Loyola Marymount University, a private Jesuit and Marymount university in Los Angeles, asks for several supplemental essays in addition to the main Common or Coalition Application personal statement. You’ll have to respond to one out of three prompts, so it’s important to choose the best one for you. There’s also a separate “Why Marymount” essay which, although not required, we highly recommend writing!
Below, let’s look at how to choose the most appropriate Loyola Marymount essay prompt and show readers a side of yourself not highlighted in other parts of your Loyola Marymount application. Since “critical and creative thinking” is an important component for all these prompts, you’ll want to strike a balance between conveying your own personal experiences and applying what you’ve learned to your worldview.
Please read the three statements, which all relate to the mission and the values of Loyola Marymount University. Choose the one you find most interesting and thought provoking; then, answer the question which accompanies the statement you select. This essay, usually around 500 words, is your chance to display your critical and creative thinking. (usually 500 - 1000 words)
In Pope Francis’ 2015 address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress, he said: “Let us remember the Golden Rule: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ (Mt 7:12). This Rule points us in a clear direction. Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated. Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves. Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves.”
Prompt 1 question:
While Pope Frances was speaking to elected leaders when he made these remarks, he was reminding all leaders of our obligations to each other. How do leaders and decision makers in any organization keep the Golden Rule in mind while striving for distinction and success?
Pick this prompt if: you have leadership experience. Keep in mind that this doesn’t have to be “official” experience— sometimes students learn about leadership through family or friend groups, anything where you have found yourself in a position of power or influence over others.. You could use insights from your own leadership experiences to reflect on current or historical situations, perhaps related to politics or business. For this particular prompt, it’s fine to make a more academic argument than you might in other personal statements. However, it’s still a good idea to include a personal angle by showing how you’ve grappled with the tension between self-advancement and concern for others, and how as a future leader you might integrate these values.
Speaking about education, Dr. Martin Luther King once said, “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.’’
Prompt 2 question:
Critical thinking is a central goal of Jesuit education, and at LMU you’ll be asked to think critically and intensively in every class. Dr. King suggests that critical thinking results in our ability to inform intelligence with character, and strengthen character with intelligence. Please talk about a situation that demanded critical thinking from you, and how your choices or decisions integrated intelligence and character.
Pick this prompt if: you are ready to engage deeply with a difficult decision you made. This prompt will work well if you’re someone who tends to deliberate and analyze all possibilities before taking any action. On the other hand, if you usually follow your instinct, perhaps a particular experience stands out because you felt you had to think deeply before making a decision. You could even discuss a time when you failed to make the “right” decision, but ended up learning a valuable lesson. Either way, you’ll want to discuss how you grew as a person through the experience.
A motto often associated with Jesuit and Marymount schools is ‘‘Educating men and women for others.’’ Fr. Pedro Arrupe, the former head of the Jesuits, once said that ‘‘our prime educational objective must be to form men and women for others, who believe that a love of self or of God which does not issue forth in justice for the least of their neighbors is a farce.’’
Prompt 3 question:
What do you think Fr. Arrupe meant when he said this? Please give an example of someone you know, other than your teachers and parents, who works for justice for the least of their neighbors.
Pick this prompt if: you have a history of community service, and can think of people who have inspired or mentored you through that service. Even though this Loyola Marymount essay prompt asks you to discuss “someone you know,” it’s important to relate this person’s efforts to your own values, experiences, and actions. You’ll want to explore how this person has influenced your own life. Why did they make a strong impression on you? Which aspects of your own character did they appeal to? And finally, what have they inspired you to do?
All of these Loyola Marymount essay prompts give you the chance to showcase your character, values, beliefs, and personality. Try to pick the one that lets you explore other aspects of yourself than what you cover in your Common or Coalition App personal statement.
Note: The “Why Marymount” essay is technically optional, but we recommend writing it because it’s a great opportunity to show why you belong at this school. For a guide on writing a strong “Why this college” essay, click here.