Will be used for both Bowdoin and Amherst:
In an effort to understand your interests and aspirations for college, we ask you to select one of the three topics below and provide a response of up to 250 words. Please include your name, birth date, and topic choice at the top of the page.
1. Intellectual engagement
2. The Common Good3. Connection to place
In addition to the essay you're asked to write as part of the Common Application, Amherst requires a second essay of no more than 300 words. We do not offer interviews as part of the application process at Amherst. However, your essays provide you with an opportunity to speak to us. Please keep this in mind when responding to one of the following quotations. It is not necessary to research, read, or refer to the texts from which these quotations are taken; we are looking for original, personal responses to these short excerpts. Remember that your essay should be personal in nature and not simply an argumentative essay.
"It seems to me incumbent upon this and other schools' graduates to recognize their responsibility to the public interest... unless the graduates of this college... are willing to put back into our society those talents, the broad sympathy, the understanding, the compassion... then obviously the presuppositions upon which our democracy are based are bound to be fallible."
John F. Kennedy, at the ground breaking for the Amherst College Frost Library, October 26, 1963
I am an adamant believer that society needs to focus its energy on the common good through education. College is where we should begin to understand our social responsibility to enhance the world through action. It is unjust to reap the benefits of a college education provided by society without giving back to the society from which it came from. People need to use their constitutional freedoms to ensure our society thrives. This broaches the question of how to inspire these students. Should it be through government regulation, or an education addressing their responsibility? A free nation will only survive when the people we educate are willing to give back some of what they learned to the community. I believe that this government system is malnourished by college students. Granted, they may recognize their responsibility, but not enough act towards the common good of society to retain the government system we have.
I have found that allowing students to explore their passions and then teaching them how to use those passions effectively combats the dire condition of the common good.
What else do I need to address to make this a strong component of my applications?
The essay works for Amherst, but I think Bowdoin wants you to reflect on your own interests and experiences. It would be better if you could come up with a new essay for Bowdoin, or at least add your personal experiences to support your thoughts.