago. She described hardship and struggle. Then she deleted it all. “I would just find myself kind of trauma-dumping,” said the 18 year-old senior, “And I’m just like, this doesn’t really say anything about me as a person.” (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Max Decker, a senior at Lincoln High School, sits for a portrait outside of the school in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, March 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Amanda Loman)

Hillary Amofa, left, practices with members of the Lincoln Park High School step team after school Friday, March 8, 2024, in Chicago. When she started writing her college essay, Amofa told the story she thought admissions offices wanted to hear. She wrote about being the daughter of immigrants from Ghana, about growing up in a small apartment in Chicago. She described hardship and struggle. Then she deleted it all. “I would just find myself kind of trauma-dumping,” said the 18 year-old senior, “And I’m just like, this doesn’t really say anything about me as a person.” (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Hillary Amofa sits for a portrait after her step team practice at Lincoln Park High School Friday, March 8, 2024, in Chicago. When she started writing her college essay, Amofa told the story she thought admissions offices wanted to hear. She wrote about being the daughter of immigrants from Ghana, about growing up in a small apartment in Chicago. She described hardship and struggle. Then she deleted it all. “I would just find myself kind of trauma-dumping,” said the 18 year-old senior, “And I’m just like, this doesn’t really say anything about me as a person.” (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

FILE - Demonstrators protest outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, in this June 29, 2023 file photo, after the Supreme Court struck down affirmative action in college admissions, saying race cannot be a factor. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

CHICAGO (AP) — When she started writing her college essay, Hillary Amofa told the story she thought admissions offices wanted to hear. About being the daughter of immigrants from Ghana and growing up in a small apartment in Chicago. About hardship and struggle.

Then she deleted it all.

“I would just find myself kind of trauma-dumping,” said the 18-year-old senior at Lincoln Park High School in Chicago. “And I’m just like, this doesn’t really say anything about me as a person.”

When the Supreme Court ended affirmative action in higher education, it left the college essay as one of few places where race can play a role in admissions decisions. For many students of color, instantly more was riding on the already high-stakes writing assignment. Some say they felt pressure to exploit their hardships as they competed for a spot on campus.

Amofa was just starting to think about her essay when the court issued its decision, and it left her with a wave of questions. Could she still write about her race? Could she be penalized for it? She wanted to tell colleges about her heritage but she didn’t want to be defined by it.

In English class, Amofa and her classmates read sample essays that all seemed to focus on some trauma or hardship. It left her with the impression she had to write about her life’s hardest moments to show how far she’d come. But she and some of her classmates wondered if their lives had been hard enough to catch the attention of admissions offices.

“For a lot of students, there’s a feeling of, like, having to go through something so horrible to feel worthy of going to school, which is kind of sad,” said Amofa, the daughter of a hospital technician and an Uber driver.

This year’s senior class is the first in decades to navigate college admissions without affirmative action . The Supreme Court upheld the practice in decisions going back to the 1970s, but this court’s conservative supermajority found it is unconstitutional for colleges to give students extra weight because of their race alone.

Still, the decision left room for race to play an indirect role: Chief Justice John Roberts wrote universities can still consider how an applicant’s life was shaped by their race, “so long as that discussion is concretely tied to a quality of character or unique ability.”

“A benefit to a student who overcame racial discrimination, for example, must be tied to that student’s courage and determination,” he wrote.

Scores of colleges responded with new essay prompts asking about students’ backgrounds. Brown University asked applicants how “an aspect of your growing up has inspired or challenged you.” Rice University asked students how their perspectives were shaped by their “background, experiences, upbringing, and/or racial identity.”

*Hillary Amofa, reflected right, practices in a mirror with members of the Lincoln Park High School step team after school Friday, March 8, 2024, in Chicago. When she started writing her college essay, Amofa told the story she thought admissions offices wanted to hear. She wrote about being the daughter of immigrants from Ghana, about growing up in a small apartment in Chicago. She described hardship and struggle. Then she deleted it all. "I would just find myself kind of trauma-dumping," said the 18 year-old senior, "And I'm just like, this doesn't really say anything about me as a person." (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Hillary Amofa, reflected right, practices in a mirror with members of the Lincoln Park High School step team after school, March 8, 2024, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

WONDERING IF SCHOOLS ‘EXPECT A SOB STORY’

When Darrian Merritt started writing his essay, he knew the stakes were higher than ever because of the court’s decision. His first instinct was to write about events that led to him going to live with his grandmother as a child.

Those were painful memories, but he thought they might play well at schools like Yale, Stanford and Vanderbilt.

“I feel like the admissions committee might expect a sob story or a tragic story,” said Merritt, a senior in Cleveland. “And if you don’t provide that, then maybe they’re not going to feel like you went through enough to deserve having a spot at the university. I wrestled with that a lot.”

He wrote drafts focusing on his childhood, but it never amounted to more than a collection of memories. Eventually he abandoned the idea and aimed for an essay that would stand out for its positivity.

Merritt wrote about a summer camp where he started to feel more comfortable in his own skin. He described embracing his personality and defying his tendency to please others. The essay had humor — it centered on a water gun fight where he had victory in sight but, in a comedic twist, slipped and fell. But the essay also reflects on his feelings of not being “Black enough” and getting made fun of for listening to “white people music.”

“I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to write this for me, and we’re just going to see how it goes,’” he said. “It just felt real, and it felt like an honest story.”

The essay describes a breakthrough as he learned “to take ownership of myself and my future by sharing my true personality with the people I encounter. ... I realized that the first chapter of my own story had just been written.”

Max Decker, a senior at Lincoln High School, sits for a portrait in the school library where he often worked on writing his college essays, in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, March 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Amanda Loman)

Max Decker, a senior at Lincoln High School, sits for a portrait in the school library where he often worked on writing his college essays, in Portland, Ore., March 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Amanda Loman)

A RULING PROMPTS PIVOTS ON ESSAY TOPICS

Like many students, Max Decker of Portland, Oregon, had drafted a college essay on one topic, only to change direction after the Supreme Court ruling in June.

Decker initially wrote about his love for video games. In a childhood surrounded by constant change, navigating his parents’ divorce, the games he took from place to place on his Nintendo DS were a source of comfort.

But the essay he submitted to colleges focused on the community he found through Word is Bond, a leadership group for young Black men in Portland.

As the only biracial, Jewish kid with divorced parents in a predominantly white, Christian community, Decker wrote he constantly felt like the odd one out. On a trip with Word is Bond to Capitol Hill, he and friends who looked just like him shook hands with lawmakers. The experience, he wrote, changed how he saw himself.

“It’s because I’m different that I provide something precious to the world, not the other way around,” he wrote.

As a first-generation college student, Decker thought about the subtle ways his peers seemed to know more about navigating the admissions process . They made sure to get into advanced classes at the start of high school, and they knew how to secure glowing letters of recommendation.

Max Decker reads his college essay on his experience with a leadership group for young Black men. (AP Video/Noreen Nasir)

If writing about race would give him a slight edge and show admissions officers a fuller picture of his achievements, he wanted to take that small advantage.

His first memory about race, Decker said, was when he went to get a haircut in elementary school and the barber made rude comments about his curly hair. Until recently, the insecurity that moment created led him to keep his hair buzzed short.

Through Word is Bond, Decker said he found a space to explore his identity as a Black man. It was one of the first times he was surrounded by Black peers and saw Black role models. It filled him with a sense of pride in his identity. No more buzzcut.

The pressure to write about race involved a tradeoff with other important things in his life, Decker said. That included his passion for journalism, like the piece he wrote on efforts to revive a once-thriving Black neighborhood in Portland. In the end, he squeezed in 100 characters about his journalism under the application’s activities section.

“My final essay, it felt true to myself. But the difference between that and my other essay was the fact that it wasn’t the truth that I necessarily wanted to share,” said Decker, whose top college choice is Tulane, in New Orleans, because of the region’s diversity. “It felt like I just had to limit the truth I was sharing to what I feel like the world is expecting of me.”

FILE - Demonstrators protest outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, in this June 29, 2023 file photo, after the Supreme Court struck down affirmative action in college admissions, saying race cannot be a factor. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Demonstrators protest outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, in this June 29, 2023 file photo, after the Supreme Court struck down affirmative action in college admissions, saying race cannot be a factor. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

SPELLING OUT THE IMPACT OF RACE

Before the Supreme Court ruling, it seemed a given to Imani Laird that colleges would consider the ways that race had touched her life. But now, she felt like she had to spell it out.

As she started her essay, she reflected on how she had faced bias or felt overlooked as a Black student in predominantly white spaces.

There was the year in math class when the teacher kept calling her by the name of another Black student. There were the comments that she’d have an easier time getting into college because she was Black .

“I didn’t have it easier because of my race,” said Laird, a senior at Newton South High School in the Boston suburbs who was accepted at Wellesley and Howard University, and is waiting to hear from several Ivy League colleges. “I had stuff I had to overcome.”

In her final essays, she wrote about her grandfather, who served in the military but was denied access to GI Bill benefits because of his race.

She described how discrimination fueled her ambition to excel and pursue a career in public policy.

“So, I never settled for mediocrity,” she wrote. “Regardless of the subject, my goal in class was not just to participate but to excel. Beyond academics, I wanted to excel while remembering what started this motivation in the first place.”

Hillary Amofa stands for a portrait after practice with members of the Lincoln Park High School step team Friday, March 8, 2024, in Chicago. When she started writing her college essay, Amofa told the story she thought admissions offices wanted to hear. She wrote about being the daughter of immigrants from Ghana, about growing up in a small apartment in Chicago. She described hardship and struggle. Then she deleted it all. "I would just find myself kind of trauma-dumping," said the 18 year-old senior, "And I'm just like, this doesn't really say anything about me as a person." (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Hillary Amofa stands for a portrait after practice with members of the Lincoln Park High School step team, March 8, 2024, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

WILL SCHOOLS LOSE RACIAL DIVERSITY?

Amofa used to think affirmative action was only a factor at schools like Harvard and Yale. After the court’s ruling, she was surprised to find that race was taken into account even at some public universities she was applying to.

Now, without affirmative action, she wondered if mostly white schools will become even whiter.

It’s been on her mind as she chooses between Indiana University and the University of Dayton, both of which have relatively few Black students. When she was one of the only Black students in her grade school, she could fall back on her family and Ghanaian friends at church. At college, she worries about loneliness.

“That’s what I’m nervous about,” she said. “Going and just feeling so isolated, even though I’m constantly around people.”

Hillary Amofa reads her college essay on embracing her natural hair. (AP Video/Noreen Nasir)

The first drafts of her essay focused on growing up in a low-income family, sharing a bedroom with her brother and grandmother. But it didn’t tell colleges about who she is now, she said.

Her final essay tells how she came to embrace her natural hair . She wrote about going to a mostly white grade school where classmates made jokes about her afro. When her grandmother sent her back with braids or cornrows, they made fun of those too.

Over time, she ignored their insults and found beauty in the styles worn by women in her life. She now runs a business doing braids and other hairstyles in her neighborhood.

“I stopped seeing myself through the lens of the European traditional beauty standards and started seeing myself through the lens that I created,” Amofa wrote.

“Criticism will persist, but it loses its power when you know there’s a crown on your head!”

Ma reported from Portland, Oregon.

The Associated Press’ education coverage receives financial support from multiple private foundations. AP is solely responsible for all content. Find AP’s standards for working with philanthropies, a list of supporters and funded coverage areas at AP.org .

COLLIN BINKLEY

Should college essays touch on race? Some feel the affirmative action ruling leaves them no choice

CHICAGO — When she started writing her college essay, Hillary Amofa told the story she thought admissions offices wanted to hear. About being the daughter of immigrants from Ghana and growing up in a small apartment in Chicago. About hardship and struggle.

Then she deleted it all.

“I would just find myself kind of trauma-dumping,” said the 18-year-old senior at Lincoln Park High School in Chicago. “And I’m just like, this doesn’t really say anything about me as a person.”

When the Supreme Court ended affirmative action in higher education, it left the college essay as one of few places where race can play a role in admissions decisions. For many students of color, instantly more was riding on the already high-stakes writing assignment. Some say they felt pressure to exploit their hardships as they competed for a spot on campus.

Amofa was just starting to think about her essay when the court issued its decision, and it left her with a wave of questions. Could she still write about her race? Could she be penalized for it? She wanted to tell colleges about her heritage but she didn’t want to be defined by it.

In English class, Amofa and her classmates read sample essays that all seemed to focus on some trauma or hardship. It left her with the impression she had to write about her life’s hardest moments to show how far she’d come. But she and some of her classmates wondered if their lives had been hard enough to catch the attention of admissions offices.

“For a lot of students, there’s a feeling of, like, having to go through something so horrible to feel worthy of going to school, which is kind of sad,” said Amofa, the daughter of a hospital technician and an Uber driver.

This year’s senior class is the first in decades to navigate college admissions without affirmative action . The Supreme Court upheld the practice in decisions going back to the 1970s, but this court’s conservative supermajority found it is unconstitutional for colleges to give students extra weight because of their race alone.

Still, the decision left room for race to play an indirect role: Chief Justice John Roberts wrote universities can still consider how an applicant’s life was shaped by their race, “so long as that discussion is concretely tied to a quality of character or unique ability.”

“A benefit to a student who overcame racial discrimination, for example, must be tied to that student’s courage and determination,” he wrote.

Scores of colleges responded with new essay prompts asking about students’ backgrounds. Brown University asked applicants how “an aspect of your growing up has inspired or challenged you.” Rice University asked students how their perspectives were shaped by their “background, experiences, upbringing, and/or racial identity.”

WONDERING IF SCHOOLS 'EXPECT A SOB STORY'

When Darrian Merritt started writing his essay, he knew the stakes were higher than ever because of the court’s decision. His first instinct was to write about events that led to him going to live with his grandmother as a child.

Those were painful memories, but he thought they might play well at schools like Yale, Stanford and Vanderbilt.

“I feel like the admissions committee might expect a sob story or a tragic story,” said Merritt, a senior in Cleveland. “And if you don’t provide that, then maybe they’re not going to feel like you went through enough to deserve having a spot at the university. I wrestled with that a lot.”

He wrote drafts focusing on his childhood, but it never amounted to more than a collection of memories. Eventually he abandoned the idea and aimed for an essay that would stand out for its positivity.

Merritt wrote about a summer camp where he started to feel more comfortable in his own skin. He described embracing his personality and defying his tendency to please others. The essay had humor — it centered on a water gun fight where he had victory in sight but, in a comedic twist, slipped and fell. But the essay also reflects on his feelings of not being “Black enough” and getting made fun of for listening to “white people music.”

“I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to write this for me, and we’re just going to see how it goes,’” he said. “It just felt real, and it felt like an honest story.”

The essay describes a breakthrough as he learned “to take ownership of myself and my future by sharing my true personality with the people I encounter. ... I realized that the first chapter of my own story had just been written.”

A RULING PROMPTS PIVOTS ON ESSAY TOPICS

Like many students, Max Decker of Portland, Oregon, had drafted a college essay on one topic, only to change direction after the Supreme Court ruling in June.

Decker initially wrote about his love for video games. In a childhood surrounded by constant change, navigating his parents’ divorce, the games he took from place to place on his Nintendo DS were a source of comfort.

But the essay he submitted to colleges focused on the community he found through Word is Bond, a leadership group for young Black men in Portland.

As the only biracial, Jewish kid with divorced parents in a predominantly white, Christian community, Decker wrote he constantly felt like the odd one out. On a trip with Word is Bond to Capitol Hill, he and friends who looked just like him shook hands with lawmakers. The experience, he wrote, changed how he saw himself.

“It’s because I’m different that I provide something precious to the world, not the other way around,” he wrote.

As a first-generation college student, Decker thought about the subtle ways his peers seemed to know more about navigating the admissions process . They made sure to get into advanced classes at the start of high school, and they knew how to secure glowing letters of recommendation.

If writing about race would give him a slight edge and show admissions officers a fuller picture of his achievements, he wanted to take that small advantage.

His first memory about race, Decker said, was when he went to get a haircut in elementary school and the barber made rude comments about his curly hair. Until recently, the insecurity that moment created led him to keep his hair buzzed short.

Through Word is Bond, Decker said he found a space to explore his identity as a Black man. It was one of the first times he was surrounded by Black peers and saw Black role models. It filled him with a sense of pride in his identity. No more buzzcut.

The pressure to write about race involved a tradeoff with other important things in his life, Decker said. That included his passion for journalism, like the piece he wrote on efforts to revive a once-thriving Black neighborhood in Portland. In the end, he squeezed in 100 characters about his journalism under the application’s activities section.

“My final essay, it felt true to myself. But the difference between that and my other essay was the fact that it wasn’t the truth that I necessarily wanted to share,” said Decker, whose top college choice is Tulane, in New Orleans, because of the region’s diversity. “It felt like I just had to limit the truth I was sharing to what I feel like the world is expecting of me.”

SPELLING OUT THE IMPACT OF RACE

Before the Supreme Court ruling, it seemed a given to Imani Laird that colleges would consider the ways that race had touched her life. But now, she felt like she had to spell it out.

As she started her essay, she reflected on how she had faced bias or felt overlooked as a Black student in predominantly white spaces.

There was the year in math class when the teacher kept calling her by the name of another Black student. There were the comments that she’d have an easier time getting into college because she was Black .

“I didn’t have it easier because of my race,” said Laird, a senior at Newton South High School in the Boston suburbs who was accepted at Wellesley and Howard University, and is waiting to hear from several Ivy League colleges. “I had stuff I had to overcome.”

In her final essays, she wrote about her grandfather, who served in the military but was denied access to GI Bill benefits because of his race.

She described how discrimination fueled her ambition to excel and pursue a career in public policy.

“So, I never settled for mediocrity,” she wrote. “Regardless of the subject, my goal in class was not just to participate but to excel. Beyond academics, I wanted to excel while remembering what started this motivation in the first place.”

WILL SCHOOLS LOSE RACIAL DIVERSITY?

Amofa used to think affirmative action was only a factor at schools like Harvard and Yale. After the court’s ruling, she was surprised to find that race was taken into account even at some public universities she was applying to.

Now, without affirmative action, she wondered if mostly white schools will become even whiter.

It’s been on her mind as she chooses between Indiana University and the University of Dayton, both of which have relatively few Black students. When she was one of the only Black students in her grade school, she could fall back on her family and Ghanaian friends at church. At college, she worries about loneliness.

“That’s what I’m nervous about,” she said. “Going and just feeling so isolated, even though I’m constantly around people.”

The first drafts of her essay focused on growing up in a low-income family, sharing a bedroom with her brother and grandmother. But it didn’t tell colleges about who she is now, she said.

Her final essay tells how she came to embrace her natural hair . She wrote about going to a mostly white grade school where classmates made jokes about her afro. When her grandmother sent her back with braids or cornrows, they made fun of those too.

Over time, she ignored their insults and found beauty in the styles worn by women in her life. She now runs a business doing braids and other hairstyles in her neighborhood.

“I stopped seeing myself through the lens of the European traditional beauty standards and started seeing myself through the lens that I created,” Amofa wrote.

“Criticism will persist, but it loses its power when you know there’s a crown on your head!”

Ma reported from Portland, Oregon.

The Associated Press’ education coverage receives financial support from multiple private foundations. AP is solely responsible for all content. Find AP’s standards for working with philanthropies, a list of supporters and funded coverage areas at AP.org .

howard community college essay prompt

IMAGES

  1. New College Prompt Essay Examples The Latest

    howard community college essay prompt

  2. FREE 10+ Community College Essay Samples [ Service, Builder, Transfer ]

    howard community college essay prompt

  3. Howard Community College Professor Reviews and Ratings

    howard community college essay prompt

  4. Howard University Essay Examples

    howard community college essay prompt

  5. Community College Essay

    howard community college essay prompt

  6. FREE 10+ Community College Essay Samples [ Service, Builder, Transfer ]

    howard community college essay prompt

COMMENTS

  1. Howard Community College's 2023-24 Essay Prompts

    This school does not require essays or the essay prompts are not available yet. Sign up to be notified of any changes. Applying to Howard Community College and trying to find all the correct essay prompts for 2023-24? Find them here, along with free guidance on how to write the essays.

  2. How to Write the Howard University Essay 2022-2023

    Keep descriptions of your activity short as possible and write most of the essay about how your accomplishments in that activity tie into your personal goals and aspirations. Place the focus on you, not the activity itself. To narrow down your topic, think of a specific experience that was impactful in the arc of your activity.

  3. A Strong Howard University Essay Example

    Prompt: The School of Business has been a model for higher education since its founding in 1970.With dynamic academic departments, ground breaking centers of excellence, esteemed faculty, award winning programs, and over 8,000 alumni across the globe, the Howard University School of Business continues to be ranked among the top business programs in the nation.

  4. How to Respond to the 2023/2024 Howard University Supplemental

    Prompt #1. "Diversity of all kinds is important to enriching the educational experience at Howard University. Please share with us anything in your background or lived experience that has shaped your perspectives and how that would contribute to the classroom and community at Howard." (500 words max) As an HBCU, approaching this prompt from ...

  5. How to Write the Howard University Supplemental Essays: Examples

    Prompt #1: Extracurricular activity essay. Prompt #2: "Why us" essay. Prompt #3: "Keynote speaker" essay. Prompt #4: "Why major" essay. Prompt #5: "Howard University alumni" essay. A historically Black college in the heart of Washington, D.C., Howard University is a world-renowned leader in STEM fields, as well as social work, business, and ...

  6. Writing Dynamic College Essays

    By accessing online college application samples, you will be able to practice writing a college admissions essay using popular and successful prompts. You will have rough drafts analyzed and proofread, and you will get to practice editing with your peers. ... Howard Community College. 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway Columbia, MD 21044 . 443-518 ...

  7. The Art of the Admission Essay

    These differences are what make you individually intriguing to our admission counselors. Your application essay is your most important opportunity to show us who you are in your own voice. That means, we want to hear your unique story. People will always have similar life experiences, but your reactions to and feelings about them are as unique ...

  8. First Year Admissions

    As of August 2018, we no longer offer Spring entry for first year applicants. The first year admission team can be reached via email at [email protected]. We can also be reached via telephone at 202-806-2755. For the latest admission updates, follow us on Twitter & Instagram!

  9. Sample Assignment Design

    Prompt. Place the specific actions that you want your students to perform/produce. ... Explain your reason(s) for assigning this essay/report. ... Library Howard Community College 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway Columbia, MD 21044 Map.

  10. Howard University 2021-22 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

    Howard University 2021-22 Application Essay Question Explanation. The Requirements: 4 essays of 250 words each, 1 essay of 750 words. Supplemental Essay Type (s): Activity, Why, Oddball. The year is 2030, and you have been invited to be the keynote speaker at an event of your choice. If you were to give this very important speech, what would it ...

  11. Howard essay tips and experiences?

    This will create a more engaging and immersive essay that leaves a lasting impression on the reader. 4. Connect to Howard's values: Research the university's mission statement, programs, culture, and values. Show that your goals and aspirations align with the institution's mission and demonstrate how attending Howard will help you achieve those ...

  12. Howard University 2020-21 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

    Howard University 2020-21 Application Essay Question Explanation. The Requirements: 1 essay of 250 words. Supplemental Essay Type(s): Activity. Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (250 words) Activity essays like this one are quite common and really are as straightforward as they seem.

  13. Decoding the 'Community' Essay Prompt

    CollegeVine's Q&A seeks to offer informed perspectives on commonly asked admissions questions. Every answer is refined and validated by our team of admissions experts to ensure it resonates with trusted knowledge in the field. Colleges often include a question about community to get a sense of your values and how you engage with others. It ...

  14. How to Write the Community Essay: Complete Guide + Examples

    Step 1: Decide What Community to Write About. Step 2: The BEABIES Exercise. Step 3: Pick a Structure (Narrative or Montage) Community Essay Example: East Meets West. Community Essay Example: Storytellers. The Uncommon Connections Exercise.

  15. Home

    Have it ALL at Howard Community College. You can get there from here is a promise. Howard Community College has been a first choice for education in our community for more than 50 years, and we are here for you today. Giving makes a difference! Your support helps students along their pathways to success.

  16. Should college essays touch on race? Some feel the affirmative action

    A RULING PROMPTS PIVOTS ON ESSAY TOPICS . Like many students, Max Decker of Portland, Oregon, had drafted a college essay on one topic, only to change direction after the Supreme Court ruling in June.

  17. Elektrostal Map

    Elektrostal is a city in Moscow Oblast, Russia, located 58 kilometers east of Moscow. Elektrostal has about 158,000 residents. Mapcarta, the open map.

  18. College application: Should race be in essay after affirmative action

    Hillary Amofa listens to others member of the Lincoln Park High School step team after school Friday, March 8, 2024, in Chicago. When she started writing her college essay, Amofa told the story she thought admissions offices wanted to hear. She wrote about being the daughter of immigrants from Ghana, about growing up in a small apartment in ...

  19. Elektrostal

    Elektrostal , lit: Electric and Сталь , lit: Steel) is a city in Moscow Oblast, Russia, located 58 kilometers east of Moscow. Population: 155,196 ; 146,294 ...

  20. Should college essays touch on race? Some feel the affirmative action

    Scores of colleges responded with new essay prompts asking about students' backgrounds. Brown University asked applicants how "an aspect of your growing up has inspired or challenged you."

  21. The flag of Elektrostal, Moscow Oblast, Russia which I bought there

    Posted by u/[Deleted Account] - 122 votes and 18 comments

  22. Moscow Metro: Atlantic photo essay

    A visit to Russia is my to-do list. Great people & culture. [ Reply To This Message ] [ Share Thread on Facebook ] [ Start a New Thread ] [ Back to Thread List ]