why davidson essay

Why Davidson Essay 2022-23

The Davidson supplemental essays are a critical part of applying to Davidson College. An important part of the Davidson essay requirements is your Why Davidson Essay. Your responses to the Davidson essays are a great place to show your strengths as both a student and a writer. They also help the Davidson College admissions team get to know you better!

To apply you’ll need to write two essays:

  • A Why Davidson essay
  • An essay about your interests or passions

The Why Davidson essay allows you to explain why you should be admitted to Davidson. With the Davidson College acceptance rate at just 18%, the application process is competitive. So, spend time and effort on your Davidson supplemental essays. Additionally, make sure you’re aware of the Davidson College application deadline and start early. That way, you can give yourself enough time to make your essays as strong as possible.

The Why Davidson essay is also your best opportunity to demonstrate why you’re interested in Davidson College over other schools. As you’ve likely noticed, many schools have a why this college essay to help admissions officers understand what specifically attracts you to their school. In your Why Davidson essay, you should highlight what makes Davidson the perfect place for you.

The “why this college” essay

The why school essay allows you to directly address what draws you to a given school. In these essays, you might want to highlight the academic program, extracurricular activities, or other features about a given school that interest you.

The Why Davidson essay is the only place where you can explain exactly why you want to attend Davidson College. So, think carefully about your response. Additionally, make sure to touch on the things that really matter to you. Remember, you’ll want to explain the specific reasons that Davidson attracts you.

The low Davidson College acceptance rate means that every element of your application matters. While your grades and test scores matter, the supplemental essays allow your personality to shine through! The Davidson essay prompts are the best way to tell Davidson directly why you want to attend. On top of that, the Why Davidson essay lets you feature your own voice in your application. 

Given the low Davidson College acceptance rate, you’ll want to make sure your Davidson essays highlight your strengths. This guide to the Davidson supplemental essays will help you understand the Davidson essay prompts in greater detail. We’ll give you tips to help show Davidson College admissions why you would be a great fit for their campus. By the end, we hope you’ll feel prepared to tackle the Davidson College supplemental essay process.

Davidson College Supplemental Essays: Quick Facts

  • Davidson College Acceptance Rate: 18%
  • Davidson College Rankings U.S News lists the Davidson College ranking as #15 in National Liberal Arts Colleges
  • Davidson College Admissions Requirements: Students submit their Davidson College applications through the Common App.
    • Make sure to review the required application materials for Davidson College here
  • Davidson College Supplemental Essay Requirements:
    • 2 Essays (250-300 words)
  • Davidson College Application Deadline:
    • Early Decision: November 15th 
    • Early Decision II: January 8th 
    • Regular Decision: January 11th
  • Davidson College Supplemental Essay Tip: Davidson College requires students to write two different supplemental essays. Use this as an opportunity to showcase your interests and passion that you may not highlight elsewhere in your application!

    Does Davidson College have supplemental essays?

    why davidson essay

    Yes, Davidson College has two different supplemental essays. Each essay is 200-350 words, and both are required in order to apply to Davidson.

    You might notice that the Davidson essay prompts seem similar to those of other schools. However, the low Davidson College acceptance rate means you’ll want to craft strong essays specifically tailored to your Davidson application.

    For the 2022-2023 academic year, the Davidson supplemental essays are: 

    Prompt 1: There are just under 4,000 4-year colleges and universities in the United States. Being as specific as possible, what interests you most about Davidson College?

    This essay can be summarized as the Why Davidson essay. So, in your response, make sure to answer the question: “Why do you want to apply to Davidson?” Out of the two Davidson College supplemental essays, this essay lets you show Davidson you’ve done your research. Mention specific programs, professors, and clubs that Davidson offers. The more specific, the better! 

    Prompt 2: Davidson encourages students to explore curiosities in and out of the classroom. What is a topic, activity or idea that excites you? Tell us why. Examples may include hobbies, books, interactions, music, podcasts, movies, etc.

    This essay lets you discuss a passion of yours that may not come across in your general application. Try to really think beyond what you’ve studied in class. This Davidson College supplemental essay allows you to showcase your unique interests. Given the low Davidson College acceptance rate, you’ll want to take every opportunity to stand out. So, use this essay prompt to show Davidson who you are and what you care the most about! 

    Next, let’s take a deep dive into the first of the Davidson essay prompts: the Why Davidson essay.

    Why Davidson Essay

    why davidson essay

    The Why Davidson essay is a major part of the Davidson College application process. With a 200-350 word limit, the Why Davidson essay provides limited space for students to highlight their interest in attending.

    Remember, the Davidson College acceptance rate is relatively low. That means admissions looks for every opportunity to distinguish strong applicants from one another. To really catch their attention, make sure you include specific details! 

    Your Why Davidson essay should show that you’ve researched Davidson College extensively. So, your essay should discuss which programs, activities, or resources excite you.

    You can start your research on Davidson College’s website. Read about Davidson’s offered programs and majors to see what you might be interested in studying. If you’re not sure what major you’d like to pursue, don’t stress! Look into student clubs and activities to get a sense of Davidson’s campus life. The more you can imagine your future at Davidson, the easier it will be to write your Why Davidson essay.

    Making the most of your research

    In addition to Davidson’s website, you can find a lot of information from different sources online. Both the College Board and The Common App have great resources to learn about Davidson. You can read all about application requirements, average costs after aid, and popular student clubs.

    You can also research the many different Davidson College ranking lists – U.S. News is a great place to start.  The U.S. Department of Education also has a College Scorecard for Davidson. Here, you’ll find information on graduation rates and average earnings for alumni.

    To learn more about Davidson’s history, check out NCpedia for a summary of Davidson’s early years. As you can see, you’ll find plenty of resources available to help you get inspired to write your Davidson supplemental essays.

    Overall, your Why Davidson essay should show why Davidson is the right school for you. The low Davidson College acceptance rate means your essays can make a huge difference. Remember, your essays should convince the admissions team that you are a great fit for Davidson. So, before you start writing your Why Davidson essay, make sure you know why you belong on campus.

    Now, let’s look at the second of the Davidson supplemental essays.

    Davidson College Prompt #2: Personal Interests

    The second Davidson College supplemental essay allows you to showcase a personal interest. You might want to write about a passion project or a hobby—really, anything you’re excited about. Additionally, you can use this essay to share something that may not necessarily come through in the main parts of your application. While your Why Davidson essay may revolve around what you might study at Davidson, this one offers more freedom. The second Davidson College supplemental essay asks you to showcase your interests, whether they relate to your major or not.

    Picking what idea or passion you’ll write about may feel daunting. Rather than worry, try and see this as an opportunity to tell Davidson College something unique about you. Maybe you’re super interested in a specific TV show or have researched something extensively outside of school. If you play a sport or musical instrument, you might reflect on what your hobbies mean to you. Use the second Davidson College supplemental essay to elaborate on something you care about! 

    Connecting your interests to Davidson’s offerings

    You may choose to connect your passion or interest back to Davidson College. While not necessary, making a connection between your passion project and Davidson can be powerful. If you’re interested in a specific hobby or sport, see if Davidson has a related student club or organization.

    Out of the two Davidson essays, this prompt allows you to focus on your passions. Detailing how you plan to continue these passions in college can help you focus your essay. 

    Rather than worrying about the Davidson College acceptance rate, put time and focus into your Davidson supplemental essays. Consider the things you love beyond strictly academic subjects—remember, this is your chance to bring your personality in! 

    Does Davidson College care about essays?

    why davidson essay

    If you’re still thinking about the Davidson College acceptance rate, you might wonder how much the Davidson supplemental essays matter. Overall, Davidson cares about the Davidson supplemental essays.

    However, keep in mind that the Davidson supplemental essays comprise just one part of your application. Additionally, the Davidson essays are the one part of your application you have complete control over. In your own words, you get to tell Davidson exactly why you deserve a spot in their new class.

    Colleges want to make sure you’re passionate about attending and will use their programs and resources to their fullest extent. This is why many colleges, including Davidson, have some sort of why this college essay. So, it’s important to take these Davidson essays seriously. 

    Essays and test-optional admissions

    Additionally, Davidson College is a test-optional school. That means they do not require students to submit SAT or ACT scores. Given the low Davidson College acceptance rate, you might wonder how Davidson reviews applications as a test-optional school. 

    Without test scores, colleges rely on other parts of your application to determine if you would be a good fit. So, the Why Davidson essay is crucial. Understanding your interest in Davidson helps the Davidson admissions office gauge what you’ll bring to their campus. Additionally, if you choose not to submit test scores, your responses to the Davidson essay prompts become even more important. 

    Overall, we can’t tell you exactly how the admissions team will factor in the Davidson supplemental essays for each student. However, we know that colleges care about your reasons for applying. The Davidson essay prompts are your chance to show Davidson who you are and what you care about. If your Davidson essays are compelling, it will boost your overall application. 

    How to Write the Davidson College Supplemental Essays

    why davidson essay

    If the Davidson supplemental essays feel daunting, that’s okay! The good news is that the Davidson essay prompts are pretty similar to prompts at a lot of other schools. That means you can approach these prompts similarly to how you’d approach your other application essays. To help you get started, let’s break down the best way to approach each Davidson College supplemental essay. 

    Davidson Prompt #1

    The first Davidson College supplemental essay is the quintessential why this college essay. These essays can be hard, as there may be many reasons why you’d like to be a Davidson student. The most important part of writing your Why Davidson essay is to avoid generalities. Focus on one or two things that you find intriguing about Davidson, and remember to be specific!

    Really think about why you’re applying to Davidson. Is it because they offer a major that’s hard to find elsewhere, or do you really love Davidson’s location? Or, maybe you would enjoy the smaller class sizes and suburban setting. Additionally, maybe you’d like to explore Davidson’s robust study abroad program. You can reference specific facts and figures as well (like the Davidson College ranking for your intended major). Start by keeping things simple: write down your top two reasons and go from there! 

    Then, try to find a connection between your reasons for applying, as this will help anchor your Why Davidson essay. This can be a great place to share more about your background and interests. Let’s say you’ve been involved in a student group in high school. You could talk about your experiences and then describe how you’ll build on them at Davidson.

    Davidson Prompt #2

    The second Davidson College supplement essay revolves around your hobbies, passions, and interests. Some students may have a hard time choosing just one topic or hobby. Alternatively, other students may have a hard time coming up with a topic at all. No matter which camp you’re in, both are totally normal!

    If you’re feeling stuck, start by thinking about how you like to spend your free time. Think about what excites you the most or what you most look forward to doing. Then, ask yourself—is this something you want Davidson to know about you? 

    If you can, focus on something that may not come across as clearly from the rest of your application. Try to branch out beyond what you plan to study. For instance, you may choose to focus on extracurriculars. Maybe Davidson has a club or student group that aligns with your interest. If so, you can write about how you’ll continue exploring your interests once on campus.

    If you’re having a hard time landing on an idea, look through Davidson’s Activities and Organizations page for some inspiration. Additionally, think critically about your own interests and background. Ask yourself what most defines you, and think about whether all of your key features come through in your application. Then, if you notice something missing, you might use it as an essay topic. You can also read our Essay Guides and Essay Examples and our guide on How to Write a Personal Statement for more tips.  

    Highlighting your identity

    The most important thing is that your essay represents who you are and what you care about. Still, with only 350 words, this may prove a challenge. Given the competitive Davidson College acceptance rate, it’s important to set yourself apart. The best way to do that is through honesty and authenticity.

    You may also find that you have to edit and re-write your supplemental essays multiple times. While this may seem tedious, it’s all part of the writing process. It may be helpful to start with a rough outline, detailing what you want to discuss in each essay. This will help you focus your ideas before you begin a full draft.

    Every word counts

    Often, students have a hard time staying within the word limit. So, we recommend focusing on one or two bigger themes per essay. That way, you’ll have room to go into greater detail and make a stronger impact. 

    No matter what topic you land on, it’s important to give yourself enough time to write your Davidson supplemental essays. Editing and rewriting may take some time, and you don’t want to rush to finish your application. So, give yourself enough time to thoughtfully reflect on what you want to write about. Then, try to write a first draft at least a month before the application deadline. This will give you plenty of time to ensure that your essays are the best they can be.

    Why Davidson Essay and More Resources from CollegeAdvisor

    why davidson essay

    Looking for more resources to help you tackle the Davidson essay prompts? In addition to this Why Davidson essay guide, we have numerous guides to help you navigate the college application process. 

    Most students will have to write multiple why this college essays. If you’re writing more than one why school essay, check out our guide on the “Why This College Essay” here. It can be helpful to read through a number of different essay examples to help jump-start your writing process.

    More useful CollegeAdvisor resources

    Given the low Davidson College acceptance rate, it’s likely Davidson is not the only college you’re applying to. That’s why we have information on a variety of different schools across the country. For example, if you’re interested in attending other colleges in North Carolina, you can check out our guide here. Remember, it’s important to apply to a number of different schools to balance your college list. If you’re not sure where to start looking for other schools, read our guide on the college search

    In addition to writing your Davidson essays, the college application process requires you to keep track of a number of college application deadlines. Try making a calendar to keep your different deadlines and requirements organized throughout the application process. This way, you can make sure you write your Why Davidson essay well before the Davidson College application deadline.

    CollegeAdvisor has a wealth of information and tips to help you with all aspects of the college application process. We have resources covering everything from recommendation letters to understanding tuition and college costs to applying for scholarships. Once you get into college, we’ll help you navigate your college acceptance letter and different ways to pay for college.

    In addition to a number of different guides, CollegeAdvisor has many different webinars for you and your family to explore. Topics range from college essay brainstorming to finding the right college community.

    If you found this guide on the Why Davidson essay helpful, take a look at the other many resources available through CollegeAdvisor. Additionally, if you are interested in one-on-one help with your college applications, schedule a free College Admissions Strategy Session with our team.

    Davidson Essay Prompts – Final Thoughts

    If you want to be one of Davidson’s 2,000 undergraduate students, you’ll need to write your Davidson supplemental essays. Before you get started, it’s important to reflect on the type of student experience you may have at Davidson. Given the low Davidson College acceptance rate, you’ll want your essays to stand out. More importantly, you’ll want them to help paint a holistic picture of who you are. Dedicating time and energy to your Davidson essays is crucial. Then, you can feel confident your application represents the best version of you and your accomplishments. 

    The importance of research

    The Why Davidson essay lets you explain why you’re interested in Davidson. So, use it to detail how you’ll add value to their campus. Make sure you’ve done your research on Davidson, and then point to specific reasons why you want to be admitted. Envision yourself as a Davidson student. What will you explore on campus? What are you most looking forward to? This is your chance to speak directly to the Davidson admissions office, so make it count. 

    Highlighting who you are

    The second Davidson supplemental essay is a great way to showcase a hobby, interest, or accomplishment that you’re proud of. Given the number of applications submitted to Davidson, it’s important that your essay captures something unique. This essay will help admissions officers get to know you better. So, don’t miss this chance to ensure your application stands out.

    Remember to revise

    Overall, it’s important to put care into writing your Davidson supplemental essays. So, you should complete multiple drafts as you prepare your Davidson essays. When you have a draft ready, share your Davidson essays with teachers, mentors, and your family for feedback. It can be helpful to have input from the people who know you the best and are rooting for you!

    The Davidson essay prompts allow you to break down exactly what you hope to get out of Davidson. While the Davidson College acceptance rate is low, writing stellar essays can help boost your application. Plus, if you want expert guidance as you complete your Davidson essays, we’re here to help.

    why davidson essay

    This guide to the Why Davidson Essay was written by Senior Advisor Jess Klein. 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 CollegeAdvisor.com can support you in the college application process.