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Santa Paula, California

Thomas Aquinas College

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Thomas Aquinas College’s 2023-24 Essay Prompts

Why This College Short Response

Required
500 Words

Why do you wish to attend Thomas Aquinas College? What aspects of the College most appeal to you and why? The Admissions Committee is particularly interested in your understanding of the academic program of the College, especially the fully-integrated, non-elective character of the curriculum. Please comment as well on your willingness and ability to participate in classroom discussions.

Educational History Short Response

Required
300 Words

Please evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the education you have received until now. You may also relate some school experience, or other experience, which was formative for you.

Additional Info Short Response

Required
400 Words

Describe life within your family. (For example: Do you have brothers and sisters? Are your parents divorced or separated? What interests do you share with other members of your family? What interests do you pursue in your free time?) What challenges or obstacles have you faced in your life and how have you dealt with them? Have you pursued any occupations or careers? If so, please describe your experience. Have you discussed your plans for college with members of your family? If so, what do they think?

Religion/Campus Life Essay

Required
600 Words

a. Thomas Aquinas College is a Catholic college. How do you understand the relation between the curriculum and the Catholic character of the College? (~200-300 words)

b. Every college has rules governing campus life. Some at Thomas Aquinas College are no longer commonly found at other colleges. There are regulations against consuming alcohol on campus, for example, and visiting residence halls of the opposite sex. There is also a curfew and dress code. How do you think such regulations are related to wisdom and the life of learning? Please comment on your willingness to abide by them. (~200-300 words)

Extracurricular Essay

Required
800 Words

a. Describe your reading habits and your experience with books. (~200-300 words)

b. Choose a book you consider to be excellent and write about some important aspect of it. Please do not write a book report: your essay should be neither a summary nor a mere description of your reaction to the book. You should not, for example, simply describe how Huckleberry Finn changed your life or how much you loathe the character of Madame Defarge in A Tale of Two Cities. Rather, if you choose a work of fiction, your essay should deal with some important theme(s) and/or character development(s). If you choose a work of non-fiction, please comment on the author’s argumentation. Successful book essays are generally 2 pages in length. (~500 words)

Common App Personal Essay

Required
650 words

The essay demonstrates your ability to write clearly and concisely on a selected topic and helps you distinguish yourself in your own voice. What do you want the readers of your application to know about you apart from courses, grades, and test scores? Choose the option that best helps you answer that question and write an essay of no more than 650 words, using the prompt to inspire and structure your response. Remember: 650 words is your limit, not your goal. Use the full range if you need it, but don‘t feel obligated to do so.


Option 1

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.


Option 2

The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?


Option 3

Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?


Option 4

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?


Option 5

Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.


Option 6

Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?


Option 7

Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you‘ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

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