fordham supplemental essays
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Fordham Supplemental Essays 2022-2023

Fordham Supplemental Essays: Quick Facts

  • Fordham Acceptance Rate: 58%—U.S. News ranks Fordham University as a more selective school.
  • Fordham University Ranking: U.S. News ranks Fordham #72 in National Universities
  • Fordham Supplemental Essays Requirements: The Fordham application does NOT require students to complete supplemental essays. However, students have the opportunity to respond to three optional essays in addition to their Common App essay:
    • 1 (~150 word) short answer essay (optional)
    • 1 (~250 word) COVID-19 response essay (optional)
    • 1 (~650 word) additional information essay (optional)
  • Fordham Application: Fordham University accepts applications via the Common App. Students are required to submit their Common App essay and all required materials when applying.
  • Fordham University Essay Tip: While not required, each Fordham University supplemental essay is a chance to share something about yourself with Fordham admissions. Seize these opportunities and take the time to draft, edit, and refine each of your Fordham University application essays, just like you would your Common App essay.

How many essays does Fordham require?

So, does Fordham have supplemental essays? The answer is yes, Fordham gives students the opportunity to complete Fordham supplemental essays as part of their application. However, unlike at many schools:

Fordham supplemental essays are all optional

Fordham University requires the Common App Personal Statement as well as three optional Fordham supplement essays. So, if you choose to forgo the Fordham supplemental essays (which we don’t suggest), your only Fordham application essay will be your Common App essay. On their Writing for the Common Application page, Fordham provides their Fordham essay requirements. This includes guidelines for the Common App essay and information on the Fordham supplemental essays.

According to Fordham admissions, applicants will not be penalized if they do not submit the Fordham supplemental essays. While the Fordham supplemental essays are not required, they are a good opportunity to provide Fordham admissions with more insight into who you are and what you’d bring to Fordham’s community.

For most students, we recommend answering each Fordham University essay prompt to strengthen your application. However, answering the Fordham supplemental essays will not be a part of every student’s “how to get into Fordham” game plan. Students should only submit the Fordham supplemental essays if doing so will add to their overall application.

What are the essays for Fordham?

fordham supplemental essays

Now that we’ve answered the question of “does Fordham have supplemental essays,” let’s discuss the required Fordham essay and the optional Fordham supplemental essays. 

According to the Fordham essay requirements, there is one required Fordham essay and three optional Fordham supplemental essays. The Common App essay is required by all students applying to Fordham. The three additional Fordham University application essays are optional. Each covers a different topic: additional information, COVID-19 impact, and a unique Fordham question. 

Fordham University application essay prompts:

Short Response (150 words)

At Fordham, we expect students to care for and engage with their communities. Please share a specific instance in which you challenged yourself or stepped out of your comfort zone in order to be an advocate for your community (for example, your family, friend group, high school, or town). Please provide an example that illustrates a facet of yourself that we would not find anywhere else in your application.

COVID-19 Response

Fall 2023 applicants will have the opportunity to tell us more about how COVID-19 has impacted their lives. Please feel free to use this section to discuss this topic as opposed to your essay. This response is optional.

Additional Information Essay

Is there something you’d like to tell us that just doesn’t seem to fit anywhere else? Perhaps you’d like to expand on one of your co-curricular involvements or let us know about an extenuating circumstance that impacted your academic performance. Whatever the case may be, please feel free to tell us in this optional section.

Think of your Fordham supplemental essays as a chance to show your interest in Fordham and what makes you a good fit. Remember you have complete control over how you approach the Fordham supplemental essays. So, don’t let nerves keep you from getting a jump start on a Fordham University supplemental essay.

Below, we have outlined each Fordham University supplemental essay and how to approach it. If you’re planning to apply to Fordham, visit the Fordham University’s Undergraduate Admission website for a complete list of application requirements. Keep reading to learn more about the Fordham University application essays. 

Fordham Essay Requirements: Common App Essay

While each Fordham University application essay is a key part of your Fordham application, your Common App essay is arguably the most important. 

There are three main questions admissions will keep in mind as they evaluate each Fordham essay, including your Common App essay: 

  1. Who are you as a person, student, and community member? 
  2. How well do you write?
  3. Are you a critical thinker?

Your Common App essay is a key part of the Fordham essay requirements. Choose your prompt carefully, and make sure your essay highlights your strengths. The best Common App essays will show Fordham who you are, what makes you unique, and what you bring to the table. 

To complete the Fordham University application essay requirements, you’ll need to choose one of the Common App’s essay prompts to respond to. Admissions will want to see how thoughtfully and logically you address the prompt. So, be sure you answer the prompt wholly and structure your essay to be clear and compelling.

If you’re having trouble picking which Common App prompt to respond to, check out our resources to help you jumpstart the writing process. Our resources can also help you address each Fordham University application essay.

Check out our articles on How to Write a Personal Statement and College Essay Examples to read sample college essays and learn more about why they work. For more tips to help you get started on your Fordham essay, check out our 39 Essay Tips from CollegeAdvisor’s Admissions Experts.

How do I write the Fordham college essay?

As you start crafting each Fordham essay, think about how it adds to your personal narrative. Think about your personal narrative as the thread that weaves your application together. It should offer an overall sense of your identity that is greater than the sum of your individual essays, grades, coursework, or extracurriculars.

Remember that each Fordham essay is an opportunity to show admissions who you are, what is important to you, and what kind of member of Fordham’s community you’ll be. This starts with your Common App essay. Since Fordham does not offer in-person interviews, your Common App essay (alongside each Fordham essay) is an important chance to articulate who you are with your own words and in your own voice.

Below, we’ll take a closer look at each Fordham essay and offer some tips. These Fordham essay guidelines are helpful no matter which optional Fordham essay prompt you choose to respond to. Be sure to keep these questions top of mind when you go to write your Fordham supplemental essays.

Fordham Supplemental Essays: Optional Essays

It’s time to turn to the Fordham supplemental essays. We have provided the Fordham University supplemental essay prompts below, including tips on how to approach each one. As you complete each Fordham University essay prompt, think about the narrative you began to construct in your Common App essay. What kind of learner and student have you shown yourself to be? Additionally, how can you continue the themes from your Common App essay in each of your Fordham supplemental essays?

Fordham reviews each application holistically. This means that no element of your application, including each Fordham University supplement essay, will make or break your admissions odds. As the admissions team reads your Fordham supplemental essays, they want to imagine who you’ll be on Fordham’s campus should you be admitted. The Fordham supplemental essays are a chance to bring that image to life. Strong Fordham supplemental essays will help your readers picture you as a part of their student body. Each Fordham essay should show how you embody Fordham’s values and would add to their campus community and culture.

Now let’s review each of the Fordham University supplemental essay prompts and how to set yourself up for success when answering them.

Fordham Supplemental Essays #1: Short Response

This short response question is meant to help you reflect on your personal growth and consider how you might continue to grow at Fordham: At Fordham, we expect students to care for and engage with their communities. Please share a specific instance in which you challenged yourself or stepped out of your comfort zone in order to impact your community (for example, your family, friend group, high school, or town). Or, share a way you hope to do so at Fordham. (150 words max)

This Fordham University supplemental essay prompt looks at how you will contribute to the Fordham community. Fordham University admissions looks for students who know how to collaborate with others and foster positive learning environments.

This Fordham University essay prompt gives you two options—describe a past experience or a future goal. The strongest Fordham essays will likely address a past experience. These essays will show that you know how to create the change you seek rather than just imagining what might be done.

Choosing a topic

To begin this Fordham essay, brainstorm a list of times when you impacted your communities. Prioritize instances when you spearheaded change and saw real results. Think about what experience will best add to the narrative from your Common App essay. If you focused on your academic work, use your Fordham supplement essay to introduce us to one of your non-academic communities. By contrast, if you focused your Common App essay on family and friends, introduce us to your academic or extracurricular communities.

If you do not have an experience that fits this Fordham University essay prompt, focus your Fordham supplement essay on one way you hope to impact the Fordham community. Since you are talking in abstracts, specificity is key here. What community within Fordham University do you hope to impact? You can also use this Fordham essay to give Fordham University admissions a sense of what communities you would join on campus. This helps them envision what kind of student you might be.

Writing your essay

In your Fordham essay, write in specific terms about the change you wish to create. This might take some research. If you want to join the theater community on campus, look at their current extracurricular theater opportunities. Is there something missing you would like to spearhead or a group you would like to start? Is there a club you would like to join and expand?

Whether you choose a past experience or a future goal, pick a challenge that made (or will make) you step out of your comfort zone. This shows that you carefully read the Fordham University essay prompt and illustrates how you hope to grow as a person and student.

Remember, you only have 150 words to write this Fordham supplement essay. This means that specificity is key for this Fordham University application essay. Be brief when describing how you made or would make an impact. Focus on the impact itself and, if applicable, the resulting change in your community.

Fordham Essay Reflection Questions:

  • Does your response fully answer the Fordham University essay prompt?
  • Do you clearly show what kind of community member you are?
  • Does your response enrich the narrative you put forth in the rest of your application?

Fordham Supplemental Essays #2: COVID-19 Response

Fall 2022 applicants will have the opportunity to tell us more about how COVID-19 has impacted (and continues to impact) their lives. Please feel free to use this section to discuss this topic as opposed to your essay. This response is optional.

The next Fordham University supplemental essay prompt gives you the chance to discuss COVID-19. It also asks applicants not to do so in the Common App essay or other Fordham supplemental essays.

This Fordham essay lets you discuss another key moment of growth or change in your life. How did COVID-19 impact your high school experience? What did it change about how you interface with your academic community? How did you learn about yourself? Finally, if you join the Fordham community, what will you take with you from this experience? In this Fordham supplement essay, focus on the impact of COVID-19 on your own life rather than its impact on the world.

You may struggle to focus on just a few ways in which COVID-19 impacted you—no doubt it changed much of your life. Again, think back to your application narrative. What version of yourself do you want to highlight in this application? Given the other components of your application, what part of your experience during COVID-19 should you focus on in this Fordham supplement essay? This is a great chance to show Fordham University admissions how you can overcome adversity.

This Fordham University supplemental essay does not have a word limit. Nevertheless, write with the same precision you brought to the first Fordham supplement essay.

Fordham Essay Reflection Questions:

  • Does your Fordham essay highlight the personal impact of COVID-19 on your life?
  • Does your response to this Fordham University essay prompt enrich the rest of your application narrative?

Fordham Supplemental Essays #3: Additional Information Essay

Is there something you’d like to tell us that just doesn’t seem to fit anywhere else? Perhaps you’d like to expand on one of your co-curricular involvements or let us know about an extenuating circumstance that impacted your academic performance. Whatever the case may be, please feel free to tell us in this optional section.

For this Fordham University supplemental essay, think about if you need to explain your grades and test scores. This would usually mean you had a serious disruption to your academics, such as a medical or family concern.

If this applies to you, describe the impact of that circumstance or event and how it impeded your ability to do your best work. If this circumstance has been resolved, explain how so and the improved student you have become in its aftermath. Alternatively, if it is ongoing, explain how you’ve learned to handle that stressor. Make sure to foreground how you will be able to meet the academic standards of Fordham University even as this circumstance persists.

If the above does not apply to you, you might use this Fordham supplement essay to round out your application and expand on a co-curricular you did not touch on in your other essays. Remember, a co-curricular is an activity that complements your academic courses, such as participating in debate society or mock trial team. Playing on a sports team, for instance, is not a co-curricular activity.

As you approach this Fordham supplement essay, remember the narrative you created in the rest of your application. If you wrote your Common App essay on how your passion for the arts has shaped your life, this Fordham supplement essay may be a good place to expand your experience as a member of your high school’s drama club.

Fordham Essay Draft Key Questions:

  • If you need to explain extenuating circumstances that impacted your academics, did you do so clearly and explain how you have improved or will improve as a student?
  • Alternatively, if you chose to expand on a co-curricular involvement, did you clarify how you will enrich the corresponding community at Fordham?
  • Does your response to this Fordham supplement essay supplement the narrative you put forth in the rest of your application?

Does Fordham care about essays?

fordham supplemental essays

The answer: Yes!

In short, each university cares about its essays. The Common App essay is required, so that is of course a must. However, to have the strongest application possible, you should also complete at least the first of the Fordham supplemental essays.

We want to reiterate that Fordham’s website states applicants will not be penalized for not answering the Fordham supplemental essays. However, completing the Fordham supplemental essays will show interest and care. Not to mention, the Fordham supplemental essays are another opportunity to enrich your application and show Fordham University admissions what kind of student you are.

Your Fordham University supplemental essays are an important part of your how to get into Fordham strategy. Besides familiarizing yourself with the Fordham University acceptance rate or Fordham University ranking, the best way to get into any university—besides striving for stellar academics, high test scores,  and engaging extracurriculars that speak to your ambitions—is to complete all of the application carefully and thoroughly. For Fordham, that means answering each of the Fordham supplemental essays if they apply to you.

No matter your major, you can expect to do a fair amount of writing in your college courses. Fordham values writing and communication skills, and each Fordham essay is your chance to demonstrate those abilities. When you finalize your draft, make sure your final Fordham essay is free of any spelling and grammatical errors.

What is Demonstrated Interest?

Many universities like Fordham rely on something called demonstrated interest (DI) in the admissions process. Demonstrated interest is used by admissions to determine how interested a student is in attending their school. While you can show DI in small ways like visiting the campus or interacting with the school on social media, one of the biggest (and easiest) ways to show DI is through your supplemental essays. When admissions officers are looking at two similar student profiles—similar grades, GPAs, and extracurricular activities—then the deciding factor is often which student gives a stronger “why” for wanting to attend their school. For more information on demonstrated interest, check out this article in Forbes.

Research Fordham University and be sure you can clearly answer the question, “Why Fordham?” If you are simply applying because it is a competitive university or because you want to live in New York City, Fordham admissions will be able to tell. Make sure your Fordham essays foreground your particular interest in Fordham. There are many other competitive universities in New York City. What is it about Fordham, specifically, that feels like a good fit for you? Is there a field you want to pursue that Fordham specializes in? Do Fordham’s Jesuit principles appeal to you as a person and learner? Are you drawn to a specific department’s teaching methodology? Be sure you can answer yes to at least one of these questions.

Showing how you “fit”

Once you know why Fordham is a good fit for you, be sure you can answer why you are a good fit for Fordham. Can you meet the academic requirements? Do you have something to offer to the student community, such as experience as a community leader or special interest in a certain area? Make sure to highlight this in your Fordham essays.

Finally, go above and beyond by writing all of the Fordham supplemental essays. This will show your increased interest, particularly since applicants can easily add the university onto their Common Application list without much thought. Writing the Fordham supplemental essays shows Fordham University admissions you are choosing Fordham specifically and would more likely attend.

Five tips for writing your Fordham supplemental essays

Fordham Supplemental Essays Tips

#1- Get your questions answered

If you’re confused about any part of your application, including your Fordham supplemental essays, don’t worry! We have tons of resources on how to get started on your essays, including our Ask an Admissions Officer Essay FAQ.

#2- Plan ahead

Start early by creating a timeline. Ideally, you will start thinking about your essays the summer before your application period.

#3- Stay organized

Be sure to make an essay checklist to help guide you. Compile a checklist for each essay and evaluate your progress. Do you fully answer each part of the Fordham University essay prompt? Does your response contribute to your larger application narrative? Are your answers specific and true to who you are?

#4- Save time for editing

Editing is one of the most important parts of the supplemental essay writing processes, so make sure you leave time to thoroughly edit your Fordham supplemental essays. It is always ideal to have a second pair of eyes on your writing to catch any grammar or punctuation issues as well as to check for clarity and tone.

#5- Get an outside opinion

Before you submit your Fordham supplemental essays, ask a peer, mentor, parent/guardian, or advisor to look over your essay for you. They can give you advice on clarity, flow, and even catch any grammar or spelling mistakes you might have missed while proofreading.

Fordham Supplemental Essays: Final Thoughts

We’ve answered the question of “does Fordham have supplemental essays.” It does, and if you want to maximize your admissions odds, you should complete them if they apply to you. 

If Fordham is on your college list or is your dream school, you’ve probably thought about the Fordham supplemental essays. Don’t feel daunted by the Fordham essay requirements; instead, use them as a chance to highlight your strengths. 

Along with the Fordham University ranking, the Fordham supplemental essays may seem daunting, but don’t let that discourage you from applying. Fordham essays are one of your biggest opportunities to showcase who you are and impress Fordham admissions.  The Fordham University supplemental essays are the perfect chance to set yourself apart as an applicant. They are also a great way to supplement lower-than-average test scores or a low GPA.

Start early and have a plan

When you’re ready to tackle the Fordham supplemental essays, remember to start early. Plan out your Fordham University supplemental essay topics, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. An extra set of eyes or a partner to talk your Fordham essay ideas out with is always a good idea, as long as they ultimately help you construct the essay you want to write. Good luck!

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This Fordham supplemental essays guide was written by Stefanie Tedards. Looking for more admissions support? Click here to schedule a free meeting with one of our Admissions Specialists. During your meeting, our team will discuss your profile and help you find targeted ways to increase your admissions odds at top schools. We’ll also answer any questions and discuss how can support you in the college application process.