How to Answer the Challenging “Diversity Question”
December 6, 2011. Many schools ask a question involving diversity. For these questions, remember that diversity is about more than differences between races and cultures; it is about each person’s unique traits, experiences, and the resulting influence on one’s perspective.
Universities value diversity in their admitted students because diversity outside of the classroom can broaden your perspective on the world and increase your contribution both in the classroom and in extracurricular activities. For example, someone very different from you might share a viewpoint or experience in a class discussion that is new to you. These unique contributions add depth to each student’s individual educational experience.
The proper way to answer a question about a situation involving diversity is to tell about a time when you learned something about yourself or another culture from someone very different from you. Instead of talking about going out for Chinese or Indian food, explain how you were changed by your exposure to new experiences or helped change the perspective of someone else. This type of response will allow admissions officers to see the impact you will have if admitted.
One way to imagine diversity is to see the undergraduate student body as a puzzle with thousands of pieces, and yourself as one of those unique pieces. What strengths do you bring to the college and your fellow students? How can you help the University complete the picture, and what qualities do you possess that can add depth to the on-campus experience?
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