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Not sure how to approach the Fordham supplemental essays? With tips from a Fordham graduate, CollegeAdvisor.com’s guide to the Fordham supplemental essays will show you how to write engaging Fordham essays and maximize your admissions odds. For more help crafting your Fordham supplemental essays, create your free account or schedule a free advising consultation by calling (844) 343-6272.

Fordham Essays Guide Quick Facts:

  • Fordham has an acceptance rate of 52.5%—U.S. News ranks Fordham as a competitive school.
  • We recommend answering all Fordham supplemental essays comprehensively and thoughtfully.

How many essays does Fordham require?

Fordham University requires the Common App Personal Statement as well as three optional Fordham supplement essays. Fordham states applicants will not be penalized if they do not submit these Fordham supplemental essays. However, we recommend answering each Fordham University essay prompt to strengthen your application.

What are the essays for Fordham?

You can visit the Fordham University website for a complete list of application requirements. The website also includes a writing guide for the Common App essay and Fordham supplemental essays.

Below, we have outlined each Fordham University supplemental essay and how to approach it. Think of these Fordham essays as another chance to show your interest in Fordham and what makes you a good fit.

How do I write the Fordham college essay?

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 Fordham supplemental essays?

Fordham reviews each application holistically. As they read your Fordham supplements, they want to picture you on their campus. The Fordham supplemental essays are a chance to bring that image to life. Strong Fordham essays will help your readers picture you as a part of their student body.

For more tips on constructing a strong application narrative, read CollegeAdvisor’s article, “A Deep Dive Into the Personal Narrative.”

Fordham Supplemental Essays—Question 1 (Optional):

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, 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 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. It also illustrates how you hope to stretch yourself to grow as a person and student.

Remember you only have 150 words to write this Fordham supplement essay, so specificity is key. 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 Draft Key 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—Question 2 (Optional):

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.

This 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 Draft Key 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—Question 3 (Optional):

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?

How do I get into Fordham University?

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.

Demonstrated Interest

Many universities like Fordham rely on something called demonstrated interest (DI) in the admissions process. Demonstrated interest is a gauge used by the admissions team 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.

Check out Fordham University’s “What We Are Looking For” page here.

Does Fordham care about essays?

In short, yes. 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 each of the Fordham University essay prompts.

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

Additional tips for writing your Fordham supplemental essays

  • Create a timeline. Start early, ideally the summer before your application period
  • Have an essay checklist. Compile a checklist for each essay. 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?
  • Make edits. 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.

Fordham Supplemental Essays: Final Thoughts

Completing the Fordham supplemental essays can feel daunting, but don’t let that discourage you from applying. The Fordham University supplemental essays are the perfect chance to set yourself apart as an applicant and round out your application. They are also a great way to supplement lower-than-average test scores or a low GPA.

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 2021-2022 essay guide on Fordham was written by Saphia Suarez. For more CollegeAdvisor.com resources, click here. Want help crafting your Fordham supplemental essays? Create your free account or schedule a complimentary advising consultation by calling (844) 343-6272.