Prompt 4: Showed Gratitude

Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?

Wooden tiles spelling out Pay it Forward

Giving Back to Others

This prompt is your chance to show the reader in admissions how you contribute back when inspired by the generous actions or example of other people. The person who inspired you should usually be someone close to you with whom you have a direct relationship, like a friend, teacher, relative, pastor or coach. 

This prompt is a good way to show how you take action to contribute at school, at church, in the community or in other ways, indicating what you might contribute on campus if admitted to college. The key is to show cause and effect: someone did something good for you that inspired you to do something good too.

Being Meaningful Matters

Be sure that whatever was done for you was something meaningful and significant enough to impact and change you in some important way. Someone holding a door for you one time is not going to make for a credible story: keep in mind that sometimes what you share with admissions says a lot about you beyond the details of your essay.  

You are one good essay away from admission to your dream school!

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